In the accounting industry, direct marketing can be very cost effective
Accountants and CPAs are fortunate to be in an industry where they can acquire a database that contains accurate information about prospective clients. This makes direct mail marketing a very cost-effective approach to attracting new customers.
The first thing a CPA accountant must do is acquire a list of companies that meet the criteria that a CPA accountant establishes in order to qualify a client for their firm. There are many criteria a CPA accountant can select, but the most common are location, number of employees, sales volume, and industry. Some public companies even provide limited credit information. It is generally best to choose locations that are closest to your office. Most compiling companies use databases of zip codes to specify locations. Accordingly, the CPA accountant should begin by providing the zip code of his or her office working in an outward radius until the desired number of companies on the list is reached.
Once the criterion is established, the accountant is now ready to acquire a database
Info USA and Dunn & Brad Street are perhaps two of the largest companies that compile and sell database information for resale. It is recommended to purchase the list from one of these two companies. They are reliable and have been in business for a long time. Unfortunately, there are many companies that sell list information that is unreliable and has a high rate of error. Many other companies are basically just list brokers who have bought a list wholesale from one of these two companies and then resold it to you. It makes sense to always buy your list from a database compilation company that is proven to be reliable.
With the list acquired, the accountant now has a defined target market of potential companies that could be good clients for his company
Direct shipping to the defined destination is cost-effective. The CPA accountant does not incur any marketing costs outside of their target market. Radio, television and newspapers broadcast or publish to the general public. Advertising in these media would impose costs on the CPA accountant to communicate outside of their target market. Direct mail focuses communication costs on his or her defined target market.
There are three basic rules that the CPA accountant must follow in direct mail marketing
The first rule is: always use professional grade stationery and envelopes. Oftentimes accountants create their own business stationery “in house” giving it a “home made look”. The accountant’s direct mail is the first exposure of his or her firm’s work that a prospective client might experience. The CPA wants their marketing article to be of the highest quality. A professional-looking direct marketing letter from a CPA accountant to a profession or company will be opened, while a low-looking letter is often simply discarded.
The second rule is: never use bulk mail or shipping labels. When unsolicited emails come in, the business owner will review them and make a decision.
Does this look like something he or she should open? The decision is then based on visible attributes of the CPA’s direct marketing envelope labeling. If the envelope was labeled with a pre-printed shipping label along with a collective postage stamp, the letter will most likely never be opened and will be discarded. However, if the accountant marks the envelope directly with postage paid or regular first class cancellation, the envelope appears important and influences the decision to open the letter.
After the business owner has decided to open the accountant’s letter, he or she will always scan the item to quickly see if it is of interest. The third rule is to always keep the letter short and concise. The potential customer will quickly determine if it is interesting and short enough to read without taking up too much time. A common mistake made by CPA accountants is trying to write long letters to “sell” themselves. This is a very costly mistake. The goal of writing is to elicit a positive response. Once a prospective client responds affirmatively, he or she is given the opportunity to bring these things up in subsequent conversations and meetings that will entice him or her to seek the services of the CPA accountant.
In addition to the three basic rules, the CPA accountant is always recommended to include a business card with the direct mail
This allows the prospective client to locate the CPA accountant’s contact information and retain it for future reference. It is also recommended that the CPA accountant refrain from using postcards in direct marketing for the accounting industry. They have a commodity appearance that reduces the perception of the quality of the CPA accountant’s company. Finally, you should always use industry-specific direct mail whenever possible.
In summary, direct marketing can be very cost-effective for CPA accountants. Using target markets avoids spending advertising money outside of the target audience. It’s important to always follow the three basic rules of direct mail marketing for CPAs and accountants. The costs of violating these rules can be enormous. Marketing for accountants doesn’t have to be expensive, but when done right, it can be very cost-effective.