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5 Franchise Marketing Tools and Why You Should Never Pay for Them

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This article covers 5 major franchise marketing tools that every franchisor must use to be successful in franchise lead generation and franchise business development.

 

You can use the table of contents to jump to the tool that interests you the most. For more information about these franchise marketing tools, we discuss specific details about each marketing tactic in supporting articles mentioned throughout this post.

 

Table of Contents

0. Introduction
1. Franchise Website and Franchise Landing Pages
2. Franchise CRM
3. Franchise Advertising Services
4. Franchise Marketing Drip Campaigns, E-mail, and SMS Campaigns
5. Franchise Buyer Persona Builder

 

A Brief Introduction

 

Before we delve deeper into franchise lead generation and franchise marketing tools, let’s look at a brief life exercise that everyone can relate to:

 

Let’s imagine that you have a serious plumbing issue at your house. You have tried fixing it yourself, but it looks like you have to call a plumber and let a professional take care of the issue.

 

While the plumber is on his way, let me ask you a few questions:

 

Do you care if he is driving a van or pickup truck?
Do you care if he is using Google Maps or Yahoo Maps to get to your house?
Do you care what tools he will bring to fix the problem?

 

The answer is NO – you do not care.

 

All that matters to you is that he will get to your house on time and fix the problem quickly.

 

Are you going to pay for the plumbing tools he brings with him to fix the problem?

 

The answer is NO – you pay the plumber only if he fixes the issue.

 

You pay for skills, not for tools. You pay for results.

 

 

As a franchisor or franchise business developer, you should have the same approach when it comes to franchise lead generation: pay for the results and ignore the sales pitch that focuses on what tools are going to be used.

 

You should know the franchise lead generation tools and expect to use them, but you should not pay for the tools themselves. You pay for the franchise leads that arise as a result of strategically utilizing these tools. Tools must come as part of the service you receive.

 

Getting Started

 

In this article, let’s look at 5 main franchise lead generation tools that every franchise development team should be using. These are the cornerstones of lead generation and working with franchise prospects. Master them, and you will be ahead of the game in the franchise sales and marketing.

 

1. Franchise Website and Franchise Landing Pages

 

What is a franchise website and how is one different from a franchise landing page?

Do you need a franchise website or a franchise landing page, or both?

What content do I need to have on my franchise website?

How much does it cost to make a franchise website?

Where should I start? Please show me the roadmap to designing and building a successful franchise website.

 

These are all valid questions, but unfortunately few franchisors address them when they open a franchise; we often find that many companies still struggle with establishing an online presence, even after several years in business.

 

What is a franchise website and how is one different from a franchise landing page?

 

A franchise website is a tool that helps a franchise achieve its main goal: to grow the business by educating prospects about the company, generate leads, and help convert leads into franchise sales.

 

To make sure we’re clear about the difference between a company’s franchise website and their main “brand” website, let’s take a look at some examples.

 

Talking about their main site. An image of their homepage pictured below:

 

Huddlehouse Brand Website

 

Talking about their franchise site. An image of their franchise site below:

 

 

Huddlehouse Franchising Website

 

A franchise landing page is a type of web page intended for a specific purpose; for example, to generate franchise leads or inform users of a promotion, such as franchising discounts for military veterans.

 

The main difference between a franchise website and a franchise landing page is that the landing page is simple and has no distractions. Once the visitors “lands” on the landing page, they cannot click on different tabs or navigate away from the page. Visitors are encouraged to carry out an intended action on the page, such as completing an inquiry form and submitting their information to the franchise sales team.

 

Do you need a franchise website or franchise landing page, or both?

 

Franchise landing pages are usually designed to drive traffic for a specific marketing campaign, such as an email marketing campaign, social media advertising campaign, direct mail, or franchise trade show event. Landing pages are a highly effective franchise lead generation tool.

 

Read more about the benefits of franchise landing pages and how to build landing pages to achieve your lead generation goals.

 

What content do I need for a franchise website?

 

You can have different types of content presented on your franchise website: industry articles, blog posts, videos, webinars, social media feeds… and more. It can be overwhelming if you decide to focus on all of them at once when planning your franchise website.

 

To simplify the approach, focus on the intended audience, provide the information they are looking for when researching your franchise, and try to answer as many questions as you can to educate prospects about your company.

 

Testimonials from current franchisees are very important, and we suggest using videos for testimonials. Content created for the franchise website can also be used for social media outreach and advertising purposes.

 

We have several articles explaining the step-by-step process for creating franchise website content and developing a content strategy for different advertising platforms.

 

How much does it cost to make a franchise website?

 

The price of building franchise website varies among different agencies and freelancers, and can range from $1,500 up to $10,000+. In our opinion, the franchise website or landing pages are key TOOLS for generating and nurturing franchise leads; we believe that as a franchisor, you should never pay for the tools, but rather the results. Ask your lead generation agency if they offer a franchise website or franchise landing pages as part of their services.

 

Where should I start? Please show me the roadmap to a successful franchise website.

 

If you decide to take on building a franchise website either in-house or through a marketing agency, there are several key things you need to know to avoid making costly mistakes.

 

Here are some of the things you need to know:

 

  • Register your franchise domain and own it

 

Although it sounds obvious, some franchisors allow their lead generation agencies to purchase the franchise website domain; if the business relationship does not work out down the road, the agency might hold the franchisor hostage by not releasing the franchise website domain. We have a short guide on the best places to register your franchise website domain to save on costs and get additional services like secure web certificates and e-mail addresses.

 

 

  • Pick your web hosting and pay for it

 

Similar to domain registration, make sure your website hosting is registered under your company’s name and not your marketing agency’s. Follow our guide on best web hosting services for franchise websites.

 

  • Build content that could be of interest to prospects

 

We find that usually, a franchise brochure is a good place to start as it has basic franchise information and images that can be used for a franchise website.

 

Build a list of frequently asked questions for the FAQ section of your website. Engage a video production company to create video content.

We have a guide on how to pick a video production company or create your own franchise marketing videos.

 

  • Have a deadline for franchise website completion and release phases

 

It is a good idea to have 2 or 3 release phases for your franchise website. As video production and graphic design can take some time, the franchise website can be released and remaining features added at a later phase.

 

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies for your franchise website

 

SEO takes some time and requires planning. Add some more here. We have a detailed guide on what it takes to build successful SEO for your franchise website.

 

2. Franchise CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software

 

What is a franchise CRM software and why do you need one?

How much does a franchise CRM system cost?

 

What is a franchise CRM software and why do you need one?

 

A franchise CRM software is an important tool that is used in franchise business development. A franchise CRM system helps boost franchise sales by qualifying franchise leads and prioritizing sales activities.

 

As the number of franchise leads increases, emails and spreadsheets can no longer organize sales activities effectively. This builds the need for software that organizes customer contacts and manages the franchise sales pipeline. A franchise CRM software centralizes information and helps the entire sales team work as a well-oiled machine.

 

 

There are many sales CRM software products on the market, and picking the one that works for your sales organization is not an easy task. Franchise CRMs differ in price, on boarding processes, features they offer, etc. Check out our guide on CRM products that we think are a good solution for franchises.

 

Here are some key benefits of having a franchise CRM software:

 

  • Never lose your data

 

There is nothing more frustrating than losing your customer data. A franchise CRM system helps sales teams store contacts, sales opportunities, and scheduled calls/meetings at a central location online and provide instant access from multiple locations.

 

  • Stay up-to-date with all franchise sales activities

 

Some CRM features include calendars, notes, and scheduled notifications, taking the guesswork out of franchise sales activities and providing team collaboration as part of the sales process.

 

  • Run reports

 

Staying on top of franchise sales goals is critical when it comes to franchise business development. A good franchise CRM software should provide weekly and monthly management reports.

 

For example, the quality of franchise leads can be viewed as a pipeline sales report. You can compare actual sales to quotas, look at sales history, analyze franchise lead volume, and much more.

 

  • Follow the franchise sales cycle

 

A franchise CRM system helps outline the sales cycle and eliminate guesswork when it comes to following steps assigned to sales teams. An efficient CRM software helps salespeople optimize their schedules and prioritize tasks to allow more time to be spent with franchise prospects, leading to more closed deals.

 

  • Manage important documents

 

A franchise CRM serves as a document repository where sales templates, franchise brochures, franchisee testimonials, franchise sales contracts, franchise agreements and FDDs are stored, saving your sales team time searching for the most updated copy.

 

The main issue with the vast majority of CRM products on the market is that they are not designed for franchises and the franchise sales cycle.

 

How much does a franchise CRM system cost?

 

The price of sales CRM can run from $15-20/month subscription to $100+/month subscription, depending on the features offered and number of customers served within the CRM system. One thing to keep in mind is that usually, sales organizations need more than 1 seat license and the number of customers can drive the costs up very quickly.

 

As part of our franchise lead generation services, we offer our in-house franchise CRM software at no cost to our clients. We took the best practices from working with many franchise organizations and created a franchise CRM system that is easy to learn and use.

 

3. Franchise Advertising Services

 

What is the difference between digital marketing and digital advertising? Do I need both?

Do I need to advertise to get franchise leads?

How much do I need to spend on advertising services to get franchise leads?

 

What is the difference between digital marketing and digital advertising?

 

Why is it important to understand the difference between digital marketing and digital advertising? If you are aware of the distinction, then the next time you speak to a marketing agency that is pitching lead generation services, you can ask intelligent questions about the scope of work and budget required to onboard their services.

 

There are over 40 different marketing categories and digital marketing is one of them.
Because marketing and advertising are interrelated, a lot of marketers erroneously use both terms in the same context.

 

Digital marketing is a type of marketing that utilizes digital technologies. It is a broad term and includes things like marketing strategy, content creation, keyword research, SEO, social media, and … digital advertising.

 

As mentioned on HubSpot blog, if marketing is a wheel, advertising is one spoke of that wheel.

 

To put it in simple terms, digital advertising is an ad that appears on the Internet. For example, If your franchise is running ads on Google or Facebook, you are engaging in digital advertising.

 

When you hear that a marketing agency is offering digital marketing services, you should be sure to clarify what exactly is included in their services. Digital marketing may include a social media content calendar, social media posting, user engagement, and monthly reporting. However, when your intended focus is on lead generation and not general brand awareness, these services alone will not help you reach your goal.

 

When it comes to franchise lead generation, you do not need digital marketing services to get leads: you need digital advertising to create Internet traffic that can be converted into franchise leads.

 

Do I need to advertise to get franchise leads?

 

To get lots of quality franchise leads, you need to spend time and money on strategic digital advertising.

 

Let’s say you have a great franchise concept and you want the world to know about it. You can spend a lot of time creating great content, building a beautiful website, designing brochures, etc., but nobody will know about your company any time soon if you are not going to advertise it correctly.

 

You can have a Facebook page and post 5 times a day, every day, for several months and get no or very minimal franchise leads. Why? Because the organic – “let’s build it and they will come” – approach does not work, especially in the world of digital marketing. Digital advertising is the only effective way to generate quality franchise leads through social media channels.

 

 

If you want to learn more about franchise advertising, we have several useful articles on this topic: lorem ipsum 1, lorem ipsum 2, lorem ipsum 3

 

How much do I have to pay for advertising services?

 

There are different payment structures offered by franchise lead generation companies. Some companies are charging fees based on the number of ads they run for clients. At FranchiseHive, advertising services come at no additional cost to our clients. You pay for the number of leads your receive, not the advertising costs used to generate them.

 

How much do I need to spend to get franchise leads?

 

The answer to that question – it depends on several factors.

 

Here are just a few of them:

 

  • Brand awareness – How recognizable is your brand? Do consumers already know about your company and its industry reputation

 

  • Previous marketing spend – How long have you advertised your brand through different marketing channels?

 

  • Number of franchise leads you need – it depends on how many people are in your franchise development team to make sure you can promptly follow up with leads as they come in

 

Typically, we see franchise companies spending $3,000 – $5,000 per month on lead generation services when they start working with FranchiseHive, and increasing their budget as they get a steady flow of franchise leads and consequent franchise sales.

 

4. Franchise Marketing Drip Campaigns, E-mail, and SMS Campaigns

 

What are franchise marketing drip campaigns and why do you need them?

How much do franchise marketing drip campaigns cost?

 

What are franchise marketing drip campaigns and why do you need them?

 

Franchise marketing drip campaigns are a critical part of the franchise lead nurturing program, and involve repeatedly sending marketing information to prospects via different channels such as email and SMS.

 

Put simply, drip campaigns are a series of e-mails and text messages sent to the same prospect multiple times according to a predefined schedule.

 

The key is to have a personalized franchise lead nurturing program where you send relevant marketing messages to your prospects based on their past online behavior.

 

 

For example, if you send an online brochure via email and know that your prospects opened the brochure, you might send them a follow up message asking if prospect has any questions and provide additional information.If the prospect did not open the email containing the brochure, your follow-up message would be entirely different.

 

The main goal of a franchise marketing drip campaign is to educate prospects about your franchise brand and trigger engagement. Not all franchise leads engage in the same way, so lead nurturing requires a lot of monitoring and tracking lead activity.

 

There are different types of drip campaigns that can be used as part of the franchise sales funnel or as a one-off sales tactic.

 

Here are some examples of franchise drip tactics:

 

  • Welcome drip messages

 

Usually sent immediately as franchise leads are captured and consist of a short welcome message and an overview of the next activities that will come from the franchise sales team. This is a small, but very important milestone that encourage the prospect to build a bond with your brand.

More sophisticated welcome drip messages come in the form of a short video and can be very effective if executed properly.

 

  • Educational and Awareness drip campaigns

 

The main goal of these campaigns is to educate franchise leads about your brand and answer commonly asked questions about your company’s franchising process. Franchise brochures are usually sent at this stage, along with video content describing the franchise and history of the brand. Testimonial videos from current franchisees are also very helpful in building trust with your sales prospects.

 

  • Re-engagement drip campaigns

 

There are always franchise leads that once were active but later stopped responding to your marketing messages. Running re-engagement campaigns often helps to re-connect with old leads and start new conversations.

 

Marketing drip campaigns are the key to moving franchise leads through the sales funnel, and it takes some testing to create a franchise marketing message that converts. When executed properly, drip campaigns are a big weapon in the franchise marketing toolbox.

 

How much do franchise marketing drip campaigns cost?

 

As a franchise you can spend between $10-$1000 per month running your email drip campaigns, the cost is depending on the software you decide to use and the size of your franchise leads database. We have a comprehensive overview of different email drip software currently available on the market.

 

If you decide to use an agency to run your email marketing campaigns, the management fee can be $300-$1000 per month.

 

SMS drip campaigns are relatively new and usually require agency involvement to setup and run, and the costs can range from $500-$1000 per month.

 

At FranchiseHive, we offer email and SMS drip marketing services at no cost to our clients.

 

5. Buyer Persona Builder

 

A perfectly designed and executed marketing campaign will have minimal to no results if it addresses the wrong audience. In other words, to catch the fish you have to fish where the fish is swimming.

 

To be successful in franchise lead generation, you have to understand who is ideal lead for your franchise. In other words, you need to understand the buyer persona for your brand.

 

Per HubSpot, the buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.

 

We have a detailed franchise buyer persona builder guide here.

 

Most franchise organizations conduct market research to build their ideal franchise buyer persona. However, the real key lies in analyzing customer data and industry data sets to build successful franchise lead generation campaign.

 

This is where the experience of a franchise lead generation agency really separates all-star agencies and wanna be ones.

 

The vast majority of lead generators rely on blind advertising to the masses – the “spray and pray” approach – by sending irrelevant messages to the wrong customer groups. This approach results in few franchise leads and, most importantly, poor quality franchise leads.

 

At FranchiseHive, we rely on data sets that we have built on our own over the years. We use tools like AI (artificial intelligence) to model relevant audiences and target advertising messages.

 

Wrapping Up

As a franchisor or franchise business developer looking to build successful franchise marketing program in your organization you should always be aware of marketing tools available and make sure your marketing team is using them wisely.

 

Dmitriy Lobanov

Hello. I am Dmitriy, Partner at Franchise Hive. I help franchises grow by optimizing franchise marketing initiatives and generate franchise leads. I share my marketing knowledge online and through events in various parts of the world. Connect with me on LinkedIn.