Let’s kill an industry sacred cow today:
This is one of the biggest problems with most of the email marketing that I see done by tax professionals and accountants, and it is a holdover from the days when print marketing dominated the online space.
Email should never be used as a “newsletter.”
It is not going to garner new tax or accounting clients for your firm. What breaks my heart is that some tax professionals send those dull monstrosities out (because they came with their business-card website or tax software), and then they think:
“Oh, I’ve tried email marketing. Doesn’t work.”
So before I do a takedown of the “tax tips newsletter,” let’s look at the numbers:
Because we at TaxProMarketer believe: the data doesn’t lie.
- Email has 4.1+ billion users compared to Facebook’s 1.9 billion, and Twitter’s 187 million. [Source, Source]
- When starting their day, 58 percent of people check their email before anything else, while 11 percent check their Facebook accounts and 2 percent check Twitter first. [Source]
- The average email click-through rates for email sit at 3.57 percent. For Facebook, they are .07 percent and for Twitter, .03 percent. [Source]
- Email gets more conversions than social media. On average 66 percent of users make a purchase after email messaging, 20 percent for Facebook, and 6 percent for Twitter. [Source]
- And, email comes with a better ROI: 3800 percent compared to 28 percent on average for social media. [Source]
I can go on.
But let’s get to the “tax tips newsletter,” shall we?
I spend my mornings, as you probably do, cranking through my inbox and churning out the marketing junk which has little relevance to me or my business.
However, if you pay attention to emails that YOU respond to, you’ll see a different approach.
Email is a relational medium.
As it is MOSTLY used (i.e. in practice, intent, and in the kinds of emails that we mostly consume and act upon), email is:
- One-to-one communication, not a mass broadcast.
- Meant to be replied to, not just clicked through.
- Relational in tone and content.
- Containing content that is relevant to the recipient, not just the sender.
Right away, you probably sense that the newsletter approach violates these norms, and is automatically received as “marketing” by your tax and accounting clients.
Which is not how you want to be received.
So, here are even more problems with the “tax tips” newsletter…
- “Professional-looking” headers and graphics
Again, how do you want your emails to be received? As a “professional” email — with content easily found through a simple internet search? Or as a warm, encouraging and actionable note — like one you’d receive from your neighbor down the street?
Because one of those kinds of emails gets deleted … the other doesn’t.
- Corporate-style, generic content
This is a Big Mistake.
Firstly, you’re not Best Buy or AccountingWeb … and by aping these entities, you’re falling for the old canard that “building a brand” is the primary goal of your marketing.
I’m not against brand-building — far from it; it’s just that it is best accomplished along the road of effective, response-oriented marketing.
And secondly, when you abuse your contacts’ inbox with stuffy technical-ese, tax code updates or commoditized articles, you’re actually demonstrating cavalier disregard for your most important asset: your client and prospect list.
Your tax and accounting clients come to you because they want YOU to handle all of this tax and accounting stuff for them.
In the vast majority of cases, they don’t want (or need) to be educated about the subtleties of a 1031 exchange — they just want to sell their real estate without getting bit in the behind by the stupid taxes.
But when you use email RIGHTLY, you’re actually building deeper relationships with your tax and accounting clients and prospects. You’re demonstrating that you can be trusted with their time … and with their sensitive financial issues.
So don’t blow your greatest asset (your client list) by sending them corporatized, generic pabulum.
And don’t think that if you do, that you’re “doing email marketing.”