Webinars have been the staple of online sales and lead generation for many small business for the past several years, but times are changing. In this article I’ll unveil some of the trends we face in webinar marketing today and how we can combat them as well.
In recent times, nothing has worked better for getting new, fresh leads into your business than webinars. With the ability of Facebook to target your ideal customers easily and affordably, webinars have been the go-to path for many to generate interest in their products and services.
Like any maturing market, however, today’s results are not as easily obtained as they were two or three years ago. Facebook advertising costs are on the rise, which has an impact on how much it costs to get leads to your webinar. Furthermore, show up rates for webinars have dipped substantially from what they were only a few short months ago.
Does this mean the death of webinars? Absolutely not. You just have to get a bit smarter and sophisticated about how you market them. So let’s dive in and discuss how to use a dynamic warm-up sequence that can boost your webinar performance.
The intelligent warm-up sequence
In order for your webinar to be effective, you first must get people to attend it.
Yeah, I know, captain obvious, right?
But webinar show rates have steadily declined for some time now, so paying particular attention to getting people to show up is of utmost importance to your success.
Unfortunately, this is one of the areas where marketers traditionally spend very little effort. They’ll work on the content of the webinar for weeks, getting the presentation and the sales pitch dialed in. But when it comes to the actual content in the webinar pre-attendance sequence, most just give it a quick effort. That is a critical mistake you simply cannot afford to make today.
There are several things you can do from a copy perspective to boost attendance, such as the use of case studies in your warm up emails. However, in this article, we’re going to focus on more of the technical aspects of the funnel that we can improve. That doesn’t, however, mean that you should ignore the importance of the copy. But copywriting is not my speciality, funnel optimization is.
What most do, but you should avoid
First, let’s talk about what most marketers do when structuring their warm-up sequence for the webinar. Most will use simple date timers in their sequence to send out content at several checkpoint dates prior to the webinar. Let’s say that you have seven warm-up emails that you send seven, five, three, two, and one day prior; and two emails on the day of the webinar.
The way most will set up their campaigns is in such a manner as to just skip over the content that has already passed when someone signs up. Let’s say you sign up eight days before the webinar—you’d receive all seven warm-up emails—great. But now let’s assume you signed up just three days prior to the webinar. In this case you might only receive half of the content.
Now, at first, this makes sense—especially when you think about the fact that you can’t email someone seven times in just three days. So trying to show all of those emails at them in a very short amount of time absolutely doesn’t make sense.
Stagnant webinar warm-up sequences are not effective
The problem is, you’re not necessarily giving your prospects the best content to stimulate them to attend. You’re only giving them “what’s left” in the sequence. What if your best content was the email sent five days prior to the webinar? If they missed that, they are much less likely to show up and that means they’ll be much less likely to purchase as well.
So the real key is to create an intelligent warm-up sequence, that, based upon the day that they signup, will give them the best content possible prior to the webinar in order to maximize the likelihood that they will attend. So, instead of sending all registrants down the same pipeline regardless of when they signed up, we’re going to have several different pre-attendance warm-up sequences—each custom tailored to the number of days remaining before the webinar.
“But Troy, this is a lot of work!”
Oops, sorry, did we us the “w” word? Yes, this is more work than the normal way of doing things, but if you want to compete today, you have to do what others are not willing to do. I will, however, show you how this doesn’t have to be a lot more work, just a little.
It’s not as much work as you think
You don’t have to write copy for several different sequences, you only need to organize it in that way. The easiest way to do this is to write for the longest sequence first. So, in our example above, first write the sequence for those that register more than seven days prior to the webinar.
Next, we simply use that content and condense it down for a smaller sequence. So, let’s say for people that register only five days prior, we want a smaller, more dedicated email sequence. No worries. All we have to do is take the content from the seven email sequence and remove some of it but still structure it in an ideal way also that the most important case studies and content are preserved.
You simply repeat that process to create another smaller warm-up sequence for three days prior and two days prior, etc…using the same approach. So, by first focusing on the longest sequence, you’ll have to only write the content once. Then you’ll simply edit that content down to form the smaller sequences.
Rolling out the webinar
To implement this technically, create your different length warm-up sequences in your campaign. You’ll need to either do this the high tech way, with an additional app that allows for date math and calculations, or you’ll need to do it the manual way. Either option is fine, it just depends on which makes sense for you.
If you choose to do it manually, you’ll just need to make sure that each morning you check your campaign and adjust it as necessary. That way the options that come in that day will be directed down the proper warm-up sequence based upon how many days remain until the webinar event.
Wrapping things up…
I’m not going to quote you any stats here, because the first rule of stats is that they’re only appropriate to you. Most marketers like to quote stats that worked for someone else, but that really is not meaningful. Instead, focus on what works for your niche and your offer. That means, test it and prove whether it makes sense for you. You won’t know until you test.
I can tell you that this definitely improves your odds of getting people to show up on your webinar. My best clients that use webinars religiously know that getting people excited about attending is the very first thing you must accomplish after getting their registration.
Remember, if you don’t get them excited about showing up for the webinar, they won’t. And the likelihood that you’ll convert them into a sale from a replay when they haven’t experienced the live webinar with you is much lower. So you want to do everything you feasibly can to get them there in that live arena where you can answer their questions, demonstrate your expertise and convert them to a buyer!
Troy A. Broussard is the Best Selling Author of “Infusionsoft Mastery” available at Get.ISMastery.com, as well as the founder of ISMastery.com, an Infusionsoft specific training company; and MyFusion Helper, a leading SaaS app serving the Infusionsoft marketplace.