We are well into Fall this year but, as marketers, we are always looking at what’s ahead. Typically, around this time, we focus in on planning for the upcoming tax season and what tax preparation businesses can do to attract customers. What kind of opportunities exist and what’s the best way to influence more people in more areas? There are a few things we can learn from consumer survey data and what people were telling us earlier this year when they were filing their taxes. Let’s dig into a few of these stats get some ideas for tax season marketing strategies.
Residents in Our Geography File Earlier
29.4 % of residents outside metro areas had already filed their taxes prior to February. This is 36% higher than their urban counterparts and 91% higher than the average tax prep customer. This is significant because, when planning your marketing strategy, you’ll want to account for potential clients who are eager to file as soon as possible. That means promoting your services early.
Residents Outside Metro Areas Are About as Likely as Their Urban Counterparts to Prepare Taxes on Their Own
37% of residents outside metro areas planned to prepare themselves. This is on par with their urban counterparts. Don’t let this deter you – all it means is that there is opportunity to convince them your services would be beneficial. There is just as much opportunity as with urban residents. And because non-urban residents are often overlooked when it comes to advertising, you have an advantage.
Many non-urban residents plan to use an accountant to file their taxes. Although they are less likely to hire an accountant than their urban counterparts, it’s still a major way they file their taxes.
An encouraging fact for companies like H&R Block and other tax prep services, is that 18.4% of residents living outside metro areas will use a tax preparation service – and they are 12% more likely than urban counterparts to take advantage of these services. Because these companies use a variety of marketing media, including direct mail, it’s likely their popularity with residents in our geography may have something to do with brand recognition and sophisticated campaigns leading up to tax season. The extra visibility from precision targeting, combined with the right kind of messaging, is a good way to attract these clients to your tax preparation locations.
Residents in Our Geography are More Likely to Expect a Refund And Use it Towards Debt and Savings
66% of non-urban residents were expecting a refund earlier this year – 2% higher than their urban counterparts and 2% higher than the average tax prep customer. This would certainly explain why they are more likely to file early – it’s all about the refund. It may seem obvious, but this is going to be a big deal for your marketing campaigns. You’ll want to emphasize the refund and perhaps tie in with their desires around what they’ll likely do with their refund when they get it. According to this year’s survey, 47% of residents in our geography will be putting their refunds towards saving, and 33.7% plan to pay down debt. Messaging that emphasizes these themes would be a smart way to get the attention of these potential clients.
Residents in Our Geography Do Not Skimp on Paying for Tax Preparation Services
As far as how much they plan to spend on tax prep services – they are not as likely as their urban counterparts to not be willing pay for service. While 21% of urban residents planned to spend $0, only 17% of non-urban residents said the same, an 18% difference.
The sweet spot for tax prep service spending is in the ballpark of $76 to $150. This matters because, not only does it clarify residents in our geography are willing to pay for tax prep, but you’ll know that if your pricing starts within that $76 to $150 range, you’ll want to make sure they know about it.
Reaching Residents in Our Geography in Time For Tax Season
For tax preparation companies, a good way to attract these potential customers is to point out how professionals can help maximize the refund at a fair price. Timing is also key- begin targeting these consumers in the 4th quarter of the year to ensure that you’re top-of-mind when January rolls around.
How do you stay top-of-mind? Incorporating direct mail into you marketing mix is a good way to achieve this. For surveyed consumers living in our geography, 8% indicated direct mail had an influence on financial services purchases. Compare this to 3% for newspaper. Even email advertising fell short at 5%. For accounting and tax service client, in general, 63.5% indicated they responded to a direct mail ad in the last year. This is 17% higher than the total United States population, meaning there is something about direct mail that tax services clients happen to like.
The key here is targeting the right people at the right time. Fall is the perfect time to begin planning and rolling out your marketing strategy for tax season. Contact us for more information about how you can use powerful data, analytics, and direct mail solutions to extend your reach and deliver messaging that drives more traffic to your locations.
Prosper Insights & Analytics 2019