Franchise Lead Generation

Franchise lead generation is the process of generating inbound inquiries about a franchise with the goal of turning that interest into the sale of franchise unit(s). Turning those leads into sales is the primary goal of sharing proprietary data here at Franchise Insights. This includes tips on maximizing initial contact, to understanding the lifetime value of leads, and overcoming the obstacles introduced by Apple’s well-intentioned email privacy and mobile app tracking transparency initiatives.

There is also feedback from actual franchise prospects on the franchise sales process.

Franchise leads come from paid, owned and earned media sources. Paid sources include search engine marketing, social media advertising, and franchise directory websites or “portals”, which play an important role in the research and discovery process leading to franchise ownership.

Key “owned” sources included the franchisor’s own development website, and referrals from existing franchisees and employees. Data show that a significant source of “bonus” referral leads follow inquiries on franchise directory websites.

Examples of “earned” sources include media mentions, articles and social media posts. Search engine results pages (SERPs) for key search terms are highly valuable, given their role in the search process of persons researching franchises.

Do You Know Where Lead Referrals to Your Franchise Development Website Are Coming From?

May 29, 2024 — Cost per lead is often a key decision factor when evaluating franchise directory websites (portals), assuming quality standards are met. But leads submitted at franchise  directory websites also result in substantial referral visits to franchisor websites, in addition to being a significant source of leads submitted at development websites…

Franchise Lead Generation Search Results Get an AI Facelift

May 22, 2024 – “AI Overviews” have arrived for Google search results, after months of testing. Announced at Google’s I/O conference May 14, the experience will become available for most searchers over the next few months. The impact on Google’s $200 billion advertising is unknown, but presumably they would have thoroughly tested the impact on paid search revenues.

Can the Franchise Sales Process be Improved? Just ask Prospects.

May 15, 2024 – Persons inquiring about franchises were mostly satisfied with their experiences, according to recent mystery shopping surveys over the six months ending in April 2024. Over  half (50.9%) said they were either “satisfied “or “very satisfied”, and only 17.4% said they were “unsatisfied or very unsatisfied.” 

A Best Practice For Better Contact Results With Franchise Prospects

April 24, 2024 – In four months of survey data from January to April 2024, only 14.4% of respondents are “very likely,” and another 15.4% say they are “likely” to take a cold call from you. The traditional “call first” approach will likely lead to your frustration with about one third of franchise leads, and reduce the chances of more productive conversations with informed prospects.

Franchise Prospects Indicate Preferred Sequencing for Initial Contact Channels

March 27, 2024 – Most franchise prospects (42.4%)  prefer to be emailed on initial contact by a franchise they have expressed interested 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.

Best Practices For Initial Response to a Franchise Informational Inquiry

The optimal order for following up with franchise prospects is about playing the odds. Segments of the pool of franchise leads prefer one of the nine permutations of three contact methods (email, voice and text), but to have the highest expectations of fruitful contact, especially given the 24/7 nature of lead flow, it pays to listen to what prospects want overall. 

Franchise Development Teams Expect to Increase Google Spending More than Meta and LinkedIn in 2024

February 28, 2024 – When asked about advertising plans for 2024,about a third of franchise development teams expected to increase their spending somewhat or significantly at Google, Meta or LinkedIn. This is following 2023 wherein, despite tumultuous business conditions and shocking news headlines, more than 58% of franchisors surveyed either stuck to their growth plans (50.0%) or increased them.

Franchise Development Teams “Lean In” To LinkedIn for Franchise Lead Generation

February 14, 2024 – Signs from a number of metrics (time spent, monthly active users) and media reports are that we may have reached “peak” social media as measured by postings, monthly active users and time spent. The Wall Street Journal posits in a recent article that users are doing a lot more lurking than posting these days and foresees more of the same in this election year, along with mounting concerns about privacy.

Predictions for Franchise Development and Lead Generation for 2024

January 31, 2024 – The most reliable options for franchisors to directly acquire prospects in recent years – email and text marketing, paid search and social media – are all undergoing significant change, as are the dominant mobile and desktop platforms offered by Google and Apple (and a few others hardly worth mentioning).

Franchise Development Teams Face Growth Headwinds in Paid Search

January 24, 2024 – In our last article, we highlighted some of the headwinds facing advertisers who generate franchise leads from Google. Traffic exclusivity from Apple, antitrust and regulatory court proceedings threaten Google in 2024, along with greater competition by other players like Microsoft who aim to use artificial intelligence to get a bigger piece of the search marketing pie.

A Pivotal Year Ahead For Google’s Role in Franchise Development

January 17, 2024 – One of the most reliable pathways to filling the franchise sales funnel is under siege in 2024. Not only has it fallen to second place behind Microsoft in consumer “mindshare” regarding AI, it faces potentially disruptive regulatory threats, while committing unforced errors of its own in the name of privacy.

How “Peak Social Media” May Impact Franchise Development

January 10, 2024 – Signs are that we may have reached “peak” social media as measured by posting activating and consumer surveys. The Wall Street Journal posits in a recent article that users are doing a lot more lurking than posting these days and foresees more of the same in an election year along, with mounting concerns about privacy.

Top Ten Topics In Franchise Lead Generation

December 28, 2023 – From a review of web traffic to content viewed over the past year, we developed a “Top Ten” list of the most popular topics among our insights in 2023 based on the readership of articles by category. 

Surveys Show Franchise Prospect Initial Contact Rates Improve in October. Is Live Voicemail Helping Franchise Development Teams?

November 29, 2023 – Prospect initial contact rates are up, as reported by the latest FranchiseInsights.com survey in October 2023. Almost 52% percent of respondents say they were contacted by all of the franchises they inquired about, up from 46.2% in June when we last reported this data. Aside from the efforts of franchise sales teams, what could be driving this improvement?

A Reliable Source of Lead Referrals to Your Franchise Development Website

September 27, 2023 — When evaluating franchise directory websites (portals), cost per lead is often a key decision factor, assuming quality standards are met. But leads submitted at franchise  portals also result in substantial referral visits to franchisor websites, in addition to being a significant source of leads submitted at development websites

Coming Apple Feature May Help Overcome “Silence Unknown Callers” Barrier to Initial Prospect Contact

July 26, 2023 – Apple announced a new “Live Voicemail” feature for its anticipated September iOS 17 iPhone software update. Rather than banishing the caller directly to voicemail without ringing, as the “silence unknown callers” feature does, the first several seconds of the caller’s message is presented in text on the home screen, giving the call recipient an option to pick up the call.

How to Initiate Conversations With Prospects and Achieve Better Results

Norfolk, VA, May 10, 2023 – Research shows that only a fraction of franchise prospects are likely to return your call before receiving an introductory email from you. In an April 2023 survey, only 12.9% of respondents are “very likely,” and another 22.6% say they are “likely” to take a cold call. The traditional “call first” approach will likely lead to your frustration with at least a third of franchise leads.

Prospects Give Feedback on Improving the Franchise Sales Process

March 15, 2023 – Aspiring business owners talking with franchise sales teams were largely satisfied with their experience, according to recent mystery shopping surveys over the last six months ending in February 2023. Almost half (48.7%) said they were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied”, and only 12.4% said they were “unsatisfied” or “very unsatisfied.”

The High Cost of Not Following Up Promptly With Franchise Prospects

Kudos to the franchise sales teams who reached out to all of the inquirers who requested information from them in February 2023. There is no doubt that they will be finding new franchisees, unlike those teams that did not follow up with an initial contact within seven days. 

Top Ten Franchise Lead Generation Insights

January 18, 2023 – Analyzing our content viewed over the past year, we developed a “Top Ten” list of the most popular topics among our insights in 2022 based on the readership of articles in topic categories. Along with each topic, ranked in descending popularity, are a few key and most recent articles that address each particular subject.

Top 2023 Predictions For Franchise Lead Generation

January 11, 2023 – It’s a new year, with new opportunities for franchise growth ahead. Yes, there are economic, legislative and regulatory headwinds, but who would bet against the collective entrepreneurial spirit, creative energy and grit of the franchise community?

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