Gaining and nurturing leads is an important factor when growing your tax business. Here’s how you can develop a lead generation and nurturing strategy for your tax preparation business.
What are leads?
In a service business like tax preparation, a lead is contact with a person or business who has the potential to become a future client. Typically, someone can be considered a lead once they have learned about or expressed interest in your business.
What is the best way to get leads?
There’s no single lead generation strategy that’s best for every business. While many current resources on the subject focus exclusively on online lead generation, tax preparers usually find the most success with a mix of online and traditional strategies. These are some of the most common:
Word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of advertising, with over 83% of consumers reporting that they trust recommendations from someone they know. Our post on asking your clients for referrals will help you learn how to increase customer referrals without coming across as pushy or desperate to your clients.
Social media offers you the chance to connect with thousands of potential customers in your community and beyond. In our Social Media 101 for Tax Preparers guide, we dive deeper into the importance of social media for your business and how to make the most of each platform.
If you specialize in taxes for a particular kind of service or business, LinkedIn is a great way to find and contact potential leads. You can set search filters to focus on people who work in certain industries or your geographic area. Send InMail to potential customers explaining your expertise and how you could help them.
What is a lead nurturing strategy?
Generating leads is only the beginning. Why? Not all leads turn into paying clients automatically — or ever. That’s where lead nurturing comes into play.
Lead nurturing strategy is any combination of techniques that increases the likelihood of a lead becoming a customer. Many of the resources you’ll find are geared toward businesses with entire marketing departments, something many tax preparers don’t have. If advice you find online feels overwhelming, know that you can boil the most important principle of lead nurturing down to this: Follow up.
Whether you gained a lead through social media, a community event, or a customer referral, make every effort to get some form of contact information so that you can get in touch with them later. Even if you don’t get an email or phone number, a first and last name can help you connect with them on social media.
One recent study found that personalized emails can generate up to six times more revenue than non-personalized emails. Of course, it’s fine to automate a few parts of your emails, especially sections where you introduce yourself or explain your services. Whenever you reach out to a new lead, just be sure to add a few personalized touches to the email, making it clear that you sat down and wrote it just for them.
If you met a lead in-person, you can bring up something from your initial interaction. If you’re contacting a customer referral, be sure the mention the client who gave you their name.
In marketing, “touchpoints” are all of the ways your potential customers experience or interact with your business. Even something as simple as seeing the sign on your tax office could be considered a touchpoint. Here are a few more:
- Seeing your social media posts
- Reading an email from you
- Finding your business on a search engine results page
- Reading online reviews of your business
- Hearing about you from a friend
- Receiving a phone call
Marketing research suggests that leads who experience multiple “touches” are more likely to convert into customers. When you follow up with leads, try to utilize multiple touchpoints like email, social media, phone calls, or physical mail.
Just be careful not to overdo it. Following up through multiple channels all at once can seem overly aggressive. Rather, space out your follow-ups, perhaps starting with an email and moving to a call, card, or other mediums a few days or weeks later. Also, remember that “touches” don’t have to be direct contact. Seeing your social media posts or local ads also counts as a touchpoint.
No one enjoys feeling like they’re nothing but a potential sale. Your follow-up and lead nurturing strategy should offer value to your potential customers. A blog post with helpful tax tips, an email reminding your clients about the impending tax deadline, or a coupon for your services in the mail are all ways you can offer value to your leads as you follow up.
As you gear up your marketing efforts for the coming tax season, don’t forget to follow up with those potential clients who never became customers. You’ll be surprised how many do eventually become clients when you consistently engage in lead-nurturing.
The information in this article is up to date for tax year 2020 (taxes filed in 2021).