How to keep in touch with potential franchisees

Prospective franchisees aren’t always best placed to take on a franchise immediately, or perhaps the right location is not available. So how can franchisors keep in touch and ensure their brand is front of mind when the timing is right?

Inside Franchise Business spoke to two food franchise recruiters for their quick tips…

Nick Avgerinos, The Cheesecake Shop

We use a database system called Salesforce to store the details of every person who inquires about a The Cheesecake Shop franchise. We send regular edms to this database of two types either promoting new opportunities that come on to the market or celebrating the successes of new franchisees.

We send out a blanket mix and then we use a feature on Mailchimp which records how many times a person looks at the e-mail. We will take the top 10 per cent and then follow them up further.

It’s often the case that someone will inquire about a growing area for a new store and we tell them they are too early.

We have had gestation periods of over three years before a deal has occurred because the area has now reached the right population or we have found the right site.

Kim Davies, Chocolateria San Churro

We receive a lot of interest in areas where we don’t have sites, so I have to try to keep people engaged all the time.

What we find works is that we have our own franchise update newsletter that goes out to everyone on our database about six times a year.  We usually open the newsletter with a new store opening and then do a feature on a new or existing franchise partner to try and create a connection with the reader.

We often put a reference in the newsletter to finance too.

The other thing that we now do is when we have new or existing opportunities, we send a personalised emailer to the database for the state that the opportunity is in, just letting the recipient know that we haven’t forgotten them and whilst it might be a while since they originally enquired, we now have something that might be of interest to them.

Keeping in touch on an individual level is really just impossible, but if we can make these emailers and newsletters punchy, interesting and personalised wherever possible, I think it is a nice way to keep in touch.