A good elevator pitch should last no longer than a short elevator ride of 20 to 30 seconds, hence the name. It should be interesting, memorable and succinct. So, let’s start with your most important marketing element: your franchise development website. Unlike an elevator ride, however, with a great website you have only about 10 seconds to grab a prospect’s attention.
Obviously, when it comes to investing money in owning a franchise, we want your prospects to stay on your site as long as possible, because there’s a lot they need to learn about your brand before they are going to invest in it. In fact, we have seen that many people who are interested in becoming franchisees will come to your website more than 15 times before they actually give you their information, or convert. But, if you don’t get them excited in those precious first 10 seconds, you won’t win the sale. So now, if we’ve got your attention on how important your website is, keep reading.
If we haven’t convinced you yet of your franchise website’s importance, let us give you one more thing to consider. If we were talking over coffee and you told us what most franchise leaders tell us — “We know our franchise development website needs work, but …” — we would tell you exactly what we tell our clients: There are no “buts.” Your franchise development website must be strong, and it must stay strong and stay updated. It is the biggest, most important gateway to the sale. It MUST tell your story and also explain why someone should invest a lot of money — sometimes their life savings — into your brand.
To repeat: You have 10 seconds.
Think of your franchise website as a resume for your franchise. It needs to stand out and grab the attention of the “hiring manager,” aka your prospect, so that they want to talk with you right away. Persuade them that you are exactly who they are looking for. Make them eager to provide their contact information to get the conversation started.
The user experience should be prospect-friendly, where they can find information that allows them to understand your industry, what the opportunity is, what your story is, investment information and much more. And here’s a little secret that no one talks about when designing your franchise development website: You need to use data to build it. Because there is more to a website than a fun design with catchy copy. It needs to be designed to convert.
Here are three tips to make sure your website is truly the elevator pitch to your franchise:
- Know your persona and pique their interest in the first 10 seconds. You want them to be interested and stay on your page as long as possible in hopes that they will continue to dig and poke around and come back multiple times. Keep in mind that this is not always numbers – potential franchisees need to be able to picture themselves in your franchise. They need to fall in love with the brand. The numbers can come later, unless your only focus is investors or multi-unit owners. In that case, put the numbers up front.
- Don’t ask for too much information on the form. The simpler, the better: first name, last name, email and phone. Some franchise development sites basically have users fill out an application before they even talk to them. This is good only if you’re trying to not sell many franchises or if you have had so many inquiries you are trying to weed people out before the business development reps talk to them. If this is not the case, simplify your form. Also, put it on almost every page. Don’t make users search for the form or wonder what they should do next. Make it easy: a form on every page and simple inputs.
- If your website is not mobile-friendly, you HAVE to update this. Potential franchisees are going to think your brand is outdated, you don’t offer the marketing support they need and/or you don’t have the money to update your website, which suggests this is not a well-run brand. This is concerning. Run your website through this free tool from Google: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly. If the tool says your website is not mobile-friendly, get with your web developers IMMEDIATELY. What are you waiting for?
Remember, there are no excuses when it comes to investing in your franchise development website. It’s your first hello and may be your last goodbye.