4. Covering Your Bases With Intellectual Property

4.1 Two options for asset management

As a marketing agency, you’re responsible for the strategy and execution that’ll show some killer return on investment for your clients. The 3000 foot view of things is that you’ve been contracted out to deliver on a set of goals that quite frankly, your client just isn’t poised to do in-house. No biggie. Paycheque collected, project complete. In an ideal world, this is a mutually beneficial, win-win scenario.

On the other hand, S*&$ happens. It’s important to have a contingency plan for all those assets you’ve created, if a client relationship ends…for *any* reason.

Since we’re optimists here at Unbounce, let’s say your client strikes it rich and simply has more demand for their product or service that they can *ever* fulfill, and they’re all set to live out their days without another marketing thought. It could happen!

So you get the call that the client relationship will be coming to an end. What happens to all of the assets you’ve created?

Well, there are two basic ways you can account for this in your initial contract.

Option 1:  Agency Owned Assets

4.1-Agency-owned

What it means:

When you think about a landing page asset, you’re really thinking about a .unbounce file.

If the .unbounce files that you create are agency owned, it means that at the beginning of the client/agency relationship (ie in the contract), you specify that any landing pages or landing page designs created by the agency for the client, will still belong to the agency if the contract ends. While leads collected through the landing pages would still be property of the client, the agency would hold onto the .unbounce files under their own account in the event of a contract ending.

The Good:

If you’re creating a bazillion pages for clients in similar industries, maintaining ownership over landing pages is a streamlined way to keep control over customized templates, image assets, and other pieces that you’ve perfected for that client base. An important precondition of this arrangement might be that your client isn’t interested in managing an Unbounce account (or landing page strategy) on their own if the relationship ends. Keep in mind that in order for them to *use* a landing page that you’ve built, they’ll require an Unbounce account. Landing pages downloaded from Unbounce are in a .unbounce file format, which means they won’t be particularly useful outside of the Unbounce app.

If your client’s sole interest is lead data, and they really aren’t excited about landing pages as digital assets, your best bet could be to maintain ownership over the .unbounce files.

The Bad:

Whether your client plans to run their own landing page campaigns or not, suggesting that you maintain ownership over a set of .unbounce files that you build in their service could leave a bad taste in their mouth. Kind of like giving a birthday present and asking for the wrapping paper back.

If (contrary to our rosy example) the client is going to work with another agency, or does have an explicit interest in using Unbounce on their own, you can bet that they’ll want to hang on to those .unbounce files.

The Technical Bits:

If you’d like to transfer a page from one Client to another, you can do that! Simply head over to your All Pages Screen, and select the gear menu on the left hand side of the page you’d like to transfer.

From the dropdown menu, select “copy to a client” and select the client that you’d like to transfer the page over to. Confirm the domain you want the page to mapped to, and you’re all set.

4.1-Copy-to-client

Remember that when you transfer a page over to another client, the stats and lead data for that page will be reset. You’ll also need to publish your page under the new client account as it’ll be set to unpublished by default.

Option 2:  Client Owned Assets.

4.1-Client-owned

What it Means:

Earlier in this section, we clarified what a landing page asset really is. But in case you skipped that part (skim reading offender!!), let’s review it once more. When we talk about landing pages as assets, we’re really talking about .unbounce files. When you download a page from the app, you’re downloading a .unbounce file and transferring it over to our client.

If you determine that your .unbounce files will be client owned, it means that when the contract ends, you’ll hand over all the goods (those shiny .unbounce files) over to your client, and they’ll have the rights for that page and all of its properties.

The Good:

Clients who either move on to work with another agency or manage landing pages on their own will have a keen interest in keeping any .unbounce files that are created under your contract. It makes sense that they might want to use the pages verbatim, or as a template for future campaigns.

Many clients might consider the landing pages that you design to be a deliverable, or a success indicator for your work together. When you assure the client that they’ll be the owners of the pages you create, it can also reassure them that you aren’t out to “double-dip” with the templates and resources that you build on their dollar by reselling them to other customers.

Guaranteeing client ownership over landing pages can be a show of good faith, especially during your initial contract negotiation.

The Bad:

The downside of having client owned landing pages is, well…that your client owns the landing pages! It might be more challenging for you to reduce, reuse and recycle the files that you’re building, however if bespoke is your bag, this might not be a problem. In fact, it might come as a plus to your customers that you’re not selling them recycled pages from another customer.

The Technical Bits:

If a contract comes to an end, you get into the sticky business of transferring landing pages over to the final owner (your client). Well you can thank your lucky stars, because this is a quick and easy process in Unbounce. Simply head over to your Page Overview screen, and click the gear icon in the top right.

From the dropdown menu, select “download page” and a link to download the .unbounce file will be emailed to the email associated with your main account.

4.1-Download-page

IRL (In real life)

Remember Patrick Schrodt at Titan PPC? We asked Patrick how he talks about intellectual property with his clients. Patrick has found that giving clients ownership over their final landing page files smooths the relationship and makes the initial subject a lot easier to broach. In the rare case that a customer needs to go on their merry way, Patrick says that passing on the pages makes for a clean and pleasant break.

“[If a client relationship ends], no problem. What we would do then is download the page or pages. They can create their own Unbounce account, and upload the pages there. We would give them an Unbounce file, and it would be theirs to do whatever they want with. We never ever hold on to anything. That’s what I tell them from the start, ‘we’ll never hold on’. If we need to part ways, then that’s what needs to happen. We have a very low attrition rate. clients stick around for quite a long time, but when we do go our separate ways, if they need an account, it’s their account.”