Category: Newsletters


Newsletters: keeping your firm ahead of the competition

Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your business is to go back to the basics and start using a good old fashioned newsletter.

With the seemingly unlimited choice of all the latest and up-to-date marketing tools that are on offer today, some firms may find it difficult in deciding which tool works best for them in order to stand out against their competitors. Having been around for several decades, there is no doubting the benefits of using newsletters as a marketing tool for your firm to attract new clients. Newsletters can also help to ensure that you keep all of your current clients (which is one of the biggest challenges facing many firms today).

Newsletters keep clients interacting with your firm. By offering a newsletter to your clients on a regular basis that is jam-packed full of beneficial and useful information, you will encourage them to visit your office more frequently, or to sign up to receive this regular update via email. By doing this, clients are actively interacting with your firm as well as inadvertently supplying you with feedback on what they want. Your firm can then cater to this target audience when advertising a new service.

By utilising a good marketing service, newsletters can also be delivered to clients at an affordable price in a well-organised and systematic manner. No longer confined to print, newsletters can be sent electronically to clients, saving you money as well as a lot of time that can now be spent on other projects. Sending out these free helpful hints and tips on a regular basis shows that your firm is dedicated and eager to provide help and advice to those who may need it most. This also helps to establish brand recognition and trust between your firm and your clients.

Lastly, newsletters can serve to improve your clients trust in your firm. Providing them with regular up-to-date information about any changes or improvements that may be happening in the industry keeps them informed, and shows you care about their opinion and welfare.


How to avoid ending up in your client’s junk folder

Email newsletters are a great way to spread the word about your firm, increase revenue, drive more traffic to your website and even increase the number of people who sign up to your firm’s mailing list.

But sometimes an email newsletter won’t get through to a client’s or prospective client’s inbox. Or sometimes it will get to the inbox, but sent straight to the junk folder by the receiver. So how can you avoid having your email newsletters being marked as junk mail? Here are some tips:

  • Include relevant information

Providing readers with pertinent information is essential to convince people into giving your firm a second look. Including information that inspires people will make them pay attention to your firm and will give your brand some extra attention.

  • Provide an incentive

Incentives usually work as they make the receiver want to respond to your message. Consider providing a limited time promotion or service in your email.

  • Personalise the email

Most readers will pay extra attention when they see their name in an email. Include your client’s or prospect’s name within the content of your firm’s email. You can take this a step further if you have information on their relationship with your firm, as you can also include a specific promotion or service that they may be interested in investing in again.

  • Target your audience

An effective email campaign has a clear target audience. Spend time finding clients and people in your niche market instead of sending out a mass email to everyone.

  • Convey authority

While you shouldn’t gloat about your firm in an email, using your accomplishments, and therefore the authority that comes with those accomplishments can be effective in opening up a line of communication. Humans naturally gravitate towards authoritative figures.


The email metrics your firm should be tracking

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how optimised your firm’s emails are if you can’t track the results of your efforts.

Before sending an email, accountants should review the purpose of their email marketing and figure out which metrics they will need to track to determine how they’re progressing toward their overall goal.

Since the goals of email marketing campaigns will differ from firm to firm, here are three basic metrics every firm should be paying attention to, regardless of their overall goal:

Click-through rate (CTR)
An email’s click-through rate is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links contained in an email. To calculate an email’s CTR, firms need to divide an email’s total clicks by the number of emails delivered e.g. 500 total clicks ÷ 10,000 delivered emails = 5 per cent CTR.

CTR lets firms quickly calculate the performance of every individual email they send. CTR is an important metric for all firms engaging in email marketing to track, as it provides a direct insight into how many people on their client list are engaging with the email’s content and are interested in learning more.

Conversion rate
An email’s conversion rate is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on a link within an email and completed a desired action, such as downloading a newsletter or purchasing a product.

An email’s conversion rate is tied to the email’s call-to-action, and since the email’s call-to-action is linked to the overall goal of the email campaign, the conversion rate can help determine the extent to which a firm is achieving its objectives.

Bounce rate
The bounce rate is the percentage sent emails that could not be successfully delivered to the recipient’s inbox. There are two types of bounce rates firms should track; “hard” bounces and “soft” bounces. Soft bounces happen due to problems with valid email addresses, such as an inbox being full or an issue with a recipient’s server.

Hard bounces happen due to invalid, closed, or non-existent email addresses. It is critical that firms immediately delete hard bounce addresses from their email list as internet service providers (ISPs) use bounce rates to determine an email sender’s reputation. A sender with a high hard bounce rate will look like a spammer in the eyes of an ISP.


How to make your emails more persuasive

Successful firm marketing is all about communication. Closing a sale, providing valuable content and explaining your firm’s services (just to name a few) all rely on the accountant’s ability to express themselves clearly and persuasively.

When it comes to communicating via email marketing, firms only have a small, brief window to capture reader attention and convince clients to move closer to a call to action or make a purchase.

Below are several writing techniques accountants should use in their email marketing campaigns to ensure their emails have the greatest effect on readers.

  • Include a small ask

Including a small ask is like your firm’s proverbial foot in the door, Once someone has said ‘yes’ to a small ask, they are more likely to agree to future requests. Simply include a question in your email that recipients are unlikely to say no to.

  • Include a headshot

When people make eye contact with others, they feel a subconscious sense of connection. Since it can be easy for readers to forget that there’s a person on the other end of the email, including a small headshot of yourself in the email is a subtle way to remind readers that their accountant is human too.

  • Agitate and solve the problem

Sometimes clients are already aware of a problem they have, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re prepared to address it. To convince them that your firm can help, accountants should try to talk about the problem in emotional terms, then suggest a solution to demonstrate how the firm can help. Accountants should never attempt to over exaggerate a problem or create one out of thin air. Use the agitate-and-solve technique when it becomes apparent that the client hasn’t fully imagined the cost of inaction.

  • Include a reason

Giving readers a reason makes it much more likely they’ll do what you ask. However, accountants shouldn’t just make up random excuses to get prospects in; focus on providing a simple explanation “I’d like to set up a meeting with you because I can help with X strategy”, as this could pay huge returns.

  • Remind readers that it is their choice

Nobody likes being told what to do. Even if an accountant’s approach isn’t pushy or aggressive, some readers may still be turned off at the suggestion that you know what’s best for them. Including a reminder or simple reassurance that you’re not attempting to force them into anything is a powerful technique.


The basics of good email writing

Emails can be difficult to write. Along with being time-consuming to write and time-consuming to tailor, they are not always guaranteed to produce the result firms are after.

Writing a good email is a skill all accountants should practice. Even if you are offering something valuable or relevant, writing about it in the wrong way can turn off clients and prospects, as well as prevent your firm’s message from being heard.

Below are some tips to keep your email writing nice and clean, so readers can focus in on what you want them to read.

Even though this step may seem obvious, there is nothing worse than sending off a piece of writing that is riddled with errors. Mistakes call an accountant’s professionalism, expertise, and authority into question.

Triple-check that all information is correct
While a regular client might forgive a typo in your email, they will certainly remember if you spell their name or business’s name wrong in that email. Make sure you also are accurate in your emails. Don’t organise a meeting on Wednesday, March 24th, when the 24th is a Thursday. If you’re adding resources to an email, make sure they’re attached correctly.

Use formatting to your advantage
Bold or underline important points and dates, break up your email’s text into short paragraphs, use bullet points when highlighting a list of options and make sure to emphasise action items or calls-to-action.

Use active voice
Using an active voice makes an email seem more energetic and confident. In turn, it will make the accountant sound stronger and more authoritative.

Give a reason
Explaining why you want a reader to do what you ask can increase the chances of them doing it by more than 50 per cent. Instead of saying that you would like to set up a meeting with a new client, tell them that you’d like to meet to discuss and determine whether you can help them with their financial goals.


Why you shouldn’t build an email list purely for the money

It can be hard for accounting firms to create an initiative without a definite ROI purpose behind it, especially if they’re using valuable time resources to do it. However, there are some types of online marketing that, despite not producing a reliable, direct revenue, provide long-term benefits that do outweigh the potential short-term income.

Newsletters can be sent to a firm’s clients on a regular basis. While the frequency will vary from firm to firm depending on content and availability to create newsletters, most newsletters are usually sent once per month.

No matter when they are sent off, newsletters can be a worthwhile endeavor for small accounting firms. Here are some of the benefits of creating an email newsletter mailing list that is not based on the purpose of generating income.

  • Establishes your firm as a leader

Newsletters can help firms build a powerful presence among their clients and target audience. Sending out curated newsletters that are full of links, industry news and insights that aren’t shared on your firm’s public blog can build up the exclusivity of the newsletter.

Newsletters are also a great way to set your firm up as a thought leader in your industry. Writing about top stories and adding in your firm’s personal insight on the developments is helpful because you’re offering advice on how the industry is going to shift with the changes.

  • Grows your subscriber base

A regular high-quality newsletter can also be an excellent way to grow a firm’s subscriber base. Providing a regular newsletter gives a firm’s audience a break from marketing emails to take in something of value.

Promoting the valuable information in the newsletter can also drive more email subscriptions. Firms should market the exclusivity of the newsletter by explaining what information it will contain that subscribers won’t get anywhere else.

  • Promotes your content

Along with sharing insights on industry news, an email newsletter is also a perfect place to share firm content. Firms should find the right mix of external information and internal promotions. And since the firm’s audience will begin to think of the firm as an industry leader, they will soon look forward to reading the firm’s new content.


Tips to achieve email marketing success

Email newsletters are one of the most effective marketing tools accounting firms can use to build and maintain genuine relationships with their clients.

They have been shown to generate as much revenue as all other types of digital marketing combined and have the power to keep an audience engaged, drive traffic to a firm’s website and build a firm’s brand and credibility.

For those firms still not giving the focus email marketing deserves, here are seven steps every firm can start taking today to begin reaping the benefits of email marketing in no time.

Build your list
Firms can begin by gathering email addresses from current and potential clients. This step can be difficult and time-consuming, so it’s worth your while to limit it to those who choose to engage.

Segment your list
Firms need to segment their email audience so they can create targeted messages for different groups which can lead to better open rates, lower opt-out and unsubscribe rates and improved deliverability. Segmenting allows firms to separate their list according to geographic region, client behavior patterns, age and more to create content and offers most likely to generate responses.

Plan your content
Firms need to decide on the range of content they’ll be offering via email marketing. Make sure to strive for the balance between 80 per cent informational content and 20 per cent promotional content. Messages that aren’t selling your firm may seem pointless, but they do work to develop brand awareness and build up trust in clients, which can lead to sales in the future.

Analyse the competition
Study what your competition is doing. Sign up to their email newsletters to compare your efforts to theirs. While it is okay to put your own spin on their ideas, always strive for creating original content that readers can’t find anywhere else.

Develop a welcome email
Create a series of follow-up emails for new subscribers introducing your firm, services and website. Start with a warm welcome and follow with a reminder of the benefits of signing up, helpful information about your firm’s services and links to your firm’s website and social media profiles.

Implement autoresponders
Use autoresponders to automatically trigger welcome emails, resend email newsletters that were never opened by clients or send newsletters at regular intervals. Autoresponders can increase a firm;s open rates by 30 to 40 per cent.

Personalise emails
Firms should personalise their emails as much as possible. Use information gathered through analytics and surveys to your advantage by recognising client birthdays or referring to previous purchases to make readers feel valued.


The fundamentals of a successful email newsletter

E-newsletters, or email newsletters, are often used to engage leads and clients, promote services and stay top-of-mind for a target audience.

While they are one of the most common types of emails accounting firms can use to market their services, they are some of the hardest to get right.

Here are six things all accountants need to do to help keep their email marketing campaign on the road to success.

  • Establish the kind of newsletter you will send

One of the biggest problems with a firm’s email newsletter is that it can be cluttered and unfocused because accountants want it to support every aspect of the firm. Instead, they should be keeping the focus of an email newsletter to one very specific topic, like self-managed super funds (SMSFs).

  • Ensure content is 90 per cent educational and 10 per cent promotional

Email newsletter subscribers don’t want to hear about your firm’s services all the time. Get rid of the self-promotion and focus on sending educational, relevant, timely information.

  • Outline expectations on the subscribe page

Make sure the subscribe page tells potential subscribers exactly what is in your firm’s newsletters, as well as how often they are sent.

  • Use one primary call-to-action

Pick one call-to-action (CTA) that you would like your subscribers to do, whether it involves clicking through to see a blog post or forward the email on to a friend. Simplicity is key.

  • Keep content to a minimal

Concise email content is key, as the point of most email newsletters is to send readers elsewhere (e.g. website or blog) to consume the whole piece of content. Concise copy also gives readers just enough information so that they want to click and learn more.

  • Make it easy for people to unsubscribe.

This may seem counter-intuitive, but it is vital if firms want to maintain an active, engaged subscriber list. Having a clear unsubscribe process can help ensure firm emails aren’t marked as spam.


Ways to fix your email marketing strategy

In today’s digital environment it is easy for your email marketing to get lost amongst the crowd.

Not all emails achieve the result they set out to – they are labelled as spam, unopened and in most cases will be deleted.

A business’ email marketing strategy needs to be relevant and interesting for customers to firstly open the email. Email open rates are great indicators of the quality of your mailing list, subject line, and time of sending. More so, click rates tell you how many people have opened your emails and registered at least one click.

Open and click rates are both good indicators of how your campaigns are being received. Strong click rates indicate the message content is relevant to subscribers that open the email; while strong open rates show your subject line resonates well with the mailing list.

Here are some quick tips your business can use to improve both open and click rates:

Consider frequency/timing

A rigid email schedule, such as sending a campaign out every Wednesday, may seem like a great idea but might not be the best for your intended end results. It is best to test what days provide higher engagement and align emails to real-time events, promotions, announcements and holidays.

The frequency of your email campaigns also has a large effect on your email performance. Sending too many emails is a sure way to lower levels of engagement, yet not sending enough can hinder your efforts. Set time to review your reports frequently to maximise your campaigns.

Segment your list

Segmentation helps to create stronger campaigns by matching relevance to different audiences. When creating a campaign think about who you want to target and what kind of information these subscribers will find most useful to them.

Subscribers who are continually receiving emails with no relevance to them will eventually stop opening them or unsubscribe. Consider segmenting your mailing lists based on factors such as subscriber interests, location or activity, i.e. you may separate sales reps from customers.

Ensure readability

Emails need to be able to be read on all platforms and devices, yet many senders overlook this. Not only should your email be mobile responsive, it should be easily readable. Ensure your subject line does not get cut-off, images do not look stretched and/or take too long to load and be sure to use an appropriate ratio of text and images.

It is worth testing your email content by using different versions of the content sent to a separate list of subscribers. Tracking the engagement of each campaign can provide insight into what strategies are working and which ones need improvement.


Tips for a successful email marketing campaign

Email marketing should be part of every firm’s online marketing strategy. It is a valuable channel firms can utilise to reach, acquire and retain clients through the sharing of valuable information, news and advice.

Here are some top tips for making your email marketing campaigns as successful as possible:

  • Subject line

An email’s subject line is the first element of your email people see, and most of them will decide whether or not to open the email based on what it says. Effective subject lines are short and include words that make recipients want to click it. Make sure your subject line attracts the right attention so all that time spent writing your email pays off.

  • Include a call-to-action

Emails need a clear call-to-action so your readers know what action you want them to take. The call-to-action also needs to be short and easy for readers to do. Some examples include requests to answer a short questionnaire, sign an online form or liking/following your firm on Facebook.

  • Mobile-friendly

As the majority of emails are now read on mobile devices, it’s important that you make your emails as mobile-friendly as possible. When designing your email, consider how it will display on both a computer and and a mobile device. Keep your text short and sweet, consider only using one column and keep images small so they don’t take too long to load on a small screen.