While email marketing has been around for a long time, there are still some accounting firms that are just beginning to embrace it. When it comes to delivering communications via email, there are some basic things accounting firms need to keep in mind to get the most from their efforts.
You need a good platform for sending emails. You shouldn’t be using Outlook to send your firm newsletter or other mass marketing email messages. Why, you ask? First, you need a way for people to unsubscribe to comply with comply with anti-spamming laws. Second, it makes it difficult to track your deliverability. Third, it’s difficult to customize and brand it. When you start email marketing, you will want to select software that allows you to create lists, customize your messages and create templates and provides easy unsubscribe options. There are many other possible features, but these are the basics. A couple of the software programs that are good for email marketing beginners are Mail Chimp and Constant Contact. Both are inexpensive and provide everything you need.
When starting out, most accounting firms don’t give enough thought to the timing of their email marketing messages. When you send a message corresponds to how many people see it, open it, read it and sometimes engage with your message. For most accounting firms, sending a message on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday is often best. Early morning and business hours are often best as opposed to late evenings and weekends. If the matter is truly urgent, you can of course disregard this rule of thumb. However, truly urgent matters are few and far between for most firms.
For the average accounting firm, most of their email marketing is centered around events and newsletters/blog posts. When firms first start out, they often ask how often they should send email marketing messages. The answer is usually enough to stay top of mind, but not so much that you overwhelm them. This is usually no more than a couple times a month and no less than bi-monthly. There is a lot of noise in the marketplace today. Staying top of mind requires a greater frequency of targeted communication (see relevancy below).
Some firms make the cardinal mistake of sending too many emails. This often happens after you have been at email marketing for a while and usually occurs because the firm doesn’t segment its list. Attention spans today are short. To get your prospects’ and clients’ attention, you need to send them highly relevant information. In order to maintain balance with frequency, you need to ensure you are sending the right information to the right audience. Sending a non-profit audit update to your manufacturing client isn’t going to help. Firms should be building list segments and targeting their messaging. Mass emailing everyone and their mother on your list won’t cut it.
While there is a lot more that can go into email marketing, these basics are a great way to get started.
Have questions about email marketing or marketing for your accounting firm? Contact us today.