When it comes to franchise recruitment, marketing and sales both play an important part in the success of any campaign. As marketers, our goal is to promote a franchise opportunity and find as many quality leads as possible for our clients. We try to determine the best channel, messaging and offer to attract those ideal prospects and get them to reach out. But all that effort would be a waste without the follow-through required by a sales person to talk to prospects, answer their questions and determine if there’s a good mutual fit. After all, buying a franchise is a huge life altering decision and it’s not going to happen without that direct contact and communication.
But is there a way technology can complement the role a salesperson plays when it comes to franchise sales? I believe there is. In particular, with automated email follow-up campaigns – otherwise known as a drip campaigns. It’s one of the tools that every franchisor should have in their arsenal.
So what is a drip marketing email campaign?
Here’s Wikipedia’s definition:
Drip marketing is a communication strategy that sends, or “drips,” a pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over time. These messages often take the form of email marketing, although other media can also be used.
Drip marketing can be used for many purposes but in the case of franchise recruitment, it can act as a fantastic tool to keep in contact with leads, build interest and further educate them about your opportunity.
Here’s how it works. A prospect fills out a franchise inquiry form online. This triggers your mail automation tool to add them to their database and automatically schedule their series of follow-up emails. The purpose of these emails is to provide additional information about what the franchise has to offer.
According to marketing automation software Drip, brands that nurture leads get 50% more sale-ready customers. By staying top of mind with a prospect and providing valuable content on the benefits of the opportunity, this can warm the prospect to the idea and make them more receptive to taking the next step.
Amount and Frequency
Accordingto Bluestout.com, on average 5 to fifteen touchpoints with your brand are required to get someone to buy — and the more expensive or complex the brand (like purchasing a franchise), the more touchpoints are needed. We recommend following up with a prospect several times within a month after they have filled out an inquiry form as this is when their interest level is highest and the idea is still fresh in their minds. After that period of time, emails should be sent out at least once per month for a duration of 6 months to a year.
Over the course of a year, people’s lives can change and you never know when they might be ready to take the plunge. Using software that automates the process of sending these emails makes the process of keeping in touch with your prospects easy and inexpensive.
Some of the better email automation tools out there will also provide additional features to help you track leads and check on the progress of your campaigns. You can set your campaign up so that your salesperson gets alerted when someone is being very responsive to your emails – opening them multiple times, for example. This process called “lead scoring” could alert a salesperson to a hot lead that could use some personal follow-up.
Content Ideas for Franchise Lead Nurturing Campaigns
So what should you write in these follow-up emails? Focus on providing interesting and helpful information rather than just trying to push a sales call. Here are a few ideas:
Franchisee Success Stories
No doubt about it, franchisee success stories, testimonials, and video case studies are all a great way to build confidence in your franchise opportunity. Share the franchisee’s back story, what made them choose the franchise and of course the reasons why they are happy with their choice.
News about the Franchise
Won an award? Opened a new location? Started a new environmental initiative? Share the news with your prospects to let them know how the business is growing and making positive changes.
Charity and Community Events
Sharing information about a charity the franchise supports or a community fundraiser you have participated in can attract franchisees who are equally passionate about the causes your brand represents.
What you Offer
Why should a franchisee choose you? Let prospects know about the training, marketing support, financing or other benefits you offer.
Who You Are
People love to hear about a company’s story. Share how the business got started or highlight some of the executives on your team. This will really help put a human face on the opportunity.
Franchise sales can take time and patience. While nothing replaces the need for a strong sales person to work through the vetting process with a prospect, email lead nurturing is a great way to keep your prospects engaged and to build trust in your brand.
Interested in setting up an automated lead nurturing program for your franchise? We’d be happy to help. Get in touch.