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Using Your FranDev Marketing Tools to Generate Leads

From retargeting cold leads with webinars to reaching long leads through social media, there are several different types of leads, and each category requires different marketing tools.

When you’re ready to deploy your development budget and get in front of qualified prospective buyers in target markets across the country, it’s important to understand what tools you have at your disposal and who those tools are designed to attract. 

Here are some of the various categories a lead might fall into, as well as how to utilize franchise development marketing tools to reach them.

Cold Leads

First, it’s important to “pick up the rocks” to see if you can get any movement from people who have already inquired about the brand. These are leads that requested more information but fell off at some point and were labeled as “cold.” 

There are several reasons why leads may fall off, but often it’s because the  franchisor didn’t give a clear Why You/Why Now — telling franchisee prospects what is happening with the brand and why they should care. 

A newsletter is a great way to deliver the Why You/Why Now by driving cold leads into a piece of content on the brand’s website. Other development tools that can be used to reignite interest in these cold leads are webinars, CRM retargeting or even fireside chats where executives chat with the prospect. 

By building up these assets about the story that you’re now deploying out to your cold leads, now you can get some insights. You can see who opened it, who clicked through to your website and who engaged with your content. While that might not be a giant list and most of them may be cold, a percentage of them might not have been ready to buy and now you’re reengaging with them. Now your sales team can do follow up calls based on that data and hopefully, turn cold leads into active buyers. One of the hardest steps in franchising is getting a prospect to raise their hand and say they want to be a franchisee, so even if a “warm” lead turns cold, it is important to follow up.

Cold Lead Checklist:

  • Deliver the Why You/Why Now in a newsletter. 
  • Create a webinar. 
  • Begin CRM retargeting.
  • Launch fireside chats.

Current Franchisees

The biggest lead bucket in your franchise are your existing franchisees. 

Ask yourself: Are your current franchisees still hungry to grow? What are they saying about the brand? Are you giving them the tools they need to grow? Are your franchisees sharing info about their success to friends? 

Franchisees sell franchises. Whether it is through a PR campaign, a validation phone call or digital content, having the right stories in place and aligning them with candidates is a major tool in the development process. If a franchisor can leverage the validation stories of those successful and passionate franchisees on the referral side, they will be able to build out content marketing materials and share them with those prospects.

Current Franchisee Checklist:

  • Give your franchisees the tools they need to grow
  • Build data about franchisees within your system who are scaling to understand and share how they found success
  • Leverage franchisees to talk about how much they love the brand and why they love the brand

Four-Wall Marketing

Within the four walls of your operations, you’re likely to find your next potential buyer. These are people who already have an affinity and love for the brand and who are much more likely to buy than those who have no reference for the concept. 

To create development marketing assets that will reach these prospects, franchisors need to analyze the touchpoints that are connecting with customers on the ground. For example, it may be a van with a logo on it, a pamphlet that is sent out to customers post-service or even an invoice. Using these resources to reach prospective franchisees and drive leads can be a powerful way to find and educate those people who are only an inch away from investing in the brand. A strong franchise development website, especially one that is connected to the consumer site, can also be one of the most powerful tools in this regard. 

Four-Wall Marketing Checklist:

  • Use your own brick and mortar location as an advertising platform
  • Put a logo on your van
  • Send out post-service pamphlets
  • Include a logo and website on your invoice
  • Use your website to tell your brand’s story

Long Leads

Finally, it’s essential to nurture long leads, or those qualified buyers who are currently in the pipeline and are looking at your category, but are also talking to competition. These leads are often brought in by franchise portals, which offer an easy-to-access database for candidates to find the brand. Many prospective franchisees turn to franchise portals to begin winnowing their search. According to research done by Franchise Update Media in 2019, nearly one in seven franchise leads (13.2%) come from portals. Still, while portals can bring a lot of leads, the infrastructure needs to be in place to drive those leads to conversions. 

In order to create this infrastructure and stand out in the category, franchisors need to leverage SEO and Google Analytics and pay-per-click ads, as well as social media and digital marketing. There will also be leads on the farther side of the funnel that probably won’t convert for six months to a year, but franchisors still need to give those prospects a reason to shift their career down the line. 

Long-Lead Checklist:

  • Utilize a franchise portal
  • Leverage SEO and Google analytics
  • Invest in social media and digital marketing

Once franchisors have divided their leads into these categories and created the development marketing tools around them, it is time to deploy drip campaigns based on the individual prospect’s behavior. Cold leads should be sent follow up materials, current franchisees should be informed about the desire for growth, leads within the four walls should be reached through marketing and long leads in the funnel should be convinced the concept is better than the competition. 

By breaking down leads into these four categories and developing marketing tools in response, you’ll be better able to deploy your budget in a way that is impactful to franchise growth and will take your brand to the next level. 

Discover more about how to win at franchise development marketing by downloading our free white paper here.