Tax Day Marketing Tactics: How to Make the Most of the Tax Season

Hello April 15 (or thereabouts…). The dreaded deadline comes around every year for taxpayers in the US, after many weeks of paperwork, numbers, numbers and more numbers, and for many – a whole lot of stress.

Then comes the anticipation. The refund! Around 75% of Americans will receive a tax refund shortly after Tax Day, with an average amount of $3000. That’s a nice annual “bonus”, and one that many consumers eagerly spend on products and services they love.

This makes the period leading up to and after Tax Day an ideal time for retailers and businesses to reach out to their target audiences with appealing offers and campaigns. And the time to start is right now.

If your target audiences is in the US, here are five ways to engage potential customers during tax season:

1. Email marketing

An oldie, but a goodie. While email has been around for a long time, much longer than social media, it remains an incredibly effective and popular form of digital marketing. Marketers continually see great results from email campaigns – in fact, email has been shown to generate $42 for every $1 spent, an astonishing ROI of 4200%! That explains why 4 out of 5 marketers say they’d rather give up social media marketing than email marketing. Tax season is a great time to engage consumers via email. Preparing a tax return inevitably involves a lot of time on the computer and email inbox, so it’s a natural channel to reach customers as they battle with their paperwork.

2. Gamification

Gamification might sound fancy and technical, but it really just means using interactive and fun tools to engage consumers online. Quizzes, games, and polls are all examples of gamification. Tax season is all about numbers, so there are lots of opportunities to create number-based interactive experiences to help your brand stand out. For example, a “tax refund wishlist calculator” is a great way to encourage people to think about what products they might buy, depending on their dream tax refund. There are loads of gamification tools available online, so check them out and have fun creating gamified campaigns for your business.

3. Native ads

If you’re wondering what’s the difference between native ads and display ads, and why native is a good choice for tax season marketing, this is it: native ads fit into the look and feel of the editorial web page, exposing the user to the brand message while they are in a naturally curious and open state of mind. What’s more, native ads appear on the open web, outside the closed social networks, on the top news, entertainment and other popular websites. Instead of intrusive and annoying ad experiences, you can provide engaging, relevant native ads to your best audience while they surf their favorite sites. 

During tax season, for instance, brands might choose to feature native ads on the finance page of a news website. Consumers who are reading about the latest tax news are exposed to products they might want to buy with their tax refund. Simple concept that really works! With Outbrain’s native BrainPower data, you can get insights into which verticals, devices, and content pairs work well for your audience.

4. Smart discounts

Tax season is a time when people are thinking closely about their finances, so they are hyper-aware of what they’ve got to spend. That’s why a smart discounting strategy is really helpful for Tax Day campaigns. Discounts can be tricky – it’s a balancing act between closing more sales and maximizing profits. On the other hand, a good discount offer is just the ticket to engage your target audience with tempting prospects, especially when their minds are on money matters. Check out some good discount strategies here.

5. Storytelling

Storytelling is not just a marketing tactic; it’s a basic way that people connect and communicate. We are wired to understand our world via narrative structures, and that’s why brands who use storytelling tactics are so effective in getting their message across. Coupled with the video format, brands can create extra powerful and engaging video storytelling that really captivates. But a story doesn’t have to be a complete video production to make an impact. For example, you can create a ‘story’ with the carousel style ad on social media and native ad networks, a compelling blog post promoted natively, or a short talking-head video filmed on your smartphone and sent to your email distribution list. 

Marketers: Be On the Money

Tax season is no one’s idea of a good time. Consumers are busy and stressed with getting their taxes filed before the deadline, so marketers should focus on engaging messaging and interactive content to build awareness and enthuse their customer base throughout tax season. Then, when the tax refund finally arrives, the audience will be primed to remember your brand, and spend their hard-earned tax relief on your products and services.

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