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Best Practices for Franchise Development Marketing: 5 Cost-Effective Tips to Fill Your Pipeline for Franchise Sales

Franchise Development Marketing Tips

Franchise recruitment. Franchise development. Franchise growth. Whatever you call it, there is no denying the importance of expanding your brand’s reach by adding franchisees.

While 2020 was a down year for franchises due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry is projected to rebound in 2021. According to the International Franchise Association’s 2021 Economic Outlook, “Overall franchising contribution to the economy is forecast to grow by 7% in 2021.” By the end of the year, the industry will have reached pre-pandemic levels of economic output.

In other words, the time to fine-tune your franchise development marketing strategies is now. Failure to capitalize on this upcoming growth can be disastrous for your franchise’s long-term success.

Whether you’re a coffee fanatic with a cafe chain, a fitness enthusiast with their own lineup of gyms, or an animal lover with a pet franchise, there are other entrepreneurs out there who share your passion and are interested in becoming a part of your brand. With the right marketing strategies in place, you can make it easy for them to connect with you to become a franchise owner.

To help you kickstart your franchise development, here are five cost-effective tips to keep in mind as you build out your recruitment strategies.

And you can trust us here at Hot Dish Advertising. We have over 20 years of experience helping franchisees achieve their sales goals and expand their reach through customized franchise marketing solutions.

5 Proven Tips for Franchise Development Marketing

Utilize a Multi-Channel Marketing Franchise Plan


There is no “silver bullet” for franchise development. As with any marketing strategy, you should never put all your eggs in one basket. Instead, you should cast a wide net using different channels and mediums. With a multi-touchpoint franchise marketing plan, you can deliver your message to your audience in multiple formats at once. Not only does this increase the likelihood of the right audience seeing it, but it allows the audience to choose how they will connect with your brand.

For example, a Midwest-based coffee shop franchise is looking to expand its reach in the Pacific Northwest. A few of their marketing strategies to attract new franchise owners include: 

  • Retargeting ads on Google for those who have frequented their website.
  • Social media ads for their followers that live in that region.
  • Billboards and radio ads throughout the metropolitan areas in the PNW.

Having all three of these marketing strategies operational at the same time will help the franchise reach more people, nurture them into leads, and convert them into owners.

Drive Franchise Development Deals Through Digital Channels

Digital marketing is crucial for your business’s success. If you’re not incorporating digital channels into your multi-channel franchise marketing plan, the time to invest in them is now.

The good news is that digital advertising is both cost-efficient and accurate. This is due to the targeting capabilities that digital channels provide, allowing you to set up your campaigns so that only those interested in franchising with you see your ads. Compared to other marketing initiatives, it is also less expensive.

Consider social channels, which make it easy to target one specific audience or multiple target markets depending on your current strategy. In addition, A/B testing is made simple as social platforms provide comprehensive data so you can polish your campaigns.

Cross-channel remarketing allows you to target an audience across multiple platforms, allowing your brand to stay in front of your audience no matter where they are online. Sometimes being first is everything for getting people to choose your franchise over the competition, and cross-channel marketing helps improve those odds.

Marketing to potential franchisees  through digital channels not only helps you get in front of them, but utilizing remarketing capabilities helps you stay in front of them until they are ready to convert.

Consider a Landing Page Versus a Website

Website Landing Pages

Websites are essential for franchise development marketing. However, they can take quite a bit of time and resources to create. When the budget for franchise recruitment is tight, but you have big sales goals to reach, a landing page is a great option.

With a smart, user-focused landing page, you can attract the perfect candidates for franchising without completely revamping your current site or creating a brand new one from scratch. Landing pages can also help bring in leads while a website revamp or build is complete.

While a landing page should look good aesthetically, it needs to provide helpful, accurate, and relevant content to help nurture the lead to an eventual conversion. When done right, landing pages can be a powerful way to help reach your franchise sales goals.

Speed is the Name of the Game

When a lead inquires about a potential franchise opportunity with your business, don’t leave them waiting on pins and needles for a follow-up. Instead, implement a drip email campaign

According to the 2020 FranConnect Franchise Sales Index, 85% of the leads that resulted in deals were those that were contacted within the first four hours of their inquiry. Drip campaigns not only make it easy to connect with a new lead that fills out a contact form, but you can stay in touch with them by automatically sending emails at scheduled intervals.

Depending on the CRM, you can customize emails to be triggered on lead status changes and create branded emails that match the look and feel of your brand with branded templates, visuals and testimonials.

Consider Hosting Your Own Event Instead of Attending a Trade Show

It’s hard to say what the future of trade shows will look like in a post-pandemic world. Virtual trade shows can help attract leads, but there is no substitute for in-person interactions. We likely won’t be seeing any franchise trade shows for quite a while yet. In the meantime, there are other ways you can bring awareness to your franchise opportunity.

Perhaps the best alternative to trade shows is hosting your own event. This allows you to dictate the conversation and keep potential franchise prospects focused on your opportunity. Make sure the event is entertaining and provides value. Bring in speakers and current franchise owners who can help engage your audience.

Don’t Go it Alone – Partner with Hot Dish Advertising

We Speak Franch™

Franchise development marketing isn’t easy. But, by prioritizing your time and budget, you can set yourself up for success by filling your pipeline and driving conversions. At some point, it may become too much to do on your own, however.

That’s where we come in. As a FranFocused™ advertising and marketing agency, we have a track record of helping franchises like yours expand their reach by consistently adding new franchise owners.

Contact us today to get started on fine-tuning your franchise development marketing.

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