Ask an MSP ExpertQ: I’m having a hard time getting my customers to invest in email security. So I constantly worry about what threats might be leaking into their inboxes because I’ll be the one stuck cleaning up the mess. How can I avoid this headache and ultimately get my customers to understand the importance of email security?

You certainly aren’t the only one who feels this way. Many MSPs worry about customers who decide to forego extra layers of security because they think they’ll be fine without it. With multiple threats sneaking into inboxes on a daily basis, communicating the value of email security to your customers is essential—and can save them from falling for an attack that could do serious harm to their business.

To get you the best advice on how to communicate the value of email security we talked to Abbey Greene Barr. Abbey works on the Intronis partner success team and talks to MSP partners regularly about how they can communicate the value of their services. Here is Abbey’s advice on how to show your customers how critical email security can be.

You’re never too small to be a target

Many SMBs are under the impression that cyber criminals aren’t interested in a small business like theirs. However, within the past year 55 percent of SMBs were victims of cyber attacks. This gap in knowledge can leave your customers open to vulnerabilities.

targetsApproaching SMBs about email security can be difficult, but you don’t need to barrage customers with all sorts of technical information. Instead discuss the importance from a high level to show why it matters and how it can impact their business. A case study or an antidotal story that is relatable can help demonstrate the importance—and show how an email security solution can help them avoid experiencing the same sort of loss. Depending on the customer, even a relatable news story can help them see the value of email security.

Ways to highlight the value

Most customers understand that email security is important, but they’re hesitant to commit to a solution because they don’t know what they need to do. Testing their systems will give them a different perspective on the products and services they need and how you can help them. Poke holes in their current systems in a test environment and show them where the vulnerabilities lie. Where are the weak points? What can your email solution do to fill those gaps? Often SMBs don’t know what they need to implement, so demonstrating weaknesses in their system can be the best way to start email security conversations with them.

SMBs also might not fully grasp how serious the damage from email-borne threats can be. Backup your test results with recent news stories about companies that were attacked by cybercriminals taking advantage of similar vulnerabilities.

Bundling email security

Often, the underlying issue is a concern about price. SMBs can be hesitant to add anything else to their bill, even when they understand that they need email security. That’s why pricing and positioning your product can be an extremely important part of getting customers to sign up for email security services. Create an enticing promotion to add it to their current offering, or bundle it in with your basic service package so it doesn’t seem like an added expense.

Your SMB customers pay you each month to ensure everything is fine in their IT environment, so consider adding email security to your basic services. Bundling is an easy way to introduce a product like this, and if you include it in your base service package, you can give all your customers the peace of mind knowing that their email is secure. If you only have email security as an add-on, it is easier for customers to say no.  If it’s part of a bundle, they won’t question it as much—instead it’s just another you keep your customer safe and secure.

Convincing your customers about the importance of email security might be challenging, but Abbey’s tips should help your conversations go smoothly—and help you get customers to understand the importance of using a robust email security solution.

Photo Credit: Hans Splinter via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons 2.0. 

Ask an MSP Expert is a weekly advice column answering common questions from MSPs and IT service providers. It covers topics ranging from pricing and selling to marketing and communications—and everything in between. 

Lauren Beliveau

Posted by Lauren Beliveau

Lauren is an Editorial Associate at Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda. In this position, she creates and develops content that helps managed service providers grow their business. She also regularly writes The MSP’s Bookshelf and our Ask an MSP Expert column.

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