Your Christmas break is a distant memory, you’ve had a few weeks to recover from the dreaded self assessment period and now is the time to really focus on generating new business leads for your practice for the rest of the year.
But…being accountants, you won’t need to worry about AI, voice search and augmented reality just yet (which are mainstream trends predicted to really explode this year), instead you will need to stay on top of the most efficient and cost effective marketing trends out there that are proven to work time and time again.
Ready? Lets go.
#1 The Sector Based Approach
What is the Sector Based Approach?
Instead of having a scattergun approach to marketing, you’ll need to fine-tune your efforts into concise and specific messaging, targeting specific markets.
Why use The Sector Based Approach?
The web is currently filling up with A LOT of generic ‘how to’ accountancy guides, badly written blog posts giving accountancy advice and more VAT guides, tax calculators and factsheets than you can shake a stick at. Mix this with the growing efficiency of internet browsing and it’s no wonder prospects are not getting fed into your sales funnel anymore.
So you need to get specific, marketing to a specific sector one at a time.
How to implement the Sector Based Approach:
This is very easy. Simply, evaluate your current client base and determine the specific markets that yield the best returns for your business.
Once complete, identify their pain points, outline areas where you can help, then create the marketing materials needed to win them as clients.
Consider tax saving strategies, MTD guides and testimonials from other clients in that sector. Launch campaigns to drive awareness of your content, direct to the decision makers of the relevant firms.
The end result won’t be ‘Here’s a handy tax calculator you can use’ but instead ‘Here’s 5 Tax Saving Tips For GP Surgeries’ which you have put right into the hands of hundreds of practice managers.
#2 Engagement-Based Email Marketing
What is Engagement-Based Email Marketing?
Email marketing should already be an integral part of your new business development efforts. If it is not then you are putting the future prosperity of your practice at risk.
However, just sending the odd marketing message here and there is no longer a viable solution. Instead you need to send specific messages to specific people, based on the actions that they have taken from all your marketing efforts.
Gone are the days where one email fits all.
Why Engagement-Based Email Marketing?
Whilst the web is quickly filling up with content, so are people’s inboxes. Yes, the GDPR did stop a lot of emails getting sent, but by marketing to businesses and using the ‘legitimate interest’ as a lawful basis of cold outreach mailings, many are still getting sent.
So you need to be more savvy with your sending and methodical with your message.
How to implement Engagement-Based Email Marketing:
Instead of just sending out your standard newsletter or re emailing all the people on your prospect list, you will want to segment your data by the various actions that they’ve taken. You can segment your data and send different messages to different people based on how engaged they are.
- Do they regularly open your emails ?
- Do they click the links within the emails?
- Which emails do they open?
Once you have a good understanding, you will then be able to create more targeted messages to send.
Here are some examples of how you can use email marketing engagement to segment and target subscribers.
- Reward engaged subscribers
Create a segment of your subscribers who engage often, then present them a discount or time sensitive offer to use your services.
- Re-engage subscribers
Create a segment to target subscribers who rarely engage with your content and offer them an incentive to re-engage, like a free consultation. If your subscribers still aren’t engaging with your emails, consider targeting them with an ad instead.
- Sales ready subscribers
Create a segment of subscribers that have actively clicked on links through to your fees page within your site and send them meeting requests.
- Sector based subscribers
Create a segmented list of people who have shown interest in a specific sector and mail them news updates and helpful information.
If you do this well then you will be able to send emails to decision makers. An example is, sending an email to the decision maker of an e-commerce store, informing them how they can streamline their amazon sales into xero in just a few clicks. Far better than ‘here’s what we did over the Easter break’ to an unresponsive list which no one really reads.
#3 Sector Themed Landing Pages
What are Sector Themed Landing Pages?
Your website for your accountancy practice should not just be about you. It should contain solid information that speaks directly to specific sectors and educates them on various accounting related topics, whilst subtracting their contact details for a sales call as fast as possible.
Why use Sector Themed Landing Pages?
People’s browsing habits have changed phenomenally since 1998. Now, your potential clients don’t just go to your website to learn more about you.
Instead they end up on your website for a variety of reasons through a number of different ways.
However, a new lead these days will most likely find you after searching for a sector specific accountant.
Due to the influx of cloud based accounting specialists, potential clients now have a choice. Do they use a local accountant down the road OR a market specialist that understands their sector who can really help them, not only with crunching the numbers but also business development. Of course it’s the latter.
Say goodbye to Mr Miggins, the family accountant from 1 Fore Street and hello to My Sector Accounting Specialist in a town far away.
How to implement Sector Themed Landing Pages
You can capitalise on this by creating new web pages for each sector that you want to target, include information such as available grants, tax saving strategies, best online platforms to use and offer a clear incentive to download some further information.
So when a potential prospect ends up on your site, they are not presented with information about you. Instead, they are presented with a plethora of interesting reading, designed to educate them about their needs. Or with some good case studies from other people in the same sector, therefore enticing them to swap their details in order to learn the best xero widget, or latest available grant available to help them thrive.
To better understand this process, we will send you a FREE landing page mock-up for your accountancy practice. Simply send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org, asking for your FREE mock-up.
#4 Live Chat
What is live chat?
Live Chat clearly needs no introduction, so I will keep this section short. We will explain in more detail however why it is so important and how can you use it.
Why use live chat?
People switch accountants for four main reasons:
- Their old accountant retires
- They outgrow their current accountant and find another who can support their rapidly growing firm
- They are disappointed in their current accountants services and are looking for more hands on advice (most often from a sector specialist)
- They have a distinct problem which their current accountant does not solve
You want to target the people in number 4.
By inserting a live chat element to your site and posing the question ‘Ask an Expert’ instead of ‘Talk to Us’, you are instantly opening a direct line from the web browser to your sales team.
How to implement live chat
Simply install one of the many free live chat platforms that are out there into your site. For example check out Tawk.to It’s free and the same one that we use.
If you need help on this, we can help create you an account and plumb it into your site.
Make sure to consider the text used to prompt people to engage. Such as ask an expert or get free advice. Do this on your sector specific landing pages, with a sector specific prompt and watch the enquiries pour in.
#5 Direct Mail
What is Direct Mail?
Direct Mail is sending out sector based letters to the decision makers of appropriate firms, offering free advice and marketing collateral.
Why use Direct Mail?
Event though there has been a reduction in response rate for direct mail over the last ten years, it’s still very much in the game. In its response rate report, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) analyzed data and found that direct mail achieves a 4.4% response rate, compared to 0.12% for email.
Overall, the DMA found that direct mail response rates are actually anywhere from 10 to 30 times higher than that of digital. It notes that consumers, overwhelmed by inboxes cluttered with unsolicited marketing emails, are more receptive to direct mail, which arrives on a much less-cluttered channel.
How to use Direct Mail
Source data of decision makers in a specific sector. Ideally shortlist the database based on criteria that matches your soft spot. T/O of business, / employee count etc…
Prepare a mail out considering these key elements
- Cover letter
- Explaining how you can help their business grow
- Include a testimonial from an existing client
- Write 5 clear benefits of what you can offer
- Create a reason to reach out such as a free offer / tax advisory session.
- + For best results staple something intriguing at the top;
- A Tea bag if you want a face to face
- A coupon if you are offering a discount
- A fake receipt if you are offering the transition to digital accounting solutions
- + For best results staple something intriguing at the top;
- Include a piece of promotional material on your firm
Piece it all together, post and track.
So there you go, 5 simple, yet incredibly powerful marketing trends to consider for 2019.
But don’t forget, the most important thing to cover in the first instance is to have a decent lead generating website for your accountancy practice.
If you need any help or support then contact us here