The leaves have fallen and cars are buzzing around with Christmas trees strapped to their roofs. Tis the season for candy canes, Amazon deals, and Starbucks Peppermint Mochas. But this isn’t a post about the Holiday season – as cheerful, fragrant, and amazing as it is. As marketers, we are always looking at what’s ahead and typically around this time, we focus in on 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? Let’s find out.
Understanding the Rural Consumer’s Tax Prep Habits
First, let’s look at where the economy stands as of today. The current unemployment rate is 3.7%. When it comes to revenue growth for tax preparation companies, it trends along unemployment numbers. Higher employment means more money in the pocket, which translates to higher likelihood of a consumer using a tax preparation service. That’s the good news. For brick-and-mortar tax preparation businesses, they face the challenge of having to compete more and more with e-filing services. Last year’s survey data lays it all out for us and shows how rural and urban consumers differ when it comes to how they prepare their taxes.
We point out these differences between rural and urban consumers because oftentimes rural residents are a bit more likely to use a tax preparation service. For brick-and-mortar companies looking to increase appointments, this is something to pay attention to.
Rural residents are also unique in that they prefer to file their taxes early. Last year, 32% of rural consumers surveyed had already filed their taxes before February. And this isn’t because they look forward to settling things with Uncle Sam. The real reason is that 65% were expecting a refund and 37% were planning to use their refund to pay down debt.
Plan Out Your Strategy to Attract Customers
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. Also 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? A strong digital presence is essential, but direct mail marketing tops the list when it comes to print media. For surveyed consumers living in rural counties, 9.1% indicated direct mail had an influence on financial services purchases. Compare this to 4.2% for newspaper. Even email advertising fell short at 0.6%. And it’s hard to ignore the DMA’s response rate numbers for direct mail.
Bring in Customers with Direct Mail
The key here is targeting the right people at the right time. This is the perfect time to not only grab a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha but also begin 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.
Bureau of Labor Statistics “The Employment Situation” November 2, 2018
Prosper Insights & Analytics 2018
DMA Response Rate Report 2017