Disclosure: OneHourProfessor is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways for accounting firms to reach clients and grow their business. However, simply sending emails is not enough – you need a strategic approach. 

This article provides 11 powerful tips to help accounting firms maximize their email marketing results, foster client relationships, and expand their reach. 

Whether you’re just starting with emails or looking to improve existing efforts, these best practices will help guide your strategy.

Why Accounting Firms Should Use Email Marketing

Email marketing tools deliver unparalleled returns for professional services firms like accounting practices. 

Studies show that for every $1 spent on email marketing, accounting firms earn $42 on average – a 4,200% return.

Source

Beyond sheer revenue gains, email enables convenient communication with clients, promotes brand recognition, and provides nuanced analytics into audience engagement. 

With email open rates in accounting averaging 30% (far higher than most industries), it presents a captive channel to disseminate tax alerts, share quarterly newsletters, or offer promotions to ideal customer profiles. 

Whether a solo CPA or a large firm, email marketing merits inclusion in any savvy, growth-oriented accounting outfit’s marketing mix. The unmatched ROI and client reach make investing time and resources into emails well worth the effort.

1. Build an Email List

The foundation of impactful email marketing is a targeted, robust email subscriber list. Yet compiling quality accounting email lists requires more forethought than simply buying email databases or gathering clients’ contact info. 

The ideal approach is to employ both permission-based lead generation tactics as well as mining your existing book of business. 

For example, you can add an email signup form or pop-up to your website to capture leads specifically interested in accounting services. Integrate this with dynamic calls-to-action across high-value pages like service descriptions or city landing pages.

Just as important as attracting new contacts is leveraging the current roster of people you serve. Audit your accounting practice’s CRM and client files to build segmented email groups based on service categories used, location, seniority level, or other pertinent attributes. 

While new lead acquisition expands your market reach, mining existing clients for emails enables highly personalized, loyalty-building email campaigns. Blend both strategies to assemble customized accounting email lists that align with your niche focuses and facilitate targeted communication.

2. Send Welcome Series

Make new email subscribers feel valued from the start with a customized welcome series. Too often, people sign up to receive accounting content or updates without hearing anything initially from the firm. 

This lost opportunity forges early connections and conveys your services’ relevance. Construct a 3-5-part drip campaign that introduces your firm, key team members, top accounting resources, and any onboarding checklists.

Structure welcome series emails to provide unique value and build rapport in each edition while linking to your site for easy access to related accounting content. 

For example, spotlight a specific partner and their specialty area expertise in edition one followed by a practice overview and link to service pages in edition two. 

Having an automated yet personal welcome flow establishes you as a helpful resource versus an inbox annoyance from the outset. This warm embrace captures engagement and trust – two precursors for prospective clients choosing you for their financial needs down the road.

3. Share Relevant Content

Now that you have assembled targeted accounting email lists and set the stage with a welcome series, it is vital to nurture these relationships by sharing relevant, educational content consistently. 

Understand subscriber challenges, interests, and preferences then cater your content approach accordingly through personalized segmenting. 

  • For business owners, share tax planning tips or cash flow projections before quarterly filings. 
  • For individuals, provide year-end tax saving guides as the annual deadline nears.

Always incorporate strong calls to action into your accounting emails like signing up for a consultation or checking out newly published thought leadership resources. This gives readers clearly defined next steps to continue their journeys. Without clear direction, you lose their attention and miss conversion opportunities. 

Approach email content with the intent of being helpful first then seamlessly transitioning contacts into happy, long-term clients. In this way, you establish expertise quickly and expand your firm’s reach.

4. Promote Services

One of the most proven email marketing strategies to spark immediate accounting email engagement is by promoting your services. Yet rather than blatantly advertising, strive to educate readers on service capabilities in valuable ways. 

For example, share client success stories that resulted from financial planning or bookkeeping assistance. Outline methodologies used and quantifiable improvements achieved without disclosing identities. This lends credibility and transforms service promotion into a peer endorsement.

You can also turn data analysis into reader-focused service insights such as identifying the three most forgotten tax deductions among local small business filers. Then map consultations, tax preparation, and other capabilities to address these issues for future filings. 

When promoting services, always connect the dots for how you solve subscribers’ biggest headaches or unrealized opportunities. By enlightening versus selling directly, readers interpret service emails as helpful instead of promotional. This drives responses while positioning your expertise.

Here’s an example of an email marketing template designed specifically for accounting firms: 

Source

5. Spotlight Team/Experts

Shining a spotlight on your rockstar team members and subject experts personalizes your brand and builds authority. 

While covering firm capabilities is important, putting names, faces, and backgrounds into your accounting practice fuels deeper subscriber connections. One approach is crafting a monthly or quarterly newsletter dedicated to profiling 2 to 3 accountants on your squad in each edition. 

Provide professional summaries, specialty areas, years in the field, passions outside work, life philosophies, or even a Q&A if space permits.

Expert spotlights enable showcasing niche services or credentials through bylined articles. For example, have your forensic accountant author a piece on signs of financial fraud. Or feature your QuickBooks ProAdvisor discussing the top small business accounting software features to leverage. 

This fuses thought leadership with humanizing content to strengthen trust in your firm’s competencies. When subscribers engage with the actual talent behind deliverables, confidence in results grows accordingly.

6. Conduct Event Promotions

Hosting or sponsoring accounting-related local events provides email fodder plus exposure opportunities. 

Distribute dedicated event promotion emails with details like the description, featured speakers, location, time, registration instructions, and sponsorship. Outline the event’s audience – whether CPAs pursuing continuing education credits or entrepreneurs wanting tax help for small business launches. 

Framing the event’s niche purpose and differentiators spotlights your brand alignment with those interests.

Post-event, recapture attendees with an email thank you that recaps takeaways reminds them about your firm’s role, and links to any slide decks or resources from speakers. Additionally, promote user-generated event photos or testimonials on LinkedIn to your accounting email list for social proof. 

When executed strategically, events offer multifaceted email, lead gen, and reputation-building potentials. Even minor sponsorships or hosted happy hours provide email visibility boons and relationship-building openings if creatively leveraged.

7. Send Webinar Invites

Webinars present self-contained email marketing opportunities through virtual events accessible to wider accounting audiences. Introduce relevant webinar topics aligned to subscriber needs from tax changes impacting seniors to small business funding options. 

Promote session details like expert panelists, key takeaways, Q&A involvement, date/time, and registration links through dedicated emails.

Follow-up confirmation emails after registrations reiterate log-in instructions, countdown the days, or bundle related resources for attendees to prepare. During live broadcasts, prompt last-minute sign-ups with email reminders touting who already registered and starter spots remaining. 

Most webinar software enables identifying no-shows even among those confirming attendance beforehand. Target these contacts post-webinar to provide an on-demand recording for altruistic, trust-building follow-through.

For long-term dividends, repurpose top-performing webinar assets into an email nurturing stream. 

Synthesize panelist insights or feedback themes into a condensed SlideShare presentation, and productize webinar recordings into multi-part email video courses subscribers access through your accounting site. This maximizes content shelf-life while showcasing expertise months beyond an initial live event.

8. Create a Newsletter with Insights

Infusing expert insights through newsletters is a proven brand awareness and lead-generation email tactic for an email marketing campaign

  • Curate and develop helpful accounting-related articles custom to your location like top 5 downstate tax law changes or a ranking of Chicago-based VC funds for startups. 
  • Draft pieces spotlighting financial trends across business, economics, real estate, crypto, and other relevant domains. 
  • Identify writers from your firm with passion areas or utilize third parties to author niche content under your banner.
  • Synthesize newsletter articles and thought resources into a polished, cohesive monthly or quarterly digest. 
  • Promote new editions to your database while archiving past volumes onsite to establish your brand as an indispensable finance authority. 

Within newsletters, incorporate client testimonials, company updates like new partner announcements, event recaps showcasing community involvement, and even light-hearted lifestyle contributor pieces. 

The mixed-media format breeds loyal readership while allowing promotional integration. As subscribers migrate through email funnels, graduating newsletter fans into loyal buyers becomes increasingly achievable over time.

9. Send Client Appreciation Emails

Among your accounting email list segments, prioritizing VIP outreach to established clients is key for retention and referrals. Set reminders to manually send appreciation emails on the anniversaries when major companies or high-net-worth individuals first became clients. 

Include a personal note thanking them for their continued partnership and highlight major accounting accomplishments achieved together like consecutive tax refunds secured or audit defenses won.

In addition to relationship-building, client appreciation emails present opportunities to showcase new firm credentials earned over the past year as bonuses like welcoming several QuickBooks ProAdvisors or IRS Enrolled Agents. 

Recapping major additions demonstrates continued investments into better serving their evolving financial needs. Close by extending priority access to your team or exclusive invitations to upcoming accounting insider events.

Outside periodic manual triggers, automate happy client anniversary emails through date-based CRM workflows as well. Consistent gestures of gratitude strengthen bonds while conveying an innate interest in clients beyond transactions. 

When appreciation emails produce vocal praise or sincere reciprocity, update contacts with these testimonials. Positive word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied clients remain invaluable for CPAs seeking to grow.

10. Use Surveys for Feedback

While having an email subscriber list offers marketers a captive audience, the communication channel goes both ways. Use email periodically to distribute customer satisfaction surveys seeking insights on current client perceptions plus areas for accounting service improvements. 

This could range from rating practice responsiveness across drivers like phone, email, and text messages to assessing the understandability of the previous year’s deliverables with preparation documents and final filings. 

Consider using comparative questions on whether expectations were met versus other firms used.

Pose service-specific queries through email like if clients are fully leveraging all the modules and tools within your recommended QuickBooks setup. Distribute additional surveys following tax season for recent feedback once peak intensity subsides. 

Online survey tools integrate directly with email platforms to easily deploy and track results. Most importantly, inform clients their anonymous inputs directly shape operational decisions for the mutual benefit of the working relationship.  

Follow through on this by summarizing major themes and action plans taken around pain points in an email update.

11. Segment and Personalize Your Audience

A primary advantage of email marketing is the ability to divide contacts into definable groups for highly targeted outreach. Avoid the novice mistake of generically blasting accounting content to all subscribers regardless of their unique needs or interests. 

Analyze list metrics like geography, company size, specialty service usage, seniority level, and email activity to inform segmentation. 

No matter what group you target, you’re sure to connect with users who are eager to receive your content. 

Source

Personalized accounting content that is aligned to audience subsets and fuels higher open and click-through rates ultimately driving conversions.

  • Tag clients based on prior-year areas of tax filing concerns then customize email flows addressing those specifics from looming AMT triggers for higher income earners to amended return requirements around recent legal changes. 
  • Set lifecycle stage email tracks guiding young professionals on building credit to retiring boomers on withdrawal strategies. 
  • Sync email tone, education levels, and calls-to-action to audience segments for relevance.

While segmentation takes more work upfront, properly executed it returns exponential gains across measurable email marketing performance metrics long-term.

Implementing even a handful of these accounting email marketing best practices starts activating your subscriber base driving tangible outcomes. Whether seeking improved client loyalty through appreciation emails or attracting new leads via value-packed newsletters, strategic and consistent outreach efforts pay dividends. 

Just remember to track email analytics like open rates to optimize future content approaches and personalize messaging using segmentation for relevance. 

With sharp targeting and messaging informed directly by recipients’ preferences, accounting firms can utilize email marketing to strengthen retention, referrals, and growth for a very worthwhile ROI.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
>