It all begins with understanding who they are
While email marketing offers the opportunity for accounting and bookkeeping firms to have a direct link to clients, it’s great content that will set your firm apart from others in the inbox and keep it out of the spam folder. While everyone knows they need great content, delivering it consistently can be a big hurdle – which is why you need to make sure you’re writing for your ideal client.
Why it’s important to know who your ideal clients are
Just as you tailor your conversation depending on whether you’re chatting to your 5-year-old niece or 80-year-old grandmother, it’s crucial to understand your audience, so you can provide content that resonates with them. And once you know who they are, it makes communicating with them much easier. The three main reasons for understanding your ideal clients are that you can be:
- Objective – it’s easy to assume that you are your target audience and write about what you would like to read. By understanding your ideal clients, you’ll provide them with more of the content they love.
- Strategic – we all know that assumptions don’t always add up. Once you truly understand your clients, you’ll be more strategic about how you communicate with them and what information you can assist them with.
- Focussed – everything is easier once you know what makes your clients tick. Your communications will have a focus and purpose, and your whole firm will better understand your clients.
How to define your ideal clients
While client demographics like age and gender can create part of a picture, defining your clients should go much deeper than this. You need to understand what motivates them, how they consume media and their business problems to help define a buyer persona. But how do you go about creating one? Basing it on an existing, highly-valued client is a great place to start. Think about a client you enjoy working with and who contributes positively to your firm’s goals. Now consider the client’s:
- Needs and goals – what drives them from a business perspective? Is it saving time? Money? Or do they value communication?
- Pain points – what might trigger them to go elsewhere? How can you provide solutions or answers to the challenges they face?
- Interests – this will help you understand them at a deeper level and can include things like hobbies, family life and what media they like to consume.
- General information – includes things like their role, what industry they’re in, the size of the business they work in and all relevant demographic information.
- Buying process – what is their typical process for engaging with a product or service? This will help you present the right content to them in the right way at the right time.
Once you’ve nailed down this information, it’s helpful to create profiles of your different personas (you’ll usually need to create more than one to define your firm’s target clients). This can be as simple as one-page documents that outline and bring life to each persona to give you a concise overview of your ideal clients.
Now that you’ve got a better idea of who you’re writing for, you can break this down further by segmenting your email database. Segmentation is the process of dividing subscribers with similar characteristics into subgroups. This ensures you’re delivering valuable and relevant information to your newsletter subscribers. This is done by adding tags or labels to the contacts in your database so you can group them for appropriate content. Here are some examples of how to segment your subscribers:
- Business type – different businesses will have different challenges and needs that should be reflected in your content. For example, a tradesperson will have different needs to a retail chain or an agricultural business. You could therefore segment your subscribers into tradies, owner-operators and agricultural.
- How you work with them – for example, do you only work with them on tax compliance or across their whole business? These two segments will require different information.
- Position they hold – are you communicating with a business owner or an employee?
- Location – one of the most obvious ways to segment is through geography. This can be useful for event invites.
- Content-specific – if you’ve collected data about what they’ve clicked on or downloaded in the past, you can segment them by their interest in specific services you offer.
- Survey-based – ask your database what information they’re interested in receiving so you can use this for segmentation.
Once you’re in the know, the content will flow
A clear understanding of who you’re communicating with is undoubtedly the single most significant factor in creating an email marketing strategy that gets results. You will be providing current and prospective clients with relevant content that adds value to their lives, giving them more reason to establish a long-term relationship of trust and loyalty with your firm.
Understand your clients but struggling to put pen to paper? With a vast content library, templates, scheduling tools and analytics, BOMA has everything you need to make a successful email marketing strategy simple. Find out how.