As hectic as tax season is for your accounting practice, you shouldn’t lay off your marketing during this time. This is the time of year that people think about their accounting needs and you want as many prospects as possible to associate your business with the season.
If done properly, direct mail can be one of your most effective marketing tools during tax season. Here’s why direct mail continues to be one of your best advertising choices and how it can help you build your accounting practice even after the season is over.
Direct mail is very effective
Direct mail is a highly effective method to reach consumers with most any marketing message. Here are a couple of reasons why:
- 99% of people bring their mail into their house on a daily basis
- 78% sort through their entire stack of mail immediately
- 56% of Americans say that receiving physical mail is pleasurable
- 70% say direct mail is more personal than other forms of advertising
With the increasing amount of Internet, social media, and “inbox fatigue,” direct mail is holding steady as one of the most powerful, and personal, ways to reach an audience.
Why use direct mail during tax season?
Recent data has found that 44% of American wage earners will have their taxes prepared by a third party. The same study found that this jumps up to 66% for people that earn over $100,000 per year annually. Tax season is a time when people are looking to not just maximize their refund, but also save themselves time and hassle by hiring an accountant.
There’s more competition in the tax preparation arena. Some firms offer basic tax services for free, and there are also low-cost tax preparation software packages that people have grown accustomed to. That’s why it’s crucial that accounting firms reach out to their client base before, during, and after tax season. Remind your customers why staying with your accountant firm is the best decision and show your potential customers the advantage your office offers over your competitors.
Direct Mail Tips
Now that you’ve decided that direct mail is a great way to reach people during tax season, here are a few tips you can use to maximize the effectiveness of your campaign
The size of your direct mail is the first impression your customers will get, so it arguably makes the biggest impact of any other factor. Most tax preparation businesses get optimum results with a 4×6 postcard.
The design of your mailing is a chance to be creative and set yourself apart from the other mail people receive. You want to have a clear headline, color scheme that really “pops,” and some supporting visual eye-catching elements.
The messaging in your direct mailings shouldn’t come across as overly “salesy.” You want to let people know who you are, what you do, and what makes you different. Make sure also to include your logo and basic company info, which will serve to lead into the next section.
Your mailing should have an enticing offer that will motivate people to engage with you in the future. For tax accountants, some of the most effective offers are simple discounts, free e-file, and referral incentives.
The timing of your direct mailings should be carefully considered based on your target segments. For example, your previous customers are statistically 12 times more likely than others to choose you for the current year, so prioritize direct mailings to those people first.
You can send one offer to your current and past customers and a different offer to acquire new customers. Consider acquiring a targeted mailing list that meets the criteria of your ideal customer as far as location, household income, small businesses, and so on.
If possible, your direct mail campaigns should be integrated with online and digital marketing efforts. By including your website or social accounts on your mailings, you can push customers and leads to engage with and learn more about you online.
Also, analyze your paid search engine marketing (SEM) efforts, and try to include the same keywords on your direct mailings. Use similar design elements in your native digital ads and landing pages as your direct mail campaigns to ensure a seamless experience.
Finally, try to incorporate email marketing at the same time as your direct mail campaign. Taking this approach is also referred to as “omni-channel marketing.” You can learn more about omni-channel marketing in this free, downloadable guide.
By now it should be clear that digital marketing for accountants can work well with direct mail campaigns, which is still one of the best (and personal) ways to reach people during tax season. By taking some of the design and execution best practices discussed here, this tax season can be the one that sets your firm up for year-round profits.