Email marketing can be your accounting firm’s secret weapon. The right email campaign can bring in new clients, build authority with existing clients and generate repeat business.
In this article, we spell out what email marketing for accounting firms should focus on to optimize one of their most valuable assets, their email list.
Despite being one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, email marketing for accounting firms remains one of the most powerful mediums to reach new clients and engage with existing ones.
According to Hubspot, email marketing generates $38 in revenue for every dollar spent. That is an astounding 3,800% ROI.
Let’s take a look at a few more email statistics.
With those kinds of statistics, email remains the king of digital marketing for the foreseeable future.
Most accounting firms collect emails from their clients. But far too many let their efforts stop there.
That’s a huge mistake. Here are some simple ways to step up your list building game.
Our number one recommendation for building an email list is to institutionalize the systematic collection of emails at every contact point in your firm.
We can’t emphasize enough how powerful this simple change in mindset can be for your list building. Here are a few examples,
These are all small changes in your process. You will be surprised by how many emails you collect each week by making these simple changes.
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People understand that their emails have value. They also already have a ton of emails in the inbox.
For client prospects to willingly give you their email ID, they need to get something in return.
We call this a “lead magnet.” A lead magnet is something of real value (usually digital) that you make available to prospects in exchange for their email ID. Typical examples are a free report or a financial tool. For other examples of lead magnets, be sure to check out our article on lead magnets.
The advantage of using lead magnets is that a correctly designed lead magnet segments the prospects for you automatically.
Segmentation results in higher quality prospects.
As an example, if your accounting firm specializes in building contractors, then a tool that helps contractors track expenses would be a great lead magnet for collecting email IDs from finance managers of building contracting firms.
You’ve probably already been contacted by companies selling email lists of businesses in your area. When doing email marketing for accounting firms, do not buy email lists!
The harsh reality is that purchased email lists are never a good investment.
When someone knows who you are, and they have permitted you to communicate with them, you are already an authority. They will willingly read your emails.
Once you have an email list of willing subscribers, it’s time to think about how you will manage that list.
The first decision you will need to make is where you will keep the list and how you will email them.
You will quickly have more people than is practical to maintain using your email client software and, perhaps, a spreadsheet.
The best option for most firms will be a Software as a service (SAAS) provider of email marketing software. The most popular options are Mailchimp, Hubspot and Constant Contact, but the list of available providers grows monthly.
Be sure to check out delivery rates.
Some of the most popular email marketing companies host many spammers. Consequently, emails from their clients get greater scrutiny from email providers like Gmail and are more likely to be labeled as spam, thus never reaching the prospect’s inbox.
Have you ever received a marketing email that was so on-point it felt like they were talking to you?
That feeling is the result of good segmentation.
You might segment based on demographics like gender, geography, income level or age.
But many of our clients have seen the most improvement by segmenting on psychographics like,
Don’t also forget to segment based on engagement. We’ll talk about monitoring the performance of your campaigns later. Those performance indicators are a big clue to segmentation.
Your most engaged clients are also your highest value prospects!
It may seem counter-intuitive, but one of the smartest moves you can make is routinely deleting people from your list.
According to Mailchimp, the average open rate for professional services firms is 21.94%.
A properly managed email list should perform better than that, a lot better. Because if subscribers consistently do not open your emails, they don’t belong on your list.
A small email list of engaged fans is far more valuable than an extensive list of uninterested people.
A large list of un-engaged subscribers makes it difficult to accurately judge your emails’ performance because the inclusion of subscribers with no real interest in your emails skews the data.
Low open rates also negatively impact the delivery rate of all your emails. When your open rates are low, email service providers may flag your emails as potential spam, or worse yet, don’t deliver them at all.
Email marketing software providers charge based on the number of subscribers. All the dead weight is not just hurting your performance; it costs you money.
Here are some critical steps to good email list hygiene.
When getting started with email marketing for accounting firms, the first email a new subscriber should receive is a welcome email. You’ve probably received many of these when you’ve joined someone’s email list, but most people get this wrong.
Most welcome emails just say how happy the sender is to have the new subscriber. A good welcome email should do a lot more than that for you.
When a new subscriber opts on to your list, you want to put your best foot forward. Based on the first handful of emails, that new subscriber will quickly decide if your emails are worth their limited attention.
The first 5 to 10 emails you send, following the welcome email, should be your greatest hits, the content your best clients find most interesting.
How do you know which emails are those? By monitoring performance, more about that shortly.
Email marketing for accounting firms is all about providing value.
Your clients will only continue opening your emails if there is something in it for them in the form of information that they can put to work in their lives or business.
Does your website have all 10? Learn the secrets to driving more traffic to your website, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales.
Monitoring (and testing) your individual email performances is the key to building set-and-forget email sequences that will keep your clients and prospects engaged.
Here are a few of the critical parameters you will want to track.
If you are doing your email marketing in-house, someone on your marketing team should be reporting on these stats with every email and taking action to improve as appropriate. A/B testing should also be a regular part of their routine.
If you are outsourcing these activities, then be sure to ask your marketing firm to report on these regularly.
Email marketing for accounting firms can be a big turning point for some companies.
Integrate the tips and techniques we’ve mentioned, and you will be well on your way to converting an activity that turns customers off into a constant low-maintenance source of new leads and revenue.
If it all seems overwhelming, don’t hesitate to reach out to our consultants here at Mediaboom.
We’ve helped firms just like yours take their email marketing to new levels.
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