Grinding out franchise leads
Gloria Jeans gives us a few tips on how to not only get the word out that franchises are up for grabs, but to actually encourage real leads. And it comes out of a pretty simple form of advertising.
With the enormous choice of franchises in Australia, it can be difficult to be noticed by people who are thinking of buying into a franchise.
In order to attract both quantity and quality of franchise applications, franchisors must think like franchisees: What are the motivations for buying a franchise? Where do potential franchisees search for opportunities?
There is so much information available on the internet that it makes sense this is where most franchisors want to be visible.
The first Gloria Jean’s Coffee store in Australia opened in Miranda, Sydney in 1996 with a mission to provide customers with high quality speciality coffee. By 2003 there were stores in every Australian state and territory and there are now close to 500 stores in Australia and over 900 stores across 38 countries.
So how did they expand so quickly and to such high numbers? Not just by serving great coffee, but also with a marketing strategy that involves innovation and trying different tactics until you find what works.
In 2005, Gloria Jean’s Coffees wanted to recruit more franchisees, but they needed to increase sales leads and to expand their online brand presence. At the time they were advertising with a popular job opportunities website but weren’t getting value on their investment.
They looked into advertising on FranchiseBusiness.com.au, the official online directory of the Franchise Council of Australia.Online directories are the same concept as print directories: they provide a list of businesses sorted by business type, with contact details including phone number, email and physical addresses and a link to your website.
Gloria Jean’s Coffees’ National Franchising Manager Miki Caswell says she originally felt “sceptical” about advertising on online directories, but was told it would yield good results in terms of brand presence and lead generation.
Integrate your approach
Online marketing is a broad term incorporating email marketing, banner adverting, search engine visibility, website and more. The most efficient way to manage and maximise your efforts is to integrate. Online directories such as FranchiseBusiness.com.au offer many ways to improve lead generation and brand presence.
Ms Caswell says that the best advice she can give to franchisors is to use the email marketing feature on FranchiseBusiness.com.au, which allows you to send a blast email to people who have opted-in. “I’ve already referred other franchisors to use this,” she said. Ms Caswell also recommends using banners, media releases and images.
Overcoming the difficulties
Ms Caswell says that Gloria Jean’s Coffees experienced the challenge of converting leads because of the difficulty of finding people who can afford to invest in a high-end franchise.
Gloria Jean’s take a two-handed approach to help overcome this difficulty – they have a dual focus on brand presence and franchisee recruitment. Ms Caswell said they still advertise in newspaper publications and franchising magazines, but more for the benefit of brand presence rather than franchisee recruitment.
The business finds that online advertising and their website generates “far greater leads” than print nowadays. FranchiseBusiness.com.au has been crucial in generating a large number of leads. “It’s given us strong online advertising presence, seems to be the most widely viewed site, and increasing leads from this site has been terrific,” Ms Caswell said.