Why Financial Services Brand Language Matters This Tax Season

Oh, tax season. The dreaded time of year has returned. But why is the process so catastrophic? Financial institutions are offering digital tax solutions to try to make things easier, but at the end of the day, no one really likes digging up old receipts, sorting through W-2s, and entering data into tax forms.

While the average U.S. citizen doesn’t knock on the door of their local H&R Block on Feb. 1, giddy with anticipation, financial services institutions are looking for ways to make the process more engaging, especially when vying for customers in an increasingly competitive market. In fact, they not only want to make it attractive, but they also need to make it safe.

Whether it’s a bank, an investment company or a tax solutions provider, the financial services industry must use language that reassures consumers. Honestly, who doesn’t need reassurance when it comes to investing and wealth management? And whether your consumers decide to use a service, software, or consultant to deposit, financial companies have the ability to reach more customers and earn more revenue through the use of powerful, personalized language.

So what does this mean? And how has language impacted the performance of these organizations in recent years? persado has unique data insights to propel results forward.

Break it down by emotion

Persado’s AI language and decision-making platform generate content that performs better than humans 96% of the time. Marketers can create compelling content that consistently improves conversion over time using components such as emotion, description, functionality, formatting, storytelling, positioning, and appeal to action. Using language tags and emotional categories to inform the algorithm, Persado breaks down language into emotions like:

  • Urgency: usually a negative emotion that involves a time limitation
  • Attention: alert the customer to the importance of the message
  • Gratification: incentivize by highlighting the value the customer receives
  • Curiosity: direct the customer in the message to get more information
  • Encouragement: motivating the client towards an action

The language of tax time

So what does this mean for tax season? Let’s evaluate some emotional performance measures of our financial services clients.

Sheena Vira, Head of Content Intelligence at Persado, shares, “We might expect urgency to be best for something that is deadline-driven and requires action. Instead, we We’ve found that it still performs well, but it’s not at the top of the charts. Given our data, we recommend that you continue to reference urgency in this type of time-sensitive communication, but don’t you don’t rely on it exclusively to get customers to take action.

Here are some emergency examples:

  • Time Sensitive: Your Refund Details Attached
  • Don’t delay, the 2022 tax deadline is approaching
  • Immediate action needed to file your taxes on time

Additionally, Sheena points out that attention still works well across the financial services industry, especially when the intent is for the customer to take notice.

Here are some examples of attention:

  • Action Required: Tax Deadline Approaching
  • Important Account Information Attached
  • Please see your monthly statement

While attention works well in some cases, it’s not always the right emotion to use to inspire other actions. Instead, emotions like gratification or curiosity can often be more effective in getting the customer to engage.

Here are some examples of rewards:

  • We give you an easy way to deposit
  • Please use your sign up offer

Specifically during tax time, attention is exceptionally effective at grabbing the customer’s attention, but less effective at prompting the customer to take action. According to our content intelligence team, more neutral emotions such as curiosity and encouragement get the most reactions in the weeks leading up to the tax deadline.

Here are some curious examples:

  • Here are your next steps
  • Discover the offers to which you are entitled
  • Learn more about the status of your refund

This data suggests that when a known deadline approaches, customers respond and are prompted to act when the message is less of a “warning” using negative emotions such as attention, and more of a nudge using neutral language such as encouragement or curiosity.

Some examples of what encouragement looks like in messaging:

  • You’re always on track to file your taxes on time
  • There is still time to request your refund
  • It’s easy to deposit, we recommend you start here

When it comes to the reluctant task of doing taxes, financial services organizations should use language to ensure the process will be painless. This post should encourage customers to read the content for more information on the process, and then take action to have these taxes filed and removed from their to-do list.