Marketing Lessons Learned From Sending 200,000 Emails A Day For Many Years
Marketing is, at its core, storytelling.
Brands communicate the narrative about the values they uphold as a company, and the value they deliver to their customers.
And in the franchise world, your brand is the single most important investment you can make in the business. When an entrepreneur begins the process of vetting franchises in which to invest and own, cohesive and consistent branding is the lifeblood of that relationship.
Here at FranchiseHelp, we help our clients tell their brand story in a variety of ways. A primary tool we use is email marketing. Running our most recent numbers, we send out about 200,000 emails a day through our Franchise Of The Day series. These emails are detailed descriptions of specific franchise opportunities, written by our team of expert writers and marketers, and sent to those users who fit the brand’s requirements.
Naturally, we’ve learned a lot about marketing from this daily work. If you missed our last post about avoiding the spam filter, be sure to read that. Meanwhile, here are some additional email marketing lessons to keep in mind as you tell your brand story. Share them with everyone on your franchise development team so you’re on the same page, and you can keep the lead flow of franchisees coming in.
Identify yourself early and clearly
We’ve seen the franchises that have the highest open and click rates, and whose email marketing campaigns lead to signing up new owners. One practice they execute well is summing up the business opportunity for the reader in the first paragraph. No dilly dallying around with clever word smithing and introductory language. Just get to the meat.
Speaking of meat, let’s say your franchise is a fast casual restaurant serving fresh submarine sandwiches. Make sure you point out the unique selling proposition as soon as possible, i.e., “John Smith Subs, unlike other places, provides table service and emphasizes fresh ingredients.”
Assuming most readers won’t scroll through the entire email, you only have a short window in which to engage them. Make your case early and clearly.
Show them the money, just not too much
We’ve written before that including any large dollar amount and dollar signs can be flagged as spam. It’s important to scrub your content clean from the get go. However, don’t shy away from letting your potential franchisees know how various companies make money.
Perhaps your franchise offers convenient walk-in repair & service for popular tech devices. Awesome. Once you’ve identified the offer, be clear with the potential owner that the income streams for this business opportunity includes services such as repairs, upgrades, and other offerings for devices; but also sales and trade-ins of preowned products.
The average person may not have considered that bifurcated business model. Make sure you show them the money in this way, opening up their eyes to the economic possibilities of your brand. It’s a surefire way to make your emails more openable.
Sell the franchise organization
Now that you’ve already identified what the opportunity is and illustrated the economic potential, the final move is going to be selling the franchisee on working with the larger organization. This is a crucial part of your marketing storytelling arsenal, even if it’s not the first thing you say out of the gate.
You’ve heard the phrase ad nauseam, “you’re in business for yourself, but not by yourself.” No need to actually write that phrase, as it’s been done a million times before and sounds a bit nineties. But still keep that ethos in mind as you tell the story about the kind of support franchisees will receive.
Whenever we consult franchises on email marketing blasts, we always remind them to be as specific as possible when highlighting this relationship. Whether it’s offerings like virtual training, ongoing certification of employees, or the role of regional managers to support franchisees on marketing and operational support, just be specific. Help them visualize what kind of support they’ll have to assist them with the inevitable challenges of running a business.
Branding wedges open the door of opportunity
One final note here. As much as we’re talking about email marketing in this article, let’s not overlook the one company asset that’s most likely to increase open and click rate. Whether they’ve heard of you before. That’s branding, and if they have no idea who you are, then you’re already at a disadvantage, fighting an uphill battle every step of the way.
We always joke around FranchiseHelp that the best way to get a potential franchisee to open your email today is to do something amazing ten years ago. Now, this doesn’t apply to companies who haven’t been in business very long, but you get the point. Effective email marketing is a science, for sure, but it’s also a downstream effect of the art of branding your franchise has (hopefully) already performed.
The biggest difference in terms of what people will read and click is your brand. If you don’t have social proof, you’re toast. If you haven’t been featured in the media in the last six months, you’re in trouble. Particularly if you have a boring name that doesn’t evoke emotion immediately, you better have something else remarkable to pay that off.
In short, people need a reason to believe. They want to get excited about becoming an owner, but you need to give them something exciting. Which means you, yourself need to be excited.
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Ultimately, email marketing is just another form of digital storytelling. We do it about 200,000 times a day. And in our experience, you have to communicate your franchise value early, clearly and specifically.
Just remember, all leads are more influenced by a brand’s overall email strategy than a single email. That’s why they call it a campaign.
P.S. FranchiseHelp offers email campaigns custom built by top marketers, hand crafted by professional writers and delivered by the savviest engineers in franchising. You can learn more about our sponsorship program here.
Scott Ginsberg is Head of Content at FranchiseHelp. He sent his first email campaign after graduating college 2002 to everyone on campus who tried to forget him.
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