Every time you go to a networking event or get introduced to a new CPA by a client or referral partner, you have an opportunity to grow your email list. And if you haven’t heard, there’s money in your list. Big money. While you can’t collect a stack of cards at an event and throw all of those email addresses into your CRM without risking an expensive slap on the hand; you most definitely can add them to your list after acquiring permission from the account holder to do so. And that’s not so hard to get, right?
Today we’re going to share some tips that will help you stay softly in front of your prospects without a lot of pressure and eventually, turn some into paying clients. However, before we share how to turn email subscribers into paying clients, we have to make sure you have an account with an email service provider. If you’ve been sending your email communiques without one to date, possibly sending all of your emails straight from Outlook or Gmail, it’s time to think different. Email service providers give you the ability to write and design professional-looking email campaigns using templates proven to convert. They also allow you to automate your email campaigns so you can set them up once and then let them run on auto-pilot from that point forward. Finally, they allow you to track performance so you can see who opens your emails and what they click on once they read it. This information alone is a goldmine when you use it correctly, as it can be difficult when using other marketing tactics to track which outreach efforts really work.
If you don’t already have an email service provider, here are three good options to consider:
Mail Chimp is good for beginners and for those with fewer than 500 subscribers. Email marketing is not only for those that have lists with thousands and thousands of subscribers. Even if you have fewer than 100, it’s still a great tool to use to build your business. With a small list, personalization is easy. Mail Chimp offers an option that allows you to send beautiful, trackable emails absolutely free and many of their fans say their tutorials make it fairly easy to use; however, we’d be remiss if we didn’t share that we think this is the least-friendly of the three options we’re sharing with you.
Constant Contact is great if you have a larger list (500 or more subscribers) or if you plan on growing your list quickly. You can always get a free 60-day trial and if you like it and want a paid account after that, you can usually get a steep discount from one of their independent partners. Constant Contact is always improving upon their already awesome product and is recognized globally as a leader in the email marketing industry.
Infusionsoft is another option you may want to consider. It’s what we use here at Certified Tax Coach. It offers all of the functionality you’ll find with Mail Chimp or Constant Contact and a lot, a lot, more. The pricing is quite a bit higher than the alternatives; however, it’s a very robust CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool that includes e-commerce functionality, lead scoring, and so much more. If you’ve got a list of at least 1,000 people, it may be worth looking into. Just keep in mind that you’re likely going to want to hire a consultant to set up and run your campaigns for you. There’s a steep learning curve with Infusionsoft and your time is probably better spent doing other things than learning this CRM.
Keep in mind, there are a ton of other CRM options out there, so be sure and do your research before making a decision about which one you’ll use.
Alright, let’s jump into why email marketing is so important and talk about how to turn your email subscribers into paying clients.
When a person visits your website for the first time, they may or may not be ready to actually buy. If they are, great! But if not, you need a way to capture their info so you can nurture a relationship with them until they are ready to buy. This is what an opt-in offer is for.
A benefits-driven opt-in offer will make people want to give you their info in exchange for the value you provide in your offer. Opt-in offers come in all shapes and sizes but some of the most popular choices are product discounts, free gifts, or downloadable resources related to what you sell.
Once you get people signing up for your list to get your opt-in offer, it’s time to strategize ways that you can keep your readers engaged after they get the free opt-in—after all, that’s the goal we’re going for. To keep your list alive and turn more subscribers into paying clients, consider the following:
Share Valuable Content
- CPA’s are always eager to learn more about staffing, operations, marketing and other tips, techniques and strategies that can help them be more successful. Got a tip on how they can find their next great hire? Share it. Have you discovered a new app that’s saving you time, money or your sanity? That’s the kind of stuff everyone needs. Share it.
Don’t send too little. And don’t send too much
- Commit to an email schedule. This ensures consistency and consistency always strengthens conversions. If your audience doesn’t hear from you consistently, they will be less engaged and eventually less responsive to any calls-to-action that you share.
- The general rule of thumb is to send 2-3 emails per month to start. Then adjust as needed based on your open and click through rates.
Write strong subject lines
- Your readers will decide whether they want to open your emails based on the subject line. If your emails aren’t opened, you won’t be able to convert anyone.
- Shorter subject lines have been shown to increase open rates.
- Whenever possible, use a number in your subject line (this will make it stand out more in your subscribers’ inboxes.)
Test your send day and time
- CPA’s tend to work odd hours. You may find that sending your messages on Saturdays at 11am drastically increases your open and click through rate. The same holds true for holidays—many CPA’s use that time to catch up on their seemingly never-ending to-do list.
- Avoid sending emails right before or immediately after tax deadlines. The 15th of March, April, June, September and October is always a really busy time for CPA’s. Don’t clog up their email box during this critical time if you want to stay on their good side.
Use an email template that works flawlessly on mobile
- About 47% of all email opens occur on a mobile phone.
- If your email is not easy to read on mobile, your subscribers simply won’t read it or click your links.
- The larger fonts are easier to read on mobile.
Put yourself in the reader’s shoes
- Set clear expectations and then make sure your messaging is always consistent with those expectations
- Keep e-mails short. CPA’s are busy. Don’t make them read through huge blocks of text to get to the point! They’re much more likely to develop a relationship with you when they know you respect their time.
Don’t send the same content to everyone.
- As a financial advisor, we suggest you have segmented lists specifically for CPA’s. You’ll want one list for CPA’s you’ve already got a strong relationship with and another for those that you’re still courting. You’ll may also want to segment your list based on how you know the CPA’s, where you met them and more.
- When you segment your list you can easily and quickly clarify who your most ideal prospects are based on how they respond.
Email marketing is still the most cost-effective ways to market your business. It can take a significant time investment to get this aspect of your marketing on auto-pilot, but once you do, it will be well worth the time and money you invest in it.
If you missed last week’s post, 10 Ways To Connect With CPA’s On Social Media, be sure and check it out now.
Next week we’re jumping into the video marketing world. Remember to come back and read more then!