Maybe you think webinars should just die already. Be thrown on the content scrapheap along with 99% of infographics. I hear you. When Ryan, our Director of Customer Success, and I first considered hosting webinars, the horribly dry, technically adequate pitch sessions I’d attended were fresh in my mind. Some marketers might think of webinars as overrated or outdated.
I think it’s time to start taking webinars seriously.
We did, and our webinar registrations grew from 190 to nearly 3200. In 2013, webinars became our most powerful marketing channel, surpassing our blog, our ecourse and even our ebooks.
(PSSST! We recently hosted a webinar about webinars, get the recording.)
In this post I’m going to give you a really powerful step-by-step formula for marketing webinars using 4 landing pages and 3 emails (no big deal, right?). Of course we don’t stick to this formula religiously. We’re always testing new ideas. As should you. #alwaysbetesting
Before you start coming up with topics to cover, you’ll want to get clear on what your goals are.
For us, giving our community an opportunity to learn and ask questions in real time was really exciting. We were also looking to distribute our content in new ways.
But the true objective of our webinars from a marketing perspective was to increase interest in Unbounce and ultimately, increase revenue.
In this (pretty epic) post you will learn how to:
The best way to choose a webinar topic is by gathering feedback. Find out what your customers and potential customers want to learn, then deliver beyond their expectations. Speak to those on the frontlines: your customer support team, community manager or, better yet, your customers.
For best conversion results, keep the topic tied to your product or offering. That way, when inspired attendees leave your webinar to carry out the advice they were given, your solution is the first one they’ll think of.
Who does your community look up to? Who do they aspire to be like? Wooing a seasoned speaker often involves proving that you can bring them business.
Explain the reach of the marketing you’ll be carrying out to drive people to the webinar. Give past webinar registration/attendance numbers. Lure them in with the promise of your qualified audience. Always lead with what’s in it for them.
What if you don’t have a huge audience or track record? Sometimes experts who have made their name writing thoughtful content are looking for ways to practice their speaking in a professional, but more intimate setting. If you’re really strategic about it, offering them the chance to make an offer to your super-qualified and captive audience could be enough to sway them. Alternatively, remember that not every webinar needs a guest or speaker from outside of your company, in fact, an in-house expert can be a great place to start.
Take the time to carefully craft the marketing copy for your webinar. You (and your guest) will use this on landing pages, email invites and social marketing. A few tips:
Don’t use your webinar tool’s landing page. It doesn’t speak to your brand, probably doesn’t look that great and you can’t optimize it through A/B testing.
We use an Unbounce landing page to collect registrant info and connect it via Zapier to send their info to the GoToWebinar platform, which we use to host our webinars.
We’ve been A/B testing the same basic landing page design for every webinar we’ve held. Our registration pages now convert at 60-70%, that’s a 150% increase in conversions over the standard GoToWebinar page!
Asking people to participate in advance (by submitting questions, for example) is a great way to help build out the webinar content and get extra “buy-in” from registrants.
For our Science of Landing Pages webinar (above) we asked registrants to submit a landing page for a live critique, received 500 landing page submissions and saw our highest attendance rate yet.
Confirmation pages (aka “Thank-you” pages) are a seriously undervalued marketing opportunity. The people who reach your confirmation pages are super qualified and willing to engage with your content.
After the conversion, when they’re still hot for you, offer more.
By including a form to subscribe to the Unbounce Blog on our webinar registration confirmation page we grew our subscriber list by 60% in just 2 webinars.
KISSmetrics turned webinars into their #1 acquisition channel using a similar post-conversion tactic.
Post-conversion strategy is a beautiful thing. Sing it, Oli.
Using the same 5 elements you used above for your “register for the webinar” landing page, build another landing page, but this time, rather than promoting a webinar, you’re promoting your business.
New business is after all what we’re all looking for. This page will be used strategically throughout your webinar campaign.
For the best visitor experience possible, reinforce why visitors have landed there, where they came from and that they’re in the right place.
In the case of the example above, this “offering” click-through landing page was for a webinar about email marketing. We used “email marketing” copy in both the headline and sub-heading to ensure a strong message match between traffic source – our webinar marketing – and landing page.
- Primary Headline: The Easiest Way to Build Dedicated Landing Pages for Email Campaigns
- Secondary Headline: Send your email clicks to a landing page that converts
Every social channel has its own benefits and should be handled individually. Blasting every channel with the same message in the same way from your fancy social publishing tool won’t cut it.
Email is the single most effective way to drive interest in your webinar. 70% of all our webinar registrations come via our invitation emails. Your webinar invite email will have 3 points at which a conversion is made:
- In every webinar email we include the following text: “Can’t attend the webinar? Register anyway and we’ll send you the recording.” We include this in some of our social sharing as well. Sure, it could hurt attendance since people won’t worry about missing it when the day comes, but registration (lead gen) improves dramatically, and no one feels like they’re missing out just because of their busy schedule.
- Use a “PS” in your email. Links included here are often the most clicked of any link. We use the “PS” to link to our “offering” landing page, which gives visitors more information about our product.
Don’t underestimate the power of urgency. About a third of all our webinar registrants sign up from the email we send the day before the webinar. It’s important to segment your list carefully so you aren’t spamming anyone (kittens die after all).
We only send the “last chance” email to those who never opened the invite email. Make it clear that this really is their last chance to learn about all the amazing stuff you’ll be teaching them.
Gather your dream team. Your setup will be partially determined by what webinar software you’re using, but we have no less than 5 people involved during a webinar.
You can merge the last 3 roles below in your early webinar days like we did (ahem moi), but be ready to break them out when your number of attendees picks up.
Webinar Dream Team:
We’ve also found it useful to use GoToWebinar’s survey feature when attendees leave the webinar to gather feedback by asking if they found it helpful, and to see which topics attract the most qualified leads.
- Make sure you press the “record webinar” button. You won’t make that mistake twice. We often have more than 1 person record the webinar from separate locations.
- Offer something more to do after the webinar is over. This is something we picked up from our friend Nemo at KISSmetrics. At the very start of our webinars we let attendees know that for anyone who is interested, we’ll be offering a demo of Unbounce after the webinar is over. On average about 40% of attendees stick around and continue to ask questions. Brilliant. Don’t forget to link to your “offering” landing page!
Curious about what webinar equipment to get? Ryan talks about what equipment Unbounce uses for Screencasts and Webinars.
The recording of your webinar is one of the most important pieces of webinar marketing. Don’t forget, you’ve promised the recording to everyone who registered and there’s no doubt that you’ll be asked a handful of times before, during and after the webinar when you’ll be sending the recording (never fails).
If any glaring mistakes were made during the webinar, now’s your chance to edit those blemishes out, or you can add special effects, splash pages, or CTAs into your video. When you’re happy with the video, upload it to your video player of choice (YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, etc.).
Even though the recording may be hosted by YouTube or Vimeo it’s important to create a landing page with the recording on it. On this page include the title and description of the webinar, a nice large embed of the video, and a CTA linking to your “offering” landing page.
This “webinar recording” landing page is where you’ll send webinar registrants and attendees in your webinar follow-up email.
(Stay with me, lead gen magic coming soon…)
If there’s one thing we know about webinars, it’s that people want the recording. So give them what they want via email. And be quick about it!
Move your list of registrants and attendees from GoToWebinar (or whatever webinar tool you’re using) to your favorite email marketing tool. There’s a number of ways you might want to segment your list so you can send them relevant email. For instance, “attended” vs. “did not attend”, “asked a question”, “raised their hand when you asked if they wanted a product demo”… you get the idea.
Though we’ve tried many ways to slice and dice, we segment our list simply by “lead” vs. “customer”. This allows us to add a call-to-action to our “offering” landing page in our follow-up email to leads, but not to customers.
In your follow-up email you’ll include:
Email your guest too. Share the recording link with them. Ask them how it went. Shower them with compliments – they deserve it.
Now’s the time to repurpose your webinar registration page as a landing page where people can sign up to watch the recording.
In your landing page tool, duplicate the “register for the webinar” page and on the new variant change the copy to reflect the new goal, your new call-to-action: “Get the webinar recording.” Send those who complete the form to the “webinar recording” landing page you built (in step 13).
By using the same URL for your “Get the webinar recording” lead gen landing page as your initial registration page, all the promotion you did prior to the webinar will now link to your new “get the recording’ lead gen page.
Link to your “Get the Webinar Recording” lead gen landing page from your website’s resources library to keep your webinar alive forever.
Do we gauge the success of our webinars by the number of new customers each webinar drives? Of course we do. But to look only at that metric would be short-sighted.
We strive to make each Unwebinar an educational, entertaining experience for our audience and something that helps strengthen Unbounce’s position as the landing page leader. Here’s how we know our webinars are working:
Hopefully, if you’ve made it this far, you’ve been given more than a few ideas for your next webinar. Any tricks you’ve tried that I missed? I’d love to hear about what’s worked (or not) for you in the comments.