But before you get going, know that there are a few things to consider before you send out your first email. Without thinking about these, you risk missing opportunities to reach clients and prospects with the content they want and when they want it.
Consider these tips to take your email newsletter strategy to the next level.
1. Choose a frequency and stick to it
One of the first things to consider is frequency. Will you send your newsletter once a month? Every week? Maybe even twice a week?
Whatever the frequency—stick to it. It’ll keep your firm front of mind with subscribers, and you’ll begin to forge a consistent schedule that they can depend on. Deciding to commit to a schedule will also keep you accountable. If you decide to send a newsletter sporadically instead, you’ll always find something more important to do.
Choosing the type of content you want to share in your newsletters can help with determining a frequency. For example, if you create a client story once a month on your website, it might make sense to produce a monthly newsletter where you can feature one client per month.
2. Set expectations and be consistent
After you settle on a frequency, you should next decide on a set of expectations and make it your mission to stick to them.
Aside from frequency, you should be clear about what subscribers can expect when they hear from you. Will you share news about your practice? Or perhaps accounting news from around the world? Maybe you’ll include accounting tips and tricks for small businesses?
Whatever you decide, you should make it clear to people when they subscribe.
This is simple to do. For example, when someone lands on your homepage and scrolls to the newsletter subscription form, you can include a one-sentence description, briefly outlining what they can expect and when they fill out the form. It might say, ‘Sign up to our monthly newsletter to keep up to date with company news and finance, tax and budgeting tips from around the world.”
If you don’t set expectations, people may make assumptions about what they’ll receive from you and when.
And when they start receiving the newsletter and it doesn’t match the expectations they set for themselves, they’re likely to become disengaged and unsubscribe.
Set expectations to encourage genuinely interested people to sign up.
3. Think about the how and the why
Once you've chosen a consistent frequency and determined a set of expectations for your email newsletter, think hard about the how and the why.
How will people sign up for your firm's newsletter, and why do you want them to sign up in the first place?
For the how, think about whether your firm will ask people to subscribe to your newsletters after appointments, or if you’ll include a space on your website for them to enter their email (or both).
For the why, think about what the end goal of the email newsletter is. Is it to keep your firm at the forefront of your client's mind, to make your firm feel more personable, or to let the client know more about the people that make your firm?
Whatever the answer may be, make sure it’s apparent in every newsletter you send out.
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4. Consider your intended audience
If you're struggling to think about the how and why of your accounting firm's email newsletter, it might help to consider your intended audience and ask yourself if it might be worth creating multiple newsletters to appeal to multiple audiences at once.
This is what's known as segmentation, and it's a key part of creating an email newsletter.
For example, think about the wide range of ages that may frequent your firm. Younger clients won't have the same accounting needs as the older clients, and this might mean that you need multiple newsletters to cater to those different intended audiences.
To determine if you're dealing with more than one intended audience, look at your firm's data and demographics. Once you've figured this out, it will make every other consideration much easier to think about.
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5. Consider how you'll get it out there
After all the above steps are said and done, there's one last thing to consider before you send out your accounting firm's email newsletter: how exactly are you going to get the newsletter out in the first place?
There are many newsletter automation tools at your disposal, so it's important to do your research. A few to consider include:
Mailchimp—helps with more aspects of marketing (such as designing landing pages and digital advertising) not just email newsletters.
Autopilot—specializes in automating the world of marketing.
Hubspot—includes lots of helpful data in addition to marketing tools.
Browse through these different newsletter tools and choose which one is the best one for your accounting firm. As you make your decision, keep all the above steps in mind. Which tool will help you meet the expectations you set for yourself and help you achieve your how and why?
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The bottom line: why these considerations matter in the end
At the end of the day, if you and your accounting firm don’t give enough thought to these tips and your overall email newsletter strategy, you’re failing to capitalize on your newsletter’s potential.
By carefully considering each tip and implementing them into your firm's newsletter, you can expect to make the most out of it and elevate your firm to the next level.
Whether you're a small practice starting out or on the marketing team of a Top 100 firm, all these considerations matter.