Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of your job as a franchisor. If you can’t sell franchises, then you can’t make money. It can be a struggle though to find the right formula to bring in the most leads and turn them into solid sales. Even if you have been in the franchise business for years, it may be time to refresh your approach to franchise lead generation. Customers today are constantly evolving and you need to evolve with them too in order to stay relevant.
Here are 9 ways for improving franchise lead generation.
Stay in touch with your targeted customer.
Up in your ivory tower, making deals and raking in the money you might lose touch with what potential franchisors are looking for in a franchise business. Never get too jaded that you don’t know who your targeted customer is and what they want. You also need to know how best to get your story out to them. What messages and mediums do they respond to the most? In this high-tech world, the best approaches typically include some sort of digital marketing. A visible social media presence can also help. All this requires a lot of research. It will be worth the investment though when you see your message resonating better with potential customers.
Hire an expert in franchise development.
One mistake some franchisors make is having one person handle both consumer marketing and the franchise development marketing. While an advertising executive might be wonderful at creating campaigns for the consumer of your products and services, the same approach is not going to work for people interesting in owning a franchise. It is much better to separate the two areas of advertising and hire someone who specializes in franchise development marketing. You need an expert who can craft messages that directly speak to people seriously considering buying a franchise.
Create a separate recruitment website.
An integral part of franchise lead generation is the recruitment website. Unfortunately, some franchisors don’t have a separate one. Instead they just have a few pages on their consumer site dedicated to franchising. The thing is though that regardless of where a potential buyer first heard about you, they will eventually need to end up at your website for all the pertinent information and to start the ball rolling.
Because it such a critical part of the recruitment process, you need to make sure you have a separate site that speaks directly to the potential buyer and addresses all their concerns. Experts advise that you have at least close to 20 pages for visitors to navigate through. You need to make sure that they not only stay on your site, but they are willing to talk to a salesperson as well. At the end of the day, if leads will not talk to a salesperson then you will never be able to make the sale.
Also, don’t forget about the mobile version of your site. Most people today do their searches on a mobile device so you need to make sure that it is attractive and easy to navigate. On the mobile site, you can also include an options for people to call your sales office directly to talk to a real live salesperson. You want to keep them engaged before they lose interest.
Don’t be afraid to spend money on leads.
We are all looking to save money. Get more bang for our buck. But sometimes you have to spend money to make some like with email campaigns and paid search ads. If you take the cheaper route in your franchise lead generation, then you will probably not get the high quality leads you are hoping for. Also keep in mind that the number of applications you receive a month is also another important indicator. Leads don’t always turn into applications and applications don’t always turn into sales so you need to be looking at recruitment from all possible angles.
Get rid of what’s not working.
Don’t be afraid to take a whole new approach to franchise lead generation. If your current strategies are not working, then you need to revamp quickly because of course time is money. Be open to thinking outside the box. Common metrics like bounce rates and average time on the site are really not that effective at tracking at people who are serious about entering the franchise business. It might be better to track instead unique visitors to the site and the monthly conversion rate.
According to Forbes, Content marketing is “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” This is most effective when presented in the form of a resource that will help a person find answers to common questions about the service or product you are providing. For example, if you own a burger joint and want to attract investors looking to own a burger franchise, you might create a “Guide to Owning a Burger Franchise” and post to it your franchising website to help prospective investors get an idea of what’s involved with becoming a franchisee. Not only is this a great way to generate new visitors to your website, but it helps to establish trust between these visitors and your business by first helping them and then engaging them.
Invest in paid search.
While it is not cheap by any means, paid search can really increase the number of visitors that come to your website and once they are there, you can really reel them in. This goes back to the earlier tip. Don’t be afraid to spend some money on lead generation. It is crucial to the success of your business.
Take advantage of social media.
Besides having an engaging Facebook and Twitter feed where you engage potential buyers, you can also buy promoted posts and ads to boost your visibility even more. Your promoted posts can even go directly into people’s news feeds now.
Set up an email drip campaign.
Even with all the social media buzz, emails are still the most direct way to interact with potential buyers, expect of course for the phone call. An email drip campaign is when you set up a schedule of emails to go out to potential buyers with your story and pertinent information on why they should buy one of your franchises. Like paid search, this strategy is a little more expensive, but it is also more effective.
Don’t drop portal leads.
While all the experts are warning you not to invest too much in portal leads that doesn’t mean to forget about them completely. It just means to diversify your franchise lead generation. Portal leads can drive traffic to your website and are a good tool to use, just don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Overall, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to invest in franchise lead generation in order to improve it. That means money and also time. With a diverse strategy, you will be sure to have a better success.