Turning Leads Into Candidates

Our best email of 2015 – And what it teaches us

Eli Robinson
Monday, October 05 2015

If you’ve been a loyal follower of the LGRC, you’ll remember an article I wrote back in January called I Sent 25,783,700 franchise emails in 2014. Here’s What I Learned. In that article I went over the five biggest takeaways from managing FranchiseHelp’s email strategy for a year. (If you haven’t had a chance to peruse it, definitely give it a read. All five of the tenets certainly still hold today.)

Well, for 2015 I’m happy to report that we’re probably going to end up sending well over 100 million emails! And that only means that we’ve learned more about how potential franchisees interact with email.

Rather than get into all the high level takeaways from this year, I thought I’d share our single most effective email from this year.

First off – Here are the relevant details:

The email was sent to 284,731 recipients on September 3rd, 2015 from “Tim At FranchiseHelp.” 28,472 people were part of a subject line A/B test at 12PM EDT between “Franchises Under $20,000” and “Top Franchises Under $20K.” The remaining 256,259 recipients received the subject line “Franchises Under $20,000” at 7:05 PM EDT.

The email looked like this:

September 3rd 2015 FranchiseHelp Marketing Email

I’ll reiterate. This is the single greatest email that FranchiseHelp has ever sent. And here’s why I think that is:

A Very Large List – I’ve said it once. I’ll say it again. There is no substitute for a bigger list. Period. You can do every optimization, hack, improvement, new strategy or whatever else someone recommends trying but there’s no way you will replace increasing the size of your list. That day, we sent that email to over 280,000 people. That’s getting close to 0.1% of the U.S. population. (Ok. When I put it that way, it doesn’t sound that high. But it is!)

Effective Subject Line Testing – As I mentioned above, we actually ran a subject line test on this email to ensure that we were maximizing the email’s potential. The results of the test showed that “Franchises Under $20,000” had a 54% higher click rate than “Top Franchises Under $20K.” Now, I’m really not able to figure out why the click rate is that much higher, but it is. And that’s all that matters. It’s not too far of a logical jump to think that we could have seen a 50% decrease in effectiveness if we had selected the wrong subject line rather than the one we did select. Do you do email subject line testing?

Messaging About Affordability – One of the more common metaphors you’ll hear in the marketing and lead generation world is the description of a process as a funnel. You start with a wide base of people at the top and whittle down then numbers as people move toward completion. Phrases such as “top of the funnel” and “down funnel” are daily utterances here at FranchiseHelp. Well, by using copy about the affordability of franchising, we get to “widen the funnel.” 

By focusing on how franchising can be right for anyone, we allow more prospective franchisees to move down funnel unimpeded. (Important Caveat: Too much funnel widening leads to a glut of bad leads, so you have to find a sweet spot in your copy, targeting, and lead filtering systems when considering marketing this way.) We have something of an unfair advantage in this department because FranchiseHelp has invested heavily in building and refining a robust lead verification system to filter out inquiries with incorrect contact information or which fail to meet our partners' investment capital requirements.

Short and Sweet – I’ve belabored this point before as well. Email readers have very little patience these days. Think about the last time you sat down to read a long marketing email. Please write short emails. You won’t regret this.

Very Clear Call to Action – All good emails end with a great click! (That sounds like it should be a famous quote…) We need potential franchisees to actually visit our webpage and provide us information. So we have to get them from email to FranchiseHelp.com. And that big orange button did just that! “Check out franchises under $20,000 →” is a simple, understandable message. And it’s clearly appealing.

It’s not a foolproof playbook, but these five things go a long way to a successful email strategy for your franchise. Get started revamping your email plan today.

Want to learn about FranchiseHelp’s lead generation offerings, click here and shoot us a note!