Commercial Production Editor AccountingWEB.co.uk
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Marketing tips for the mobile generation

Clients read emails, newsletters and blogs from smartphones more than ever before. So what does this mean for accountants who want to make the most of their client communications and digital marketing strategies?
1st Oct 2019
Commercial Production Editor AccountingWEB.co.uk
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Tips on getting your message through to mobile clients
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Do you check your email only twice a day or do you read and reply to emails after leaving the office for the day or even during holidays? Do you aim for the inbox zero nirvana or do you follow the more relaxed approach of letting the emails pile up?

Whatever your personal preferences, all practitioners can agree on one thing when it comes to email: you’re going to send and receive a lot of them every day. Even when working with local clients, it is no longer necessary to meet face-to-face when all that is required is a brief exchange of information - it can all be done via email. 

But in the age of GDPR, there are more secure ways to exchange information such as online portals. Instead of using email as the main data pipeline, practitioners are starting to use email as part of their online communication strategy to build their brand and attract prospects. 

As marketing has become more digital, email campaigns and newsletters are one of the most effective tools for many accountants, as we have seen among our Accounting Excellence Award entries in recent years.

Even practitioners who admit seeing little point in having more than a bare minimum content on their website have seen the importance of this type of regular communication with their clients. 

AccountingWEB member whatdoyoumeanwashe pointed this out in an Any Answers thread, making a case for client newsletters: “My clients do (to my surprise) read the monthly and budget newsletters that come with the website,” they said.

Optimising text for mobile

Besides email marketing, social media, websites, blogs, firm apps and newsletters/emails are consistently amongst the strategies followed by Accounting Excellence firms. All these types of online content are getting more and more mobile traffic in recent years.

Don’t ignore the mobile factor when writing content that your clients will read, as they won’t read it on their phones in the same way they would on their desktop computer.  

Accountants often need to explain difficult concepts to clients. But smaller screen sizes affect attention span and comprehension. To cope with this connundrum, Anna Faherty, accountincpd.net author and marketing and communications expert Anna Faherty recently shared a series of recommendations for accountants who want to tailor their emails and blogs for mobile access:

  1. Use informative headings: Be specific and use concise and informative subject lines (on emails and newsletters) or headlines (on your blogs) so that more clients click on them. 

  2. Start with the main ideas: Depending on the length of the email or content that you want to share, your clients’ phone screen won’t display the whole message in one go, so it is important to write the main ideas at the beginning.

  3. Use subheadings: If the content is on the longer side, writing subheadings is a good idea if you want to help your clients’ scan it to find the information they need.

  4. Write short sentences and short paragraphs: If sentences are too long they will take up a few lines on the screen, which will make them more difficult to read. Similarly, if there aren’t many paragraphs, it will be more complex for the readers.

  5. Use simple concepts: Research has shown that understanding text is more difficult when you read it on your phone, so try to simplify complex concepts as much as possible.

Finally, Faherty recommends considering calling your clients if you need to discuss complex topics: “If you want to contact someone about a complex issue, or need a quick response, why not skip the email notification and go straight for the incoming call? It will help to declutter the recipient’s inbox and will probably be much more effective.”

Anna Faherty is the author of the accountincpd.net courses Communicating for Professional Success and Communicating Complex Ideas.

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