Tax Resolution Marketing Letter: Why it works

In marketing parlance, your most successful marketing piece, the one that becomes your lead generation workhorse, is called a control.

Over the past couple hundred years, there have been a number of marketing controls that have had incredibly impressive runs. Two of the most famous examples from recent times:

  1. The Wall Street Journal’s “Two Young Men” letter, generated nearly $2 billion dollars in sales for the Journal during it’s 29 year run. It was mailed continuously by the Journal to select household mailing lists from 1974 to 2003. It is considered the single most successful direct mail sales letter in history, and is well worth studying.
  2. Self-help guru Tony Robbins has one infomercial that ran continuously in English speaking countries around the world for 18 years. It was literally broadcast 24 hours per day, always available on at least one basic cable channel or over the air broadcast network. Although at much lower volume, that infomercial still runs today. The infomercial sells his flagship “Unleash The Power Within” program, and to this day sales from that program generate $9 million per year in net profit for him.

ControlLetter-1 The power of a control piece cannot be underestimated. Having a solid control, along with a well-defined target market to send or broadcast it to, is almost like an ATM that prints free money.
In 2012, I wrote what would become my direct mail control piece. I affectionately refer to it as the mug shot letter. This letter was the workhorse of my practice, across multiple niche tax resolution markets and a variety of different offers. It worked well for me in the western US, and it’s worked well for coaching clients from Texas to Florida to Chicago in it’s original form. Other practitioners have created heavily modified derivatives that work very well for them, including a CPA in Maine that created a version that has helped take his tax resolution business from just a few thousand dollars in 2013 to over $250,000 in 2015.

Last year, when my postcard sequence to drive people to a webinar wasn’t delivering the results I wanted, I went back to this letter, and results immediately improved.

The obvious question is: Why does this letter work?

Let’s step through it to see why. Tax Resolution Academy® members can download the letter from the tax resolution marketing library.

1. It shows a real human being.

The first thing most … Continue reading

Marketing cost comparison for reaching $1 million

I recently released the 5th edition of my book about building a million dollar taxpayer representation firm, and one of the things I addressed in this edition is the concept of stepping up your marketing expenditures in logical increments.

As I was thinking about this, it dawned on me that many existing IRS representation practitioners probably think that it’s cost prohibitive to build a practice that size by using the kind of marketing that I advocate doing. Due to this line of thinking, they instead do what “tax resolution” firms do: Hire an army of telephone openers and closers to cold call tax liens.

Not only is this practice a violation of Treasury regulations, it’s also one of the practices that gives a black eye to all of us engaged in taxpayer representation. Companies use this boiler room telemarketing approach for an obvious reason, of course: It works.

This leads practitioners to think it’s more cost effective to do business this way. But is it really?

What does it take to hit $1 million in new client fees annually? Grab your calculator, folks…

Assuming an average fee of $3,500 per client (which is actually on the low side, but it never hurts to be conservative), we need 285 clients per year to hit the magic million mark.

Now, you’re going to have to take my word for it on these conversion numbers — but I can assure you they are based on real life experience in real tax firms, not just on conjecture. The average telemarketer (“opener”) must dial 60 tax liens in order to find one interested person, who is transferred to a sales closer in most boiler room operations. This closer will close, on average, 9% of these prospects. So, in order to get ONE new client, a company has to churn through 660 tax lien filings, at a typical cost of 35 cents per record to purchase. So, that’s $231 just in lead costs.

Now, the opener also typically gets a 10% commission at most companies, and the closers receive, on average, 20% to 30%. Lets’s again be conservative, and together give the sales guys 30%. Note here that we are also ignoring minimum wage laws and other costs for this sales staff, which most firms do ignore, believe it or not. So our $3,500 new client also costs us $1,050 in commissions, for a total of $1,281 that we Continue reading

The Complete, Yet Simple, Marketing Plan For Solo Tax Practitioners

Are you riding solo on the tax firm highway?

If you are a licensed tax professional (EA, CPA, attorney) in private practice, then this is the article you are going to want to save. Bookmark it, print it, star it.

As a solo practitioner, you are on your own. You are the marketing department, sales department, client services department, all wrapped up into one person. Building your practice is going to take work, and you must also successfully manage your time between case work and marketing.

In general, I would suggest you plan to spend at least one to two hours per day working on your sales and marketing.

Marketing is not a 10 minute per week activity. In fact, most business consultants will tell you that you should spend at least half your day on marketing…even more if you are just starting out. With the simple, yet effective, marketing plan I will outline here for you, you’re going to need to commit one or two hours per day. However, using the plan outline here, you will be successful and make a living, as long as you commit to following the steps.

Do note that I am not addressing fee structures, technology setup, list building, and other such concerns in this post, I am simply addressing the marketing and sales plan. So, here we go…

Step 1: Write a weekly article about a topic of interest to your target audience. This article should NOT be your typical “tax tips” sort of thing. Your prospects and clients comes to YOU for handling their tax matters — they don’t care about how to do it themselves. Think more along the lines of:

  • Client success stories related to tax planning, real estate investing, tax debt resolution, etc.
  • Your personal analysis of Congressional and state legislative action, IRM updates, etc. Let people know the gist of what’s going on, why they should care, and how you can help.
  • What you’re doing to increase your own knowledge and improve your skills for your clients. Write about the CPE/CLE courses you take and how that will help your clients.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Take that article and use it in as many places as you can:

  • Post it to the blog section of your web site. If you don’t have a blog attached to your web site, one of your highest marketing priorities should be to get
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