Real Tax Business Success: Tax Marketing Lesson 21: Media Tricks (Part 2)

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 Insider Tricks In Specific Media (Part 2)

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Local Community Publications

These are growing in number all over the country. The big newspapers are failing, but often these little “free” guys are doing very well.

So you can FIND and REACH a lot of small niche markets by promoting your tax business in any of the little local publications that are in and around most medium sized cities. (Heck, I advertised in some publications that were published in towns as small as 10,000. So I know you can find some in most areas.)

The trick is to test and find out which ones are RESPONSIVE and which ones are not.

If you are a pet lover, you probably have some kind of “pet monthly” publication around your area being distributed to all the other pet lovers. (I know you can talk empathetically to them about pets in your ad’s sales copy. Then make an offer of something like 20% off tax preparation fees, but the “catch” is a picture of your pet is your coupon. Then you have your “pet wall of fame” in your office and you’ll attract even more people from this “pet lovers” niche.)

** By the way, do you think having a picture of your client’s pet hanging in your office is going to help with client retention? (Tell ’em to bring you an updated picture each year!)

There are other niche groups in your city you can target using these local publications. Health journals, sports paper, beauty mags, business journals, hobbyist publications, etc. — you name it, you might find them in your area.

Business journals are good publications to try your test ads. You’re targeting the business community or the “white collar” professional crowd and you can usually find a “hungry group” in there somewhere.

For this particular monthly journal, let’s say they don’t take advertising inserts. You say that’s fine, but here are some quick tips to increase your chances for success:

Good placement is EVERYTHING when you are in these kinds of media. If you get stuck on a bottom page, left hand side towards the back, your response is definitely going to go down.

Where is the best placement?

Get as close to the front as you can. Get on a right hand page if you can. And if at all possible, make it UPPER RIGHT HAND PAGE. The sales rep will give you the same ol’ line, “I can’t guarantee placement.” That’s fine.

Start with bringing the layout crew coffee and donuts a couple of mornings a week and see what happens to your placement compared to the other advertisers (that don’t bring the goodies).

Hey, a friendly cup of coffee and a donut never hurt anybody. (It’s amazing how a friendly gesture that costs a couple of bucks will increase your sales numbers so well.)

You think this is a small point. I’ve had placement effect an ad from one week to the next by over $1,500. (That’s nothing to sneeze at.)


A Co-Op Mailing

I’ll tell you right up front, this trick will take a little extra work on your part. However, it is an extremely effective way for you to mail out 30,000 to 35,000 pieces of mail in early January with your message on it. Another batch of the same amount with a different message targeting a different group in the middle of February and then finally the same at the end of March promoting to the procrastinators.

(That’s 100,000 pieces of mail selling to three different target groups, all for FREE!) 

OK, here’s how you do it.

The work you’ll be doing is the legwork for setting up a “co-op” mailing. You’ll get a couple of restaurants, a couple of pizza places, a carpet cleaner, a pest control business, car wash business, a dentist, a lawyer and whoever else you can think of. (I would recommend going to people or business contacts you already know or have some “relationship” with.)

Just go in and tell them you’re putting together a mailing with 15 to 20 other businesses and everyone will have an opportunity to throw a half-page flier into an envelope. (Work out the correct “weight and mailing” requirements with your local mailing house. Find out how many half page ads can fit into a certain sized envelope at a certain weight and then see what his costs would be to set it up and put it together for you.)

** You can be responsible for getting everyone’s ad laid out at a printer’s office, too. Just use the same one that will be doing all the printing for you. (Then get a total for all their charges and add to the mailing house expense.)

Once you know your total costs, divide it by 19 businesses and charge them accordingly. You did all the work so the 20th business is YOURS and you get in the mailing for FREE!

QUICK TIP: Once you make all the contacts (and close all the sales you need) get a high school student or maybe a friend of the family or your “older” kids to do most of the grunt work. You will need to be spending your time running your regular business.

By the way, the best time to get other businesses lined up for this is in October and November. As soon as you get close to the holidays and Christmas, people get too busy or the get too side tracked to be thinking “clearly” about next year’s promotions.

Oh, and the best part?

Once you do it the first year, the next few years will be a snap!

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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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