After all, everyone has questions about what forms to submit, what deductions they can claim, and what hours the office will be open and available to help.
But what happens when all the forms, receipts, and paperwork have been filed, and your refund has already been spent? Is there a place for an accounting firm in the off season?
That’s the question Flanigan, Cotillo & Mainzer, LLP, a professional accounting services firm, encountered every year.
Until recently, the firm stayed in touch with clients via regular mail, updating them on important tax updates and other such information. But the mailings were costly for the firm, and they did not generate a significant enough amount of interest from their recipients.
In addition, since the information was on paper, it was not very easy for clients to send a quick email or to find more information on the firm’s website. Flanigan, Cotillo & Mainzer was spending time and money to create a mailing, only to send it out with no way to measure the results.
“As an accounting and business advisory firm, it’s important to keep our clients current on financial and tax news and regulations,” explains David Cotillo, a partner at the firm. “In the past, we always took time away from our business to prepare a mailing to update our clients. But we rarely received questions or feedback. We weren’t even sure if clients were opening it.”
Taking things online
The firm provides ConnectedView with content and images, as well as a recipient list, and within 24 hours, they get a draft email to review that includes a customized layout and color palette that matches the firm’s branding. The newsletter contains more information than Flanigan, Cotillo & Mainzer was ever able to include through regular mail, thanks to links that take readers to additional resources on the firm’s website.
In their two issues so far, the firm has used email to inform clients about changes to tax rates, explain the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, encourage clients to begin their tax preparations as early as possible, and more. Each newsletter is also used as an opportunity to reintroduce the partners — reminding clients and subscribers about the partners’ credentials, and assuring them that they are in good hands.
An immediate response
To say the email campaigns have been successful would be an understatement. The most visible change has been an increase in client communication with partners. In fact, partners start receiving emails from clients within minutes of issues landing in subscribers’ inboxes, no doubt due to the fact that partners’ email addresses are included in each issue. There’s also been a cost savings as a result of taking things online, as well as a “notable increase” in new clients.
In addition, the firm has noticed a significant jump in traffic to its website: The partners track who clicked on a link in the newsletter and how many times the link was clicked. It then uses ConnectedView’s website visitor analysis tool to see the connections between site traffic and the email newsletter.
“It’s exciting and gratifying to see such an immediate response when we send our emails,” David says. “We’re able to concentrate on our business, while ConnectedView takes care of everything else.”
Of course, equally important to all the previously mentioned results is the fact that Flanigan, Cotillo & Mainzer has become a welcome presence in clients’ email inboxes, a fact that will help the firm continue to be an important resource for clients who need to be informed all year long.
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