We’re now entering the peak of this year’s tax season with many Americans filing late or last-minute tax returns as Tax Day rapidly approaches. While April is historically perceived as the busiest month of the year for tax services, it’s not the only time frame with high tax-related activity. According to a study published by information and measurement company Nielsen, February is also the peak month for online tax activity, but what about tax-related consumer call activity? Given this question, the Marchex Institute recently conducted a research to uncover consumer insights using the data of our digital call advertisers in the financial sector (more than 40,000 calls to a sample of tax service providers). Our finding shows that:
Americans are placing more calls to tax preparation services in January than any other month during the year.
During the period between December 2011 and March 2012, our research shows an increase of over 160% in calls to tax preparation services in January 2012, with the number of calls peaks during the week of January 8-14. Not only does this trend appear consistent among our advertisers who offer exclusive tax services, but the same trend extends to those who’re providing a mix of tax and other financial services as well. Additionally, many Americans are also placing the calls to tax preparation services during lunch time (note: average duration for these calls was 6 minutes and 30 seconds).
If you’re an advertiser in the tax preparation business, we propose the following actionable items:
- 1. The early bird tax filers are already reaching out and looking for you in January. Optimize your advertising campaigns accordingly for this opportunity
- 2. Beyond preparing for your usual surge in calls/traffics during April, reallocate your annual budget to prepare for the same occurrence during January
- 3. If you’re a call advertiser, convert those January leads by tailoring the content of your IVR (the play file which might ask a user to press “1” or “2”) to match the needs of early bird tax filers
- 4. Tax filers are most active from 10AM to 2PM (EST) during tax season, optimize your campaign to make sure your business gets the most exposure during this time frame
Are there any other advertising ideas that you’d like to share or discuss? We’d love to hear about it! Please feel free to reach out to marchex-institute at marchex dot com, or give us a call at 1-800-840-1012.
Business Analyst, Marchex Institute