Franchise Prospects Indicate Preferred Sequencing for Initial Contact Channels

By: Michael Alston for Franchise Insights

March 27, 2024 – Most franchise prospects (42.4%)  prefer to be emailed on initial contact by a franchise they have expressed interest in according to fresh data in the March 2024 Franchise Insights Mystery Shopping survey. Another 30.6% indicated a desire for a phone call for the initial contact. This order preference is consistent with prior monthly “mystery shopping” surveys, including when we last shared franchise prospect contact preferences data.

Further, in all but ten out of fifty monthly surveys by over the last five years, email was the clear preference for initial contact. Only once (September 2023) did text surpass email for preferred first contact. In four other instances, email and texts tied for “first preference.” In seven monthly surveys over the same time period, voice won out over email, and in one month, they were tied.

After an initial email, sending a text is the most preferred follow-up method

In the most recent data, a clear majority (55.4%) of respondents said receiving a text was the second most preferred choice for initial contact about a franchise they are interested in learning more about, consistent with most of the prior five years of monthly surveys. 

Getting a text, however, was least preferred as first contact at 23.7% – less than receiving a phone call at 33.9%. A substantial 47.2% of respondents indicated that voice was their overall third choice for initial contact. 

Conclusion: For franchise leads who do not respond to an initial email, following up with a personalized text is a good practice, with the goal of setting up a subsequent voice call.

While there is some month-to-month variation in these results, and possibly some seasonality, texting has grown in acceptance over the last four years.

The survey does not tell us the drivers behind these trend changes, the but the lower preference for initial contact by voice was significant in early 2020 as the pandemic unfolded, but now seems to be recovering in acceptance (growing orange bars across the top of the chart above).

Also in the same March 2024 survey, 57,1% of respondents said they were “unlikely or very unlikely to accept a phone call from a franchise” if they had “not previously received a text message or email from that company with more information.” 


So email remains the most preferred and safest channel for initial contact, followed up by a text to confirm a voice call, if not accomplished in a personalized email up front. 

See our resource of best practices for initial response to a franchise informational inquiry for more detail.

The Franchise Insights “mystery shopping” survey is conducted monthly among aspiring business buyers inquiring about franchises at the brands of FranchiseVentures.

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, March 27th, 2024.

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