Accounting is a niche in and of itself, and accountants are those who know crucial things for a brand’s economic growth first and foremost.
One would think that accounting firms would be among the first organizations to adopt a more holistic, data-driven marketing approach that includes social media, business blogs, and email marketing campaigns.
But that’s not always the case.
So, how do accounting firms build their reputation, if not through marketing? And how do they get through to their prospective clients or already existing ones without email marketing?
There are types of marketing that can be done offline. Indeed, everyone loves a good TV or radio ad, but it’s neither easy nor budget-friendly or contemporary.
Email marketing is, admittedly, one of the most cost-effective marketing channels.
That ROI is tough to come across, which is proof of why email marketing platforms work for every kind of business. Especially if one considers that the main customer base in 2021 consists of boomers and millennials – both demographics that frequent online platforms.
The fact that email marketing is an affordable way to reach out to your prospects and generate income is the reason you need email marketing campaigns to get you more accounting leads and keep you in touch with your client base.
In other words, and to answer the original question: Yes, accounting firms do need email marketing. But how can they utilize it?
Build and Prune Your Email List
All accounting firms have a list of names, telephone numbers, and email addresses they could use to get in contact with their customers. But not all of them know how to utilize their contacts in a beneficial manner.
Knowing how to build an email list from scratch has everything to do with understanding how to collect emails at every point of the lead’s journey, not just when your prospects become clients and actively contact your firm.
First of all, you need to ensure that the email list you already have is up-to-date with valid email addresses and people interested in your services. That way, you will minimize the risk of high unsubscribe rates and the risk of undelivered emails. Both could harm your deliverability rates, as they signal spammy activity to ISPs.
Of course, interested leads can come about in various ways. A great way to collect email addresses is through your call center. Using a CRM system and creating user profiles could benefit you in many ways – in our case, it can give you much-needed data, especially if you ask for consent to send personalized email newsletters.
Of course, you can collect emails through your website as well. Create a subscription form and utilize double opt-in to gather leads that are one-hundred percent interested in communicating with your accounting firm.
Not tending to your email list can be costly. Invalid email addresses will cause emails to bounce. Disinterested prospects could flag your email as spam, resulting in giving you a high spam score. Unsubscribers could hurt your deliverability rates.
These damages could hurt your loyal customer base as well. Bad deliverability rates can land your campaign in a spam folder and irrelevant content will most likely mean that your email is marked as spam – but more on that in a second.
Segmentation and Targeted Messages
After building and pruning your email list, it’s time to segment and optimize your marketing message. This can be done in a variety of ways. Most commonly, marketers create customer personas first.
Entrepreneur’s definition of a customer persona
After carefully creating and studying customer personas, marketers tend to invest in email marketing platforms with a variety of features. The most popular ones include extensive template libraries that can be personalized and customized and can help them break their audience into segments so small, the email copy will sound like they’re talking to them on a one-on-one basis.
Of course, to create and curate an email list that will give back results, accounting firms will need to grab leads that are interested, as mentioned above. This makes email marketing platforms with tools like landing page builders and form builders quite popular.
Pro tip: If you’re unsure how you can capture and nurture more leads, invest in some of the best lead generation tools, it’ll make a ton of difference.
A highly segmented email list can boost engagement and allow accounting firms to create targeted messages for their email marketing campaigns. High segmentation levels can also help get your point across to users who are interested and will most likely proceed with the action suggested by your email’s CTA.
Different types of agencies, people, and brands need different content. If, for example, a taxpayer needs to see how they can utilize Instagram to boost their earnings and what that would mean for their income and taxes, you’ll need to make sure to give that kind of content in your email newsletters, even as a teaser.
The Importance of A/B Testing
Much like any other organization that uses email marketing campaigns, accounting firms need strong content creators who can generate email marketing messages that will be different and optimized for each customer segment.
After all, some segments will need tax advice, and some will need to know a thing or two about the different PDQ machines their customers might use. Others could even need advice on the key metrics they need to be tracking.
First, you’ll need to create some content for all, but secondly, you need to create two different variations for each type of content. Then send it, and then see what converts better.
The technique described above is called A/B testing and is beneficial for all types of marketing, digital or otherwise. In its simplest form, A/B testing is about creating two types of content that are almost identical but differ in one key component. It could be anything from a header or a footer to a specific color or CTA button.
Altering one component at a time allows marketers to track exactly what it was that made a difference. It could be as simple as changing the CTA button’s color or as complicated as a different subject line.
Of course, to achieve that and create a successful A/B testing campaign, marketers need to invest in email marketing and marketing automation platforms that can offer analytics options. That way, marketers can make data-driven decisions.
This technique will allow you to adjust your content calendar to enable you to “speak” to each prospect in a way that will seem direct and tailor-made.
Using Compelling Content
Investing in an email marketing and marketing automation platform may allow your accounting firm to streamline its actions and save time, effort, and resources.
But what are the emails that will increase your credibility and urge users to share your content and, eventually, your firm with their peers?
First of all, you will need to utilize marketing automation recipes and sequences that will automatically send email marketing campaigns that stem from a user’s action. That way, the email the users receive won’t seem forced – on the contrary, your campaign will feel like a natural continuation of their own actions.
After that, you’ll need to create compelling content that will urge users to share your email with their networks. That way, you’ll gain more leads organically. However, compelling content is not that easy to make.
Explainer videos, testimonial videos, infographics, and appropriate brand colors are standard content practices because they’re aesthetically pleasing and highly engaging. Creating a video can be a low-cost idea that can engage your audience and present information in a way they can digest it better.
And don’t forget follow-up emails as part of your outreach strategy. Follow-up emails are the best way to create a healthy dialogue between yourself and your customers, ask for their feedback, and listen to their individual needs.
Email marketing can give back something for nothing and help out with everything any business would need to achieve its marketing goals. This means that accounting firms need email marketing campaigns as much as any organization does.
After all, accounting firms need repeaters, customers that will keep coming back and that will keep being loyal.
This can happen by building trust, credibility, and being upfront and honest with your customers, not to mention willing to create an open dialogue that will help prospective customers and existing customers remember your name.