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Part 2 – Field Guide

14 Tips to a More Successful Tax Refund Sales Event

1.) Have a Theme.  Just having a tax return sales event isn’t enough. Come up with a catchy theme or title that will grab attention.  It doesn’t have to be incredible, just something out of the ordinary, i.e. The Titanic Tax Refund Sales Event!  Yes, the Titanic sank on April 14th and 15th! 

2.) Make a Worthy Offer.  Again, simply having a tax refund sales event won’t attract the masses.  Come up with a “special offer” that will tug at the consumer brain waves, heartstrings, and pocketbook.  

3.) Create a circus-type event.  Take a lesson from the Car Dealers, Furniture, Appliance and Bedding stores.  Make it sound big, make it sound fun! This is classic direct response marketing

4.) Choose the dates and times strategically. The tax return/spending season is over 90 days long. Pace yourself, based on your product or service pick the best times to run your event.  It’s possible to have an early bird event and one closer to the end of the tax season. 

5.) Establish and measure clear marketing goals. Your event should not only be measured by attendance and sales, but also by what promoting the event did for your awareness and brand with the 95% of the market that may not have been available or interested at the time of your event. “Tax Refund” could be a code word to receive the “extra” savings. 

6.) Incentivize your staff. Special events generally mean extra work, and perhaps even extra hours for your staff. Make sure you make their participation in the event fun and rewarding.  Tie into the “Tax Refund Theme”, set goals or expectations, and if they reach these, you could offer to pay a portion or all of their taxes for that month.

7.) Pre-Promote.  Over 50% of Americans plan to spend their refund in one form or another.  It’s possible to “plant the seed” ahead of time for your upcoming offer.  “Buy Now Pay Later” when they receive their Tax Refund. 

8.) Pay attention to detail. Make sure your offer is legit and legal. Are there city permits required? If you’re serving food/refreshments, are there health regulations? Do you have weather contingencies? 

9.) Look for partners and sponsors. Are there non-conflicting businesses that could benefit from co-presenting and participating in your event? Are there suppliers who might benefit from providing funding, prizing, staff, or product for your event? 

10.) Train your staff. Prospects attending your event will want their questions answered promptly, correctly, and in a friendly manner. Remember, one of the goals of your event is to build stronger customer relationships. 

11.) Make your event as interactive as possible. Have a visual component that participants can share online, encourage physical interaction, and let your prospects engage in sampling, demonstrations, questions and answers, and more. 

12.) Choose your location carefully. If your event is to be held off your premises, check local bylaws. Is there parking available? Is the location easy to find and can it handle your anticipated traffic and volume?  

13.) Have a follow-through plan. What will you do for an encore? Can you capture email addresses and/or phone numbers and get permission to contact the prospects who attend your event? Conduct a post-event analysis with your staff to help make your next event even more successful.

14.) Promote, Promote, and Promote. Properly promoting the results from your event will extend far beyond those customers who actually attended. Send email invitations to your customer base and use timely broadcast announcements to create excitement for your event. Encourage your customers to share the news of your event with their social media friends. And capture positive audio or video comments from participants for use in future promotions and on your social media and web pages.  

SoundADvice is a co-production of this station and ENS Media USA to help local businesses increase their sales and their return on investment in advertising. Your SoundADvice marketing tips are emailed to you on our behalf from ENS Media USA.

ENS Media USA's address is: 6523 S. Killarney Ct., Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57108

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