Real Tax Business Success: Tax Marketing Lesson 37 – Test Options

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Tweaking Messages That Work:

How To Make A “Killer” Marketing Message

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Know Your Options and Test Them

Once you’ve found an ad or a sales letter that’s working for you (or you’ve got a *CONTROL to test from) try adding a “grabber” to your sales piece to see if you can boost response! 

(* A “control” means you have tested a specific message, to a specific market, using a specific media and now you are getting steady and “predictable” results every time you advertise.)

When you have a few “systematic” ads running, you want to always try to see if you can beat your current “control” or the “predictable numbers” you usually get when you run this particular promotion. “Grabbers” are the first place to test if you are using some kind of sales letter.

An example of an effective grabber would be a real $1 bill. Sending real cash in the mail gets people’s attention! Paper clipping it to the top of your sales letter and making some reference to it in your headline or subhead should give your letter a “boost” because more people will take the time to read this important letter “that’s been mailed with cash” in it!

Another solid grabber I use often is a fake “million dollar” bill. It can be just as effective as a real dollar bill because people haven’t seen this before and the cost is much cheaper per unit (.15 cents). If the reader’s “attention is grabbed” then the grabber has done its job. Your solid sales letter will have to do the rest.

Using “money” as a grabber in the tax business is easy. But how about some other options? Check these out!


Tylenol (or little Alka Seltzer packets)

Idea: “With all the new tax laws this year, you probably have a headache just thinking about your tax situation. Your best bet is to take these two tablets, read my letter and call me in the morning.”



Idea: “Don’t gamble on filing your taxes incorrectly this year. Our tax return accuracy guarantee takes all the risk! (Don’t roll the dice and ‘crap out’ with Uncle Sam just sitting there waiting for you to make a mistake!)”


Pistol Key Chain 

Idea: “If you pass up this opportunity (never offered before by another tax business in this area) you’ll probably want to shoot yourself!”

The sky’s the limit on ideas you can come up with. I’d get my hands on some of these companies that have “close out” specials on stuff like this. You can get these little grabbers for so cheap and they have the potential to boost your response and increase your bottom line!

Here’s the name of a “close out” distributor I’ve used in the past.


3D Mail

And if you want to try some fake Million Dollar bills, just Google it.

(lot’s of inexpensive options to choose from)



Mail a “Selling Package”… not just an Ad

Many tax professionals get their hands on a “mailing list” of (hopefully) hot prospects and write their best sales letter ever and mail it as fast as they can.

Hey, I like the enthusiasm, but don’t go into battle with one arm tied behind your back! If you are ONLY mailing one sales letter, you are limiting your weapons to getting effective response rates which go a long way to improving your take home pay for the year.

What else should you send, you ask? Well, to increase your response you can always add an attention grabber to the top of your sales letter. A response device of some sort with your main offer and contact information.

A coupon is always a good idea (more about those in a minute). Don’t be afraid to add a few extra sheets of paper of only testimonials. (ie. “preponderance of proof”) How about a return envelope (testing adding postage or not). A picture of yourself and a listing of all the reasons why people have trusted you to help them with their taxes over the last “__” years.

Adding a cover letter or a “lift note” explaining why this offer is so great or why it is so “time sensitive” etc. (Not only because April 15th is coming, but because I can only make this offer for a limited time because there is only one of me, … etc.)

You see, there are many different things you can test that can bring high response rates to your current mailing. Don’t just send one sales letter and hope that it would work.

Don’t get me wrong, it might work. The problem is it most likely won’t, and if it did, it would’ve worked EVEN BETTER if you’d tried any of these other “sales pieces” and made a SELLING PACKAGE!

A different combination of selling ingredients will work with different markets. Test now, and keep testing often!

(You’ll have fun figuring out which combination works best with each market you target.)

One final note about coupons: I’ve found making a coupon look a little “snazzier” helps response. A dotted line works better than a regular border (the thicker the better). Don’t be afraid to use coupons with any kind of target market (even high end clients). Everyone likes the idea of getting a deal. Also, add to your sales material you accept “competitor’s coupons.” I was surprised how well this little line worked in one of our offices. Try it in your town.


Free Recorded Messages

Remember, almost everyone walking around these days is as SKEPTICAL as ever. Every large and small company imaginable is trying to promise them the world and they get tired of being bombarded with the constant pressure of thousands of sales messages hitting their brains every day!

How do you break through the clutter? How do you come across as not being a “pushy salesman?” How can you get your sales message heard when your prospect actually takes the time to listen to it?

All of these questions and more can be answered by using three little words at the end of your ad (or in your contact information): FREE RECORDED MESSAGE. If you are “selling” your prospect on making a phone call and listening to a “robot” tell them the things they want to know, there’s no sales pressure!

The prospect can learn more at their own speed. They let their guard down because they know they won’t have to be talking to a “live” person. Skepticism is reduced because the prospect is in control of whether they want to hear more or not.

Having a “no extra cost” option for your prospect gives them a chance to learn more about you and your services, plus at the same time they are actually qualifying themselves as a good or bad prospect depending on what they decide to do.

(If they like what they hear, they can leave their name and address to get some follow up information mailed to them. If they don’t, they hang up. That means you probably didn’t want to spend money pursuing them as a client anyway. They “weeded” themselves out of your selling cycle for you. That’s good!)

Your “leads” from one ad can double by just adding these three words to your promotion!

I recommend using … ATG Technologies

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Chauncey Hutter Jr.

Tax Marketing Expert

Chauncey Hutter, Jr, is a best-selling author and leading marketing consultant and success coach to the tax industry. Mr. Hutter grew his father’s $50,000 per year tax preparation business to a multi-million dollar empire with 24 locations, 400+ employees and over 27,000 tax clients all coming from his marketing campaigns.

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