Tax Marketing QuickTip #4: Direct Mail

“I’m not dead!” -sick man in Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail

I know that I shouldn’t take things people say on the Internet too personally, but I often do. There is a 1-star review on Amazon for one of my books that chaps my hide in particular, because the reviewer states, “The marketing information is outdated…

What he’s referring to in that particular book is that the marketing plan presented centers 100% around direct mail and telemarketing.

Here’s why this comment torques me so much: I have current Platinum members pulling in six figures annually from direct mail. There are old consulting clients from a few years ago that are doing seven figures annually from old direct mail campaigns that they’ve never changed since I designed them.

Direct mail isn’t dead.

In fact, telemarketing and direct mail, in that order, are the two dominant marketing media used to sell tax resolution in this country. We’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars per year of just tax resolution sold through telemarketing and direct mail.

Here’s something else you may not know: One of the most successful tech companies ever created, Google, still uses direct mail sent to newly registered businesses in order to drive sales of their online advertising platform (Adwords).

Here are my top 3 direct mail tips for you:

  1. Mail in sequences. Mailing once is just a waste of money. If you’re going to do direct mail for lead generation, do it right. Multi-hit sequences are the only way to go.
  2. Send the right message to the right people. Sending your seasonal $29 off coupon postcard to a tax lien list is a recipe for failure. So is sending a tax planning consultation offer to low income 1040 filers. It’s called “market to message match”, and you’ve got to have it. I rarely mention the first book I wrote for tax pros, but read Effective Copywriting for Accounting Professionals for in depth coverage of this topic.
  3. Use direct mail for long-term client/prospect follow up. Email autoresponders are awesome, I love them and use them frequently. However, there is nothing more effective for converting your best prospects into clients, and keeping your existing clients coming back, than using a monthly direct mail contact. Be it a newsletter or otherwise, this is probably the single best monthly investment you can make in your business.

The Tax Marketing HQ blog is chock full of additional direct mail articles. Direct mail can be challenging at times, and I’ll be the first to admit that it can be expensive and frustrating to “dial in” direct mail campaigns. But once you tweak it to work in your market, to your target audience, then you can run direct mail campaigns for years without much change, and profit handsomely from doing so.

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Tax Marketing QuickTip #3: Riches in Niches

You can’t be all things to all people.

Here’s the cliche example: Physicians are regarded as being one of the highest paid occupational groups in America. But who usually earns more: A family practice doctor, or a heart surgeon?

The specialist makes more money.

On October 24, 2010, I flipped my boss the bird and walked out the door (long story — it had been brewing for a while). That’s the day I entered private practice, without a single client.

For the first several months, I took any and every tax resolution case I could find. I was tempted to work the 2011 tax prep season, but I chose not to, because I knew I could make more money if I stuck to my guns and grew my tax resolution clientele. I was a specialist.

Shortly after tax season was over, I was no longer taking any and every case. By late spring 2011, well over half my new tax resolution clients were family owned trucking companies. My fees and revenues continued to increase, because I had become a specialist within a particular niche.

By the end of August 2011, my tax resolution firm had billed over $35,000 in new revenue for the month, and I was working from Sapporo, Japan. Amazing things happen when you specialize and do niche marketing.

What specialization are you known for, that allows you to charge premium fees?

What high-profit niche do you serve, that allows you to command higher prices, even if you do nothing but 1040 return preparation?

Don’t accept just any client that walks in the door. Pick and choose. Position yourself properly, communicate your value proposition through marketing, and dominate a niche.

That’s how you get rich as an EA, CPA, or tax attorney. That’s how you create a lifestyle practice. Regardless of whether you want to galavant around the planet a few times like I did, you want a private jet, or you just want a big house on 40 acres, this is how you do it.

There are riches in niches. Specialize, pick a niche, and dominate it.

If you have decided that tax debt resolution is the right specialization for you, then I’d like to invite you to Baltimore for 3 days, or Los Angeles for 1 day. Whichever is most convenient for you, pick one (or both) and come learn how to knock it out of the park in tax resolution.

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Tax Marketing QuickTip #2: Your Website Sucks

Nearly every tax professional has a web site by now.

Unfortunately, 99% of those websites are garbage.

Your website is there to help you communicate the benefit of your services to visitors. In other words, more than anything else, your website is a marketing piece. Any other function of your web site, such as being a client document portal, is completely secondary to it’s primary function as a central component of your marketing presence.

Since this is a Tax Marketing QuickTip, I’m not going to go on a long tirade about what’s wrong with most tax firm websites. Instead, I’m going to give you my top 5 suggestions for what to include on your web site:

  1. Include a lead capture mechanism. Offer some sort of lead response widget in exchange for their contact information.
  2. Have a blog, and update it frequently. You want your website to rank high in Google. The single most important component of this is to have high quality content on your web site that is updated frequently.
  3. Don’t hide. One of the first places most visitors go when they get to a tax firm website is the “About” page. On this page, visitors want to see a human being. That’s YOU. Have a photo, your full name, and a little bit about you. New tax clients are looking to make a human connection, don’t be anonymous and try to hide behind a corporate identity.
  4. Use client testimonials. Testimonials still matter. This is NOT an outdated marketing idea. Ask your clients for testimonials, and stick them online. Visitors WILL respond positively to this.
  5. Connect your social media accounts. You don’t have to be a social media machine, but your web site should be set up to allow visitors to connect with you on the social media platforms that you’re willing to use. For example, I despise Facebook, but I can stomach Twitter and LinkedIn, so I restrict people to connecting with me on just those two platforms.

If your web site is missing any of these five critical elements, then I would encourage you to correct the situation ASAP. Doing just these five things will put your web site into the top 1% of tax and accounting practice web sites.

Want a full critique of your tax firm web site? Want hands-on help in making a your online presence a profit center rather than just an expense? Let’s work together to fix this incredibly important aspect of your practice, and propel your tax firm to new heights. For more information, check out the new and improved 2016 Platinum Inner Circle.

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