Marketing Library

What Is MSP Marketing? 21 Strategies to Drive New Business

As a managed services provider, you make IT support accessible to companies of all shapes and sizes. But without effective MSP marketing in place, you miss out on opportunities to acquire monthly recurring revenue and grow your business.

Through working with thousands of MSPs across the U.S., we’ve found many struggle with lead generation and closing the loop with new business. To win more clients, you need a well-executed MSP marketing strategy in place to draw in targeted customers and guide them through the sales process.

What Is MSP Marketing?

MSP marketing is a marketing plan, campaign or strategy designed to facilitate the sale of managed IT services. Because the MSP sales process is highly consultative, you can spend weeks, months and sometimes even years closing a customer. Effective MSP marketing engages and educates leads to expedite the sales cycle.

The goal of your MSP marketing should be lead generation or securing an appointment with qualified prospects interested in outsourcing network monitoring and maintenance on a contractual basis.

But documenting and rolling out your MSP marketing strategy is easier said than done. So where do you start?

MSP Marketing Strategies to Grow Your MRR

To help you understand the marketing strategies other MSPs use to close business, we conducted a survey of more than 500 MSPs. Here are the most common ways they promote and sell their managed IT services offering and generate leads:

Answer Choices Responses
None, I rely 100% on referrals 39.02% 206
Social Media (LinkedIN, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) 27.08% 143
Local networking groups (Chamber, BNI, LeTip, etc.) 26.14% 138
E-mail 23.11% 122
Natural SEO strategies 21.02% 111
Newsletters 15.72% 83
Pay per click advertising (Google Adwords, etc.) 14.96% 79
Joint ventures and partnering 14.02% 74
Telemarketing 13.07% 69
Direct mail 11.74% 62
Other, please specify 10.80% 57
Trade show booths and sponsorships 9.85% 52
An outside sales team 8.14% 43
Yellow Pages 6.25% 33
Canvassing 6.25% 33
Vendor marketing initiatives 4.92% 26
Seminars 4.17% 22
Press releases 3.98% 21
Radio ads 3.03% 16
Teleseminars and webinars 2.84% 15
TV ads 0.95% 5
Total Respondents: 528

These are the marketing strategies MSPs reported using to sell managed services. But through working with thousands of MSPs and IT services providers, I know most of the marketing they do does not drive results.

Even the process of collecting and responding to referrals isn’t structured into an effective lead generation system. Instead, the process is disorganized, disjointed and often improvised.

To generate leads and drive sales for your managed services offering, your MSP marketing strategy should connect the dots from prospect to customer.

Need help implementing a cohesive MSP marketing strategy? Click here to request a free MSP Marketing Plan (Roadmap) and a free consultation to discuss the most effective MSP lead generation strategy for your IT services company.

8 Of Our BEST Subject Lines To Get Your MSP Marketing E-mails Opened

Did you know the average e-mail open rate (which is not entirely an accurate number) is roughly 20%, with an average click-thru rate of 2% to 3%? Not too exciting, huh? That means if you send 100 e-mails, the BEST you can hope for is two or three people clicking on the link. From there (and depending on a number of other factors), you might only get another small percentage taking action. So what can you do to improve the response and return on your MSP marketing e-mail campaigns? Well, one really key element to boosting response is the subject line. Here are a few that have worked well for us that YOU should TEST: Read full article and comment →

Get Lucky (And Win More Clients For Your IT Services Business) By Doing This One Thing

One of our key speakers at Boot Camp, Jack Daly, started and grew his company from $0 to $350 MILLION in monthly recurring revenue, with 22 sales offices, 750 employees and $42 million in profits…in 18 months. How in the heck did he do this? (Surprisingly, he doesn’t even drink coffee!) There were a number of things – but ONE idea he fervently teaches is the lowly, handwritten thank-you note. Jack called it his “money bag,” which was essentially a real money bag he carried around with various cards, stamps and a pen so he could immediately write – to everyone he met with – a personalized thank-you note, in his car, before he left the site of a meeting with a prospect. In today’s crazy digital world, the handwritten thank-you note is as rare as hens’ teeth. And that’s the point – the rarity. And since most people feel grossly UNDER-appreciated, you would do yourself a world of good if you would take Jack’s advice and make a habit of writing personal thank-you notes to prospects you meet with. I bet your business would double if you simply sent out 10 handwritten notes of appreciation a day, no luck involved.

Side Note: Are you STILL not registered for Boot Camp? You can’t seriously think that’s a good idea?!?!? Jack’s extended workshop within Boot Camp on building a productive sales team is definitely not one you want to miss and is one I’ll BET you desperately need to hear. Most IT firms are grossly (and dangerously) bloated on the tech and operational side, without an equal balance of sales and marketing, putting them in the dangerous position of having more drains than fountains. YOU need to be here:

How Your Newsletter Can Be The Best MSP Marketing Strategy To Get Your Clients To LOVE You

Over and over again, I’ve driven home the point that the ONLY real asset in your MSP/IT services business is your list and the RELATIONSHIP you have with it. You cannot produce a crop from scorched earth or with unfertile ground, no matter how good the seed, water, sunshine and tending, but too many business owners ONLY think about communicating with their clients when they suddenly wake up one day desperate for sales – and even then it’s sporadic, random attempts to motivate and persuade their clients to action, akin to a teenage boy clumsily and awkwardly trying to ask a girl for a date.

Here’s a quick litmus test: Do you get clients writing you personal notes and/or sending occasional gifts and cards outside of the expected holidays? If you fail to send a newsletter or other communication, is your absence noticed? (If a newsletter goes out a day late around here, we get phone calls.) If not, something is awry. A common thread of all failing IT businesses is a total and complete lack of ANY consistent communication to their clients and prospects. So let me take this “love month” opportunity to again remind you of the all-important, universally applicable MSP marketing strategy of a monthly newsletter.

For starters, if you haven’t listened to my Deep Dive session on sending e-mail newsletters, go watch it now – fast, quick and in a hurry. This is one area where you could be doing more harm than good if you’re sending out E-MAIL newsletters and promotions that are nothing more than a slapped-together mishmash of random techie articles your clients don’t care about – that’s the fastest route to DISTANCING your clients and ensuring they ignore ALL your e-mails.

Second, your newsletter should be a RELATIONSHIP piece where you are purposefully connecting with your clients. If you’ll read this newsletter through the lens of looking at what I’m doing here, you’ll see that instructing on the mechanics of marketing is the least of what I’m trying to accomplish. Yes, I need to feed you content that will put more jingle in your jeans, but more importantly I’m writing to connect with you and the other members on a level that is deeper and more meaningful than giving you a set of instructions to read. Here’s a short list of what you ought to write about and communicate to your clients frequently:

  • Your BELIEFS on business, service, leadership, team-building and personal responsibility, integrity and character, told in story format of experiences you’ve had.
  • NEWS about new hires, successes, happy clients, new clients, new products and services and other wins; clients like to be associated with successful companies.
  • STORIES about your family, other clients, experiences you’ve had and lessons you’ve learned. Double your points if those stories support your professional advice on investing in quality IT support and services.
  • Pictures and details about upcoming webinars and workshops, client appreciation events, and events you are sponsoring, speaking at or attending. Money is attracted to movement.
  • Funny cartoons and stories, inspiring favorite quotes, videos and short stories – ALL with permission to use them, of course! Subscribe to Reader’s Digest to see an excellent example of this. Also, is a good, legal source of cartoons for reuse.

Side Note: As you may know, we offer a done-for-you newsletter service to our members. If this is of interest, please go to for the full details.

5 Tips To Get Your MSP Marketing Direct Mail Delivered And Actually Read

The best offer is no better than the worst offer if it’s thrown away unopened before your prospect reads it. So here are a few ways to “sneak” past the human spam filter in every office and get your letters opened.

1. Make it look like personal mail. Use a real, live stamp. Hand-address the letter, and don’t put a company name or logo on the outside.

2. Send it PRIORITY mail or FedEx. Yes, it’s more expensive. But if you’re disciplined about cleaning up the list and targeting only those prospects you really want, this will be a good, smart investment into getting that prospect to want to engage with you. Read full article and comment →

Make These Marketing Resolutions In Your MSP And IT Services Business

Here’s a tough year-end test to give yourself that may not be a fun exercise to participate in. Get a clean legal pad of paper, a pen, a BIG cup of coffee and camp out in a place AWAY from your PC, phone or any other electronic gadget that might distract you. Get comfy. Then make a list of every improvement, advancement or breakthrough you’ve made or manufactured in your business in the following categories below. Make each of these a header on its own page and go to work trying to fill the pages, using one item per line (no cheating and writing in 48-point type like a five-year-old). Anyone who wants to send me photocopies of the pages they write out that I can publish will get $100 in Robin Bucks you can use in any way you like.

Again, the question is: “What Improvements, Advancements Or Breakthroughs Have You Implemented In The Following Categories?”

  • Lead generation
  • Online footprint, findability and presence
  • Closing sales
  • Increasing average sale
  • Increasing LTV (lifetime value) of a client
  • Customer retention
  • Employee productivity
  • Service delivery and operational efficiency
  • New products and initiatives
  • Your business’s security and stability
  • Bottom-line profits

If you can fill an ENTIRE page in each category, I can practically guarantee you’ve doubled your sales, profits and stability of your business and have significantly increased your personal income. Congrats! Half a page, you’re on track to have a damned good year and poised for explosive growth. Good job! If you have some pages that are blank while others are full, you’re probably running like a crazy person putting our fires, with some good going on, but being weighed down fixing others. If you’re all blanks, get a mirror and check that you can fog it. If you’re still (barely) breathing, you’re a Christmas miracle. No fogging, you done expired.



Don’t Get Spooked By These MSP Marketing Myths

This is a BIG year for Halloween with no shortage of things to keep you up at night. Random shootings, terrorist attacks, Zika virus, the continual rise of cybercrime, riots over police shootings, the obesity epidemic, little kids getting kidnapped, killed or harmed. Hillary. Trump. Colin Kaepernick. Pick your goblin. Of course, there’s NEVER a shortage of things that will scare the pants off of ya if you think about it. Not a morning goes by where I hug and kiss my kids goodbye and have a fleeting moment of panic over whether or not some nut job is going to target their school for a shooting. I don’t think my parents ever even gave that a moment’s thought—yet my brother, Scott Robins, was shot dead on a Monday morning in his driveway by a neighbor who had lived for 40+ years next door to us in the home we grew up in. No one saw that coming. It makes you realize that so much of what happens is totally, completely out of our control—and THAT scares me more than a brain-sucking zombie apocalypse.
Read full article and comment →

Easy Marketing Trick To Generate More IT Services Clients

One of the fastest ways to kill your lead generation mojo on any website, e-mail, landing page, etc., is to focus it on YOU and what YOU do, deliver, provide, etc. A really important point to remember about lead generation is this: ALL you need to do is sell the next step — be it to fill in the form, call a number, request a consultation, etc. To that end, there are two things to test out. The first is the provocative question. The second, flagging your prospect. For example, in the book Words That Sell, you’ll learn several provocative questions that are excellent subject-line starters for e-mails, headlines for landing pages and copy for all lead generation campaign openers, sub-headlines and, of course, headlines: Read full article and comment →

What To Do When Things That Should Work, Don’t

Last month on the Q&A call, I was told by a member they had implemented one of my campaigns “to the letter” but still had gotten ZERO results. Obviously not a good way to start a call! This fired off a great discussion with Jeff and the team and revealed a need for me to document a process for what you should do if a “tried and true” campaign does NOT work. This will be a LONG article, but a very necessary one that you should highlight and have handy to reference.

First off, you need to know that none of the campaigns and methods I’m teaching about marketing are open to debate about their effectiveness. They’ve been used and proven to work for small IT firms, big IT firms, small cities and big cities, internationally and with various audiences (lists). IF something I’ve given you is not working, there’s something awry; but the temptation is to quickly blame the campaign and move on—and SO many people jump in and make blanket statements about something “not working” when they’ve done no research, study, testing, etc. It’s utter foolishness. So this is my first big piece of advice about this situation: if a campaign has worked before somewhere and/or is working for others, IT WORKS. Your job is to dig deeper into why it didn’t work for you in this ONE instance… even if doing so is painful and what you discover disheartening. On that note, let’s tackle the first reason I see campaigns failing… Read full article and comment →

How To Keep Your MSP Marketing Funnel Full

By: Robin Robins,
Author and Founder of the Technology Marketing Toolkit System

I recently received an e-mail from a client who is teetering on the brink of closing the doors of his IT consulting business and getting a day job. His savings have dried up and he’s maxed out every credit card he has. Now, he’s desperate and calling us for help.

Of course we’ll do everything possible to help him, but now that he’s let it go so far in the red before doing something, it’s going to take a herculean effort on his part (and sheer magic on ours) to start the heart pumping again…which begs the question, why did he wait until now to get serious about keeping the funnel full?

Look…success or failure is not an overnight thing. If you are paying attention, you know if you are moving forward, backward or stagnating. The key is to do something the minute you notice the decline in sales or opportunities before you get so far behind the 8 ball that your only option is to file for bankruptcy and take a job working at Circuit City.

Marketing (and selling) is a numbers game. If you get X number of leads in the door, X number will become clients, and out of those, X% will end up being really good ‘sweet spot’ clients that are worth anything. It’s nothing to get emotional about – it’s just a fact of life. If you want to know how your sales are going to be 3 to 6 months from now, look at what’s coming into the funnel TODAY. There’s no marketing quick fix that can make up for months (or years) of marketing neglect; that’s why it’s so important to watch the numbers.

If you’re really good, your ‘numbers’ may be better than most; meaning your marketing efforts bring in a good quality and quantity of leads and you close a large percentage of the leads you get. But if you stink at marketing and lead generation, have no follow up system, and you’re weak at closing sales, you need to make up for it with more volume of leads (opportunities) coming into the funnel.

Simple, yes. Yet I see so many IT firms sitting back and watching the slow decline in their business. Instead of getting serious about doing everything possible to keep the funnel full, they stick their head in the sand and hope that the economy will get better, that their clients will refer more, or that some lucky turn of events is going to save them. A few month’s later, we get the desperate cry for help.

In the upcoming months, I think we are going to see more IT businesses disappearing and failing than succeeding. In most cases, it’s 100% their own fault so I find it difficult to feel empathy for the vast majority of them, especially when there are so many tools, seminars and other resources that can teach them HOW to be better at marketing. Yet they CHOOSE to stay “busy” doing other lesser-important activities, thereby manifesting their own demise. As Nido Qubein once said in a seminar I attended, “An empty bank account is a sign of a lifetime of poor decisions.”

So the question you have to ask yourself now is, what are you deciding to do to make sure YOUR funnel stays full?

Dedicated to your success,