Why reinvent the wheel? Some of the most brilliant minds on earth are developing products for our technology-driven society, but they don't always have the reach - or savvy - to effectively distribute their software. That's where you come in.
Partnering with technology and advertising vendors by private-labeling their products and solutions with your own brand - also known as white-labeling - can provide an entirely new and viable revenue stream that you may not be able to achieve with the resources afforded to you today. To get the most out of such an arrangement, here's what you should look for in a white-label solution.
Ideally, you won't be starting cold. By that I mean that you will already have an understanding of your clients' needs (or your own needs, as you will see with some of the software solutions) and the market demand. For example, if you are a Web designer, would reselling an email marketing service benefit your clientele? Or, if you own, operate or manage a search engine optimization firm, would your existing client base benefit from some local marketing support?
When selecting a vendor's software solution to white label, the only requirements are that you 1) trust that company, and 2) consider their products/services worthy of your brand - not the other way around. You will certainly have to answer questions about support, service level agreements (SLA) and revenue, but if you are confident that you can resell another company's software or services - and that your existing client base needs them - then you are on the right track.
The following are just a few of the many white-label services you might encounter on the Web:
- groupSPARK enables its partners the ability to offer a hosted Microsoft Exchange service designed for small and mid-sized business customers. Instead of spending a few hundred thousand dollars to implement Exchange, and a near equal amount to maintain it, resellers can subscribe to groupSPARK's service and sell under their own name and brand (the program includes RPC/HTTPS URL, control panels and answer centers). The opportunity yields average revenue of $20-25 per use. A solution like groupSPARK is ideal for agencies and technology firms looking to add an essential layer to their existing services.
- CakeMail is an ideal white-label solution for those with more of a marketing mindset than IT savvy. Agencies (or individuals) can offer a full platform for e-mail marketing services and let CakeMail manage the many technical requirements such as delivery, ISP relations, reputation monitoring, etc. The administration console makes the process of managing your customized platform quite simple; with real-time activity dashboards, support for an unlimited number of clients, control of creative elements like templates and easy generation of perclient reports for billing. The client experience is equally hassle-free, providing the ability to create new campaigns, upload contact lists and access detailed performance reports. Those white-labeling the CakeMail service can also benefit from its Add-on Marketplace, which allows for adding deeper functionality and greater profits by connecting services such as Litmus (testing), SalesForce or HighRise (CRM), and Google Analytics, to name but a few.
- Exalead may not be your typical white-label offering, but it has all the traits. Should you be interested in adding powerful search functionality to your site or application (or being the search engine itself), look no further than Exalead's CloudView Platform. Exalead offers one of the most robust search offerings in the industry, and a viable opportunity to profit through advertising revenue on top of the organic results that the platform returns. Exalead's index runs deep - the company claims it is the fourth largest index outside of Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft. With features like video and audio search (as well as video and audio transcript searching), mobile and social search, and advanced text indexing and query processing - not to mention the many usability and accessibility features - Exalead is one to watch for those interested in whitelabeling their way to success.
- City Grid Media controls local Web destinations such as CitySearch.com, InsiderPages.com and UrbanSpoon, providing one of many white-labeling opportunities outside of e-mail and search. The company recently debuted a private-label reseller program for those locally positioned and looking to profit from the company's suite of advertising products. The program gives sellers a content-centric offering - CitySearch's business profile page template, which can be appended with rich video, maps, reviews and other amenities - to sell to local merchants and then be distributed across CityGrid's publisher network of Web and mobile sites. Resellers receive a branded merchant dashboard and reporting interface, private label tools for campaign enrollment, ad copy creation, marketing collateral and general account management.
- Avactis provides ecommerce professionals with a whitelabel shopping cart that can be customized to fit your own needs. Out of the box, Avactis offers a competitive solution for Internet retailers by providing all of the features that define today's modern shopping carts, including customer accounts, robust product management capabilities, order management functionality, strong data security, multiple payments options and locations. Pricing for the privilege of white labeling Avactis runs $299.00 for one domain, up to just over $2,000 for 10 domains.
- RavenTools is an Internet marketing toolset that offers an excellent way to stay ahead of the SEO competition through white labeling. RavenTools provides tools (link building, keyword research, competitor tracking, technical analysis), social monitoring, custom reporting and analytic insights, and integrates with companies from SEMRush and SocialMention to Facebook and Google. White labeling is available for pro level, agency level and enterprise level for RavenTools clients, from $99 per month to $1,499 per month.
- BuySellAds.com's private-label program is another option for resellers who are infatuated with the world of online advertising. BSA is a service that enables advertisers and website publishers to buy and sell advertising directly. The service has generated significant buzz over the two years it has been available, and its private-label offering promises to position the company and its technology deeper into the market. Resellers of BSA receive the same platform including account management, customer support and billing. Features like its asynchronous code, realtime analytics, selling ads in desktop apps and A/B testing are what make the service competitive for private-label resellers. The cost of $10,000 plus monthly licensing fees - a percentage of the network's gross ad sales - is what it takes to get started.
White-labeling presents the Web's ultimate win-win scenario by helping to solve your clients' problems while offering solutions providers new channels of distribution and additional revenue streams. By providing the right solutions that your clients want and need, everyone benefits.