Are Franchise Portals Worth It? What Are the Alternatives?
Everything you need to know about franchise portals and how to get in front of qualified franchise candidates
Franchising is far more accessible to enterprising entrepreneurs today than 15 or 20 years ago. That largely has to do with the fact that prospective franchisees can discover and learn more about franchise opportunities online. However, the ability to conduct online research has its pros and cons. Enter the franchise portal. Pros: Franchise portals are an online marketing tool that provides information about various franchise brands and their start-up fees. Cons: Franchise portals are essentially search engines for the franchising industry. Like search engines, visitors can access a whole lot of information with very little context. They provide a high-level view to “top-of-funnel” searchers. Think quantity, not quality.
As the popularity of franchise portals increases, it’s important for you—the franchisor—to recognize the key role that they are playing and to determine if spending your budget dollars with a franchise portal is the right option for your brand. Here’s what you need to know about using a portal to generate leads.
What Is a Franchise Portal?
A franchise portal is a for-profit business that strives to provide franchisors with leads for prospective franchisees. Franchise portals are also commonly referred to as web portals, and they are known for operating on a non-exclusive basis.
On the surface, a franchise portal may seem like a quick and easy way to get your name out there and collect leads from prospective investors. Franchise portals have a long history of producing large numbers of leads. They generate this contact data for a relatively low cost—especially when you compare the cost of a franchise portal with other lead generation sources.
It’s important to keep in mind, though, that when you receive leads from a franchise portal, you will need to spend time and resources to vet the information and determine if it’s a qualified lead. Then you will need to nurture that lead through the funnel until they are ready to take the next steps toward purchasing. Franchise portals have the capability of generating a high volume, but you may find that these leads are very top-of-funnel and not the quality that will lead to conversion. In fact, many of the leads you receive from franchise portals are casting a wide net and are likely going to several other franchises as well—including your competitors.
Franchise portals can be a powerful tool—but there are some real limitations that you should be aware of before you begin investing your valuable marketing dollars into these businesses.
Limitations of a Franchise Portal
Initially, a partnership with a franchise portal may seem like a fair trade-off. You can pay an affordable fee, and in return, you receive hundreds of leads for potential franchisees.
However, there are some significant limitations that you should be aware of, and that could make you think twice about using franchise portals as part of your franchise marketing strategy. Here are a few disadvantages to consider:
- The leads generated by franchise portals have a very low conversion rating. This low conversion rating can be attributed to the fact that most users on a franchise portal are not quite ready to invest in a particular brand. In addition, franchise portals specialize in generating a significant number of leads, but these portals do not always focus on the quality of those leads.
- Most prospective franchisees relying on franchise portals are still in the search and discovery phase of their investment journey. In many cases, the people who have found themselves on a franchise portal are just beginning to consider the idea of owning a franchise. They may be clicking on various brands across various industries, and they may even request more information from 10 or 15 different brands. You will receive their data, as will many other franchisors, which significantly lowers your ability to capture and convert this lead.
- Many of these leads contain information for prospective franchisees who have yet to narrow down a specific industry for their next venture. Franchise portal users are just beginning to understand what it takes to invest in a franchise, and they are often not ready to speak further with brand representatives.
Beyond the Portal: Alternative Lead Generation Sources
If you are going to invest your valuable marketing dollars into an online tool, consider leaving the franchise portal behind and choosing a more powerful option. Franchise Business Review is not a franchise portal, but rather a trusted resource for franchise candidates researching the best franchise opportunities based on actual data from existing franchise owners.
Rather than forcing prospective franchisees to browse through hundreds of pages to get a little bit of information about each brand, we streamline the process by giving them a one-stop resource for each brand they are considering. Your brand would be on display for prospective franchisees who are serious about taking the next step toward investing in a particular business, which means that our leads offer much higher conversion ratings. On your brand page, there would be franchisee satisfaction data on your brand collected through FBR’s independent research, detailed information about your business model, and reviews and ratings from actual franchise owners in your system. In addition, prospective franchisees can contact you directly through the Franchise Business Review website, which eliminates the need for you to vet endless, recycled leads from other portals.
What Makes Franchise Business Review Different From a Portal
Franchise Business Review is not going to promise you high-volume leads. Rather, we focus on providing quality, accurate data and content for prospective franchisees, giving a limited number of franchisors direct access to the most motivated market segments.
Unlike franchise portals, franchise brands can’t just pay to be listed on our website. Prospective franchisees come to FBR because we only list franchise brands that have scored above the industry benchmark for satisfaction among their current owners. They can trust that any brand they see on our site has a strong track record of providing high quality leadership and support for their franchisees, and not just because the brand says so, but because they’ve been vetted through our franchisee satisfaction survey.
At Franchise Business Review, we provide prospective franchisees with the reliable, accurate, and valuable information they need—all while motivating them to take that next pivotal step toward investment. As you increase your visibility among your target audience and grow the number of franchisees for your brand, consider investing in a lead generation source that is focused on matching more qualified candidates with your brand.
If you currently work with FBR and are interested in learning more about our Lead Generation program, contact your client consultant or drop us a line here. If you are new to FBR and are looking to reach more qualified candidates, sign up for a 10-minute demo to see how we can help.
Looking to strategically position your brand to candidates? FBR’s media kit can help you target the right opportunities, plan ahead around strategic deadlines, and diversify your exposure.