It’s impossible to please everyone in accountant marketing; so don’t even try it. That said, there are certain tactics, approaches or methods which are certain to rub your audience up the wrong way. These should be avoided at all costs, at all times.
Below, our marketing team here at AccountantLift has listed 7 of the most common marketing mistakes they have personally encountered when dealing with accountants. Needless to say, if you are guilty of any of them, it might be time for a rethink!
#1 Non-Responsiveness / Silence
Have you ever filled out an online form on another company’s website, only to watch your enquiry sink into oblivion? The silence can feel offensive and even quite violating, since you submitted your request in good faith that you would at least get a reply.
It can be tempting to ignore an enquiry to your accounting firm if it doesn’t seem to fit your conditions for a “qualified lead.” However, the subsequent harm this can cause to your accounting brand is not insignificant. Not only have you potentially lost new business; you have also missed out on creating a potential new referral source. In the worst cases,
#2 Getting Names Wrong
One of the most horrifying moments to behold as a marketer is when you receive an email like this:
“Hi [Insert Name]…”
Or, perhaps the name is completely wrong; or possibly your last name!
This is a huge blunder and can cause huge damage to your brand reputation. This is especially the case for accountants and financial planners, whose business is to pay attention to details.
Our recommendation is that you double, triple and quadruple check your email lists and newsletter templates before sending out any emails. If you are still concerned about possible errors in the send-out, consider sending your campaign to a small segment of your list beforehand.
#3 Not Unsubscribing
Is anything more annoying than getting an unwanted email from a company, and the message does not offer a clear way to unsubscribe? This is spam of the highest order!
Not only is this hugely irritating to your recipients who have decided they’ve had enough. It is also dangerous territory for your accounting firm, legally-speaking. Under rules such as GDPR, for instance, you are required to give email subscribers a clear, easy way to unsubscribe from email communications.
On a similar topic, be careful with “pre-selected” tick boxes on your contact forms. Most agree that you are now required to keep these boxes un-ticked since pre-selection does not count as active consent to receive your emails.
Think about it; how many forms have you filled in, and you haven’t even seen the newsletter tick box!
#4 Broken / Faulty Website Links
Suppose you send out a newsletter to your client email list. On the newsletter template, you include four links to your latest articles on your accounting website. The intention is that the reader can click on the headline which most interests them, and then consume the main content on your blog.
This is a great way to do email marketing. However, imagine for a minute how it would look if the links didn’t work. Perhaps they send the user to a non-existent page (throwing up a 404 error); or worse, to a completely different website!
Once again, the impression this leaves is not good. Yet these mistakes can be prevented through repeated testing of your newsletters. Broken links can also be identified on your website by running frequent “SEO audits” of your pages; something we offer our clients here at AccountantLift.
#5 Mobile Non-Responsiveness
Consumers used to be more forgiving of financial firms and accounting practices who had a website which was not mobile-friendly. Sure, it was annoying to “finger squeeze” on the accountant’s pages in order to read their content; yet some could live with it.
No longer. Modern internet users have a much lower tolerance threshold and an abundance of options and information at their disposal. If your content, website or newsletter is difficult to read on their smartphone or tablet, then they can simply go elsewhere.
If you are lagging behind here, then it might be time for a new website design for your accounting practice. Or, perhaps it requires a rethink of your email marketing and content strategy. In either case, do get in touch; we can assist.
#6 Misleading Ads / Subject Lines
It is incredibly irritating to see an advert on the internet which offers something you want, only to find that the landing page does not match what you were presented. The same frustration occurs when we respond to similar offers in email marketing.
Be very careful to be truthful and consistent with your offer and value proposition, from the very beginning. Sometimes mistakes can be made here without bad intentions, and sometimes without even realising it. A sensible approach to take here is to put yourself in the audience’s shoes and imagine what they might be thinking or feeling through the process of seeing your offer and following the steps.
One of the most annoying things about browsing the internet is the plethora of unwanted pop-ups which get thrown in your face, without you expecting or asking. “Go away! I just want to read this piece here. It’s got what I want; this thing doesn’t!”
Don’t get us wrong. Pop-ups can be effective when used delicately and strategically. What you don’t want to be doing is shoving an annoying pop-up in the user’s face before they’ve even had a chance to glimpse the article or content they wanted to look at.
Financial services can be especially prone to this. Many websites in this sector will immediately display a “disclaimer” or “warning” to the user as soon as they arrive on the website, in an effort to satisfy compliance requirements. Whilst we cannot comment on whether these are really necessary; if there is another way to me these requirements without resorting to these annoying pop-ups, consider taking it. otherwise, you risk losing a lot of important traffic and potential new business.