If you are not experienced at effectively analyzing "tech talk," take the shortcut to better buying and zero in purely on sales results. Conduct your research on various websites using direct-response questions. The sole purpose of your online franchise advertising is to generate quality prospects to sell your franchise to, just as you normally do. If you can't get satisfactory answers to the following questions from a website in business six months or longer, hold on to your wallet!
Marketing plans are always evolving and should never remain static. Throwing a recruitment plan in the drawer to use next year throws you out of touch with the current lead generation environment. Therefore I always budget an "opportunity fund" to test and measure different and new media, including a few newborn websites that catch my interest.
Since start-up websites don't have performance histories, carefully consider lead generation factors before you get romanced by fancy graphics or bells and whistles. Unfortunately, a few new websites have misled franchisors with inaccurate or exaggerated claims.
If you don't think you have enough Internet savvy to make an informed decision, call a few of their initial advertisers and ask what marketing information motivated them to participate. Second, ask the vendor these key questions before making any financial commitments--and personally check to validate their response:
Remember, even if you don't speak "tech," you're still in the driver's seat with these fledgling ad sites. They need you much more than you need them! Offer to be a "beta test" advertiser who can help champion their great recruiting abilities to other franchisors... that is, if they perform well and generate buyers for you like they claim.
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