Planning for results

Retainer Options

Monthly On-going Retainer Options

Item Costing Model | Typical Tiers



  • Each month choose 4 Items (from our menu of items)
  • Monthly account management meetings
  • Unlimited emails to the team




  • 8 Items (from our menu of items)
  • Fortnightly account management meetings
  • Unlimited emails to the team




  • 16 Items (from our menu of items)
  • Weekly account management meetings
  • Unlimited emails to the team
  • Monthly in-person meeting with your Digital Strategist

Frequently Asked Questions

Details about the retainer options

How does this all work?

Each month, depending on which retainer tier you are in, you select a number of items that we will work on and complete for you.

For example, in our Starter tier you can select 4 items (from our menu of items).

We help you select the best mix of items each month, to maximise your results. You can choose completely new items, or stick with the same each month - whatever works best for your goals.

What are items?

An 'item' is a self-contained piece of work. It could be a strategy meeting, or an implementation piece, or a training session, etc. 

We work with you each month to select the items that will give you the most benefit for that month, in meeting your business goals.

Are these your only retainer options?

We can tailor retainers to you if you have different needs each month eg we can provide a $10,000 retainer that includes 6 items, or a $15,000 retainer that includes 12 items.

Do you provide large custom retainers as well eg $25,000+

Yes, for companies with higher needs - even for just a month or two (eg running some focussed campaigns) - we can prepare custom retainer options.

If I don't use all my items one month do they carry over to the next month?

As a general rule, no we don't allow unallocated items to rollover. However, it depends.

An example, you're on our Standard plan and have 8 items you can request for the month. But you only end up using 6. 

The 'it depends' is based on whether we caused the delay. If we held up the item, then we'll make sure you still get it the next month. 


Aren't you devaluing the strategy items by making them the same as preparing a blog post?

Yes, in some ways this is true, since strategic sessions are incredibly important for setting up your success. However we don't want strategy to be prohibitively expensive for mid size companies (who might otherwise try to skip strategy and just dive into implementation).

So with that in mind we are taking the approach that by making strategic items available to all, we can improve the results for all as well.

Is there anything stopping me from signing up for just one month?

We request that you commit to at least 3 months, in order to see results from your plan.

That said, we don't lock you in, and if you (or we) don't feel it is a good fit, then we're happy to pause or cancel the retainer for following months.

Why don't you use prices with 9s or 7s?

Conventional wisdom would say we should set our prices to be $4990 or $1997 etc. The thinking being that it 'seems' lower.

There's been plenty of studies to show that psychologically this is true, especially in B2C markets. However we feel that our clients are considered purchasers, and they are likely going to think through the options carefully, and more often than not run it past their CFO as well (and we all know that CFOs don't fall for those psychological traps).

So, instead we just set our tiers as clearly as possible.

When do you bill me?

We invoice you on the first day we start working with you. For example, if we start working with you in the middle of a month we invoice you then.

Our payment terms are 14 days.

Aren't some items a lot more work than others?

Yes, some items require a lot more work than others.

Previously we used a 'credit costing' or 'points pricing' model where items all had different 'point' allocations. There were a few issues with this. Besides how confusing it was for clients, it was often hard for clients to select higher 'point' items even though we were suggesting it as the best choice for the month. Instead they wanted to get the most number of items done, and thus gravitated to the lower 'point' items.

We're much more focused on results (as opposed to activity), so by keeping all the items as essentially the same 'cost' to you, it's much easier to agree on the course of action for the month ahead.

Another consideration - not only are some items more work each month, but they change over time. For example, setting up an advertising account is often a significant amount of work the first month, but then reduces in subsequent months. So this was another reason why 'points' pricing was hard to manage.

Am I locked in to a contract?

No, you can cancel anytime.

Ideally we'd like you to give us a month's notice so we can plan our resourcing most effectively - but we won't hold you to it.

Do you pro-rata the monthly retainer fee if you start in the middle of a month?

Usually no, because we are aiming to complete a certain number of items for you in the month. Even if we start part way through a month, we'll still aim to get all of your items delivered.

The only time we pro-rata is on a case by case basis where we don't think we'll be able to complete all the work for you before the end of the month.

Do you insist on strategy items each month?

We insist on a strategy review in the first month, and then recommend at least every quarter.

However, ultimately it depends on your needs.

Some clients need a lot of strategy, research and guidance each month due to their circumstances. Other clients just need a strategic plan at the start, and then are more focussed on implementation items in the following months.

Ultimately it is about providing the most value and results for your company at the particular tie.

Do you include project management and account management calls in the retainers?

Yes, all our retainers include account management activities as standard - phone calls, zoom calls, emails - these are all included.

The calls that are not included (ie separate items) are strategy related review sessions, and training sessions.

Do you allow us to move between retainer options month-to-month?

Yes. It you are entering a busy time with multiple campaigns, it makes sense to increase your monthly arrangement to include more items.

Likewise, for quieter times (eg over a Christmas break) you may want to move down to a lower tier.

Do you provide a small $2000 option?

Conventional agency wisdom would recommend a company like ours never offer a low tier option - it 'devalues us' they would say.

We disagree. Some of our (now) largest clients, initially started with small, low risk, agile, 'test and measure' engagements.

We offer a simple, single task option, ideal for large companies as well as mid size, to test the relationship - to see if it works for both parties.

Do you have any recommendations about the mix of items each month?

Yes, at the start of each month, your account manager will confirm with you the items to be planned and delivered for that month.

We will recommend the mix that we feel will deliver the most value for you.


Contact Us

Sydney Office

XEN Systems
Suite 404 
56 Hercules Street
Chatswood NSW 2067 Australia

02 8006 4428
+61 2 8006 4428 (International)
Another happy client LG Energy

Impressed with XEN’s combination of strategic, technical and implementation skills

We initially engaged XEN to assist LG Solar & Energy to improve our lgenergy website SEO, however the project quickly grew to include strategy across paid and social channels as well, with a focus on driving leads.

With the site now gaining 1100 visits per day and providing more than 1200 new leads per month, the project has been a great success.

It has been a vital part of our 35% sales growth , compared to last year.

We've been impressed with XEN's combination of strategic, technical and implementation skills, and have now introduced them into other divisions across LG.

Markus Lambert

National Manager, Solar Sales, LG Electronics Australia Pty Ltd