Content marketing is one of the buzzwords for 2013.  This industry trend, in the form of email,  is being adopted by more accountants and accountantCPA firms according to the newly released CPA Firm Email Marketing Benchmark Report.  For businesses in this sector, emailing a newsletter regularly is proving to be an effective form of content marketing.

The study was conducted by the BizActions division of ThomsonReuters and PDI Global and focuses on various forms of newsletters emailed by accountants. The widely-cited Silverpop study suggests that average email open rates hover at around 19.9%. Accountants enjoy a slightly higher email open rate of about 23.3%.  However, there was some variation in open rates by type of email:

  • Client newsletters 28.5%
  • Prospect newsletters 13.77%
  • Referral newsletters 18.66%
  • Email Radars (non-newsletter format) 32.04%

The study also tracked seasonality and open rates. Most clients opened newsletter emails at a higher rate during the first quarter, perhaps because they are looking for tips and new information related to tax preparation.

The highest click-through rates (CTRs) came from clients (6.38%), referrals (3.83%), and then prospects (2.67%). To maximize CTRs, accounting firms are tweaking the dates and times they release email newsletters. For most, Wednesdays and Thursdays are popular. In order to reach the target audience, emails are usually sent out no later than 10:00 a.m. Accountants also have to consider the right frequency. Emailing too often to B2B clients can generate hostility but emailing infrequently means that engagement with the client could fade. Most accountants agree that a bi-weekly schedule (every other week) is the appropriate frequency interval.

If you’re working with accounting firms, have you suggested using email newsletters to help them reach more clients?