• vCita LiveSite integration with Constant Contact Email campaigns increased accounting firm's response rate to 70%
• Campaigns eliminated more than 150 hours of phone calls and coordination time during busy tax season
GPL Tax & Accounting (GPL) is a Seattle-based full service tax accounting firm offering tax consulting, accounting and tax resolution services to individuals and local businesses. GPL has grown from three to 20 employees since Chief Operating Officer, Effie Bar-Caspi, joined nearly five years ago.
A Taxing Time
GPL, like other tax services firms, is faced with business seasonality. From February 1 through April 15, GPL tax professionals consult with eight clients per day, six days a week. These ten weeks are among the most intense of the year.
Getting clients to prepare and plan ahead is one of the best ways to lessen the chaos of tax time. To encourage clients to schedule early, Bar-Caspi and her staff sent reminder letters in December to pre-schedule appointments in the upcoming year. The time and cost of mailing letters was high and response rates were low. Then, add on the time and expense of staff calling hundreds of clients to schedule appointments. The process was costly, ineffective and broken.
Constant Contact & vCita
Bar-Caspi researched outbound marketing and online scheduling solutions. She found Constant Contact and vCita would easily integrate and could provide an answer to her tax season schedule needs. Bar-Caspi and her staff created a unique email alerting clients to upcoming tax season. She then used vCita Online Scheduling software to provide a link within the Constant Contact email template. Directly from the email, clients could select a GPL tax consultant and choose an available and convenient meeting time for their tax appointment.
The difference was amazing.
In December 2013, Bar-Caspi and her staff sent 1039 emails through Constant Contact with the vCita Online Scheduling link embedded requesting clients to schedule their tax consultation. The email had a 58 percent open rate with 130 clients or (23 percent) scheduling an appointment directly from the email. Two follow up emails increased the appointment scheduling rate to nearly 700 or 70% of clients scheduled appointments through the email campaigns.
GPL clients now schedule tax appointments from their home computer, tablet or smartphone— even after business hours. Automated reminders a day before the meeting alerted clients to the appointment, reducing no-shows and cancellations. GPL administrative staff receive scheduling notifications and can alert tax consultants so their calendar is always up to date.
“I would recommend vCita to anyone with a calendar,” Bar-Caspi. “Leveraging vCita with Constant Contact creates a powerful tool and positively impacts our business. It’s so easy and cost effective. Our clients can book appointments online – right from their smartphone -- instead of procrastinating until the last minute. It saved us at least 150 hours of phone calls and coordination during tax season, and has changed how we manage our clients and our time.”
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Special thanks to Effie Bar-Caspi for sharing her story. Bar-Caspi earned her LL.B (Bachelor of Laws) from the Netanya Academic College Law School and was admitted to the Israeli Bar Association. After immigrating to the United States, Bar-Caspi began a career in banking, which eventually led her to GPL. Bar-Caspi joined GPL in 2010 and drives GPL’s day-to-day operations, and manages customer and partner relations.
To contact Bar-Caspi or to inquire about GPL’s services, call 425.502.9465 or visit www. gpltax.com.