Text Franchise to 76686
We've always been huge proponents of texting at FranchiseHelp. But for the most part that's always been as a way to get in touch with a franchisee for the first time. That all changed a few months ago when we started seriously experimenting with using text messaging as a marketing channel.
SMS for Marketing Franchise Opportunities
We started testing things off by sending a thank you text to every user who completed the quiz but didn't become a lead, redirecting them to their quiz results.
We started to see pretty good results. Until one day we checked our text send volume and saw something like this:
We'd gotten caught up in a text message spam filter. We knew this was a risk because long codes aren't really meant for this type of texting. So our engineers dug into the guts of our texting program and figured out what we could do to fix things.
From Long to Short: Grown-Up Texting
It turns out the solution was simple. We just needed a short code! For those of you who don't know, a short code is a phone number specifically designed for SMS & MMS marketing communications. We submitted our application, overcome a series of administrative hurdles, and then several months later we finally got approved.
While we were waiting on the short code -- a bit of an involved process -- we realized we needed to be substantially smarter about what we were actually texting to people. Rather than giving them information they already had access to we wanted to give them recommendations as to which franchises they should connect with. By mid-March we finally had everything setup and launched our short code test.
To be honest, the results have been staggering to us. Any avid reader of FranchiseHelp's Lead Generation Resource Center knows that we are obsessed with email as a marketing channel. So I expected SMS to perform about as well as email -- maybe a bit better because we wouldn't have to deal with any email deliverability issues. I didn't expect it to perform 40x better!
Ok, that's probably a bit of an exaggeration because with texting there aren't any deliverability issues and open rate isn't really a concern. So maybe it's more like a 6x improvement from a click -> conversion ratio. But, either way the results were incredible. Users are engaging with texts at a much higher rate than email, unsubscribing less, and it doesn't cost substantially more to get a user to signup with a phone number than an email.
I'm not quite sure what we're going to do next with our short code. We've talked about using it for SMS blasts (like traditional email blasts). Or maybe we'll use it to deliver more franchise specific content/documents to prospects. Ultimately it continues to be a major experiment. If you have any thoughts on how we can use our short code to help you grow your franchise let us know!
What's Next in Text Messaging for Franchises?
If you can't already tell, the FranchiseHelp team is intrigued by how mobile and texting / SMS is transforming franchise development. We've seen tremendous benefits for franchisors who buy their franchise leads from FranchiseHelp and work with us on incorporating texting into their lead follow-up process.
Suffice it to say, we're just at the beginning of what can be achieved with this communication channel, and we'll continue to experiment and share our results with our franchise partners.
See more of FranchiseHelp's proprietary research and data on texting / SMS for franchise sales:
We also recommend staying abreast of the ongoing research from FranFunnel (the text messaging app & software built for franchise development teams):
How Franchisors Can Incorporate Texting
After millions of text messages sent to hundreds of thousands of leads, it's safe to say we've developed some hard-earned wisdom, and we'd love to share it with your development team.
We'll discuss our data and best practices for incorporating text messaging into your franchise sales process (based on your franchise's industry, ideal franchisee profile, development team size, and monthly lead volume, and other factors), whether you are a FranchiseHelp customer or not.
And if you're looking for an amazingly simple technology (app + desktop) designed specifically to enable effective texting for franchise development teams, check out FranFunnel.
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