One of the most unique and non-talked about aspects of email marketing is the need for multiple users. Organizations with multiple locations, brands, or departments have many unique twists when it comes to content, list building, and scheduling. Below, I will address the most important components of multi-user set-ups and why embracing them will greatly benefit your reach and your brand.
Franchise business has consistently beat growth rates for typical private sector employment over the last decade*. There are currently some 12,000 unique franchises and over 770,000 establishments. The impact franchises have to business environment are obvious every time you leave your house and this trend looks to continue over the next 5 years. As it relates to marketing, franchises have a major conundrum. How do I allow my franchisees to create content, engage consumers, and increase their footprint, without destroying the brand that corporate has so carefully built?
There is tremendous value in allowing franchisees and location managers to engage with their local customers using email and other marketing mediums. Franchise managers and owners interact with the community, understand the cultural implications of their market, and have a much deeper and thorough understanding of their customer’s needs. The key is to empower your franchisees with the tools they need while still having control of what is sent, when it is sent, and why.
The key with multiple user email configurations is providing access points for regional and corporate managers. Regional or market specific managers should have an email platform that allows the ability to determine the timing of messages in a region, approve and provide artwork specific to their region, and the ability to run reports and gain insights for their region. In addition, it should have multiple functions to control messaging for locations that are under their supervision.
Below is my list of must haves in an email platform and why
A franchise schedules a sending promoting their favorite political candidate or publishes an opinion about a controversial topic and decides to send this information to their contacts. Besides the irreparable harm to your brand, communications like this could open the door for lawsuits and other legal and financial liabilities. Make sure your system allows regional managers and corporate management the ability to notify, modify, or cancel sending’s.
At the very least, your email system should allow your regional managers and corporate marketing personnel to run reports on individual location’s open, click through, and subscription rates. It is essential to create baselines and identify key metric for clear goals that are attainable.
Do not let your franchises select and distribute photos that they feel are not consistent with your brand. Build a portfolio of images that are approved for franchisee use and remove the fear of inappropriate or out dated imagery.
Email usage varies tremendously with franchisees. Some owners “get it” and some just don’t. For the less engaged franchisees you need the ability to push communications through their account making sure timely communications are still sent and the benefits of those sending’s are still reaped.
Templates and Versioning
Controlling not only the content but the wrapping in which it is placed in is essential to drive traffic back to a website for conversion and to keep your brand consistent.
Email campaigns for franchises can be extremely effective if done properly. Few other business verticals provide the independence and reach that a franchise possesses to engage with their market. To obtain the most from you’re your franchise marketing, find a provider and tool that aligns with your current structure and that can grow along with you.