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Joel Oliver offers eight tips on how to win clients using mobile technology.

It’s the age of connections, and an app is the powerful connector that links accountants and clients on their smartphones or tablets in the here and now. Even on a tiny budget it is possible to win new clients using mobile technology effectively.

Website promotion with clear ‘call to action’: One of the main reasons why most landing pages are not converting leads into customers is a weak call to action. A call to action message should compel visitors to the site to take the right action, for example to download the firm’s app. But according to recent research, 70% of small business B2B sites do not even have a call to action.

Accountancy firms that offer their own app free to clients and prospects on the home page of their website attract large numbers of downloads, and once it’s downloaded it keeps on differentiating that accountant.

Use automated technology to work for you: Generating new clients can be time consuming, so why not let automated technology work for you? A piece of invisible code embedded into the accountant’s website detects when there is a potential client browsing and automatically asks them the question: “We see you are looking at our website, would you like to download our free app?”

In the first week of using this automated tool one small firm with limited budget and a sub £100K turnover used it to brilliant effect. A prospect visited their website, downloaded the free app and they arranged a meeting via the app.

Email signatures: Each time you send an email to a client, prospect or business colleague, it is very straightforward to add an email signature that encourages the download of the firm’s app. This can be taken a stage further by including a QR code that allows tablets and smartphones to simply scan and automatically download the app.

Invite your contacts to download the app: One accountant emailed his contact list with an invitation to download the firm’s app. Although walk-ins are now a thing of the past, a prospect decided to turn up at the office. The new client said he got the email and liked what he saw.

Presentations and events: Instead of telling accountants to turn off their phones during a presentation, one accountant tells them to turn them on and download his app. This creates a memorable impression and the audience has all the tools, including a mileage tracker, receipt management, etc. at their fingertips long after the presentation is over. In an even smarter approach, event material can be preloaded to the app and delegates can refer to it within the app on their smart phones.

Push notifications: As one key influencer to the profession said: “Push notifications are a game-changer.” Because they go directly to the recipient within the app there is a 0% bounce rate and an 80% higher open rate than email shots.

They take seconds to send and can be segmented to clients, prospects, sectors or everyone on your contact list.

Telemarketing: Latest statistics suggest that it now takes an average of 2.5 days to generate one appointment. Telemarketing is not as effective as it once was if the objective is to set up a meeting with a prospect. But some firms are finding it easier to engage if they invite the prospect to download their free business app with mileage tracker and receipt management tool.

Think outside the box: It’s always great to hear accountant’s own stories about what works and how they have added to the number of app downloads. Here are a few that caught our eye:

Run a competition and give away a free iPhone to promote the new app.

Put together a video on what the app does and let clients and prospects see it.

Hang external banners on the outside of the office building to announce the app.

Railway station posters – if people are standing on a platform they have time to spare and may download the app.

The use of mobile technology in this way links clients to tax authorities, third-party software suppliers and allows the accountant to keep control. Accountants give away something their clients want and they like using. Unlike other soft offers, it has longevity and what benefits clients benefits the accountant.

Joel Oliver is CEO of MyFirmsApp

This article is taken from “Accounting Practice” the ICPA quarterly magazine. Dedicated to supporting and promoting the needs of the general practitioner. You can find us at www.icpa.org.uk or email [email protected] or by phone on 0800-074-2896.