Consider Using Email to Source New Accounting Clients

This is an area that needs to be handled correctly.

If you target new clients by email it can result in annoyance and alienation of those prospective clients.  Most people hate spam in any form so make sure that any emailing program you put in place is done responsibly to attract new clients or help you hold on to existing ones.

Email can be a very efficient and effective way to tell your prospective clients about the benefits that you are able to provide for them.  To get the most from this medium, however, you need to understand some of the basics. 

A successful email campaign depends on much more than a clever idea.  There is a science in it because there is a real art to creating email newsletters that generates a response from the business people you want to reach.

Among the important considerations are:

  • The objectives for the campaign.
  • The quality of your mailing list.
  • The offer you are making.
  • The format you select for your mailings.
  • The call to action.
  • The follow-up activities that you will put in place.

The email newsletter’s primary strength is in generating qualified appointment leads. 

This can be done at a much lower cost than for unsolicited sales calls, or other modes of advertising.  Your emailing will be most successful if you focus on achieving specific pre-appointment goals, rather than on trying to generate sales results.

Your success will always be greater if you define from the beginning the business people you wish to reach.  You will also need to establish the criteria relating to the businesses and individuals, including the problems that you can solve for them or the extensive services you have to offer.

The mailing list you use is the single most important factor in the success of your email campaign. 

The best lists are those that are addressed to individuals by name, rather than an email address alone.  Make sure your emailing list contains only those people who have asked to be on it, or who have given the list compiler opt-in permission to be included.  Sending email to those who had not given approval is spam. If any prospective client forgets that he or she asked to receive information from your firm, then the best policy is to remove that name as soon as possible.

Once you have your list up and running, keep these issues in mind:

  • At least 5% of the email addresses will become obsolete each month so make sure your list is automatically updated.
  • Make sure your list automatically detects the bounced messages returned from invalid email addresses and update the number of active addresses on your mailing list.
  •  Not everyone who joins your list will want to stay on it.  The email message you send out must include instructions at the bottom of the message on how recipients can cancel or opt out. 
  • In any email campaign the guarantees are nil.  However, if you effectively target your email campaigns you can expect a response rate of between 1% and 3% and sometimes better.

What you have to offer, and the way you offer it, is important. 

Be sure that what you offer has a clear benefit to the person receiving your email and take the time to tell them about it in a way that will capture their interest.  The email doesn’t have to be fancy.  In fact, some of the most effective emails have been extraordinarily simple.  What is most important is that your email invites the prospective client to look at it and to act from it. 

Make sure that your prospective client understands what it is you want him or her to do by including a clear call to action. The call to action can be something as simple as emailing a reply to you, telephoning, faxing or sending a letter. 

Once your email campaign is concluded, it’s important to follow up with the prospective clients so that you can measure your results. 

You can improve your results significantly by following up each mail with a telephone call, so your prospective client can talk with you.  This response will confirm that the email has been received and answer any questions that the prospective client may have.  You can also re-emphasise the offer that you are willing to make.

They say that a good response rate for a business to business email is 1% to 3%. 

Any email newsletter that results in a response rate of more than 3% is considered to be highly successful.

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