Turning Leads Into Candidates

An Email Autoresponder That Didn't Work and Why

Eli Robinson
Tuesday, October 21 2014

One of the best places to work on improving your conversion rates is the e-mail auto-responder.

It's such a vital piece of communication, as it usually is the first point of contact you're going to have with a lead after they submit their contact information on your website. You know they say you don't have a second chance to make a first impression, so getting this right is very important.Woman Reading Email Autoresponder

One of the email auto-responders that we have been sending lately is an attempt to reconvert leads that are otherwise unsellable to our buyers. So, for example, let's say that someone inputs their contact information on our site, but we are unable to verify whether or not their phone number is legitimate. We can't sell these leads, as their intent to open a franchise is very, very low at this point. We've experimented with attempting to recapture these people, by sending them an email offering to speak with them further, hoping to raise their intent.

Here's what that email looked like:


First of all, let me introduce myself. My name is Eli Robinson, and I'm a franchising expert here at FranchiseHelp.com. We see thousands of people a week come to our site, just like you, ready to explore the possibility of owning your own business.

The first order of business is a congratulations. Simply by visiting us and letting us know you're interested, you've done more than 99.9% of Americans that are interested in owning their own business.

So where do we go from here?

First of all, I'd like to get to know you a little better. I prefer to do this on a phone call, but if you prefer to correspond via email, I'm more than happy to do that as well. I'm looking to learn things like:

  • What drove you toward opening a franchise?

  • What are your goals? Both personally and financially?

  • What is your current employment situation? What types of professional experiences do you have?

  • What kind of capital do you have to put towards a franchise?

  • If you're planning on raising additional capital, how do you plan on doing so?

  • Assuming that you're willing to share at least some of this information, I will think about which type of franchise opportunities are right for you.(I know you selected one or more franchises on FranchiseHelp.com, and I'll take a look to see if you're qualified for those specifically).

    After this initial conversation, either via email or via phone, I'm going to introduce you to franchises that we agree that you're interested in. We have relationships with people at the highest levels of these companies,and we're more than happy to let you connect with them directly.

    If everything goes well, you'll be on the road to becoming a franchisee within a few days. (I know, things move fast around here). If that's too quick, just let us know. We are simply looking to start the conversation.

    So let's start he ball rolling by me asking you to let me know if you prefer to speak on the phone or simply via email.

  • If you'd like to speak on the phone, give me a few times that work for you, and I'll be happy to give you a call.

  • If you want to correspond via email, go ahead and reply with any answers you may have to my questions above.

  • I look forward to speaking with you.

    Have a great day,


    Eli Robinson | Franchise Expert at FranchiseHelp.com | 57 E. 11th St. | NY, NY 10003 | LinkedIn

    P.S. For tips about opening a franchise take a look at our new ebook -- "Which Franchise Fits?"

    As I alluded to in the title, this wasn't the most successful piece of email we've ever sent. We saw an open rate of around 38% (We ran some subject line tests, of course) and an engagement rate of ~5%. There's a few things that we could’ve changed to make this better (and we did...):

    1. MAKE IT SHORTER! --Lord almighty, were we asking for a lot from people in terms of time commitment. It took well over a minute to read this email which is probably a minute too long! Attention spans on the internet are short and getting shorter. How the heck are we supposed to keep someone’s attention for this long?

    2. Two CTAs --As you'll see about 2/3 of the way down the email in bold, we asked "So let's start he ball rolling by me asking you to let me know if you prefer to speak on the phone or simply via email."When you give a user more than one option, the likelihood that they choose any option goes down significantly. We often say around here, "people like being told what to do." By asking them to make a selection, we are likely really hurting our ability to contact them.

    3. Asking for financial information --No one really likes to be asked for their personal information on the internet, mostly for security reasons. It seems like a week doesn't go by without hearing some story about how data at some company had been hacked. At the very front of people's minds in terms of red flags is financial information. The fourth and fifth bullet in the list of questions are very invasive and probably shouldn't be asked until well into the sales process, not in the auto-responder.

    After seeing the results of this email, we of course changed our strategy significantly. If you want to learn more about what we're doing now, give us a shout.