Many years ago, before I was “gifted” my mentor’s tax practice at the end of the last millennium, I had only about 100 of my own 1040 clients. In December I would send each client on my list a tax-themed Christmas card, usually purchased from an accountant supply house, and, as I did with all my Christmas cards, included an annual “year-in-travel” newsletter.
Many families include in their Christmas card a newsletter talking about what the family has been up to during the year, often with emphasis on their kids’ achievements. My uncle, a confirmed bachelor, was a world traveler and would each year compose a Christmas newsletter that outlined his many travels that year. We occasionally travelled together. I followed in his footsteps, both in travelling (I am, after all, known as the “wandering” tax pro) and in writing an annual Christmas letter highlighting my travels for the year.
As my travels used to include attending both the NATP Annual Conference and the NSTP National Convention each year at various cities throughout the US, many of which I would not have visited were it not for the tax CPE, these trips were reported in my letter, as were trips to Atlantic City and other locations for year-end tax update classes. I found this a subtle but effective way of reminding my clients of my extensive continuing professional education throughout the year to keep up with the ever-changing 1040.
When I took over my mentor’s practice my client list expanded from 100 to well over 300. It became too expensive to send each client a Christmas card. But I continued to send out the Christmas travel letter as part of my annual January informational mailing to clients.
Over the years I have had more favorable comments on this annual Christmas travel letter than any other mailing sent to clients. Many clients, to this day, tell me they look forward to reading it each year.
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