What you don’t know CAN hurt you — Accountants being ripped off by low-quality marketers
The other day I received an email newsletter from an accounting firm. You know the type. It was one of those low-value ‘cookie cutter’ email newsletter subscriptions where lots of accounting firms subscribe to the same content, and get the same articles, at the same time and send them out to their clients and wider email list.
Usually, these emails go into my Read Later folder but I thought I’d take a quick look at this one, as it was from a firm I knew.
The email opened “Welcome to this month’s [name of newsletter], packed full of…” and then my jaw dropped.
It dropped because when I clicked on one of the “Read On” buttons that linked to the full article on the web, the website that loaded was NOT the accounting firm’s website! It was the email newsletter provider’s website.
Why is that such a jaw-dropper?
The purpose of your email newsletter is to drive traffic to YOUR practice’s website. Not to some other business’ site.
I was flabbergasted that this accounting firm would be naïve enough to pay money for an email newsletter service that sends the click-through traffic to a website other than their own.
It makes zero sense.
I’m also amazed that a provider would bother to offer—let alone get away selling—such a low-quality email newsletter service.
Low-quality marketing providers like this prey on accountants who are not savvy to modern marketing basics like this.
So I dropped the Principal of this accounting firm a line…
“Hey. Just checking… do you realise that the email newsletter you send out does not link to articles on your own website? It’s sending traffic away from your site.”
He replied with a long-winded answer that can be summarised as, “Oh. No, I didn’t realise that”.
I explained to him that the objective of an email newsletter is to drive traffic to the firm’s own website, not to the email newsletter provider’s site.
He replied with a, “Thanks for the heads up.”
But what if I hadn’t given him the heads-up? He would have simply continued to waste that marketing spend.
And do you know what the biggest cost is here? Sure, $500 a month for this low-value service is a waste of money. I can think of plenty of other ways to spend $6,000 a year. But the biggest cost here—to this firm and to other firms who also have not invested in learning about modern marketing and becoming savvy to digital marketing fundamentals—is the opportunity cost of having an ineffective email newsletter that is not driving traffic to their website.
And the bottom line here is the firm ends up with low- or no-ROI marketing spend that is not generating leads.
So what should you do—other than unsubscribing from it—if your accounting or advisory firm currently uses an email newsletter service that links to content that is not on your own website?
Step 1: Get savvy. Learn about modern marketing. To accelerate that process, sign up for our ImpleMENTOR platform and support service and you’ll tap into the most up-to-date and pragmatic marketing education available for business accountants (and their small business clients). Not only will you learn how to market your business, ImpleMENTOR gives you metrics to track your digital marketing effectiveness across website traffic, keyword ranking, SEO, social media and more.
Members have often described ImpleMENTOR as their “marketing insurance policy” because it helps them to avoid wasting any more money on marketing that does not work.
Step 2: Sign up to an email newsletter service that sends the click-through traffic to your website. And make sure the email newsletter service allows you to select which articles you send out each month. You don’t want to be part of a clone army sending out the same content as everyone else at the same time.
Step 3: Make sure that your article topics—whether on your website or in your email newsletter—are not dry, technical articles about tax and compliance. Your clients expect you to do what needs to get done on that front for them. They don’t want to read about it. So don’t try to educate your clients on tax and compliance.
Your articles should focus more on business management, management accounting topics such as managing cash flow, small business, entrepreneurship, leadership, technology, managing change, efficiency, productivity, personal effectiveness and other topics that your business and investor clients will be attracted to, because they help them to learn, grow and improve.
And if you have some niches that you focus on, create articles that speak specifically to your target niches.
In relation to marketing an accounting firm, it’s time for accountants to start getting savvy, and stop getting burned.