Marketing Support Helps Franchisees Start Strong and Grow Their Businesses - WellBiz Brands Skip to main content

New franchise owners in the WellBiz Brands portfolio may enter its system knowing how to run a business or provide excellent customer service. They may have even previously worked as a hairdresser or massage therapist. They may not know much about marketing.

That’s where Kelsey Lewis and her team come in. Lewis, the director of revenue strategy at WellBiz Brands, and her team of marketing gurus work across all brands on anything that deals with membership. “Our team takes a very personalized and comprehensive approach to help franchisees grow membership,” says Lewis. “With new studio owners, this is very much one-on-one, because every campaign performs differently. Once they open, our training shifts to more of a group setting.”

Opening a New Shop

One team supports franchisees opening new locations by helping launch digital campaigns and plan local studio marketing activities to raise awareness of the new location, generate leads ahead of opening and through the first few months after opening.

When Daisy Terrazas, the owner of Drybar Eastvale in California, opened Dec. 15, she already had signed up 180 members. She sponsored some events with the local chamber of commerce and sponsored eight pop-up events at local gyms and clubs. “The marketing was fantastic, I can honestly say they provided tools and resources to set me up for success,” she says.

For new franchise owners, the team works with an agency on the strategy, targeting and assets to launch a digital campaign leading up to the location’s grand opening. “We also share that information with the owners themselves. We are very transparent and communicative with them,” Lewis says.

The communication continues to flow through brand-specific monthly webinars and weekly newsletters that keep owners up to speed on marketing activities.

The team also trains new franchise owners on local studio marketing, which helps new locations establish themselves in the market. “Consumers love the studio marketing piece because they can meet the owner at a local event. Digital marketing is critical to stay competitive and attract new people, but local studio marketing brings it home. They work so well together. You can’t have one without the other.”

Marketing Trends

Over the past year, Lewis’s team has pivoted its strategy to emphasize local studio marketing and user-generated content (UGC). “Consumers really want to see authentic, live-action pieces of what’s going on in the studios,” Lewis says. “We are using UGC mostly on Instagram, and also dipping our toes into TikTok to stay current. We will probably see a lot more of that in 2024.”

The team experienced a surge in requests for print materials. “People are so tired of their inboxes,” Lewis says. “Getting a really nice mailer seems so refreshing, so we are providing more great print materials. I don’t see that changing anytime soon, either.”

Additionally, the team refined the targeting of digital campaigns to reach a more precisely defined audience. “The digital is running in the background, while we see the most active franchisees are doing the local studio marketing, establishing themselves in the community,” Lewis says.

“The braids and dry-styling pop-ups were a hit,” says Terrazas. “I found a lot of success with local gyms. Every pop-up was planned, and both the studio and I posted the announcement on social media. My followers started showing up at every pop-up to get to know us and learn more about Drybar. It attracted attention that we had a line of people waiting for us to braid their hair. My first pop-up was at a Hotworx, where they were just ramping up their location, and I left with 39 leads.”

Marketing Beyond Opening

Another marketing team works on sales training year-round for both new owners and veterans, leading webinars on how to grow membership, how to retain members, how to convert leads and how they can use gift cards.

The sales training webinars are extremely interactive, with role-playing and lots of discussion among owners. “It’s nice for owners to hear from other owners about what they are doing so they may learn about a tactic that will work for them in their location, too,” Lewis says.

“Marketing definitely drives membership and growth,” she adds. “The competitive landscape right now makes marketing more important than ever. There are so many options available to consumers that businesses need to show what they offer to attract members and keep them.”