But even if you do not go for „sales“ in your webinars, they are an awesome way to generate more signups for your email list, engage with your audience, and build relationships. They can even be used to connect to other entrepreneurs and business owners – simply consider to combine forces with a fellow entrepreneur and offer a joined webinar.
Conversion rates for Webinars can be very high. Neil Patel claims a 22% conversion rate for his first 77 Webinars he did for Kissmetrics. Adobe mentions almost conversion numbers of 19%.
But: Let me be honest with you, I doubt that you will be able to convert anywhere near as well in your first couple of webinars. And that is totally ok. It is a learning process. Even if you do not reach these conversion numbers or if you do not go for selling within the webinar, webinars can be a tremendous addition to your marketing mix.
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But if you sit back and wait for people to come to your webinars by magic, or only fill up your webinars from your email list, you are missing out on one of the most important factors: Getting new people into your tribe.
Here are 14 ways to find participants for your webinars and make sure you get the maximum out of your efforts.
1. Pick an awesome topic
You need to be a little creative about the topic. Don’t go for something that we read on a daily basis in hundreds of blog posts. Your Webinars should add something that otherwise your audience cannot get.
Now, don’t let that intimidate you. Even though almost any topic is already covered on the web, a Webinar is a different format and by simply playing with that format you can provide something new.
Example: We co-hosted a webinar with Bob Jenkins from Drip, the awesome email marketing automation software we use and recommend. This way we could provide insights and expertise in email marketing we otherwise could not provide.
In the webinar, Bob frequently talked with Jonathan and let him tell his experience with using DRIP. The combination of the two made for webinar content that you cannot find anywhere else on the web.
2. Choose the headline with care
It is the same as with blog posts and social media updates: If your headline is boring, thWebinarWebianr will not attract a large audience.
Make sure that the headline inspires curiosity and brings across what people can gain from attending the webinar.
3. Choose a good time and day
OK, this one is more important if you have a somewhat local business where all or almost all your participants are in one time zone.
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But the simple things to remember are: Weekdays work better than weekends, Wednesdays and Thursday are often the best choices.
Choose moderate times, neither too early in the morning nor too late at night.
If you are not sure what would be a good time for your webinar but already have some subscribers on an email list, you can simply do a mini-survey and ask your audience what they would prefer. (By the way: That is a great way to engage with your audience.)
4. Provide a replay
Offering a replay is a great way to reach a larger audience with a very small effort.
Some of you may know that we here at The Social Ms operate in various timezones. We are located in Berlin, Germany but a large part of our audience is spread out all over the world from Australia, India, and Africa to the US and South America.
We will never be able to choose a time for our webinars that is perfect for all our audience and many people would not sign up for the simple reason that they will not be able to actually attend.
Also since spots in the webinar are often limited and the webinar software gets more expensive if you want to offer more spots, a replay easily increases the number of people you can reach without having to spend more money.
5. Don’t forget to remind people
Never ever forget to send out multiple reminders to registrants. People will sign up when they find your topic and headline intriguing enough but they often do not pay a lot of attention to when the webinar will take place or simply forget about it.
If you want your registrants to show up to the webinar: Send multiple reminders.
6. Do not underestimate the importance of the Registration page
Even if you do not take money for participation in the webinar, getting people to register is a little similar to selling something. And the conversion rates for people visiting the webinar registration page and actually signing up largely depend on how your registration page will look like.
You need to view the registration page as a landing page and as such a lot of the tactics for optimizing landing pages apply.
A bad landing page can easily cost you a large part of your possible attendees who will take one look at the page and leave.
Make sure you get everything in place for converting visitors into registrants before you focus on driving a ton of people to that landing page!
7. Give additional value
No matter whether you try to sell something in the webinar or just want people to listen to you, your conversion rates will multiply if you give some additional value that only participants in the webinar will get.
Often people offer special rates to their products for participants of a webinar. If you do not want to lower your rates, you can easily come up with something else of value: It can be a 15min consulting session with each new customer, an additional piece of content or even one month free for either one of your own offers or an offer from one of your partners. (The benefit for the partner should be evident: They may get a couple of new test customers without any investment on their end).
Now, we talked a lot about optimizing your offer, but you still have to get people to SEE the offer or you will not see many registrations. Here are some ideas where you can and should announce your webinar.
8. Utilize your email list
The first channel you should use to promote your webinar is your email list. If you have some subscribers on your list, you should be able to get some of them to your webinar. And that is a great start.
Make a couple of announcements to your list: A single email is not enough. The first announcement usually comes around a week before the webinar so that interested people can save the date. But that also means many people will put off the registration because there still is so much time.
Send a reminder 1 or two days before the webinar and at least one other a couple of hours before you start the webinar.
9. Your social media audience
You will probably have thought about promoting your webinar to your social media audience. But keep in mind that sending ONE announcement in most channels is not enough. While creating a Facebook event and inviting all your fans to it is a good way to promote a webinar and Facebook will then do some of the reminders for you – on other social channels you are not done with ONE post.
Create a list of 10 – 20 different tweets and a couple of images to go with them. Start sending the tweets about a week before the webinar and keep sending tweets until right before you start the webinar.
The same goes for Instagram. Post multiple times. Mix up the posts to the webinar with other updates.
10. Use your blog
Most of your traffic will probably come to your blog. You may have regular readers that are not subscribed to your email list.
Create a blog post announcing the webinar and share this post through your social channels.
11. Use Signup forms on your blog
If you have signup forms on your blog where you offer a giveaway or freebie in exchange for an email address you can change these in the week before the webinar to have them announce the webinar. You will not lose many subscribers this way because you are still collecting email addresses – only now you get the email address for a webinar registration instead of a freebie.
You can see how Neil Patel uses his traffic to fill up his Webinars on his blog.
If you have some „Advertising Space“ on your website that you can use, you can use that to promote the webinar too. Simply create an Ad image for instance with Canva and lead people to your Webinar landing page.
12. Ask Registrants to share the webinar information
If you offer a great webinar and maybe even some additional benefits, people will be willing to share the information about it with their network. And the best people to ask for shares are the ones that already registered for your webinar.
The easiest way to do that is to have a thank you page for people who register for your webinar and make sure on this thank you page you ask them to help you spread the word and share the webinar with their network. Most webinar tools offer you the option to redirect registrants to your website of choice.
Make sure this website has some sharing buttons to make sharing easy!
Here is an example thank you page that Wishpond used for one of their Webinars.
In addition, you can use the reminder emails to ask for shares. You will see better results if you provide a ready-made tweet and a link to the registration page in the email.
13. Use Scarcity
Of course, you want a lot of participants in your webinars – still spaces for webinars are limited most of the time and that is ok. It simply will cost you more money for the Webinar tool if you want to offer the webinar to more people.
Instead of simply saying: spots are limited you may even want to consider to provide a reason and a number of spots you are offering. For instance, you could offer a webinar only to 20 people at most and use the reason that you want to include an interactive workshop-like part that only allows for limited participants.
14. Consider Advertising
Once you have a proven process on how to convert customers from your webinars, advertising might be a good idea. The equation is simple: If you have a percentage of people from the webinar converting, you know how much money you can spend on getting people to join your webinar and still make a profit.
If you want to give it a try, Facebook advertising can easily multiply your results – if you get your targeting right.
But make sure: Before you spend money on ads, have everything else in place and optimized. You don’t want to pay money for people to visit your registration page and then you lose them there because the page does not convert!
Final Words on getting Participants for your webinars:
If you are new to the Webinar marketing game, here are a few facts that you should now:
- Not everybody visiting the registration page will register.
- Not everybody who registers will participate.
- Not everybody showing up for the webinar will stay until the end.
- Not everybody who stays until the end will convert into a customer.
Image Source: Adobe
But you will probably need some experimenting and optimization until you can reach these numbers for your own webinars.