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Published November 17, 2016

Your Secret Weapon for Converting Online Leads into Franchisees

Digital marketing is here to stay. Most franchisors know that integrating it into their overall development and marketing strategy is critical.

In today’s Google era, it’s no surprise that 78% of Internet users conduct product research online [Hubspot]. In many (if not most) cases, your website is a candidate’s first impression of your franchise opportunity. But we’re not here to talk about best practices for web design or UX (user experience).

Rather, we want to share a critical tool that can easily be incorporated into your digital marketing strategy to help you cut through the noise, differentiate your brand, and increase the number of quality leads you’re generating online.

If you’re already surveying your franchisees’ satisfaction, you have plenty of data at your disposal. (If you’re not, you should be, and here’s why.) Hopefully you’re using the data to make operational improvements. But, did you know your data—specifically the summary report you receive from Franchise Business Review—is also a secret weapon for converting prospective franchise buyers?

Because, science.

Many marketers are familiar with the psychological principles behind what drives buying decisions. (If you’re not, this MarketingProfs article offers a nice overview and infographic.) One of those principles is social proof and acceptance, which in a nutshell, means that people value the opinions of others like them and are more likely to do the same.

Why am I telling you all this? Because your franchisee satisfaction survey summary report is just that—it’s a way for you to show candidates that other people like them (those who were interested in franchising with your brand) made the decision to buy—and are satisfied with their decision.

So how do you incorporate your franchisee satisfaction data into your digital marketing and development efforts?

Here are six easy ways to get started:

    1. Use it as a lead capture asset. Post the summary report on your franchise website. This is a great way to capture contact information for people who are visiting your site but not engaging with your development team. This short tutorial walks you through how some FBR clients are using our Franchise Validation solution to do it successfully.
    2. Give your content marketing a boost. Use data from your survey results in infographics, social media, drip campaigns, and as fodder for blog posts. Franchise Business Review makes sector-specific benchmarking infographics that you can share too.
    3. Think beyond your own site. If you’re using brokers, make sure they have your franchisee satisfaction survey summary report to use with candidates they’re talking with as well. We can even supply you with talking points to give them to make sure they’re positioning it effectively.
    4. Wake up sleepy leads. Just because a lead has gone dark doesn’t mean it’s dead. Seeing third party research on how satisfied existing franchisees are can be just the thing to reignite interest. Start an email re-engagement campaign that includes stats from your satisfaction survey summary report or the full report.
    5. Share the love. According to WebDAM, customer testimonials have an 89% effectiveness rating for content marketing. Luckily, you have a treasure trove of testimonials in your franchisee satisfaction survey feedback report. (Just be sure to ask franchisees for permission to share prior to doing so.) To make your testimonials even more effective, ask franchisees to do a video testimonial that you can share across all your marketing channels.
    6. Get your friends to tell their friends, and so on, and so on. Use the franchisee satisfaction survey report as part of a referral campaign. Email your customer list about it—not only is it a great opportunity to thank your customers and franchisees, but quite often, your most enthusiastic customers become your next franchisees.


If you’re thinking, “Sounds awesome, but my franchisee satisfaction data’s not all that great,” you still have an opportunity to use it to your advantage. By sharing the good and the bad results, it demonstrates transparency and shows that you’re committed to making sure candidates have all the information they need to decide if your brand is the right fit for them. Plus, it gives you a chance to share with prospects what steps you’re taking to make improvements in poor-performing areas before they talk with with franchisees who may have a gripe on a live validation call. Finally, I recommend you read our whitepaper, Five Strategies for Turning Low Satisfaction Scores into a Win, for more ideas.

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's previous experience includes senior marketing communications roles in the employee benefits, data privacy, and publishing sectors. She lives in Maine with her husband and two sons.
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