IRS Tax Lien Lists | Tax Resolution Leads | Federal Tax Lists

How many Federal tax liens are filed each year?

The IRS files far fewer Forms 668-Y, Notice of Federal Tax Lien, than most tax professionals presume. In fact, the number of liens filed each year has been rapidly dropping over the past several years.

According to the annual IRS Data Book, here are the number of IRS tax liens placed on public record each year:

2009: 965,618
2010: 1,096,376
2011: 1,042,230
2012: 707,768
2013: 602,005
2014: 535,580
2015: 515,247
2016: 470,602
2017: 446,378

As you can see, the number of tax lien records filed by the IRS peaked in 2010 at just shy of 1.1 million. In the intervening seven years, annual lien filing volume has dropped a whopping 59%.

At the same time, however, the number of IRS Collections cases has been steadily increasing each year. In 2010, the IRS started the fiscal year with 9.6 million open tax debt cases. We started fiscal year 2018 with almost 14.1 million open tax debt cases, and increase of 45%. It’s interesting to note that the number of tax debt cases, and the dollar amount owed to the IRS, has skyrocketed during one of the strongest periods of economic recovery in American history. This clearly indicates that many small businesses and individuals have still been feeling the impact of the 2007-2008 crash many years after it happened.

So why has the IRS been filing fewer tax liens? There are a number of reasons.

First of all, the federal government has a statutory tax lien over any tax debtor, whether they file the 668-Y or not. Thus, it’s not actually necessary for the IRS to file the lien to take collections action. The filing of the lien merely perfects the government’s lien and establishes priority under state law.

Second, the service made changes in 2011 and 2012 under the IRS Fresh Start program. These changes increased the minimum lien filing threshold from $5,000 to $10,000 in most cases. In addition, expansion of Streamline criteria that allowed for the 668-Y to not be filed also came into play.

Lastly, we all know that the IRS has been under significant budget pressure for years. The IRS, just like anybody else, must pay a filing fee to the local county clerk and recorder or the Secretary of State in order to file the document. These fees are typically only $15 to $50, but across a million tax liens, that dollar amount really adds up. The Centralized Lien Unit has a budget just like any other government department, and thus they must be judicious about which liens they file and which they don’t.

All these factors lead to a steady decline in the number of tax liens that we see.

This obviously impacts the number of federal tax liens that are available for us to collect, and it directly impacts your ability to do marketing. Here are a few marketing tips to help you address this particular issue:

1). Make better use of the tax liens that are filed. Too many tax resolution practitioners fail to maximize the effectiveness of their mailing and call lists. The single biggest mistake is only mailing one time. Do multi-hit marketing campaigns, or don’t do them at all, as it will simply be a waste of money. Also, reach out through multiple channels. Send mail AND make phone calls, not just one or the other. Do phone appends on liens to find additional phone numbers, and consider even doing email appends and sending personalized emails to those few liens that will come back with an email address.

2). Branch out with STATE tax liens, not just federal. Oftentimes, state revenue departments can file a state tax lien at no charge with the necessary in-state agencies. People that owe the IRS also often owe their states. Tax Liens HQ does not currently pull state tax liens, but we can do so on a case by case basis. If this is something your business would be interested, contact us with the jurisdiction of interest. Please note that there would be an additional charge for this service.

3). Look beyond tax lien marketing. No business should have a single source of clients. You never know what will happen to the one marketing strategy you use. Government regulations, problems like this decreasing federal tax lien filing volume, etc. could severely impact your business if you only have one source of new clients. Become a student of marketing, and expand out to embrace at least three different lead generation strategies that are independent of each other. For example, look into buying leads from various vendors (just search on Google), create a referral strategy, test broadcast media and PR strategies, advertise on social media platforms, etc.

By making better use of the federal tax liens that are filed, and embracing additional marketing strategies, your business can not only survive, but thrive in spite of this IRS lien issue.

Increasing the Utility of Your Federal Tax Lien Lists

Federal tax lien lists are useful for a variety of lead generation purposes. However, far too many firms use these lists for only limited purposes. This article will explore several methods for increasing the utility of those tax lien lists you have.

First, make sure that you are running all tax liens through the National Change of Address (NCOA) database. Numerous companies provide this service, just do a Google search to find one. You can also obtain this service through a local direct mail service provider or list broker in your area, if you prefer to do business with local companies.

Not only is NCOA processing required by the US Postal Service, you’ll discover that it also reduces your returned mail volume substantially. Tax liens are, by definition, filed against companies and individuals that owe money to the government. Chances are, they also owe money to other organizations. As such, it is not uncommon for the businesses to close, and individuals to move. It’s simply the nature of the beast. Since tax liens are filed using the last known address, this is what goes into our database. Returned mail volumes of 15% to 30% are not uncommon when doing mailings to tax lien lists that have not been NCOA processed.

Second, if you are doing telemarketing, run the lists through a telephone data hygiene service and/or a phone append service. This will make sure you have the best phone numbers possible for your telemarketing efforts. Our database is connected to a robust phone append API, but that’s just one database. So even if you get phone numbers from us, it may still be worth your while to process them again through another service.

Third, don’t throw away your old tax lien lists. Tax debtors are bombarded by a tidal wave of tax resolution firms during the first two weeks after the tax lien is filed. Then, with the low hanging fruit gone, fewer companies are contacting them. After a few months, nobody is calling or mailing.

Every few months, pull up those old lists, and mail and call them again. For businesses that accrue new liabilities every quarter, they are starting a new collections cycle every 3 months, but a new lien may only be filed once a year. For individuals, the problem doesn’t go away even if it’s not addressed and the IRS isn’t taking enforced collections action at the present time.

Finally, consider checking tax lien lists against other demographic databases. Your ideal client fits a certain profile (if you don’t know what that profile is, then take the time to uncover it). Based on this, you can use demographic and psychographic data that is commercially available to find tax debtors that most closely match the profile of your perfect client. This is called a “merge/purge” by mailing list brokers (which is exactly what taxlienshq.net is, after all), and enables you to create a laser-targeted contact list for your marketing campaigns.

Do these additional steps require a financial investment? Absolutely. But they’re all an investment in magnifying the ROI of your overall marketing efforts.

Detailed Explanation of Tax Lien “Token” System

In the past, this service has operated under a variety of different pricing options. Most often, there were tiered pricing plans, with decreasing per-lien costs for each tier.

In order to create a nice, even number of tax lien downloads for each tier (say, 600 instead of 589), each tier credited an amount to your account that was actually different than what you paid in dollars.

Confusing?

Yeah, it was on our end, too!

So, here’s an ode to simplification. All that other crap is gone now. Instead, we’re now using a token system.

Remember old video game arcades that ran on tokens? When I was a kid, these stores all operated the same: For every game, there was a very simple system: 1 token = 1 game play.

Trade dollars for tokens, then play games. Very simple, very straightforward.

Compare that to some other arcade places. Some games were two quarters, some were three quarters, etc. This is basically equivalent to how this site used to operate.

Now, we’re using tokens. From now on, pricing will be quoted based on how many tokens you get. Then, it’s simple: 1 token = 1 tax lien.

Phone numbers will continue to be provided free of charge for those lien records that we are able to find a phone number through our search system. Whether there is a phone number or not, it’s still 1 token = 1 tax lien.

I think this much simplified system will avoid confusion over the mismatch between amounts paid and amounts credited, in particular.

Please note also that we are eliminating the Unlimited tax lien plan, for everybody. There will be no grandfathering of accounts. All users will be switched to the NEW token-based plan that is closest to your current monthly fee. If you would prefer to cancel your subscription instead, then please let us know and we will stop your billing.

One last thing: This site has never had a defined “minimum order” policy. However, the new $199 plan essentially represents a monthly minimum order. As such, read this carefully: Monthly tokens are like cell phone minutes — they DO NOT roll over from month to month. Use ’em or lose ’em, in other words.

Please understand that all of these changes are intended to make this service sustainable. Now that I’m running the site again, it MUST be self-sustaining: I refuse to come out of pocket again like I was doing in 2013 to operate this thing. I’m a tax resolution practitioner just like you, so this site needs to be operated like a real business, not a hobby. If it’s not self-supporting, I’ll simply shut it down.

Federal Tax Liens Lists: Not Just For Tax Resolution

The average individual (1040) tax debtor for whom a federal tax lien is filed has approximately three years of unfiled tax returns that they will need prepared. As tax return filing season begins, it is a good idea to remind you that tax lien lists can be used to obtain new tax return clients, not just tax debt resolution clients.

By specifically targeting your direct mail marketing in particular to 1040 tax liens in your local area, you can bring in new 1040 return clients without ever even mentioning the tax lien, the tax debt situation, or even the unfiled returns.

The offer of reviewing the previous three years of tax returns has been a very successful marketing tactic for national tax return preparation franchises. When marketing to tax lien lists with a similar offer, you are reaching out to a target market that is more in need of this service than just about anybody else out there. Offering a free review of previous years of tax returns will speak to this market, and you never even have to mention the tax debt situation.

Since you can get market intelligently without mentioning the tax debt, sending postcards to federal tax lien lists of individuals with a tax lien filed against them will not seem unusual or raise any “red flags” in the prospect, since they will view it as the kind of tax season marketing that they’re already seeing this time of the year. You will need to differentiate yourself with a solid USP and a unique offer, but it will not raise the ire of the recipient in the way that some forms of tax resolution marketing sometimes can (which is just part of the territory, but this lets us avoid that).

If you are a licensed CPA or Enrolled Agent, I would highly encourage you to add local 1040 tax lien marketing to your tax season marketing plan. Send multiple postcards and letters to those tax liens in your immediate service area, spread out every ten to fourteen days, for the entirety of tax season. Don’t let these prime tax clients slip away!

Site update completed – yay!

The migration of this system to a new server is complete.

The server migration came with a significant number of changes to the code base that the site runs on, which introduced a lot of bugs (mainly login issues).

These bugs have all been squished, and the site has returned to normal operation. If you are still having login issues, please contact support.

There are a number of functionality updates that we will be applying to the site over the next couple weeks. We will do these at night (U.S. time) in order to minimize disruption of service during the business day.

We hope you enjoy the new faster, leaner tax lien system!

Tax lien database migration and server upgrade

On Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, we will be migrating the tax lien database and this entire web site to a new server.

Due to the sheer size of the database this process may take several hours. During this time, you will not be able to login to your account, download mailing lists, create batches, obtain data counts, or any other functions.

We have chosen to do this on a Saturday so as to hopefully minimize the inconvenience to our customers. Once moved to the upgraded server, the tax lien database system should be significantly faster.

Thank you for your patience while we conduct this upgrade.

Federal tax lien volume picking up

During the federal government shutdown in October, the IRS stopped filing new federal tax liens. That put a major damper on marketing efforts for those of us that rely heavily on tax liens for our marketing.

We’re starting to see lien volume picking up again finally. There was a full two weeks of nothing, then two more weeks of just a trickle. Literally over the course of the past few days, we’re finally starting to see a significant uptick in lien records we’re picking up. We’re still a long ways from the 400+ liens per day above our $5,000 threshold that we’re used to seeing across the country, but it’s back above 200 per day and growing.

This hickup in the flow of lien filing was a good time to remind ourselves about two important marketing rules:

1). Make sure that you’re wringing every ounce of value from your existing lien lists by contacting them multiple times over a lengthier time period.

2). Never rely on a single prospecting method to bring in all your clients.

No business, no matter how small, should have less than three different methods for bringing in new leads. Tax lien marketing is lucrative and powerful, but it shouldn’t be the only trick up your sleeve. If you’re not simultaneously utilizing non-lien marketing to help bring in clients, then you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Why mail multiple times to the same lien?

The vast majority of times, with very rare exceptions, you’re going to want to mail multiple times to every tax lien you contact. Why is this?

Let’s consider an example of one hit vs. multi-hit mailing. For approximately the same amount of money, you can send a mailer to 20,000 tax liens one time, or send 8 mailers to 2,500 mailers. If you get a 1% response rate from a one-time mailing, this is considered on the better side of things in the direct marketing world.

A 1% response rate to 20,000 mailers sent one time produces 200 prospects.

For multiple mailers, response rate compounds over time. Studies going back many decades demonstrate over and over that the majority of people respond AFTER the 5th contact attempt. If the aggregate response rate across 8 mailings is 10%, then we have 254 prospects to work with. This is 25% MORE prospects for the same marketing expenditure.

Most multi-hit mailings are built to be sequential, meaning that each mailing piece builds from the previous. This is an incredibly effective way to maximize the return on investment from your lead purchases.

Using Federal Tax Lien Leads To Get New Clients

Ever since the launch of this web site, I have had telephone and email conversations with literally hundreds of tax professionals – CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and tax attorneys – and by far the single most common question I am asked is this: How do I use Federal tax lien data for finding new clients?

Since this question comes up so frequently (literally several times every single day), I have put together this marketing tutorial to show you how to use tax lien leads for obtaining new clients.

The Big Picture Idea

There are a couple of core concepts I want to cover before we get into the nitty-gritty how to portion of this tutorial.

First, as a tax practitioner (or any professional service provider, for that matter), you need to realize one very important, fundamental concept: You are a CPA, tax attorney, or Enrolled Agent SECOND, and a sales and marketing professional FIRST. This is a very radical concept to most people, no matter what their line of work. But the bottom line reality is that if you are in a small firm or in private practice, then you need CLIENTS in order to pay the rent and put food on the table. In order to get clients, you have to do marketing (word of mouth and referrals are still “doing marketing”) and be a salesperson. You may call it an “initial consultation”, but in reality that initial consultation is your opportunity to show a prospective client why they should retain your services instead of somebody else’s, otherwise you don’t make a living. Because of that, you ARE a sales professional, whether you think of yourself as one or not.

Core concept number two is really just a corollary to the first one: If you want current clients to keep coming back and want to grow your practice with new clients, then you must market yourself — there is no way around this. Zero. Zilch. None. You HAVE to engage in marketing. You may not think you have to, but trust me: Telling your friends and family that you are looking for new tax clients *is* marketing in it’s most basic form. Putting a coupon in the Money Mailer envelope during tax season is marketing. Sending “thank you” cards to your past clients is marketing.

There are a gazillion ways to market your tax practice to get new clients, and in the future we will cover more of that sort of stuff on this blog, actually, so come back regularly to look for new articles on marketing your practice. For the rest of this post, however, I’m going to focus on the two major things you can do with Federal tax lien data to find new clients.

What Services You Can Offer Tax Debtors

Along with the question of how to market using tax liens, we also often get asked WHY you would want to market your services to tax debtors. Here are just a few of the services you can offer these people and businesses:

  • Collections representation services — the most commonly thought of service to offer tax debtors
  • Tax return preparation — most folks with a tax lien also have, on average, 3 years worth of missing 1040 or 941s
  • Payroll services — businesses with 941 liabilities most definitely need a payroll service provider!
  • Bookkeeping — most businesses with tax debt don’t keep very good books, which tends to aggravate their tax issues
  • Accounting — the majority of small businesses with tax debt cannot produce a P&L or balance sheet to a Revenue Officer when required to do so
  • QuickBooks setup — getting set up on Quickbooks could help these businesses a LOT, and the IRS is more and more often demanding Quickbooks backup files as part of their collections investigations
  • Bankruptcy representation — Individuals and businesses with massive tax liabilities probably have other creditors they can’t pay also, and bankruptcy may be an option for some of them to consider

These are just a few examples off the top of my head — I’m sure there are more.

Now, let’s look at HOW to use tax lien data for marketing.

Direct Mail

When you purchase tax lien leads from us, you receive as much detail as we can provide. This will generally include:

  • Business or Individual name
  • Full mailing address
  • Lien filing date
  • Lien amount
  • Tax type

Because our entire system is built around the concept of getting you Federal tax lien data as soon as it is filed, we DO NOT wait for full processing and posting of the IRS Form 668(Y) image by the particular county or state the lien is filed in. A lot of times, we obtain tax lien data in a preliminary first-post format by the recording government entity. Because of this, we can’t always obtain the tax type, lien amount, or even the full street address for a lien.

As such, when you purchase leads that include the full address, you can use those for direct mail campaigns. The address we provide is the last known address of the person or business when the lien was filed.

Direct mail consists of anything you can send to somebody’s address. This includes flyers, coupons, letters, postcards, Priority Mail packages, boxes, etc. For purposes of getting tax clients, the two most common items of direct mail are a standard letter in a #10 business envelope and the good old fashioned postcard.

When sending letters in envelopes, you can increase the number of those letters that get opened by doing a couple things. One is to hand write the address on the envelope — this will increase open rates dramatically. The other good idea is to send what is called “lumpy mail” — put something in the envelope that makes it bulge. Common examples are marketing specialties such as pens, keychains, pocket ice scrapers, refrigerator magnets with local sports team schedules, hard candy, etc.

The content of a letter should, in general, point out a problem (having a tax lien filed against you is generally a problem!), explain how you can help fix it, and then tell the reader what action you want them to take. This last part is the piece that most people miss: They fail to ask for prospect’s business. Whether in print, over the phone, or face to face, more sales are lost because the business is never asked for than any other reason.

In letters and postcards, it’s a good idea to use an attention-grabbing headline at the top of the letter that gets the attention of the reader. It’s important that you realize the purpose of the headline, also, which is not to sell them anything, but to get them to KEEP READING. That’s the sole purpose of a headline.

Another best practice is to never send just one mailing. Sequential mailings consisting of three to twelve messages work best. Choose tax liens that fit your ideal client profile, and mail to them in a recurring sequence. This is the single best way to improve your overall response rate when mailing to a cold list.

I personally like postcards over letters for initial contact for a number of reasons. First, the message is right there — you don’t have to do anything to get them to open it. Second, postcards are usually half to one-third the price of sending letters, so you can send more of them for the same budget.

A quick word about response rates. In the direct mail world, obtaining a 1% response rate is considered good, and a 2% response rate is considered awesome. For our purposes, a response would generally be a phone call back to you or a visit to your web site (which is much more difficult to measure). While these numbers seem low to some people, they’re what you need to expect for a good mailing piece to a targeted list (which tax liens are quite targeted). I only point this out so that you do not become disappointed with the results you see, but rather know ahead of time what you should expect. Even one half of one percent is acceptable, particularly when large fees are involved, such as in 1120/1065 preparation, full service accounting retainers, bankruptcy representation fees, and tax resolution service fees.

Telemarketing

The large, nation-wide tax resolution firms tend to obtain their clients either through massive TV and radio advertising expenditures, or through telemarketing. Telemarketing is a tested and proven method for generating tax clients, particularly in the tax problem resolution side of things.

Telemarketing, despite it’s reputation and the fact that most people despise it at some level, offers numerous advantages over other forms of marketing. First of all, telemarketing can be extremely cost effective. You can hire an assistant to make calls for you to offer consultations for $8 per hour, and that person can easily dial 50 people per hour. Reaching 50 people by sending letters at 44 cents in postage each, will cost you $22, plus the cost of paper, ink or toner, and the time to fold, insert, address, stamp, send.

Second, telemarketing is the single most direct way to reach out to somebody. Most people are conditioned to answer the phone whenever it rings, and many of the businesses that you call will have somebody there who actually gets paid to answer the phone, it’s simply part of (or entirely) their job. Because of this, the telephone provides a direct connection to the person you need to speak to — the decision maker that can sign your service agreement and write you a retainer check. This direct access is ONLY possible via the telephone and physically walking in — no other form of marketing gives you this. Email, mail, FedEx, newspaper advertising, radio, TV, etc., are all highly effective media for reaching prospects, but the telephone gives you direct and immediate access to the person you need to discuss your solution to their problem with at the very first pass.

Third, despite the general negative attitude in our society towards the practice of telemarketing, the fact of the matter is that it is still one of the most highly effective forms of marketing that exists. There is only one explanation as to why politicians purposefully excluded themselves from the rules of the Do Not Call list: Because telemarketing gets them votes and campaign contributions. Telemarketing raises billions of dollars in campaign contributions around the nation every two years, and raises even more billions of dollars in non-profit funding every year, as well. They do it simply because it works.

It’s the same reason that many large tax resolution firms rely on telemarketing to the exclusion of all other forms of marketing: Because it generates literally tens of millions of dollars in new client service fees nationwide every month. Yes, TENS of MILLIONS of dollars monthly, just for tax liability resolution services. I have no idea what level the number reaches for return preparation, payroll services, accounting, bankruptcy, and other related services, but it’s definitely more.

There are a number of different ways to go about setting up a telemarketing system for your services. First, be sure that when you purchase leads from us that you enable the option to include phone numbers in your selection criteria. This will give you leads that match all your other search criteria, but include only those that we have a phone number available for. Phone numbers are not available for all liens. You can obtain liens without phone numbers, and run them through a third-party phone append service if you would like.

Some tax practitioners will call leads themselves, while others will have either another member of their staff, such as an assistant, make the calls, or even hire one or more people specifically for that job. You can pay telemarketers a straight hourly wage, purely commission, or some combination of the two. You can find independent contractors in most cities that are professional appointment setters that work from home, or you can hire them as employees or temps that work from your office. You can even hire a call center company that will do the telemarketing for you (just do a Google search for this service if you’re interested). How you do this is really dependent on what you are comfortable with, what your budget is like, and how much free time you have.

What is your telemarketer offering over the phone? Your telemarketers should never offer licensed representation services — this is a violation of IRS regulations if they are not licensed themselves. Just as in direct mail marketing, always offer your prospects some sort of “widget”. What I would actually encourage you to offer is something like a special report, a book, an invitation to free seminar or webinar, or something of that nature. You will drastically increase response, and have a better pool of qualified prospects to work with. Remember that the real goal of your direct mail, telemarketing, and other lead generation efforts is exactly that: To convert a raw list of tax liens (referred to in marketing as a “cold list”) into leads. That’s the sole goal of lead generation marketing, aka “prospecting”.

A basic phone call might go like this: “Hello, my name is ____ calling from ______. The reason for my call is that we recently received notice that a Federal tax lien had been filed against you/your business, and I’m just calling to offer a free ________ (special report about removing tax liens, webinar on resolving IRS problems, etc.).

A word about the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Do Not Call List, and IRS solicitation rules: Be sure to discuss with your attorney what you plan to do with telemarketing so that you don’t run afoul of the TSR, the DNC, the FTC, the IRS, and other acronyms. We are not lawyers, and cannot provide legal advice in this arena. Based on my own research into this, here is my current understanding of some of the general rules:

  1. If you are calling individuals, you must scrub your telephone numbers against the Do Not Call list. You must obtain a SAN number from donotcall.gov in order to do this, and it does require a fee. Please note that it is ILLEGAL for us to use our SAN number to scrub the DNC for you — you MUST get your own.
  2. The FTC recently made changes to the Telemarketing Sales Rule regarding collection of fees for debt resolution services offered to consumers. At the current time, the FTC is saying that tax resolution services are subject to that rule, but as of the time of this being written there is a temporary exclusion of tax resolution from this new rule. It is my understanding that other accounting services are not subject to that rule, but again, check with your attorney on this one
  3. It is my understanding that these regulations don’t apply when you’re calling businesses, but again, check with your lawyer on it just to be sure.
  4. It is also your responsibility to comply with Circular 230 and IRS Revenue Procedure 81-38, Section 8, which bars the telephone solicitation of licensed representation services by unlicensed people.

Let me emphasize that last point: Unlicensed telemarketers should never solicit licensed services over the telephone — it is a direct violation of Federal regulations. If they get somebody on the phone that wants a consultation right there on the phone, that call should be transferred immediately to a licensed EA, CPA, or attorney. If you happen to be an “industry person” reading this, particularly an unlicensed “closer”, you need to be aware that direct telephone solicitation of licensed representation services is illegal, and can have severe consequences.

The vast majority of large, national tax resolution firms use commissioned openers and hard sell closers to sell representation services. In these firms, the initial consultation is usually done by an individual that is neither qualified to offer tax advice, nor licensed to legally do so. Over the past two years, the FTC and various state attorney generals have been cracking down on these companies, shutting down a number of the larger bad apples. People are being personally fined millions of dollars for violations, and several are also serving lengthy prison sentences. Just don’t do it.

Conclusion

I hope that this tutorial, while lengthy, has been beneficial. The information included here is stuff that some marketing gurus would charge you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for in seminars and courses. When actually applied, you can have a steady stream of new clients coming in all the time, and you can literally make millions of dollars using these strategies.

Follow up marketing to your prospect database

To put it bluntly, if you’re not actively marketing to your prospect database on a regular basis, then you wasted the money you spent to obtain those prospects in the first place.

One amazing fact has held true in the sales world for nearly a century: The majority of sales are closed after the 5th contact with a prospect. This fact holds true for any industry, and the number of contacts required to close a sale increases as the price point of the product or service increases.

What does this mean for your prospect database? It means that you should have an automated, pre-set follow up sequence that your prospects get entered into. This follow up sequence should last for an absolute minimum of three months, although 6 months to a year is ideal.

Who gets assigned to this follow up campaign? A legitimate prospect is anybody that has:

  1. personally met with you
  2. been given a telephone consultation
  3. requested information, such as a special report, from you
  4. visited your web site or called you

Basically, I consider a prospect to be anybody that has taken some action to express interest in tax services.

Has mentioned earlier, these prospects deserve special marketing attention. If they have requested information from you via the web, you should always at least request their email address and add them to email autoresponder sequence that reaches out to them at least weekly.

For prospects that you have given a consultation to and/or sent proposals to, you will obviously have their mailing address. In this case, you should be mailing something to them each and every week. Yes, direct mail each and every week for a pre-determined length of time. What you send them can be a variety of things:

  • monthly tax newsletter
  • webinar invitations
  • live financial seminar invitations
  • reports and information
  • quick tax savings tips

In addition, it’s a good idea to have an organized telephone follow up campaign. Especially after you do a consultation and give them a proposal, you should be following up with them every day for a week, and then at least weekly thereafter for a month, then at least monthly.

The sequence of emails, phone calls, direct mail offers, newsletters, seminars, and other activities that you engage in as follow up with your prospects should all be pre-planned, pre-prepared, and AUTOMATED. Your follow up activities should not be something you have to think about it. With today’s computer technology, there is no reason to do this work manually, where it often gets overlooked.

Following up with your active prospects is, quite frankly, the single most important marketing activity that you can engage in. Many firms with a substantial prospect database could actually stop their lead generation activities and focus solely on proper follow up with existing prospects. With a 10 to 20 percent conversion rate, this follow up campaign can provide sufficient revenue to grow your firm with no additional new lead generation.