Email Marketing for Accountants: A Beginner's Guide
Email newsletters are one of the most effective email marketing tools for CPAs and accountants. Although email has been used commercially for nearly 40 years, email marketing continues to drive more conversions than any other marketing channel. Still, it ranks as the most effective marketing strategy.
That may be surprising considering the persistent rise of social media channels. However, email remains the most-used communication and marketing platform there is. Research shows the primary reason for this is that most people use email. Instead of changing over time as other platforms developed, the number of email users increases annually.
This powerful email marketing solution is a great way to maintain client relationships, establish trust with potential clients, and grow your business.
Many accounting firms fail to recognize the advantages of sending out a regular accounting email newsletter, but they're missing out! This powerful email marketing solution is a great way to maintain client relationships, establish trust with potential clients, and grow your business. Here, you will learn why email marketing for accountants is a must for your company's future growth and viability.
Building a successful email marketing campaign is more important than ever for businesses. That applies to your accounting firm. Unfortunately, how to properly use email to market to current and prospective customers isn't always apparent or intuitive. Here, we explain the basics and why email marketing is beneficial to accounting firms like yours.
Why Send an Accounting Newsletter?
Your website may do a great job of explaining your accounting services. Still, your website cannot reach out to clients and potential clients to remind them about, or make them aware of, your firm. You can send effective accounting content marketing in regular newsletters with an email marketing service. Doing so connects you with clients and prospects through free, helpful accounting and tax information right in their inbox.
For current clients, email marketing is a useful trust-building tool. Sharing the latest tax news or accounting tips reinforces your firm's value for clients. Tax reminders and special announcements show clients they can count on you to keep them informed, solidifying that you are a trusted business advisor. All of this cultivates loyalty and allows you to remind clients of your existing services and provides a launchpad for new services when you introduce them.
For prospective clients who may not be ready for a new accountant immediately, receiving your email newsletter, they will know exactly who to call when they do. You can take full advantage of email campaigns as an ideal way to show prospects that you're the go-to firm for their accounting needs. Provide regular prime content to position your firm as an expert in the field. This keeps your firm top of mind so that when prospects need a new accountant, they will turn to you. They will already know who to call because you developed a relationship with them through valuable content in emails.
Now that you know why an email newsletter is essential for your accounting firm, let's consider the basics of email marketing.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing simply means that your firm sends periodic promotional email messages to current or prospective clients who have agreed to receive them. Email marketing aims to generate sales, leads, or share valuable information with people interested in your services.
How Does Email Marketing Work?
An email marketing campaign is comprised of three essential elements:
1. THE LIST
Your email list is a database of active email contacts interested in receiving email communication from your business. While it is possible to purchase an email list, it is not wise. That's because those contacts are not cultivated for your services. Further, sending unsolicited emails (spam) denigrates your overall sender score. That is the health of your email program. The sender score identifies the quality of your sender reputation and details how mailbox providers view your internet provider's (IP) address. A poor sender score means more of the emails you send land in the wrong place, like a recipient's spam folder.
The best way to acquire a list is to build one organically. One option is through a lead magnet (an offer) for the target audience you provide in exchange for their email address.
The best way to acquire a list is to build one organically. One option is through a lead magnet (an offer) for the target audience you provide in exchange for their email address. Think about websites that you visit. If you have seen a box appear over content that asks you to enter your email address and you will receive a discount code for a future purchase, you've seen a lead magnet! That company is exchanging a discount for your email address to add to their email marketing campaign.
An important topic when discussing email lists is email list hygiene, so let's discuss that before moving on to the remaining two essential elements of an email marketing campaign.
Email List Hygiene. Email list hygiene refers to cleansing your email list by clearing inactive subscribers and email addresses no longer in use. Those email addresses could be no longer active, or the email address owner may no longer be interested in your campaigns. Cleaning out invalid or disinterested emails and sending only high-quality, valuable messages to your subscribers is important because it ensures a good sender reputation.
Ways to practice good email list hygiene:
- Keep a Warm List - Send emails out regularly to keep subscribers engaged or warm.
- Stay Focused - Each email campaign that you send should have a single focus. Too many points or topics in a single email confuses your audience. It also reduces your conversion rate or the number of people following through with what your email asks them to do. The "ask" or the action you want your email recipients to take is the call to action. Some examples of a call to action are clicking a link to visit a specific page on your website, downloading a document, or purchasing a service. Email conversion rates are a top indicator of an email campaign's performance.
- Segment – Separating a contact list into distinct groups allows you to send more targeted and relevant content to those groups. For example, customers who have only used your tax accounting services can be segmented so that you can send them a special offer for additional services.
- Personalize – The more personalized your emails are, the better. From adding the customer's name to sending recommendations and content relevant to customers fosters trust and lets them know they can rely on you for their accounting needs.
Good email hygiene also helps your emails stand out in the crowd, increasing the chance of more opens when they land in customers' inboxes. With so many businesses taking advantage of email marketing these days, standing out is essential!
2. AN EMAIL MARKETING PLATFORM
This is the interface that helps manage your email list. You can schedule recurring newsletters, send one-time emails, or schedule special occasion messages.
3. CLEAR GOALS FOR YOUR CAMPAIGN
Knowing what you want your email campaign to do for your accounting business is vital. For example, you may want to drive sales, boost brand awareness, generate and nurture leads, or increase customer loyalty. Whatever the goal, you must define it and set out on a course to achieve it through the content you send.
Advantages of Email Marketing
There are numerous advantages to email marketing for accounting firms. Here are the top benefits of a adding quality email marketing campaigns to your firm’s marketing efforts.
- As we said early on, email is the preferred means to digitally market for businesses. This platform is free from the issue of algorithm changes like with social media platforms marketers worry about subverting their efforts and squelching reach.
- You own the list. Once you get current and future customers to opt-in (subscribe to your email list) through efforts such as lead magnets, you will have a healthy list to which you can market. Of course, you will need to nurture the leads by sharing valuable and relevant content to convert leads to customers. Lead nurturing is an ongoing process.
- You have direct access to your target audience, allowing direct communication.
Best Email Marketing Strategies
Here are some of the best email marketing strategies you can use.
Use the Right List Building Strategies - The success of your email marketing campaigns depends on the quality of your email list. You must use list-building strategies designed to attract your target audience to build such a list.
Provide Great Content - Content quality is crucial to the success of your email marketing endeavors. It is acceptable to promote special offers on occasion; however, you should provide regular content with immediately useful information.
Don't Pitch Too Frequently - While people expect sales pitches occasionally, you will lose readers if you pitch too often. By providing quality content most of the time, readers will be more receptive when you pitch.
Use Email Automation - Many email newsletter platforms allow you to schedule out your emails in advance so they go out automatically while you're busy working with clients.
Get Started With Accounting Email Marketing
If you've been ignoring email marketing, it's time to reevaluate your strategy. Email marketing can deliver enormous returns for your accounting firm if you're willing to take the leap. It doesn't have to be too complicated. Use the information here to develop a strategy to use email marketing to your firm's advantage.
It doesn't consume much time, as long as you use the right email marketing software.
As with many endeavors, getting started is often the most challenging part of utilizing accounting email newsletters to promote your firm. However, once you have a system in place, you will see it is not so difficult to implement. It doesn't consume much time, either, as long as you use the right email marketing software.
Choosing an email marketing system designed for CPAs and accountants is ideal. Look for features like:
- modern template designs customized to your brand
- accounting newsletter templates
- quality pre-written content that you can use to capture customer and prospect interest
- email marketing automation that allows you to schedule monthly email newsletters in advance
Once your campaign is in place, you will be able to stay in contact with prospective and current clients like never before!