Every Franchisor is looking for ways to generate good quality enquiries and leads for selling greenfield (new) and existing franchises, but many Franchisors are still using reactive marketing techniques.

So why is this a bad thing? What is the difference? How can everything be done better?

After talking to many Franchise Recruitment and Marketing personnel, it was obvious that, unless their knowledge of digital and media marketing was extensive, and they had the marketing dollars to try everything out and confirm what worked and what didn’t, there was a major gap in understanding what was available in the market and what was essential for selecting the right mediums and how to make sure that a franchise recruitment and marketing team gained the best benefit from these services.

After talking to Manish Khanna, the MD of Netvision Digital Marketing, Business2Sell and Franchise2Sell who is using all forms of listing and digital marketing techniques for generating enquiries for potential franchisees for franchisors, we were able to put together a comprehensive overview and understanding of what works in the industry and how to gain the best results.

To understand this better, you need to firstly understand the difference between reactive and proactive marketing campaigns and how to use this for generating leads and inquiries for selling your franchises.

Reactive Vs. Proactive Marketing for Selling a Franchise

The question that you may be asking is, what is the difference between Proactive and Reactive Franchise Marketing.

What is a Reactive Franchise for Sale Marketing Campaign?

Reactive Marketing is using media methods like advertising in print media like magazines, newspapers, online listing websites, etc.… This type of marketing is placing an advert into the paper, a magazine or listing for franchisees on a listing website. Anywhere where you advert can become lost in the crowd and sales you are hoping for someone to come across your advert and then make an inquiry.

What is a Proactive Franchise for Sale Marketing Campaign?

Proactive marketing is using methods where you select the audience and place your advert in front of them, this can include everything from Electronic Direct Mail (i.e., E-mail Marketing, Remarketing Advertising, Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaigns, Social Media Advert/Post Campaigns) and Offline Advertising (i.e., Letter Box Drops, Catalogues, etc…). These campaigns go to the person and if done correctly, can be tracked and monitored to confirm the success of the campaign, and a cost per lead/conversion value can be worked out.

Competitor Research and Analysis

2 Essential Points For a Successful Proactive Campaigns

To gain good quality leads and inquiries and to reach the right people through this method, then you need the following requirements:

  1. The Right Target Audience – Analyse your target audience (i.e., the right people you are looking for inquiries from), this includes the following:
    • People who are or may be looking for a business or franchise,
    • People are reading/searching about your industry,
    • Understand the best age group and gender who are searching for these opportunities,
    • Confirm that the person actually has the financial means of buying or financing the purchase of your franchise.

This can all be obtained by the right marketing companies who either already has a database of similar people and inquiries or can research who you are looking for.

  1. Requirements for Advert for Conversion – You need specific content in the advert to capture the audience which you are after, this includes the following:
    • Images – Depending on your industry, you need to have the right images to attract people to look at your advert, things like mouth-watering food, attractive or interesting people in images, attractive store images, etc….
    • Readability – The easier the advert is to read, the more chance that it will be read from start to finish.
    • Size of Advert – As you know the maxim size of content and text, but remember that short is sweet, so make sure that your advert is
      • Structured,
      • To the point, and
      • Size of Advert/Listing – Long enough to get your point across and convert, but not too long that you waffle on and lose your audience.
    • Offering – Make sure and potential franchisees understand a basic overview of what they will get for their money.
    • Unique Selling Point (USP)/Point Of Difference – This is essential for selling a business of franchise opportunity, if you don’t let the potential buyer/franchisee know this then you are just another business which comes down to price point.
    • Call To Action (CTA) – You need a call to action, whether it be asking them to contact now, limited offer, limited position, etc. to give them a reason to want to click, rather than coming back to it.

Social Media and Google can identify the right demographics to searches. Companies have the information about their database to identify key attributes, so the right company and/or people can do this for you and make sure your Conversion Rate and Pay per click are optimized so that you aren’t throwing too much money at campaigns which don’t work.

Reactive Marketing for Franchises for Sale

Issues with Reactive Franchise Marketing for Franchises

This type of marketing is placing an advert in the paper, a magazine or banner/listing on a website for franchisees on a listing website. Anywhere where you advert can become lost in the crowd, and you are hoping for the following:

  1. Firstly, someone sees the advert,
  2. Secondly, they are actually interested in buying a business/franchise,
  3. Thirdly, they are interested in your business/franchise,
  4. Fourthly, they are the right fit for your franchise.

3 Essential Points for a Successful Reactive Campaigns

To gain good quality leads and inquiries and to reach the right people through this method, then you need the following requirements:

  1. The Right Target Audience/Readership – You need to have a media platform that is targeting your audience as follows:
    • People reading/ searching about buying a business or franchise,
    • People are reading/searching about your industry,
    • People are reading/searching for your opportunity, actually have the financial means of buying or financing the purchase of your franchise.

For every tick which you have above, it improves the percentage chance of finding the right person for purchasing your franchise opportunity.

  1. Massive Exposure – The higher the number of readers/visitors of this medium the better chance that you will have the right person read the advert. But you also need the following:
    • The Right Audience – As per the above points, an advert in the right medium and target audience has a lower requirement of exposure. i.e., you’re not paying for an audience who has no interest in buying a business.
    • The Right Advert – As per below points, the right advert will have a higher chance of converting. i.e., You get to capture the right person and make them inquire.
    • The Right Company – Make sure that the magazine/website owners are proactive in their distribution/listing methods. For example:
    • A listing website needs to monitor the adverts and cycle them – otherwise, they are a list which can have little to no exposure (no matter how many visitors) because the listing may be on page 67 where no one will find it, or
    • A magazine needs to either have paid readers (I.e., people actually buy the magazine to read it) and/or delivered to key locations (i.e., waiting rooms, hotel rooms, etc…). Distribution is no good if no one reads it.
  1. Requirements for Advert/Listings for Conversion – You need specific content in the advert to capture the audience which you are after, this includes the following:
    • Images – Depending on your industry, you need to have the right images to attract people to look at your advert, things like mouth-watering food, attractive or interesting people in images, attractive store images, etc….
    • Readability – The easier the advert is to read, the more chance that it will be read from start to finish.
    • Size of Advert – As you know the maxim size of content and text, but remember that short is sweet, so make sure that your advert is
      • Structured,
      • To the point, and
      • Size of Advert/Listing – Long enough to get your point across and convert, but not too long that you waffle on and lose your audience.
    • Offering – Make sure and potential franchisees understand a basic overview of what they will get for their money.
    • Unique Selling Point (USP)/Point of Difference – This is essential for selling a business of franchise opportunity, if you don’t let the potential buyer/franchisee know this then you are just another business which comes down to price point.
    • Call To Action (CTA) – You need a call to action, whether it be asking them to contact now, limited offer, limited position, etc. to give them a reason to want to click, rather than coming back to it.

If you have all 3 points covered by having experienced and knowledgeable content writers and research of marketing medium options, then you have a very good chance of success.

In Summary

There are a lot of things to consider when constructing marketing campaigns and the adverts used. It is always better to test your adverts and campaigns in smaller amounts to test for success before spending a fortune on a campaign which may or may not work, but in general proactive campaigns have a higher success rate than reactive marketing campaigns as they are more targeted and generally target the 100% who may be interested in looking at your opportunity verse the 5% who are already looking and where you have competition to work against to win the franchisee over.