Inbound Marketing

Every time I check my inbox, I’m greeted with a random and overwhelming hodgepodge of new emails: Barnes & Noble discounts, Petsmart squeaky toy sales and a Groupon for wine tasting (you know me too well, Groupon, you creeper).

And, interspersed throughout the coupon codes, newsletters and last minute savings are scads of webinar invites: You’re invited to our webinar, new webinar!, register for our not-to-be-missed, earth shattering and BEST webinar of all time (seriously, it’s awesome and we’re awesome!).

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There are 2 reasons why I receive a bazillion webinar emails a week: Reason #1) I’m a marketer. I subscribe to a TON of marketing updates to keep a pulse on the latest news and trends. And, if there’s one thing I know about marketers, it’s that we love and automatically gravitate to hosting webinars. It’s in our marketing obsessed and results-driven nature. That and our infatuation with coffee (or is that just me?).

Reason #2) Webinars are a huge deal. Not surprising, since 66% of B2B marketers rated webinars as their most effective marketing tactic, with only in-person events (75%) being more effective. When put that way, it’s hard not to see the incredible benefits of promoting and hosting webinars for your target audience.

Webinars are a powerful medium for sharing expert insights and the latest industry trends. But, as more companies realize the benefits of this incredibly effective marketing vehicle, you may find yourself hard pressed to stand out in all the webinar marketing noise.

We’re sharing 5 ways to entice your audience to register for your next webinar and ultimately increase revenue and conversions. Let’s get started.

1. Choose an irresistible webinar topic

Your target audience most likely leads hectic and stressful lives. So, it only makes sense that they would want to attend webinars that will offer significant and lasting value. Be sure to do your research and pick the most compelling and actionable webinar topic.

Find out what your potential and existing customers want to learn about and what topics interest them the most. Speak to the sales and customer service representatives who are in the trenches every day and interact with customers on a routine basis. Do SEO research to see what keywords or phrases your target customers are searching for and use these keywords on your webinar registration page or any assets created after the webinar (webinar recording download page, SlideShare, blogs, etc.). This will help you achieve higher search engine rankings and amplify online visibility.

Even better, go straight to the source and ask your customers what they want to know. You’re asking your target audience to spend an hour or more attending your webinar. Make sure it’s worth their time and covers a meaningful and highly relevant topic.
 

2. Keep your audience engaged with an educational focus

Keep your webinar general and educational in nature. If you overload your audience with product features and details, you risk losing them. Your attendees should carry away fresh and actionable insights, not the impression that you only care about making a sale.

Focus on the pain points and challenges they face and potential solutions. Yes, that solution just so happens to be your software or new technological device, but that doesn’t mean you should shove your product or service down their throat.

According to a survey by GoToWebinar, 38% of webinar attendees said relevant and interesting content is the most engaging during a webinar. If you speak directly to your target customer’s interests and needs, they’ll be more likely to sign up for your next webinar and even make a purchase down the road.
 

3. Give yourself plenty of lead time

Take the time to carefully craft your webinar and marketing initiatives, including your marketing emails, landing page, thank you page and social ads. Don’t make the mistake of trying to squeeze all promotions into a short period of time.

Give yourself a lead time of at least several weeks, so you can give your webinar marketing the time and attention it deserves and needs to perform well. Start promoting your webinar far in advance to drive the most engagement and registrations.

4. Create webinar emails that drive registrations and attendance

Sometimes, your subscribers need a little nudge to remind them to register for a webinar. Don’t just send one promotional email and call it a day. Send a second and third email to remind non-registrants to reserve their spot as the webinar date gets closer. Create a sense of urgency in later emails (time is running out, only days left, there’s still time) and reiterate the benefits of attending, whether an industry expert is speaking or you’re sharing actionable insights they can implement immediately.

As soon as someone registers for the webinar, make sure you send a confirmation email with all the need-to-know information. But don’t stop there. Keep your webinar top of mind by sending follow-up emails. These emails should remind them to block out their calendar and give them even more reasons to attend the webinar. Send a one-week and one-day reminder to ensure the best attendance rates.

After the webinar is finished, your work isn’t done quite yet. Leads quickly go cold after a webinar. Schedule a follow-up email ahead of time that will get sent about an hour after the webinar.

Thank them for attending and ask what they thought about the webinar. For the best conversions, offer a discount on a product, a free consultation or another financial incentive. If you have a relevant content offer that dives even deeper into the webinar topic, make sure it’s gated behind a landing page and share it with them.

Past webinars can serve as powerful marketing tools even after they’re finished. Be sure to send the webinar recording to all registrants (attendees and non-attendees). If they attended, the recording gives them a recap, and they can share the recording with friends or colleagues. If they didn’t attend, they can see what they missed and, hopefully, will have a better chance of attending future webinars or contacting your company for solutions.

5. Pick the best day and time

Never schedule a webinar on the weekend. Ok, you probably already know this. But it had to be said. So, if you can’t host a webinar on the weekend, when are the best days to hold a webinar?

When setting a date, avoid Monday’s and Friday’s at all costs. These days tend to be catch-up days and when the most emergency meetings happen. In a post-webinar survey of their entire audience, WhatCounts found the best time to hold a webinar was 10 AM PT/1 PM ET on either Wednesday or Thursday.

But, the best time for your webinar will ultimately depend on your industry and target audience. For example, if you’re hosting a webinar for sales professionals, you’ll want to steer clear of the end of the month or quarter. Salespeople are typically scrambling to meet their sales quotas during this time and are less likely to attend a webinar. Get to know your audience and their schedules and see what time and day make the most sense for them.

When done right, webinars can drive high-quality leads and get your business in front of more prospects. Use these tips to host incredibly successful webinars that engage your attendees and leave your audience wanting more.


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Topics:   Inbound Marketing

Courtney Feairheller

Courtney is the content writer at Stratus Interactive, where she is responsible for writing original, thought-provoking blog posts on a variety of topics. Courtney has been writing stories since she was a wee little one and has experience in B2B and B2C content marketing in addition to SEO. See all Courtney Feairheller's posts.

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