Opinion: How To Have Success W/ Datto’s MDF Program

The Upside

Whenever I get the chance to consult with an MSP that is a Datto partner, I always try to explain to them the value that they are leaving on the table by not participating in the MDF program. Michael and his team have shown time and time again that they are always open to new ideas and they are as invested as their partners in making these campaigns a success. The forms required for approval are only one page long and take just a few minutes to complete. And from what I have heard from MSPs that I have helped utilize this program, their reimbursement schedule is just as efficient.

The Downside

There are not many negative things I can say about this program, however I do believe that it could be more accessible. I have only come across a few MSPs that were actively participating in it without my intervention, which to me is a sign that Datto could do a better job communicating this information to their partners. If you want to move forward and can’t make any progress with your Account Rep, don’t be afraid to go direct to Datto’s Business Development team for help. Upon first contact with them is typically when things start moving at a faster pace and the real planning begins.

Getting Approved

Datto appears to be very keen on which activities typically produce ROI and which do not. This is why they appear to favor events in lieu of more in-depth and/or outsourced campaigns. If you are an MSP in their eligible partner tier and defer to one of their commonly executed strategies, you are almost guaranteed to get approval. A situation where I think you may have trouble, is if you attempt to outsource your campaign entirely to a third-party and show no sign of engagement and/or participation. Datto is willing to invest their time, energy and resources into these programs and they want their partners to reciprocate, which is a reasonable ask in my opinion.

Achieving Results

If you opt to do a virtual or in-person event, I suggest focusing just as much on the post-event strategy as you do on driving registrations. Believe it or not, when you offer something such as a lunch gift card (or virtual wine tasting), getting people to sign up will not be that difficult. In one recent even, we were able to generate over 100 registrations in just 10 days using only “LinkedIn Event” invites and a small messaging campaign. While this was a great “lead-grab” at no cost to the MSP, it still required significant effort to scrub the list and ensure that these prospects were legitimate.

The reason I emphasize the post-event strategy is because the attendance rate is typically pretty low, even with a fully scrubbed attendee list. We recommend setting up a drip campaign of at least 3 emails to notify your attendees of the recording, offer them more value, and try to generate an appointment if they show signs of life. Aside from this, I would also take some of the best clips from the event and post them to your social channels, spread out over a few week period. This can also help to keep your audience warm if you plan on doing a series of multiple events and will allow you to promote the next registration at the same time.

Facts: About Datto’s MDF & Enablement Program

Which of the following does Datto offer their partners?

Reimbursement of Campaign Expenses, Pre-Created Content & Campaign Templates, Live/Virtual Sales & Marketing Training, Pre-Developed Software Tools & Resources, Hosted Live & Virtual Events.

How does Datto determine which partners qualify?

The qualification is based on partner tier within the Datto partner program. Over 70% of their partners currently qualify for the program.

What are the typical financial limits of what Datto will reimburse (Quarterly)?


Will Datto work with third-party consultants and marketing agencies that provide services to the MSP?


What percentage of Datto partners have received MDF or enablement benefits in the last year (estimated)?


Is there any risk to the MSP if the campaign does not produce results?

There is no risk to the MSP. While of course Datto tracks ROI, there is no requirement in terms of receiving the funds.

How long does it take on average to get reimbursed from Datto for any pre-approved expenses?

Up to 1 Month.

What is the best way to get started utilizing Datto’s MDF program?

Speak with your Account Rep and set up a call with our Business Development team, or complete the form below.