What’s the difference between a great experience with an accounting firm and a slightly dissatisfying one? The answer, according to most CPA clients, has little to do with the actual accounting work and everything to do with communication. Clients like to feel like they’re getting personal attention from their accountant, even though many accountants simply don’t have the time or inclination to offer it. Poor communication is a key factor in the client retention problems that so many CPA firms face—but are there ways to combat it?

Sure there are. Start with email marketing, which is an all-around great tool for ensuring that you keep in touch with your clients—and that they, in turn, feel like they are receiving your attention. Simply producing a monthly newsletter and emailing it to the clients on your email list can go a long way toward keeping them in the fold—and perhaps even toward prompting them to refer your firm to their friends and families.

Tips for Effective Email Marketing

Of course, it’s not actually as simple as I make it out to be; developing that newsletter marketing program is going to take some doing. Let me get you started with a few quick tips and strategies:

  1. Consistency is everything. Sending out your “monthly” newsletter once every five or six months isn’t going to impress anyone. Advice: Write out all your articles a couple of weeks in advance, and have the newsletter ready to dispatch.
  2. Focus on the value you can add to your clients. Getting too technical with accounting lingo likely won’t win you a lot of fans, but offering tax-minimization tips, business planning strategies, etc.—things with a real-world, bottom-line value—can be enticing.
  3. Make sure you provide seasonal updates on what’s new at your company—including relevant products, services, or specials that you can try to gently upsell.
  4. Include a call to action in each email—not necessarily a hard sell, but simply an invitation to contact you with any ongoing accounting needs.
  5. Don’t delay! Building relationships through your email newsletter will take time, so start the process sooner rather than later.

Get started on your newsletter development today—and if you want to learn more about growing your accounting practice, I encourage you to check out the resources available at the ACES page!