Email marketing is an immensely powerful tool for engaging prospects with your brand, and generating new business opportunities.
Using an ESP (email service provider) like MailChimp is the best way to go, allowing you to deliver messages up to thousands of contacts all at once. However, this power comes with considerable responsibility – and risk.
Fortunately, our marketing for accountants has never resulted in our clients or us getting banned by an ESP like MailChimp. Do a quick search online, however, and you’ll find some horror stories out there. Trust us, this isn’t something you want happening to you.
So how do you get banned by an ESP? For MailChimp, all it takes is for 1 out of every 1,000 contacts to put your message in the junk folder – thus reporting you as “spam”. That’s right. Just 0.1%.
Does this make email marketing for accountants simply too risky? Not at all. That is, provided you are not making the mistakes below when using MailChimp:
#1 You Don’t Prioritise Email
If you are sending out just 3 emails every year, then your recipients will feel a lack of consistency in your messaging. They also forget that they signed up to your emails, and start asking: “Who is this and why are they bothering me? Spam.”
By creating a rhythm to your email frequency, marketing for accountants can make you a trusted and familiar name amongst your subscribers.
#2 You Don’t Give Readers a Good Reason to Subscribe
If your website simply has a contact form which collects email addresses, then it’s time to make an urgent change.
What you really need is to provide some value which compels your visitors to exchange their contact information in order to attain it. For instance, provide a free Ebook download on “How to create a comprehensive spending plan.” It doesn’t have to take a long time to put something like this together, and you’ll be giving your prospects a good reason to opt into your brand messaging.
#3 You Don’t Use a Double Opt-In
If you are unfamiliar with double opt-in, this requires new subscribers to open an email which asks them to confirm that they really want to sign up to your list.
It might sound like an unnecessary extra step in the sign-up process, but it isn’t. It actually allows you to confirm that the person is really putting their email into your list, and not a fake one. Equally important, it helps to sift out the people who just want your free Ebook, and who might put you in their junk folder should you email them again.
#4 You Don’t Re-Opt in Your List (When You MailChimp Import Following a Re-Brand, or Domain Change)
Marketing for accountants holds a simple truth: if people don’t recognise you, they are more likely to mark you as spam (see #1 above). If you go through domain name change or a re-brand, it’s vital that when you import a “warm list” onto MailChimp.
What does this mean? Prior to your re-brand, your subscribers may very well have opted into your brand (as it stood at the time). However, if you then email this list with a new name, brand message and corporate identity, of course your recipients aren’t going to recognise you and will likely report abuse.
It may sound strange, but you almost need to “dare” your contacts to click “unsubscribe” when you’re approaching the transition. A great way to do marketing for accountants here is to send a series of emails informing your recipients about your new domain / brand, and outlining some great reasons as to why they should stay subscribed.
If they aren’t, then explicitly ask them to get off your list! Better to lose a subscriber than your entire account due to an excess of abuse complaints.