Cost-Effective Marketing Solutions
As tax preparers and accountants, many of us are busy helping our clients plan for their futures. However, we need to consider our futures as well. Take some time to consider what’s working and what’s not – not just in the way you’re managing your office, but in your marketing. What’s encouraging your clients to make that initial call to schedule an appointment? Did they see an advertisement in the paper or hear an ad on the radio? Did a friend tell them to give you a call? Maybe they received a post card you sent or searched online for tax preparers in their area?
It’s hard to know what will work best when it comes to marketing your tax practice. Sure, you know taxpayers want a knowledgeable, proficient tax preparer that can help them increase their bottom line. But how do you let them know you have their best interest in mind without breaking the bank on ineffective marketing?
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review puts it all out there. They believe email marketing is the way to go. When compared to other marketing outlets – newspaper, TV, direct mail, etc. - email is much less expensive. Plus, you have an opportunity to see what messages are undeliverable, which messages have been opened, and what links have been accessed.
While direct mail has a higher response rate that email, it costs nearly 100 times more to send a direct mail piece than it does to send an email. Therefore, it’s a safe bet that email will beat direct mail in terms of return on investment. And as email marketing and social media practices gain more response, marketing intelligence will meet customer intelligence. So, you need to decide what’s important to you – other than driving in new business, of course. Are you most concerned with the return on your investment? If so, email marketing is best for you. Are you interested in helping your local economy? A newspaper ad might work nicely. Do you want to help the postal service with some of their woes? A postcard campaign could be the way to go. It’s just one of the many things you have to think through. But again, if you want to save your money, email marketing just makes sense.
Now, when composing an email to send to prospective clients, you need to keep in mind that you’re sending them a first impression. Be aware of the image you are portraying. And you need to be able to back up what you have said when that client walks through the door. The message you send in an email is every bit as important as a message you put out there in print.
Pay attention to what your clients say. Ask them how they heard about you. Ask them to refer a friend or colleague to your practice. And start planning for your future.
Kenya Hoffart, Industry Writer