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Integrated Digital Strategies - A Franchise Marketing Agency

While most franchise executives share a goal of awarding new franchises, they don’t always understand how a well-developed lead nurturing strategy contributes to the franchise marketing process. The term “lead nurturing” refers to direct, or indirect, educational conversations that happen between a sales team and a prospect, from the inquiry stage until the lead is actively ready to make a decision. An ill-informed prospect will never be ready to commit, so a good nurturing strategy can make or break a deal. 

Why Your Franchise Needs Lead Nurturing Services

Most B2B buyers are 57% of the way through the buying process before they ever speak with a company representative. That means your prospects have likely already educated themselves on the basics of investing in your brand and have identified the top reasons why they either like - or are concerned about - your franchise. Now, they need you, as a franchisor, to address their pain points -- even before they think to ask you the questions. This may seem impossible, but we assure you it’s not. 

By taking some time to audit your brand, identify your key buyer personas, and list your top differentiators and the most frequently asked questions about your model, you’re halfway there. If you put the time in it will pay off in more leads, and more qualified leads. Unfortunately, for franchisors, time is not always available in abundance. And as the FranConnect graphic below demonstrates, once leads become stale, only 15% of franchisors have campaigns in place to go back and nurture dead leads, allowing potentially viable prospects to slip through the cracks.

Percent of Campaigns by Stage
Image source: FranConnect1

Around 43.9% of new leads drop off before they take part in a second call1, indicating that campaigns for new leads are especially important in their early stages. Slow response times on the part of franchisors is one of the most significant factors leading to the drop in interest. 

When you partner with a firm like IDS for lead nurturing services, we do the nurturing for you and give you back your time. We don’t waste time on ineffective prospecting – we handle communication with your leads quickly and effectively, ensuring you won’t lose early leads because of slow response times. 

If your franchise is losing new leads at a high rate, it’s probably time to revamp your lead nurturing program.

How to Nurture Your Franchise Leads

When you create a comprehensive lead nurturing strategy, you’ll want a variety of content to walk leads through the sales funnel, including:

Blogs: Websites are one of the most effective ways to drive new leads – in fact, nearly 29% of deals are attributed to websites1. Many referrals arrive at websites via online searches and PPC campaigns, which often lead to blogs. An interesting, relevant, and up-to-date blog is a great way to drive traffic to your website, and a great way to nurture leads. Prospects who trust your content to educate themselves about your brand and your industry over time will already be well into the sales funnel before they contact you.

Email drip campaigns: These can be tailored to leads in every stage. One of the best things about email campaigns is they give you a chance to connect directly with leads about multiple topics that are likely to be interesting to them. A creative drip campaign can be especially useful in reviving interest from dead leads. 

Webinars: In our post-COVID world, webinars are being used for virtual discovery days, conferences, and even virtual conventions. They are useful for generating new leads as well as moving existing leads further down the sales funnel. Only 1% of leads will drop off after attending a webinar and reviewing your FDD, so a great presentation can go a long way towards closing the deal. 

IDS creates custom lead nurturing programs for franchise development and B2B companies. Contact us today to learn more about how we use these strategies to get the best results for our clients. 

References:
LLC, FranConnect. Webinar: Franchise Sales Index 2020, 2020. https://go.franconnect.com/franchise-sales-index-2020-webinar.

No matter the industry, every business owner wants to employ an effective marketing strategy. However, invasive outbound marketing tactics have become increasingly frustrating. IDS has a long history in franchise lead generation, and we know how the process best unfolds. Here, we’ll give you some tips on how to generate leads through a more natural, inbound marketing approach.

Put simply, outbound marketing is an interruption, while its inbound counterpart provides a solution. From repetitive television ads to unsolicited telemarketers, outbound marketing hardly ever helps you build a lasting relationship with consumers. In fact, just 17% of marketers believe outbound marketing tactics provide high-quality leads, while 74% prefer inbound.

As more businesses move to inbound agencies for their marketing needs, we can’t help but agree that this tailored approach to brand awareness is far more effective and consumer-friendly. 

What is Inbound?

So, what is it about inbound marketing that makes it so special? Rather than indiscriminately blasting your message out to the masses, inbound marketing targets specific consumers at certain stages in the buyer’s journey. That gives you an opportunity to present them with a service, product, or message that resonates with them. The goal of inbound is to empower consumers and offer them something of value. By doing so, the consumer is far more likely to have a positive reaction to your messaging and build a relationship with your brand. 

Now, you may be thinking, “How does this relate to franchising?” As you may already know, franchise sales is all about timing. By implementing an inbound marketing strategy, you provide a perfectly-timed answer to a question, which is more often than not, “I want to make a lifestyle or career change — now what?” There are numerous reasons why a lead might be interested in franchising, and an inbound strategy is a great way to reach that lead with a message he or she can relate to. 

Do they want more time to spend with their family? Are they sick of the corporate world? Or are they looking for a long-term investment they can pass on to their kids? No matter the reasoning, inbound is a great way to provide your best customer with a proven solution. 

Attract, Engage, and Delight

Buyer's Journey
Image source: HubSpot

There are a few ways to go about your lead nurturing strategy, and luckily they align perfectly with the buyer’s journey:

Attract: Become a thought-leader in your respective industry and a trusted advisor who consumers will think of the next time they need information. Your target audience will see you as a valuable resource.

EngageWhat are your consumers missing? How can you alleviate their issues today and tomorrow? Your answers should present your audience with solutions to their pain points. 

DelightProvide professional support to alleviate issues and help consumers find success after a purchase. Present them with an option or opportunity to take action on that aligns with their personal goals.

Time to Make it Happen!

Now that you have these themes in mind, it’s good to put together a game plan that best fits your business. There are a few ways to hit the mark, and some strategies might work better than others. At IDS, our goal is to come up with the best possible lead nurturing strategy and get you headed in the right direction! Below are some easy and effective marketing techniques that align with the goals we’ve just outlined:

(Ads, franchisee day-in-the-life videos, blogs, social media, content)

(Lead flows, invitations to webinars or a video Q&A, email marketing, lead management, conversational bots, marketing automation)

(Content, email marketing, conversations inbox, attribution reporting, marketing automation)

IDS’ team of franchise lead generation experts can teach you everything there is to know about building the perfect inbound strategy. If you want to learn more, feel free to contact a member of our team today!

References:
https://www.hubspot.com/inbound-marketing?_ga=2.180282660.1882767607.1594845274-355611249.1589462449
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