Email marketing is an invaluable tool that should be found in every business’ arsenal – and for the most part, it is. However, although many firms are making use of email marketing, many are not getting the results they desire.
With HubSpot reporting the channel can boast an ROI of up to 3,800%, what can you do to optimise your campaigns and ensure your accounting firm is reaping all the benefits of email marketing? Well, here are 4 quick tips to get you started.
#1 Pack a (professional) punch
If you want to increase your open rates and ensure your emails avoid the dreaded junk folder, you need to engage your audience from the get-go. This all has to start with your subject line.
The purpose of the subject line is to give readers a reason to want to open your email; a successful one will create FOMO (fear of missing out) and others, well they simply miss out. So, what exactly makes a good subject line? Well, it will all depend on your audience. Whilst some may prefer a more descriptive approach, others may be more enticed by something more suspenseful; it’s all about trial and error. You need to continuously test your subject lines to discover what works best with your audience (and always keep in mind that preferences will change over time).
To get you heading in the right direction, here are some tips for writing powerful subject lines to get the clicks you need:
- Make it personal: thanks to email marketing automation tools, making your subject lines more personal by adding your recipient’s name, for example, is now as easy as ticking a box. And whilst working hard pays off, working smart certainly does too; with 88% of consumers agreeing they are more likely to engage with an email if it appears as though it has been sent specifically to them.
- Be descriptive: sometimes the direct approach is more effective and can really help to draw the user in by focusing on specific benefits or news that is highly relevant to them.
- Be wary of punctuation: whilst punctuation can be good to help engage your audience and add emphasis, too much can make your email appear spammy.
- Keep it brief: your subject line should be a teaser of what’s to come – not the full show. To keep your audience engaged and ensure your subject line is displayed correctly, you should aim to keep it below 60 characters.
- Test for the best results: as we mentioned earlier, different audiences will have different preferences, so the best way to uncover what works best for each segment is to test a couple of different subject lines and monitor how it impacts your open rates.
#2 Captivate with content
With the professional services market having one of the highest unsubscribe rates across all industries (0.31% compared to the benchmark of 0.1%), it’s clear that many firms are missing the mark when it comes to mailing. So, what can you do to overcome this?
Whilst what we’ve discussed above is important, it’s merely the opening act; the main event will always be your content (the body of your email) which should focus on utilising your audiences’ wants and needs to drive them to take action. A lot of work is required to create content that delivers results, but a couple of tips to get you heading in the right direction include:
- Segmentation: you will likely have different audiences with different needs and preferences, therefore to ensure all of your emails remain relevant and offer insight that is truly valuable to each group, you must segment your audience. With segmented email campaigns boasting up to 50% higher click-through rates (CTR), it’s clear that for email marketing for accounting firms to be truly successful, this simple step should not be skipped.
- Direction: each email you produce should be created with one clear goal in mind; this will ensure that your content remains relevant and to the point.
- Video: did you know that emails that include video can see a whopping 96% increase in CTR?
- Relevance: we’ve touched on this above, but when it comes to email marketing for accounting firms, if you want to see results, you need to remember that relevance is key. Think about what your audience will be most interested in seeing – it may be a monthly newsletter with updates about your firm and services or perhaps it could be daily tips and insights surrounding specific topics, such as tax – and keep this at the forefront of your mind when creating your campaigns.
#3 Be more mobile
With almost half of all emails now being opened on mobile devices, if you fail to make your emails responsive, your audience is unlikely to stick around. But how can you ensure that your emails are mobile-friendly and deliver results that add up no matter the size of the screen?
- Keep subject lines short: whilst desktop users will usually see the first 60 characters of your subject line, this reduces to just 25-30 for mobile users.
- Ensure your copy is concise: if someone is reading an email on their mobile phone, the likelihood is they will be preoccupied in some way; this means ensuring your copy is scannable and engaging is key. Text should be kept to a minimum and separated into easy-to-digest chunks labelled with clear headers where appropriate.
- Make all CTAs (calls to action) clear: each email you send should include a compelling call to action and for mobile devices, this must be visually clear and easy to click.
- Avoid stacking links: typically, a user will have less precision and control over their clicks when using a mobile device. This, coupled with the smaller screen size, means if you place multiple links together, the likelihood of them clicking the wrong one by accident is very high.
- Use a larger font size: when selecting your font, you must always consider how it will be viewed by the reader. Mobile screens are a lot smaller than desktop monitors, so using a small font size can make your emails difficult to read. As a general rule, you should aim to keep your font at 14px or above to ensure your text is legible across all devices.
- Make use of pre-header text: whilst often overlooked, pre-header text (which is the first line of your email copy) is a great way to entice readers to open your email by teasing what’s to come.
- Make the most of mobile-ready templates: using templates that have been created for mobiles is a great way to ensure your emails always look good, no matter what the device. This a good option for firms who are just getting started with email marketing or those who have limited design/ technical capabilities.
- Test on multiple devices: different devices will have different screen sizes and display options, so ensure you test on a range of devices to mitigate any possible issues
#4 From professional to personal
Whilst B2B marketing has traditionally been focused on highlighting rational benefits to consumers, the time has come to change this. When it comes to email marketing for accounting firms, to be successful you must free your mind from these constraints and embrace emotion.
At the end of the day, emotion sells – no matter what market you are in. In fact, a recent study found that consumers are over 7 times more likely to purchase from a company when they have a positive emotional association with them. So, you need to make it easy for your audience to build these sorts of relationships with your firm.
A couple of simple tips you can action to ensure your accounting firm is viewed as a trustworthy and reliable partner include:
- Changing the “@noreply” email address to a name (it doesn’t need to be a real person)
- Focus on including content that celebrates your company culture & employees
- Tailor your content to suit the specific needs and wants of your audience – it will show you have taken the time to listen to their problems and help find a solution
Whilst the above will certainly get you heading in the right direction, a lot of knowledge and work is required to make email marketing for accounting firms a success. And with over 80% of business professionals agreeing that email marketing has helped to increase customer retention, are you ready to embrace the new to keep hold of the old?
If you’re hungry for more tips, be sure to check out our ultimate guide to email marketing to discover how to achieve remarkable results from your campaigns (it’s free), or head over to our digital marketing for accounting firms page to find out more about how we can help your firm to reach its full potential.