Complete Guide to SMS for Tax Preparation

By:  Amy Dean - Marketing Director

Tax Prep SMS

Come late winter and early spring, accounting firms will see an influx of appointments with taxpayers preparing to file. Working in the accounting industry, you probably understand the stress of tax season, managing loads of paperwork and keeping track of your individual clients’ needs. Why not make things a little easier with a short message service (SMS)?

It’s no secret that people spend large chunks of their day on their phones. With that in mind, taking advantage of SMS messaging is a fantastic way to stay organized this tax season and provide a more personal, streamlined experience for your clients. It can also facilitate communication within your workforce.

Discover the value of text message marketing for tax professionals and how you can integrate this feature into your own operations this tax season.

What Are the Benefits of SMS for Tax Preparers?

There are numerous reasons for tax professionals to consider incorporating SMS. Here are some advantages SMS can offer your tax firm during busy seasons—and any other time of the year.

1. It’s Simple and Convenient

SMS allows you to send messages directly to your clients’ mobile devices. Whether you need to text one customer or 50 at once, SMS provides a quick, easy and user-friendly interface to reach all your tax clients.

Texting for tax clients

Aside from clients, you can also use SMS to streamline internal communication with your employees, such as your HR team, management staff and accountants. Plus, recipients can respond to your texts with two-way business messaging features. SMS messaging makes life easier for all parties involved.

2. It’s Cost-Efficient

Thanks to SMS, you can skip the cost and hassle of playing phone tag with clients whenever you need to send tax appointment reminders. It only takes seconds—and pennies—to send a targeted text message, making it a cost-effective avenue to reach your clients.

SMS messages have considerable read rates of up to 98% and response rates of up to 45%. This shows a promising return on investment, helping you get the most out of the money and time you budget towards SMS. Additionally, many SMS providers offer flexible pricing plans, ensuring you only pay for the number of messages you need and nothing more.

3. It Improves Engagement

How do you grow your tax firm? SMS is a step in the right direction, as it encourages more engaged and personalized experiences with your clients.

SMS messages pop up instantly on mobile devices, making it a breeze for clients to open and respond to texts. SMS can boost engagement with your clients by simplifying appointment scheduling and reminders.

Communications are more efficient overall, as SMS cuts down on missed phone calls, unanswered voicemails and wasted time. You can boost retention rates by facilitating communication with your customers, helping grow your client base in turn.

Tips and Best Practices for Integrating SMS Into Your Tax Preparation Business

Before we get into the actual SMS integration process, below are some important tips to keep in mind when sending SMS messages to your clients and employees.

1. Build a Contact List

Creating a foundation of contacts is an essential first step. If it isn’t already, collecting phone numbers should be an integral part of your onboarding process. Get a mobile phone number from every new client that books with you. You might do this by including a section on your online booking form for phone numbers.

When gathering customers’ phone numbers, make sure you have consent to send them SMS messages. You can get their approval through an opt-in SMS series or web form. Once you get the go-ahead from your clients, you can save their contacts in your SMS app’s address book and start creating your distribution lists.

2. Keep Messages Short and Sweet

Many people lack the time and patience to read a long, drawn-out text message. Try to keep your messages as clear, to the point and concise as possible. Your clients and employees should be able to skim your text and grasp the call to action with ease. Additionally, limiting your texts to 160 characters prevents them from splitting into multiple messages.

Limited your sms to 160 characters

3. Consider the Frequency of Your Messages

While you want to be consistent with SMS messaging, you also don’t want to bombard your recipients’ phones with never-ending texts. Receiving a constant stream of messages can be aggravating and tiresome, so try to be mindful of how often you send them.

Only reach out when necessary, like answering a tax-related question or reminding a client of an approaching appointment. Avoid flooding their devices with promos and deals multiple times a week, as this can quickly come off as spammy.

4. Combine Personalization With Automation

SMS lets you automate and schedule message delivery with ease, making it incredibly convenient. However, don’t forget to sprinkle a personal touch into your messages. This tactic allows you to reach and connect with clients more effectively, giving them a more individualized experience.

For example, say you send an SMS blast message announcing that your firm is introducing a new accounting service. When customers respond asking for more information, make sure to use their name and customize the response with references to services they’ve used in the past.

Bulk SMS

When sending bulk messages, you can also customize each text to include individual clients’ names. That way, these messages can feel more personal despite each person receiving the same one.

5. Encourage Referrals

If you’re looking to grow your client base, SMS can be a prime opportunity to motivate referrals and, thus, more business. You might encourage current clients to refer their friends and family members by offering an incentive. For instance, you might say, “Refer a friend to our accounting firm to receive a free tax consultation or credit off your filing!”

Alternatively, you could partner with a local business and offer clients a free gift card for each person they refer. SMS messaging provides a quick, easy way to uncover new leads by reaching out to existing clients.

SMS Templates by Red Oxygen

At Red Oxygen, we help businesses integrate SMS services into their operations, making communication with their employees and clients fast, straightforward and hassle-free. In fact, the trickiest part is likely creating the actual messages, which we can assist with, as well.

With our ready-to-use enterprise SMS templates, you can convey the messages you want without needing to find the words yourself. We’ve already typed out the texts—all you have to do is fill in the blanks, including the recipient’s name, the date and time or any other relevant information.

Ready to use SMS Templated from Red Oxygen

Here are some SMS templates you might consider using for your tax preparation business.

1. Appointment Bookings

For clients who book with your firm on a regular basis, SMS is perfect for sending them quick reminders about scheduling their appointments. Here’s an example text:

Hey John, can you believe tax season is upon us already? It’s time to schedule your tax appointment! Follow this link to book online:

2. Appointment Scheduling Confirmations

By sending your client a quick confirmation text after they schedule their appointment, they can verify their slot was successfully booked and have more peace of mind. They don’t have to call the firm to ensure it went through. For instance:

Hello, John! Thanks for scheduling a tax appointment with David on February 8, 11:00 a.m. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, reply to this message.

3. Appointment Reminders

Have you ever had a client schedule an appointment and forget to show up? Missed appointments can mean lost revenue for your tax firm. This is where appointment reminder texts are a lifesaver. You can use our tax appointment reminder SMS template for—you guessed it—sending your clients tax appointment reminders.

Customized SMS messages

Send a customized message to your clients reminding them of their tax preparation appointment on their scheduled date and time. They can reply to confirm or if they need to reschedule their appointment. You might say something along the lines of:

[Your Tax Pros] Hi, John! This is a reminder that your scheduled tax appointment is coming up on February 8 at 11:00 a.m. Reply Y to confirm. If you need to reschedule, reply N.

4. Rate Your Experience Requests

After your client’s tax appointment, you might consider giving them an opportunity to rate their experience. This is an excellent way to show that you value their input and help them feel heard. Enter SMS!

You might say something like:

Hello, John! Thank you for visiting with us on Feb 8. We hope you had a positive experience. Please let us know how we did. Follow this link to rate your visit.

5. Google Review Requests

Inviting clients to leave Google Reviews is another way for them to provide feedback about their appointments and overall experience with your firm. These reviews also help boost your business’s visibility across the internet, as they show up on search results and Google Maps. They can potentially attract more inquiries, appointment bookings, clients and, ultimately, revenue.

Here’s a message you might send:

Hey, John! How was your tax appointment on Feb 8? We’d love if you could leave a review on Google to share your experience. Your feedback helps us provide better experiences for our clients. Follow this link to review.

6. Promotions

How does a tax preparer get clients? Easy—marketing their business and motivating people to book with them. Give your customers a reason to continue using your tax preparation services. Text promos are a stellar way to do so.

Leverage tax season marketing by implementing SMS capabilities. By sending promotional text messages to your clients, you can incentivize them to book your services for their tax preparation needs. Here’s one example:

Book an appointment with your tax prep agent today to receive our 10% early bird discount!

Promotions with SMS

7. FAQs

Chances are, your clients have a laundry list of questions about taxes—especially the closer April 15 gets. Being up to your knees in paperwork, phone calls, emails and appointment bookings, you probably don’t have a ton of time to answer every question in one session.

Luckily, text messaging allows clients to ask quick tax-related questions and get answers promptly, forgoing the need to call the firm or for your firm to have an answering service. With SMS, you have a convenient way to answer frequently asked questions about taxes, meaning fewer phone calls, increased client satisfaction and more time.

For instance, let’s say a client texts you asking if they can deduct student loan interest on their taxes. You might respond with:

Thanks for your question, John! We can confirm that is a valid tax deduction. Please make sure to bring those receipts with you for your upcoming appointment.

Our SMS Capabilities

At Red Oxygen, we make it easy to send text messages to your clients using your software you’re already familiar with. Our software solutions include one-on-one and bulk messaging options. Both features enable two-way communication with your employees and customers.

For a better idea of how you can use our SMS services to connect with your staff and clients, here are some of our SMS capabilities.

1. Text From Email

As the name suggests, our text-from-email feature lets you send SMS messages from your email account to your recipients’ mobile devices. Responses are sent to your email inbox.

This feature can streamline various processes, whether:

  • Sending prescheduled appointment reminders.
  • Following up on outstanding paperwork.
  • Informing clients about business changes.
  • Sending promotional messages.

2. Bulk Messaging

Imagine sending the same message to 100 different people one at a time—sounds unnecessarily time-consuming, right? Not to mention, carrier networks often flag repeated messages as spam and block them.

Our bulk messaging feature lets you personalize messages for your recipients without composing each one manually. Using your templates and your spreadsheet of client data, our software generates tailored messages for each recipient. Gone are the days of manually adding contacts to your messages and creating individual texts.

Bulk messaging is ideal for announcing changes to your business hours, promotional messages and other cases where you need to address a large group. Our software can automatically input each recipient’s name and other relevant details in the message, giving it a personal touch and reducing the risk of it getting flagged.

3. SMS From a Browser

This feature lets you send SMS messages to recipients directly from your web browser. Whether you’re texting one individual or a large group, your messages will go straight to their mobile devices.

You’ll receive their replies as emails in your inbox. Our text-from-browser capabilities are perfect for appointment confirmations and reminders. They can also streamline internal communications.

4. Scheduled Messages

With our prescheduled SMS option, you can set texts to deliver to recipients at your desired time—whether an hour, day, week or even a month later. This feature is ideal for sending appointment reminders at a scheduled interval, like two days in advance.

5. Third-Party SMS Integration

Integrating SMS with accounting software is easy with Red Oxygen. Our application programming interface (API) lets you send messages from existing software. Our API accommodates numerous platforms, includes automation capabilities to streamline scheduling, supports multiple programming languages and doesn’t require additional hardware.

Other Features You Can Access With Red Oxygen

Accounting firms and tax preparation businesses usually keep pretty busy, even more so when tax season rolls around. In fact, your firm may be bustling to the point where consistent communication becomes a challenge. SMS may be the solution you didn’t know you needed, simplifying a range of processes like appointment scheduling, information sharing and inquiry response.

Communication is key to success in any organization, and tax preparation businesses are no exception. Our SMS messaging features aim to make communication with clients and employees faster and easier than ever, helping you see improved processes and results. Keep your clients in the know throughout tax season and beyond.

It doesn’t matter if you plan ahead or do everything at once. You can send a single text or a full spreadsheet’s worth of bulk messages. Whether you prefer to send messages online, via email or through your accounting software, our solutions will meet you where you are. Below are the different features you can leverage with Red Oxygen.


Red Oxygen SMS Features

1. Personalization Opportunities

Customized SMS messages are a great way to engage with your clients, send tax appointment reminders and verify your messages were delivered. Your clients are more likely to receive and open customized texts than dry, generic and cookie-cutter messages. A personalized text can make the recipient more likely to engage with the message.

Our software includes numerous features that allow you to customize your SMS messages:

  • Two-way texting capabilities
  • Messages with personal information like the recipient’s name or the date of their last visit
  • Headers and signatures displaying your personal or company name
  • Long message options (160 characters or more)
  • Bulk mail merge templates
  • Text-to-join mailing lists
  • Opt-out keywords (e.g., “stop” or “unsubscribe”)

2. Developer Support

If you’re looking to incorporate SMS messaging into your accounting software, we have all the resources and support you need for a successful integration, including:

  • A variety of developer languages for integrations.
  • White label billing interface, allowing you to add your company logo and information to the interface.
  • Seamless HTTP and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol API integrations.

3. Ongoing Customer Support

Our support staff is available 24/7 to assist you with any software installation or message delivery inquiries. Simply send us a support ticket or chat with us live. You’ll receive a response from a human representative, not a bot. Some of our other customer support features include:

  • Delivery status and verification: To confirm your messages were successfully delivered to your recipients, we can provide reports specifying whether the SMS message made it to the appropriate mobile devices.
  • Unlimited users: If a new member joins your staff, you can easily add them to your account at no additional cost.
  • Multi-tier administration: If you need to track your SMS usage, we’ve got you covered. Our admin access will take care of this for you and support as many users as you need.

Ready to Start Your Tax Season SMS Campaign? Get in Touch With Red Oxygen Today

By partnering with Red Oxygen, you can communicate with your clients more effectively and see impressive growth for your tax preparation business.

Your clients need a resource they can count on as they navigate the turmoil of tax season. Whether reminding them of appointments, answering their tax questions or allowing them to leave feedback on their visit, SMS shows your clients that you’ve got their back—during tax season and beyond.

To learn more about how our SMS messaging solutions can benefit your tax firm, request a demo of our software today!

Contact Red Oxygen Today

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