Using video to increase survey participation
Published May 24, 2017

How Three Franchise Brands Used Video to Increase Franchisee Survey Participation

One of the keys to a successful communications strategy is hitting your audience with the right message at the right time, in a format that resonates with them. And because everyone responds differently to various formats, the most successful communications include a multi-channel approach.

Franchise Business Review recently spoke with John Covilli, SVP Franchising at Dale Carnegie & Associates, Shannon Wilburn, Co-Founder & CEO of Just Between Friends, and Loretta Sexton, Director of Human Resources & Recruiting at Tropical Smoothie Cafe, to learn how they have successfully incorporated video into their communications with franchisees to boost participation in their annual franchisee satisfaction surveys. All three brands have survey participation rates over 70%.

What prompted you to use video as part of your communication strategy to franchisees regarding the survey?

John Covilli: Our President/CEO, Joe Hart has had a very good response and feedback to the previous video communications he has been sending. He thought this would be great way to communicate the importance of this survey, and our commitment to act on the data.

Shannon Wilburn: We received an email from FBR suggesting that we may want to do a fun video to send out before the survey to stir up excitement about the survey.

Loretta Sexton: We use video regularly when communicating with our franchisees.

What impact has the video had on survey participation rates?

John Covilli: We had the highest participation rate in the four years we have been doing this survey (76%). We also had the highest rate of franchisees submitting their names and asking for a follow up phone call for more in depth discussions.

Shannon Wilburn: I think it helps people see and hear from me in a different way. Our franchisees are used to communicating via Facebook Live to their participants, so seeing me on video tends to elicit more participation than a simple email ask. Plus…I had a lot to say!

Loretta Sexton: This was the first year that we asked Area Developers to film videos to ask franchisees to complete the survey. Participation was up this year and part of that increase could be attributed to hearing from others like them encouraging them to fill it out.

How much time and money did you invest in making the video?

John Covilli: Very little. We have the video capabilities out of our home office. Was just a matter of Joe constructing his message, doing the video shoot and sending it to the network.

Shannon Wilburn: We didn’t spend any money. I filmed it on my computer. It was a short upbeat video, encouraging franchisees to participate and to share their names and why.

Loretta Sexton: Actually we didn’t have to invest anything in making the videos. The Area Developers filmed themselves and emailed us the video files. We have video editing software and a video editor on staff and they were able to clean up the videos and post them on our intranet site.

At what point in your communication plan did you share the video, and what role did it play in your overall communication strategy?

John Covilli: We sent the video a couple days ahead of the survey. We then sent a reminder email for those who had not yet completed the survey. The video link was embedded in the reminder email as well.

We really felt the video added a personal touch to the message above and beyond what we could communicate in a regular email message.

Shannon Wilburn: We shared the video a couple of weeks before the survey went out and again, the day the survey went out.

Loretta Sexton: We distribute the videos before and during the process. We also created reminder videos with Mike Rotondo, our CEO. He encourages them to fill it out and lets them know we take their feedback seriously.

Watch Co-Founder & CEO of Just Between Friends Shannon Wilburn’s video to franchisees encouraging them to participate in their annual franchisee satisfaction survey.


Franchise Business Review offers customizable templates to help you communicate with franchisees about your survey. In addition, we offer consulting on crafting a more effective franchise communication strategy. To learn more, contact us at [email protected].

About the Author: Ali Forman

As the Marketing Director, Ali’s role is to educate franchise companies about and inspire them to participate in FBR’s research in order to grow and improve their brands. Ali lives in Maine with her husband and two sons.
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