Get more people to your webinars

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May 4, 2017

There are hundreds of webinars happening this week. I personally get 30 or 40 emails each week announcing another webinar. It has become one of the go-to marketing tactics to educate customers (and prospects) about our products and services.

The great thing about webinars is their ability to be utilized as both a LIVE (time limited) event and a virtual (view anytime) event. You can create webinars for almost anything – from pure education/knowledge, to demonstration, to new product launch. It really is a versatile marketing activity, and the cost is so low, compared to just a few years ago, that it’s almost “free”.

And how to you decide if your webinar was a marketing success? By the number of people who attended and the number of “post” webinar views.  I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secrete within marketing – to get attendees, you have to spend a significant amount of effort to get even on attendee.  Why? Because there are so many webinars, so much noise in the market, we over communicate to get each attendee.

Here’s what an typical webinar marketing campaign support looks like …

1. Webinar Subject/Content Creation – with appropriate graphics, presentations, etc.

2. Email support – usually multiple emails to our list announcing, and then re-announcing our webinar

3. Landing page(s) on our websites – providing either a full calendar of all webinars and/or a specific page for each webinar

4. Registration – getting vital information about your attendees, in many instances this is just a repeat of information you already have in your CRM

Once we have all those things in place (for each webinar), we start down our work path or content creation and communications.  If you’ve done a few of them, you probably stick with the same flow for each, it’s just easier than recreating the process for each webinar.

And what is the end result? Here what the numbers look like if you have a email list of 10K (using some industry metrics) …

Emails Sent: 10,000

Open Rate: 2,500 (25% to 15%)

Click-through-rate: 200 (8% of open, about 2% for total list)

Registration: 160 (assuming 80%, no one talks about drop-off metrics from CTR to Registration)

Attend: 64 (60% drop off from registrations to attend)

That ends up being less than 1% of your total mailing list. At the end of the day, that’s a lot of effort (content, emails, reports, etc.) to get a few people to attend your live webinar.  And if you are “selling” something during your webinar, it’s a very small audience of buyers.

My question is – “how many of those 160 people, who registered, actually put the webinar on their calendar?” – think about that for just a second. Almost 100% of all webinar registrations end with an email being sent, inside that email is the event information, but the new registered invitee need to “add” or “save” that information to their calendar.  You have absolutely no idea how many actually did save it (or at least save it successfully).

Personally, I believe that’s why there is 60% drop off from of attendance. Because it’s not on the calendar, and most of your customers live by their calendars.  

That’s why we created 31Events. To capture those people who respond to your email’s CTA, and immediately send them a calendar invitation. Yes, it’s a real, live, calendar invitation, that automatically blocks that time on their calendar (just like sending someone a meeting notice).  And then we go a step further, and actually report if they interacted with it – did they Accept, Decline, market it as Tentative? Or if they did anything with it (absolutely no action, but it’s still on the calendar).

We’ve tested it – and we get have gotten as high as 80% attendance rate (a few of our smaller webinars have gotten in the 90% range).  The worst we have done is about 60% of invitees.  That means, we have seen results that double the market averages. In our example above, that would mean instead of 64 people in the audience, you could have as many as 128 – twice the number, double the buyers.

Yes, it’s another step for you – another piece of “content” to create. But if it actually doubles the numbers, it’s worth the five or ten minutes of effort.  And the additional data is invaluable (once you have tracked enough webinars).  Also, the click through is just a very small (less than a couple seconds) interrupt on their way to either your landing page or your registration page.  We believe it’s worth both the few minutes of your time and the few seconds for your invitees.

Give it a try. Do an A/B test of 31Events – see if makes a difference.  That’s really the only way to know.  And you can get an account right now, for free. Try it for 30 days, there’s really nothing to lose. Click the graphic below to get started.

Also published on Medium.