Turning Leads Into Candidates

“Call Me” Has Turned to “Text Me” for Franchisees

Eli Robinson
Tuesday, May 12 2015


Last July, FranchiseHelp started our first experiment using text messages as a means of communicating with potential franchisees.

(To get a look at what we did back then, take a look at this post.)

Since then, we’ve had numerous internal debates about what role text messages played in our business. Should they supplement calls? What about using both? Or even more extreme, what if we scrapped calls and did just texts and emailing? What about people who only use landlines?

So in the last 10 months, we’ve tried numerous different strategies, continually tweaking toward solutions that work for everyone.

What we did

Earlier this year FranchiseHelp finally turned that power over to our visitors. Rather than assuming that they wanted to receive phone calls to verify their interest in franchising, we asked whether or not they preferred phone or text.

It looks a little something like this:

FranchiseHelp Call/Text Verification Screen

(Ultimately for us, it’s simply important that the phone numbers they provide are, in fact, correct. So we’re indifferent as to which option the lead chooses.)

We started rolling out these features in February, and we’ve been blown away by the results.

Since we started giving visitors the choice, an astonishing 88% of leads have elected to be contacted via text message.

Here’s what the trends look like over the past few months:

FranchiseHelp Contact Method Preferences February - May 2015

It looks like we’re even trending slightly toward more text messaging, as the percentage has grown from 85% to 89% since February.

So how does this relate to the franchise sales process?

Ultimately, it’s highly unlikely that you need to do lead verification like we do here at FranchiseHelp.

However, this is a fairly strong signal from the pool of potential franchisees that the telephone is quickly becoming passe in terms of ways to communicate.

We get feedback all the time that it’s difficult to get people on the phone. Metrics like telephone contact rates continue to come down, and it’s easy to see why.

90/10Although I don’t have the actual evidence, if we included email as a third option for communication, we would have seen close to 0 people choose phone.

I’m definitely NOT saying that it’s time to abandon telephone calls as far as communicating with leads, but I am saying that it IS time to explore alternative methods as well.

When I was first running this analysis, I was expecting something more along the line of a 50/50 split of text to call.

But 90/10 is a whole other animal!

That’s the reality of the franchise lead generation environment that we’re working in.

Want to learn more about FranchiseHelp’s text message strategy? Shoot us a note.