Real Tax Business Success: Tax Marketing Lesson 9 – Copywriting Techniques (Part 2)

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

(PART 2):
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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…

It Really Does Matter What You Call Things!

A fact of life is: whatever you sell (in our case, tax services), you’ll sell MORE of them if you add bonuses or premiums (that relate to your product or service) to the main offer.

We talked about the “Ginsu Knife” technique and the “something for nothing” strategy. But if what you are piling on as your added bonuses or premiums don’t relate to what you’re selling, or if these “free gifts” don’t help advance the sales process in some way, you are really wasting your time and probably losing some money in the process!

How do you know if the bonuses and premiums you want to use will help stimulate sales and/or increase word of mouth referrals? Well, ultimately you don’t know until you actually “test” a few things first. 

What kind of things do you need to do before you start spending money on “tests” to increase your odds of success? Well, the first thing you have to remember is if the client doesn’t care or doesn’t want what you are offering as a premium or free gift, it doesn’t matter what you call it, the EXTRA promotional strategy will not work for the long term.

Make sure that before you start naming or titling your bonus for a premium, you can put it together yourself (or purchase) each unit cheaply enough that your expense is minimal, but your PERCEIVED VALUE IS HIGH!

Let me give you an example:

Buy a few booklets (making up your own little pamphlet is better) and use them as bonuses for one of your target markets. Let’s say you want to offer a bonus to the “white collar, middle income” market to help sell your tax services better.

You could have as a bonus in your advertising, “FREE Investor’s Handbook: 11 Secret Tips To Investing Without Risk Which Save You Money On Your Taxes At The Same Time! 

If that is one of the types of services you could provide your clients and it is a “hot button” for your target market, then the bonus WILL increase your response in your ads! In some cases you’ll find the actual “bonus” you’re offering for free is what the client wants more than the actual service you may be offering.

But, what if we just called the bonus, FREE Investor’s Handbook! Do you think the title will make a difference? You bet it will. (If you don’t believe me, “split test” it yourself. I’ll bet you a dollar to a donut the better “selling” title will win.)

If you can offer multiple “selling titled” premiums it’s even better. Using that same middle income target market I could offer the…

  • FREE Investor’s Handbook – 11 Secret Tips To Investing Without Risk Which Save You Money On Your Taxes At The Same Time!
  • FREE REPORT – Wealth Strategies Your “Other” Accountant Never Told You About That Cost You Profit Every Day You Don’t Have This Report In Your Hands! 
  • Plus a “MYSTERY GIFT” – which automatically puts more money in your home budget! (For new clients who call our office and specifically ask for it by 2/28 ONLY!)

A tax business owner testing this technique of using “selling titles” will make more sales. The tax business owner which tests multiple selling titles of their bonuses or premiums will do even better.

How you SAY things counts! And “Selling TITLES” will make the difference!

Just think about how many potential clients read your ads and are “this close” to calling you but just…don’t. Multiple premiums with proper selling titles will get a good percentage of them “off the fence” and on the phone calling your office.

But you won’t know how many “fencers” are out there until you start testing your titles and getting some of them in your doors.



I always tell my clients in the higher level Coaching Groups, “If you can’t make a strong and bold guarantee backing up your tax services, you need to get out of the tax business all together!”

I really mean that, too. If you can’t look a taxpayer in the eye and guarantee you’ll take care of them with a specific promise (you’re deciding ahead of time what that guarantee will be), then why are you even showing up for work? What makes you different? What makes someone come to you for tax services? (Sound familiar from the USP section?) One of the most common ways to offer an excellent USP is through a specific promise or guarantee made by the owner of the company. 

USE A GUARANTEE AS A “SELLING OPPORTUNITY” — NOT A PLACE TO STATE POLICY OR PROCEDURE. (You set your office up and train your employees to follow a system of policies and procedures to ensure you “back up” what you say you’ll do in your guarantee!)

And as a side note: The more specific accountability you hold your guarantee to, the better your employees will have to perform to meet the client’s expectations.

I would say for the most part, most tax business don’t have a written guarantee in their advertising. (Usually tax business owners guarantee the tax returns they prepare for accuracy. If for some reason something is wrong with the tax return, they will fix it for free and/or pay any penalties and interest on that mistake.)

The problem is not the guarantee. (It just has to be worded a little differently.) The problem is the owner not promoting it properly. (They’re thinking more along the lines of actually having to “pay out” instead of what a bold guarantee would “bring in” with respect to new sales.)



Tax Business #1 has a basic guarantee. If the return is wrong, he’ll fix it at no charge. (He doesn’t hold the speed of his service accountable in a bold guarantee.) He prepared 200 tax returns this year. No increase from previous year.

Tax Business #2 develops a strong USP from a bold guarantee. Tax Returns Prepared In 24 Hours GUARANTEED. “We guarantee a one day turn around with the return being completely accurate or you don’t pay us a penny!”

(He knows his target market WANTS a fast turn around on their tax preparation services so he promotes this bold, USP with “meaningful specifics” to his target clients.)

This tax business ended up “paying out” or preparing 20 tax returns for free standing by their guarantee. But the overall number of tax returns completed in his office this tax season was 450 (up 250 returns from last year’s total of 200.)

Now what tax business would you rather be running, #1 or #2?

It’s easy to see it makes more sense to pay out a few refunds (or not charge someone for their tax service) and get a bigger piece of the pie than to have no refunds (or no free tax returns) and receive a smaller piece of your city’s tax preparation pie! Never stop thinking about your overall “big picture” profits and how a powerful guarantee can vastly improve your current situation!

PLEASE Do Not Be Boring!

This may be THE top reason tax business owners don’t get better response from their advertising. Most tax practitioners’ ads are just flat out boring! (If you are guilty of this sin, confess it now and let’s do something to change that tune forever!)

If 99% of all the accountants / tax preparers / bookkeepers / CPAs etc. have boring ads…what do you think would happen if you got IN the 1% of the ads which “attracted interest” and “held the reader’s attention?” You guessed it. You’d stick out like a fox in the hen house, eatin’ up sales left and right!

One way to develop ATTENTION GETTING headlines and to try to HOLD THE READERS’ ATTENTION in your subheads and sales copy is to write your copy like it’s a news story. You read the papers. You see the headlines in these news magazines. Same with online stories.

People will read your “attention getting” headline as if it were a regular story.

(Hint: This is the main reason why advertorials work so well in printed media. People think your ad is an actual story so it gets read. Other ads that look like “ads” get passed over.)

If the headline interests them, they read on and when they are finished, you’ve got a good chance at a sale! For those other tax practitioners going the “image” advertising route, their ads get thrown away with that day’s garbage!

Take Away

If you want to get down to the nitty gritty of it all, the heart and soul of advertising really boils down to proclaiming news. Hopefully your advertising is proclaiming “good news” about how your service is better than the next guy etc., and at the same time it’s interesting, not boring!

And if you don’t have something worthy to say (that’s NEWSWORTHY) you’ve got a message problem that has to be fixed! Don’t be another one of those CPA firms or even a regular mom n’ pop office that advertises the “dreaded” business card look (name, address and phone number. And I prepare taxes so come see me.) That’s basically the ad.

If that’s all you can say about your business, then you are NOT really advertising. That’s NOT newsworthy! (Talk about flushing money down the toilet.)

Have a good reason to advertise. Make it newsworthy. You’re a specialized tax practitioner that is helping a certain group of people and these are the reasons why people are doing business with you. It’s an “Unheard Of, Incredible, No Risk Guarantee,” or “FREE tax returns prepared for first time filers if we prepare parent’s tax return” etc.

(You know you can come up with something newsworthy to proclaim to your town.)

Just take some time a think about it. You’ll be surprised what you can come up with that’s NOT boring!


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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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