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When developing a franchise system, it is crucial to engage potential franchisees by maintaining regular and consistent contact. This is how you qualify incoming leads and turn them into warm prospects. However, inboxes can become graveyards for mass franchise emails as prospective franchisees are likely pursuing multiple franchise opportunities. Therefore, it is crucial that you stand out, which means you must avoid the major email marketing mistakes when communicating with this key investor audience.

Best practices for email marketing involve two key factors: organization and individualization. What follows are five mistakes to avoid if you want to effectively use email marketing to convert more leads.

  1. You haven’t organized your leads: Odds are that once you start franchising, you will have leads coming in from multiple directions: social media, your website, in-store inquiries, franchise expos, and more. One of the best practices for email marketing is to have a reliable system to organize those leads as well as a sales process and lead flow. There’s no point in creating a compelling email that works to generate leads, if you can’t or don’t follow up appropriately. There are many CRM, or Customer Relationship Management programs that can assist you with this. If a CRM platform isn’t in your budget, you can organize your leads in an Excel spreadsheet, making notes as you send emails one at a time via a traditional email system.
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  3. You don’t know your recipient: One of the worst things that you can do as a franchisor is to talk “at” your recipient. Be personal. Unlike social media, email marketing is a more intimate endeavor that allows you to communicate with one person at a time. To maximize email marketing best practices, you cannot simply broadcast the same message to all of your recipients and expect it to have the same impact. By the time you send your second email, whether it is through your CRM system or via a traditional route, you should know where the recipient is located, details about their background, how much capital they have to invest, and what is their timeline for franchising.
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  5. Your message is not on point: Getting to know your audience will allow you to customize an email specific to their situation. For instance, by this stage you should always be using their first or last name. Be succinct and direct. Avoid marketing “fluff.” If you are communicating with a prospective franchisee at this stage, then your marketing materials have already had an impact. You don’t need to spend a lot of time touting the benefits of your franchise system. Instead, use the email as an opportunity to gather more information from the prospect, or provide a call to action.
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  7. You haven’t checked yourself: The only thing worse than a generic and boring email is one filled with spelling and grammar errors. Develop a series of customizable sales email templates that have been edited by a professional. It will save you time in the future, and ensure that your message to a prospective franchisee is not inadvertently marred or lost due to poor execution and delivery.
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  9. You rely exclusively on email: Email is a wonderful took to communicate quickly and efficiently with prospective franchisees, but nothing replaces human-to-human interaction. As you get further along in the franchise sales process, you should mix up your communication methodology with phone calls, webinars, and if possible, in-store discovery visits. This will make your sales process far more personal and far more effective at converting leads.

Determining the best mix of communication strategies is a complex endeavor, as is developing specific email marketing best practices that work best for your franchise. Every franchise system is unique, and its level of success depends on many factors including its industry, what stage of franchise development it occupies, and lead generation efforts.

Many franchises, especially new and emerging ones, become discouraged during this phase of franchise development. The email strategy development as part of an overall sales process can be quite overwhelming. To mitigate this stress, the most successful franchise systems often turn to a firm that has experience in marketing and facilitating franchise sales systems as well as a team of creative talent that can develop sales materials, streamline the sales process, and execute targeted marketing strategies to enable that process. That leaves you free to focus on bringing in and converting as many leads as possible to further market your franchise.

Learn more about how TopFire Media can help you maximize your email marketing efforts and generate more franchise leads.