Best Practices For Generating Tax Preparation Prospects

Each year, millions of Americans need help filing their taxes as the April 15 deadline approaches. As more and more tax filers use tax preparation software or seek help from tax professionals, the demand for tax preparation assistance continues to grow.

The best practices highlighted below will help ensure your lead generation campaigns geared toward tax preparation prospects are set up for success.


Careful preparation is essential for any successful lead generation campaign, but in order to generate significant lead volume quickly, all elements of tax preparation lead generation campaigns should be set up to handle an accelerated pace.

  • Determine what channels work best for your campaign: Seek out channels that can quickly produce motivated users. Email, search, listicle, social and native advertising campaigns, when priced correctly, can be key components of successful tax preparation lead generation campaigns.
  • Determine what success looks like: Identify KPIs (key performance indicators) that will be tracked and measured throughout the campaign. When working with third parties, be clear about campaign goals and how success will be measured up front. Depending on the type of campaign, if all creative assets and tracking are prepared for launch, third-party tax preparation lead generation campaign set up can take as little as one week.
  • Prepare your infrastructure: Make sure your call center is appropriately staffed to handle increased call capacity when volume picks up, and consider extending call center hours.
  • Compliance is key: In addition to tax-specific regulations, ensure that campaigns are in compliance with regulations like TCPA and CCPA. Ensure that your campaigns are compliant by obtaining express written consent to contact consumers by phone or text. Consider using a third party to help track and produce proof of compliance, if needed.


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Although it’s possible to file in October if an extension has been granted, the majority of Americans file their taxes between January and mid-April, so the first three months of the year are critical for advertising tax preparation products and services.

  • Know your audience: Determine who your target audience is, and develop creative that speaks to them. Use images that match your target demographics, enabling prospects to engage with relevant creative that is more likely to result in conversions.
  • Create a sense of urgency: Be sure to use language that incites users to take action quickly. Using dates or countdowns when the April 15 deadline is approaching can encourage prospects to make moves. Although it can take two to three weeks for tax preparation conversions at the beginning of tax season, closer to the deadline, conversion can happen within days.
  • Strong CTAs are crucial: High impact creative with a strong call to action is critical. Establish a price vs. value comparison based on other in-market tax preparation competitors. Coupon codes and discounts work well for drawing attention and winning new tax preparation customers.


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Although the supply of consumers looking for tax preparation products and services can be abundant, especially closer to the tax filing deadline, the competition is also fierce. In order to compete, advertisers need to be aggressive, but strategic, with their outreach plans.

  • Timely follow up is essential: With many advertisers vying for attention from the same pool of consumers, following up with interested prospects as close to real time as possible is crucial. The first call, email or communication should occur within minutes of the lead being submitted. Act quickly, as it is likely consumers are shopping around.
  • Don’t rely solely on phone calls: Establish a robust outreach workflow that includes more than calling. A well-planned email cadence can be highly effective for tax preparation lead generation campaigns. A waterfall approach with a welcome email, follow-ups with incremental discounts and more personalized content tends to perform better than one-size-fits-all “canned” messaging. SMS can also be a useful tool to follow up with users who registered, but did not continue in the process.

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As with any marketing campaign, monitoring results and making adjustments based on outcomes is essential for tax preparation lead generation campaigns, as incremental improvements over time drive growth and profitability.
  • Test and iterate creative: Test various subject lines, headlines and images to determine what creative mix is resonating best with your target audience. Iterate to improve creative performance throughout the campaign lifecycle.
  • Share data with publishers: Empower your partners to optimize by providing them with outcome data as closely to real time as possible, ideally daily, enabling them to make adjustments to quickly and effectively improve campaign performance.

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About the author

Digital Media Solutions

Digital Media Solutions, Inc. (DMS) drives better business results by connecting high-intent consumers with advertisers across our core verticals; Insurance (auto, home, health), Education and Consumer/Ecommerce. Our innovative solutions help consumers shop and save, while helping our advertisers achieve above average return on ad spend. Learn more at