Franchise Lead Generation Portals Drive Discovery and Consideration – And Subsequent Visits to Franchisor Sites

By: Michael Alston for Franchise Insights

May 24, 2023 — Analysts at eMarketer project that in 2024 U.S. adult users  will be spending on average 58.4 minutes per day on TikTok, approaching the 62.1 minutes they will be watching on Netflix, the most popular streaming service. Combined with 48.7 minutes on YouTube, that’s an estimated total of 2.82 hours per day, just for those three services alone, and does not include time watching paid and free television.

This begs the question for franchise developers: How do you cut through the clutter? How will the next generation of franchisees find you?

Franchise portals are the “yellow pages” of franchise discovery – no one uses them to be mindlessly entertained.

A very small percentage (5.2%) of aspiring franchise owners are already “very familiar” with the franchises they inquire about, and another 20.3% are “already somewhat familiar” with them, according to surveys of interested franchise seekers on FranchiseVentures’ portal sites in the three months ending May 2023.

These visitors are not going to franchise portals to be entertained. They come to franchise directory sites to see what’s out there, and for the convenience of comparisons in one place, and ease of connection to franchise representatives.

The same surveys show that 39.6% are “vaguely familiar” and 34.9% are “completely unfamiliar” with the franchise selections they ultimately inquire about. So the primary function of portal sites is to make an introduction – to generate awareness and consideration of options in a convenient “one stop shop.”

When you are looking for information on an unfamiliar subject, you might “Google it.” But what if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for, or what criteria to use to compare the choices, or what options are available in a geography, category or price range? How do you satisfy yourself that you’ve reviewed the best options? 

The primary role of franchise directory sites, or portals is to organize and present high-level information about franchises to facilitate discovery and consideration, and make the connection between prospect and franchisor.

Online franchise opportunity directories and their associated mobile apps play an integral role in discovery, awareness and consideration during the franchise buyer research process. This is in addition to the vital role they play in information and comparison shopping. Online franchise portals provide:

  • Exposure to the breadth of franchise categories
  • Comparison and options within a franchise category of interest
  • Reminders of familiar category franchise brand leaders, and
  • Introduction and consideration of franchise concepts that may not be familiar.

Almost three quarters of prospects – 74.5% – chose to inquire about at least one franchise brand with which they had very little or no familiarity prior to the portal visit — the concept was introduced to the prospect during the visit. 

This very high percentage underscores the unique value of these directory resources in giving introduction and consideration to franchise concepts that may not be on the radar screen of prospects. 

It also helps explain why 75% of inquirers at franchise portals proceed to franchisor’s websites for further information, as we have reported.

Why might the franchise options be unfamiliar? These are among the likely reasons for an unfamiliar brand:

  • Emerging franchise that has not yet established brand recognition
  • Franchise with regional concentration, or lack of a national footprint to gain exposure
  • Established B2B brand that is less familiar with consumers

The “Mystery Shop” survey is conducted monthly by from a sample of franchise inquirers across the FranchiseVentures lead generation platform. The data presented here is from March through May, 2023.

FranchiseVentures is the leading franchise lead-generation platform for potential franchisees to thousands of growing franchise systems in the United States and Canada. Its franchise lead generation brands include, Franchise Solutions, Franchise Gator, Franchise Opportunities, Franchise For Sale, and, and together they provide the largest aggregation of prospective franchise buyers in the U.S.

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Contact FranchiseVentures to get your share of today’s aspiring franchise owners.


Published on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023.

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