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November 04, 2009

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Dan

Great post. I've discovered the same thing with the CB&H website. We've found that putting our newsletter content in an easily accessible format on our website also helps build traffic.

Howard Wolosky

Great article and I have seen very little written on it. There needs to be more written on it expecialy giving examples of good sites.

Two suggestions: republish article with changes based on comments received and change to a more compelling title that gives article's main point rather than one that tries to invite people in (will show value of your community). Possible new title (or variation) for second version of article.
JUST 1% of CLIENTS MAKE
SECOND FIRM WEB SITE VISIT
Howard Wolosky

Michelle Golden

Howard - you always give excellent feedback! Thank you.

This is actually a little snip from a 6000 word chapter I just completed for an upcoming book on CPA marketing that the AICPA is publishing--it's a new edition to a book they put out about ten years ago.

The chapter is a pretty comprehensive "Guide to an Effective CPA Firm Website."

I don't yet know the book title or expected release date but will post when I do. I hope the chapter introduces several new ideas to firms in a way that inspires them to do things differently for their greater benefit.

Dan - newsletters and similar informative content are a good, solid step in the direction of usefulness. Especially when they are authored by your very own subject matter experts. It's good because it creates an archive of your intellectual capital that can be accessed (ie market FOR you) 24/7/365.

A natural next step is for them to blog because blog content is more frequent but much less formal, so it's quicker and easier to write and has more appeal to readers. To readers, blogs make authors even more accessible and help develop digital relationships that are more easily moved from digital-to-personal than a newsletter will.

John Shaver

Michelle, Would you ask that someone visiting your site provide a name and e-mail address to get access to sample project management documents?

For example, we have a blog that we use to publish customer-centric content but we currently ask for a name and e-mail address to download a project charter template, project manager selection template and other pm tools.

Jim Calloway

I disagree with one point. Many clients now prefer to receive documents from their professional representatives electronically. Many businesses have digital filing and this saves them the scanning. Some consumers don't want others in their home to have access to their lawyer's mail.

In those cases, sending an e-mail informing them of the new document with a link to a secure client document repository is much more secure than sending them an e-mail attachment. So a secure online client document repository can be a very client-centric practice.

Michelle Golden

Hi John, sorry for the delay in responding. Yikes! In most instances, I don't think it's wise to put content behind barriers like those you describe.

My first question is, what do you do with the info you collect? If you follow up with them by keeping them on a mailing list, are you gathering other qualifying info or do you have a way to know if everyone who submitted their info is actually a decent lead?

Ultimately, what is your goal? To collect emails? Or to get your documents in the right hands so the right people will see how brilliant you are?

There are a lot of schools of thought on this subject. I am a believer in the good karma of generosity...

Two articles you might want to check out on this are:
1) How Web 2.0 Impacts B2B Marketing: An Interview with C. Edward Brice of Lumension (see the 5th Q/A at http://bit.ly/5C3bGM)
and
2) David Meerman Scott maintains it is almost always best to make valuable content available w/no strings attached. See his post "To Gate or Not to Gate"
at http://bit.ly/6tAYlq

Let me know what you decide! :)

John Shaver

Thanks for the articles! I'm a fan of David Scott and greatly respect his ideas.

And I agree with you on the value of altruism. Our knowledge becomes much more valuable if we share it rather than trying to horde it.

I've already asked our web designer to take down the gate on our site.

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