Franchise Development Lead Generation Tips
So, you’ve made the decision to become a franchisor. You have filed for your Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDD), and you’re ready to start ramping up your franchise sales.
Or, perhaps you have already acquired quite a few franchisees, but you feel like you’re not getting franchise sales as quickly as you think you should and growing your franchise system as rapidly as you would like or expect.
Don’t worry. You’re not alone.
Growing a franchise system is not always easy. And, at the end of the day, you need leads (and a lot of them) to find good potential franchise candidates and close the best ones in order to expand your franchise system.
Obviously, we are an ad agency, and working to help franchisors acquire new franchisees is a big bulk of our book of business. So, there is probably some bias in these tips that we will be presenting. But, having managed over $5,000,000 in franchise development ads and driven over 150,000 leads, we have learned a thing or two about the importance of franchise development lead generation and what tends to produce success as opposed to failure.
Tip #1: Diversify Your Lead Sources
We view the franchising space the same way as we view our own business. If you can get a variety of lead sources all producing for you, you’re in a better boat than if you only have one lead source that is driving sales.
For instance, for our own business we drive sales through Referral Partners, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, Outbound LinkedIn, Outbound Email, and Trade Shows. These would be lead sources that we have “figured out”.
On the flip side, we still haven’t cracked the nut on Direct Mail, Telemarketing, Business Acquisition, SEO, and a variety of other lead sources.
Your business is most likely no difference. Perhaps you’ve been able to sell via Broker Networks such as TES or FranServe as well as a few franchise portals like FranchiseGator .com and Entrepreneur.com.
If that’s the case, then you may want to explore avenues such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Trade Shows, LinkedIn, and other mediums.
Tip #2: Know Your Cost Per Sale
Once you start generating franchise sales via multiple lead sources, it’s a good idea to really track your Cost Per Sale for each of those channels.
Back to our example, it costs us about $250 to acquire a client from Referral Partners, as we pay some of them a one-time commission. It costs us about $1,000 to acquire a new client via Google Ads and about $750 to acquire a client via Outbound LinkedIn.
However, just because one medium is more expensive than another doesn’t mean you should turn it off. Instead, come up with a number in your head that makes since as a Maximum Viable Cost Per Sale that you’re willing to pay.
Then, continue to keep on and drive down the Cost Per Sale of each medium and/or increase volume.
Tip #3: Scale Lead Sources
Not all lead sources can scale. But, some can.
For instance, you may always only be able to sell a few deals a year from a specific Broker Network, because you only have a few people within those networks who are familiar enough with your franchise to sell it to the right people.
But, you may find that a certain medium such as Facebook ads, which is a display network, has a massive audience. And, if you can deliver the right messages to the right people, you can scale the number of sales that you get from that medium quite a bit.
Tip #4: Tracking
Did you know that roughly half of all franchise sales are initially generated online. Where do you think Broker Networks and Franchise Portals get their leads from?
Most of their traffic and leads initially come from Google Searches and Facebook Ads. They are just better at driving that traffic and converting it into leads than you are. In fact, they are so good at it that they have built entire businesses around just doing that.
The great thing about some mediums such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and Google Ads is that you can track exactly what keywords and audiences generated those leads.
Brokers and Portals aren’t going to give you that information. And, neither will Google if you’re only doing SEO.
But paid mediums such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads allow you to use something called URL parameters to send that valuable data across to your website and capture it so that you know exactly which keywords and audiences drove your highest quality (or lowest quality) leads.
From there, you can tweak your campaigns to drive you more of what you want and less of what you don’t.
Tip #5: Hire Experts
Not any good at driving clicks and leads online via the various major networks? No worries. That’s what we do.
We probably work with more franchisors doing franchise development lead generation than anyone. And, our pricing is actually really affordable.
Want to give us a try? Awesome! All of our Service Agreements are month-to-month, and if some point you decide to take things in-house and do it yourself, you own everything so you can certainly do so. We’re just here to help!