Missing the Chance to Tell Them


I was recently speaking to a potential client of mine who runs an accounting firm in Ireland. To meet demand for more legally oriented services which were beyond his legal training as an accountant, he recruited an in-house lawyer. His firm could now represent its clients in more sophisticated tax and employment investigations, without incurring the high fees of solicitors. He could help his clients with work permits for foreign workers and handle standard contract work.

When I asked how he was notifying his clients of the extra service he explained that he publishes news flashes on his website. He does not monitor the analytics of that site so does not know how many clients actually read the news flashes – if at all. A quick sample of some of his clients showed that were not aware of the new service and none knew the lawyer’s name.

His website was meant to be a resource for visitors, but to use an outdated internet phrase, the site was not sticky enough to entice viewers to return to it. Hence the newsflashes were of little value.

His firm does send out a quarterly newsletter with articles on pensions, life insurance and general tax advice, but from a newsletter service which sells the same newsletter to over 20 other accountancy firms. These emails are generic and are only customised to include the firm’s logo and details. If a client works with two firms of accountants he can receive the same newsletter from each firm. A quick view of the newsletter will show that the articles are ‘off the shelf’, and while their content may be important, there is nothing to tell the reader, “my accountant thinks that this is important for me to read.”

Generic newsletters have their uses, but if you are connecting with your customers and grabbing their attention, why not use that precious opportunity to deliver the messages that will improve your business?

The tremendous advantage of an emailed newsletter is that once your client has opened your email, you have his or her attention, you can tell them much more than in a regular advertisement. And, you can easily monitor who read the email. For an accountant’s newsletter, the sender can use the newsletter as a basis for starting a discussion with a client who, say, has not prepared for his pension, or is planning a major capital investment.

If you want to go on the email train, don’t miss it. If you catch it, go all the way, maximise the journey! As with any product, if a newsletter is personal and contains interesting and concise content, your clients will read it and appreciate it.

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