First, let’s start with some email marketing statistics:
- 99% of consumers check their email every day (DMA, 2017)
- By 2023 global email users will amount to 4.4 billion users (Statista, 2019)
- Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter (Campaign Monitor, 2018)
- Email subscribers are 3x more likely to share your content via social media than visitors from other sources (Campaign Monitor, 2018)
- 73% of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email (Hubspot, 2020)
Email marketing tips for accountants
1. Don’t be tempted to purchase an email database
Just don’t. It’s far better to have a list of 30 people who have willingly handed over their contact information to you, who love to hear from you and are disappointed if they don’t, than a list of 30 000 that you’ve purchased, who have never heard of you and your business before, and who feel like you’re forcing your business offering down their throats.
Email marketing is best done when based on permission. When based on permission, you don’t have to stress over the chances of success, open rates and click-throughs. Just email away and it’ll be well received.
2. Build your own database of contacts
This ties in with the first tip. Build your own database rather than purchase one. Yes.. building up your own one is slower but we promise that it’ll generate higher returns for you and your accounting firm in the long run.
Some ideas on how to collect emails:
- As an accountant, you’re pretty good at collecting business cards. So pop those people an email asking if they’d like to opt into your email database.
- Create various opt-in’s and pop-up forms on your website asking for contact details (Mailchimp have some pretty good templates). It’s a good idea to incentivize the opt-in. We suggest that you offer something of value – a lead magnet. This could be a longer pdf of a blog post that you’ve written, original research that you may have conducted or a free quote.
Create a CTA (Call-To-Action) on your website that leads to a form. If you think about it, it’s far easier to click on a button than it is to fill out a form. By clicking on a button, your prospects have made a sub-conscious decision to fill out a form.
- Invite prospects to opt in for your newsletters by including a link on your email signatures, social media profiles and business cards.
- If you already have a sufficient number of subscribers, use that number to show off as social proof next to or above your opt-in form. If you don’t have a high number of subscribers, reach out to your existing ones and ask them for a testimonial/quote which you can then include near to your opt-in form. This testimonial will serve as encouragement for prospects to opt-in.
3. What to email about
A few ideas:
Company news and updates, new products/services, events that you may be hosting or attending, surveys or new blog posts.
An email newsletter is always a good idea too (something exclusively for your email subscribers as opposed to a blog post which can be read by everyone visiting your company website).
When creating an email newsletter, remember the principle of value creation (the same principle we kept stressing in our previous post on content marketing for accounting firms). Continuous email newsletters about tax updates just won’t cut it. Create value for your readers by writing about topics that interest them and give solutions to their problems. If your accounting firm services entrepreneurs and business owners, then topics surrounding business strategy, time management, sales forecasting and employee management will go much further than boring tax updates.
4. Include social sharing icons
Email subscribers are 3x more likely to share your content via social media than visitors from other sources (Campaign Monitor, 2018). Email is a fantastic tool for building referrals. If your readers love your newsletter they’re likely to forward it or share it with their peers via social media. Be sure to include social sharing icons somewhere on your newsletter.
5. Subject lines are key
What’s the first thing that catches your eye when you open up your inbox? The subject line, right? Your subject lines have to be interesting, unique and relevant to the email in order to capture attention, so we suggest that you put some thought into this. Having an eye-catching subject line will drastically increase your email campaigns open rate and thus increase your conversion potential.
6. Personalise your emails
Receiving an email from an actual person feels more authentic than one from a brand. So, use your own name in the sender field, rather than your company name. Another tip.. people don’t want to feel like just a number, so consider making your emails more personable and include the recipients name.
7. Invest in an email marketing service
Mailchimp is our favourite. This platform allows you to send bulk emails, personalise them, view reports – such as how many people opened your email, clicked the link, unsubscribed and more.
Link Mailchimp with your Google analytics account (if you don’t have one yet, get going). Your Google analytics report will show you how many people ended up on your website as a result of your email campaign.
Email marketing – better communications, warmer prospects, more informed clients and competitive edge. What’s not to love? We hope our tips helped. Now, get cracking 😊