How Social Media Cut This Franchisor’s Cost-Per-Lead in Half


Acquiring leads for franchise development can be a costly and difficult process. Experts say that the average cost of a new franchise lead is $120 — more than almost any other industry. But with the right digital strategy, that figure can be cut in half.

A prominent Franchise 500 brand came to Qiigo with a problem. This brand was spending near the industry average per lead, with a significant digital focus on Pay-Per-Click advertising. But a concerningly low percentage of these leads were converting. The result was low ROI and stunted growth.

After surveying this brand’s situation, the team at Qiigo came up with an innovative game plan. We dramatically reduced their PPC ad spend, redirecting these funds to alternative digital channels. Much of this money went towards Social Media marketing, with a particular focus on Facebook Advertising.

By the end of the campaign, these changes had cut the brand’s average Cost-Per-Lead in half.

Our strategy also allowed the brand to reach their target market more easily, consistently, and accurately. As a result, the average quality of their leads increased at the same time as their average cost per lead fell.

Below, let’s take a closer look at how this happened.

Paid Search Underperforming Franchise Brand

During our initial discussions with the brand, we learned that they occupied a unique niche in the world of franchising. The brand’s core service offering was a youth soccer program, and they were seeking franchisees who had existing interest or experience with soccer.

That helped explain the underwhelming performance of their paid search campaigns. People just weren’t searching for the kinds of targeted search terms that would provide the brand with high-quality leads.

To find these leads, the brand needed to target their audience in a much more specific and accurate manner. This would require micro-targeting leads who met the following criteria:

  • Financially qualified to invest in a franchise
  • Interested in owning their own business
  • Located in or near an available territory
  • Existing experience/interest in soccer

Paid search made it difficult to target prospects across all of four these areas. Even if you’re passionate about business ownership and youth sports, you’re probably not Googling terms like “tee ball franchise business,” “kids swimming program franchise,” or “after school basketball franchise opportunity.”

Based on these concerns, Qiigo developed a custom strategy to boost the client’s digital franchise development efforts. Here’s what we came up with…

Social Media Used to Micro-Target Leads

To start, we recommended that the brand reduce its Paid Search budget by roughly 60%. The remaining Paid Search funds would focus on a smaller, more targeted set of keywords and parameters. This would increase the overall quality of leads, improving on-the-dollar returns on paid search.

Using the funds saved from Paid Search, we recommended a mix of alternative strategies to more accurately target high-quality leads. Of these strategies, we focused most heavily on Social Media, with a particular emphasis on Facebook.

In franchise development, Social Media campaigns tend to focus on LinkedIn. But in this case, Facebook’s rich combination of audience data and targeting tools were a perfect fit for the client’s needs.

Through Facebook, we were able to create a series of Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences to target high-quality leads. These audiences targeted standard criteria for franchise development marketing, such as location, age, education, and income markers. We also retargeted users who had previously engaged with the brand or had visited the brand’s website.

At the same time, we used Facebook’s audience data to targeted users with existing experience and/or interest in soccer. Our audiences included users who “liked” content related to soccer, who had played the sport in school, who had worked in the field of soccer, or who listed themselves as a self-proclaimed “soccer mom.”

Throughout the campaign, we partnered with the client to identify which specific audience markers resulted in the highest rates of leads, as well as which types of content produced the strongest engagement metrics. This allowed us to refine our targeting strategies and our creative output.

We performed similar adjustments to Paid Search over the course of the campaign. This allowed us to further improve lead generation rates across both channels.

The Results: Lower Costs, Better Leads, Stronger ROI

In less than a year, the client experienced a significant boost in digital franchise development. In fact, 22% of closed sales that year were the direct result of Qiigo’s digital marketing efforts.

Over the course of the campaign, we reduced the client’s average cost per lead from roughly $120 down to a remarkable $58 per lead. And despite paying less for each lead, the overall quality of the clients’ prospect pool had actually increased, resulting in stronger ROI.

Connect with us today to learn more about how we can help you generate more leads for your Franchise Development efforts.

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