Real Tax Business Success: Tax Marketing Lesson 11 – Copywriting Techniques (Part 4)

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Fundamental (And Most-Often-Missed) Copywriting Techniques For ‘Best Response’ Tax Business Marketing 

(PART 4):
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We’re continuing to go over what most Tax Professionals “miss” when they communicate with prospects, clients and (even) staff. Implementing these often-overlooked secrets were fundamental to our tax business success…

Follow Proven Copywriting Patterns and Sales Formulas

This same principle of using “proven success” applies here but in a more specific way.

You see, there are many different sales formulas that have worked over the years in many different industries. I’ll list some of the “classic” ones here:

  • Problem – Agitate – Solve
  • Attention- Interest – Desire – Action
  • “I Predict”
  • Shocking Facts

The sales formula many tax business owners use (with probably some success) is the “Attention, Interest, Desire & then Action.” If your attention getting headline is a powerful one (with a strong USP), and your “offer” is IRRESISTIBLE with some good “take away” selling closes, you should get some solid results with a good mailing list.

Personally, my favorite sales formula to use is the “Problem, ‘Agitate the problem’, and then Solve it.” Why? Well, in my opinion, it’s easier to make this work since we are talking about taxes and we have Uncle Sam on our side scaring the American public to death.

I can come up with a bunch of problems people have with our tax system (that grabs attention) and tie it in with whomever the target market is. I can then agitate the heck out of the problem by talking about how evil the IRS is and you better get your tax mess taken care of or else. Then at the end give the reader the solution they have been waiting for: (our tax business). We will take all their problems away and give them this whole list of benefits etc.

Now you can apply the same sales formula to a new homeowner letter, a Val-Pak coupon, a newspaper display ad (advertorial, of course) and even some neighborhood fliers!

Let me tell you what you can say in a good new homeowner letter:

The client is somewhat frustrated, just moving to town after buying a new house. She is starting a new career and will have additional changes on her tax return besides the mortgage information. I know there is at least some underlying fear there so that’s where I start with stating the problem. (The problem is the tax code is always changing, new rules keep coming up, and she doesn’t know if she can get it all straight. And she definitely doesn’t want to take a chance of being audited by a nasty IRS agent!)

My headline would say, “Warning: New Homeowners! Filing Your Tax Return ‘Wrong’ This Year Could Be Hazardous To Your Pocketbook!”

To agitate the problem my sales copy would say things like, “Uncle Sam will accept your filed tax return this year even if you are leaving off legal tax deductions that would keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket!” And, “ … IRS audits? They can be costly, time consuming and even embarrassing!”

So then, as the reader seeks a solution, the copy reads, “Good News! My tax firm will not only prepare your tax return and GUARANTEE its accuracy, but we’ll help you keep the highest amount of money legally possible without having to worry about an IRS audit!”

You see, you’re a tax professional. You do this for a living … etc. (You get the idea.)

The main point here is THE SALES FORMULA.


The Story’s The Thing

Everyone has a story. I don’t care who you are or where you come from, there is a story behind you and your business.

Why would I want to tell my story when I’m advertising, you ask? Of course, the reason is going to be INCREASED RESPONSE! Stories sell and you very rarely see them “promoted” in the tax industry.

What do I mean by “your story” and how long are we talking about? Depending on how much sales copy space you have to work with, the story you tell can be as much as a few pages in a sales letter to one sentence in a coupon flier on the street.

Your story could be about you and how you got started in the tax business. It could be, “I started working out of my home helping my neighbors with their taxes, and now it’s 20 years later and I’ve got the largest tax firm in the downtown area servicing our town and the surrounding five counties.”

You know YOUR story, so include it as you have the space in your ad copy.

People love stories. Growing up, we have been conditioned to listen (or pay attention) to stories. (You probably remember being read to sometime in your childhood. I think we all had or still have our favorite stories we remember.) Heck, even Jesus held people’s attention by telling stories (or parables) in the Bible.

If a strong USP headline can get your prospect’s attention, then adding an interesting story to your sales copy will “keep” your reader IN your sales message better.


Adding your story to your marketing message is going to “kill many birds with one stone.” You will make your sales copy more interesting (not committing the ultimate marketing sin of being boring.) You can increase your “believability factor” and reduce your prospect’s natural skeptical nature with a story. And, finally, you can actually develop an additional Unique Selling Proposition if your story is good.

(You’ll totally distance yourself from your competition because they will just keep saying the say ol’ stuff and you’ll be telling a story that sets you apart from everyone else!)

If adding stories to your marketing message didn’t matter, I wouldn’t tell you about it. But I’m here to say, telling your story EVERY time (adding one line if that’s all the space you have), EVEN if you’re talking to your existing clients year after year, makes a difference.

A real simple way to do it, by the way, is with a regular monthly newsletter. Just not one of those boring “off the shelf” newsletters, but one that actually gives your clients and prospects a taste of your unique personality!

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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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