GlobalSign Blog

19 Feb 2016

10 Step Guide to Reselling SSL Certificates

Are you about to embark on a new business venture reselling SSL Certificates? Our 10 step guide will help you understand how best to position your new offering and how to give value to your customers.

1. Advertise SSL Certificates as a Core Product on Your Website

Most customers requiring an SSL Certificate will already have a domain name, a website and some level of hosting package. So where does the customer go to purchase an SSL Certificate? They will usually go to their trusted hosting provider, domain registrar, web designer or eCommerce consultant. If they cannot easily find SSL Certificates as one of your products, they will often use search engines and will find a company that prominently advertises SSL. This could be the SSL provider that provides your own certificates and is the primary CA or this could be your direct competitor - either way you are missing out on otherwise easy extra revenue.

It is very important to show your customer that you provide SSL Certificates by displaying the availability of "SSL Certificates" as a standalone product on your homepage. Our most successful partners gain extra business by advertising SSL. You can also offer SSL Certificates as a value-add component of your existing products and solutions, but by using both methods you can attract the maximum amount of interest and also create a "one-stop shop" situation, where your customers can obtain all of their online requirements from a single supplier, namely you.

2. Create Awareness within Your Own Customer Base

Perhaps the fastest way to start selling SSL efficiently is announcing the availability of SSL Certificates through a newsletter, or mail blast to your existing customer base. Make sure you are promoting SSL at the point of existing certificate expiration, e.g. when it is time for them to renew. Also consider up-selling to a multi-year more advanced level SSL Certificate such as an Organization Validated SSL or Extended Validation SSL Certificate, at the point of renewal which offer additional benefits.

All certificates are secured with the same SHA-256 hashing algorithm; however an Organisation Validated Certificate (OV) and Extended Validation Certificate (EV) are vetted to a higher standard. A Domain Validated Certificate (DV) could be bought by almost anyone and the only element that you have to prove is the ownership of the domain. So who's to say you can be trusted with a user's personal information? Explain to your customers that an Organization Validated and Extended Validation SSL provide a higher level of user/customer confidence because you are vetted to a higher degree and have to prove your business is really what you say it is. EV will even show with a green address bar in the browser, displaying additional information including company name and issuing CA to indicate to users how well trusted it is. Here is some more information on the different types of SSL Certificates available. You can also promote EV using our existing partner documentation and upsell tools.

3. Use the Available Market Resources and a Dedicated Account Manager

GlobalSign has been successfully promoting SSL and its uses for over 20 years. We want you to use our knowledge and experience to create awareness throughout your customer base. SSL is an essential technology in the fight against phishing scams, man in the middle attacks (MIM) and internet fraud. Customers can be at risk from identity theft from the snooping of just three simple pieces of information: name, email address and telephone number.

While adoption of SSL Certificates is becoming more widely understood, there is still a lot of education that needs to be done. Make sure your customers know that SSL should always be used when posting data between a browser and their server, including web mail, web forms, credit card transactions, information gathering etc.

4. Implement the Ordering API

The API will allow any customer to order SSL Certificates at any time of the day 24/7 365 days a year. This means you will spend less time placing orders manually via the GlobalSign Certificate Center (GCC). GlobalSign provides a full XML API if required for higher quantity ordering requirements. The API allows for instant installation onto your web page, or control panel with relatively little coding knowledge required.

5. Be Competitive

When choosing the cost prices for your certificates you should first research what your competitors are selling them for. Try to be competitive in your price offering – at least enough so you can still get a good margin.

6. Give the Customer a Choice of SSL Certificate Products

In order to achieve higher sales on your website, we suggest offering simple product choices to your customers. Firstly, give your customers a choice based on the level of validation they need: Extended, Organization or Domain Validated Certificates based on their identity needs. For example, an Extended Validation Certificate offers the utmost identity. This article from our website will help you explain the difference between EV, OV and DV Certificates to your customers.

Secondly, provide the options that are available for that certificate to fit in with the organization's requirements. For example, Subject Alternative Name (SANs), Wildcard SSL or externally facing IP Address.

7. Promote the Use of Multi-Year SSL Certificates

Another great way to maximize your revenue from SSL is to offer multi-year. We offer up to three years validity for OV and DV certificates. If you purchase in bulk from a Certificate Authority (CA), offering multi-year SSL Certificates will also help you burn through your inventory at a faster rate. For example, perhaps consider setting your default SSL Certificate offering to a two year certificate rather than a standard one year certificate. Your customers receive a multi-year saving and you receive better pricing and margin potential - which directly translates to increased profit.

8. Run Special Offers

Running frequent special offers on your website through advertising and customer communications can encourage rapid uptake of your SSL offerings. For example, some ideas to promote could be:

  • Competitive pricing to create the need for urgency
  • Marketing programs to encourage customers to switch
  • Promote identity in order to encourage customers to upgrade from the easy option of Domain Validated Certificates to Organization or Extended Validated SSL. For example, 'who is behind the padlock/website?' or 'are you sure a company are who they really say they are?'

9. Buying in Bulk to Get the Best Discounts

You should be able to buy SSL Certificates in bulk from your CA. This will allow you to get the right margin to meet your revenue expectation. Buying in bulk, with commitment from as little as five SSL Certificates can dramatically increase your margin potential and allow you to be more competitive and flexible with your SSL strategy.

10. Provide Content to Your Customers

With any product you are selling there will be a dedicated area on your website to selling it. In order to get traffic to that area of the website you have to first create content around the subject and guide people to that area from Google search or any other search engine. Here's a few ideas for blogs, eBooks or how-to-guides you can create:

  • What is an SSL Certificate?
  • How to manage multiple SSL Certificates using one platform
  • What types of SSL Certificate are there?
  • 10 reasons your business needs an EV SSL Certificate
  • Guide to installing an SSL Certificate on your website

In summary, standing out in your market is simply a matter of pricing and standing out against your competitors is a matter of marketing your products well, offering discounts, added-value content and up-selling a range of solutions. If you do this well, your SSL reselling business should be a success.

Partnering with GlobalSign means that you can have a dedicated account manager with quarterly reviews, your own EV Certificates and site seal on your website for free, heavily discounted cost for switching over existing certificates from a different CA and automation tools from our GlobalSign Certificate Center.

Are you thinking about reselling SSL Certificates? Click here to partner with GlobalSign today or contact us to switch from your current provider over to us.

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