10 Marketing Automation Tips for Accountants
Taking care of marketing is a critical part of your accounting business. Unfortunately, it's also a time-consuming process, especially if you want to do it right.
You can't afford to spend your day focused on marketing when you need to meet with clients, crunch numbers, and keep up with the latest marketing information in your field.
Thankfully, marketing automation makes that process smoother and easier than ever, freeing up your schedule and giving you the time you need to give your clients' finances the personal touch they want. These ten marketing automation tips for accountants will help free up some much-needed time in your day while still ensuring all of your marketing needs are handled.
Marketing Automation Tips for Accountants
1. Automate Your Contacts
Over the course of a year, there are many opportunities to connect with your existing clients. Keeping up with all of them, however, can create a serious drain on your time and energy — not to mention the serious possibility that at some point, you'll forget a critical client or event.
Automating those client contacts can make your life substantially easier. This includes:
- Sending out birthday messages to your clients.
- Acknowledging anniversaries and other important events.
- Sending out holiday greetings.
- Reminding clients of upcoming appointments.
- Sending out newsletters that contain valuable information for clients, from financial planning information to information about what information they need to bring in when it's time to take care of their taxes.
- Letting your clients know that it's time to start making appointments to look over their options for a coming fiscal year or to schedule tax preparation.
2. Create Great Content
Sending out newsletters on a regular basis is great. It allows you to make contact with your clients, share the latest events in the financial industry, and help them keep up with how their investments are performing, how changes in the market could impact their investments, and other critical information.
If you're pushing out dry, boring content, however, chances are, your clients aren't even reading it! From newsletters that actually catch your clients' attention to blog posts and other key content that they'll refer to again and again, make sure you're creating excellent content. Then, use marketing automation to make sure that all of your information is going out on time.
Quality content will also help establish your expertise in your field. This will help new clients trust you and develop old clients' trust further, making it a step that you can't skip in your marketing plan.
3. Have a Solid Marketing Plan
You encourage your clients to have a solid financial plan. You need an equally solid plan for your marketing efforts. Be sure that you:
- Know where you're starting: your current clients, the current size of your business, etc.
- Understand what your competitors are doing that you aren't.
- Have a decent idea of what you'd like to accomplish over the coming year.
- Design a way to measure those objectives so that you can see whether or not your marketing efforts are meeting your goals.
4. Define Buyer Personas
Any business needs an understanding of who they're marketing to before they develop a marketing plan. Who is your target audience? You can have more than one type of client that you're marketing to, which is why creating buyer personas is so critical. A solid buyer persona includes:
- The approximate age range you're seeking to reach
- The financial goals of that individual
- The income range of the individual or the assets that they have to work with
Buyer personas allow you to define the personal factor of your marketing efforts, shaping the individuals who are or will become your clients.
You may have several different buyer personas that you're attempting to reach. Defining them clearly will allow you to specifically target each group more effectively.
5. Segment Your Marketing
If you're sending out the same email newsletter to every client on your list, chances are, you're not taking full advantage of your opportunities.
A client you know is highly conservative will have different financial management needs than a client who is willing to take substantial risks in order to reach their goals.
A client who is nearing retirement will have different needs than a client who has only recently started building their financial profile.
When you segment your marketing according to the individual needs of your clients, you'll find you're better able to reach each one.
6. Use Marketing Automation to Respond Faster
Too often, financial professionals lose out on the opportunity to connect with a new lead or reconnect with an existing client because it takes too long to respond to their needs.
Marketing automation allows you to respond more quickly to customer actions, including opened emails, filled-out forms, and other vital customer actions.
The goal of marketing automation is to keep you in contact with your clients and let them know you'll respond quickly when they contact you.
7. Look for List Growth Opportunities
Your contact lists are among your most vital marketing tools. They're your connection to your current customers and a way to meet new customers. In order to make the most of those lists, however, you have to keep growing them. This might include:
- Taking advantage of networking opportunities
- Collecting contact information on your website through email sign-up opportunities
- Offering gated content that will encourage customers to give you their contact data
8. Track Lead Warmth
Do you know the difference between a quality lead and one that has no real interest in your services?
A customer who wants to access gated content once might be willing to give you a throwaway email address. A customer who is genuinely interested in your services, however, will likely make several contacts with you before they reach out for your advice. They might:
- Visit your website several times
- Read your emails when you send them
- Fill out multiple forms on your website
The more a customer connects with you, the more interest they have in your brand.
Use your tools to collect this data, then connect more personally with warm leads you know are genuinely interested in your services.
9. Create a Calendar
When a new year arrives, you advise your clients to create a financial calendar that lays out their plans for the year. You need a marketing calendar that accomplishes the same purpose for your accounting business. This includes:
- Noting when you will reach out to clients
- Creating a schedule for newsletters
- Outlining key topic ideas and an editorial schedule for the coming year
10. Execute Your Plans
Marketing automation is great. It allows you the freedom to take care of many of your marketing tasks when it's convenient for you and ensures they'll be taken care of even when you're busy.
It can't, however, exist on its own.
Pay attention to your marketing automation tasks. Make sure you have a good idea of what you're going to do, when you're going to do it, and what you need to provide to the process in order to keep your automated tasks moving smoothly. The best-laid plans are nothing without your execution behind them.
Marketing automation can smooth out your efforts, giving you back some freedom and increasing the time you have to spend on more important tasks.
By utilizing these ten key tips, you'll be able to make the most of this year's marketing plan and experience the freedom that comes from marketing automation.