Like any product, service, or event, you need to market your webinar if you want people to actually register and show up. One of the unique things about webinar marketing is that you need to focus on both of those actions—registration and attendance—which adds an extra layer to think about when it comes to creating a great webinar marketing plan.
Thankfully, I’ve got you covered with these seven keys to successful webinar marketing, which I’ve learned through building and marketing my own highly successful webinars.
The Seven Keys of Webinar Marketing Success
Here are the seven guidelines that have helped me successfully market each of my webinars.
Webinar Marketing Key #1: Have an awesome topic
The first and most important thing when it comes to getting people to show up to your webinar doesn’t actually have to do with marketing. It’s having a topic worth showing up for—which means good webinar marketing starts way before you market anything. A great webinar is built around the needs, wants, and intended outcomes of your target audience. This means doing research, having conversations, and using analytics from the platforms you use to connect with your audience to uncover a webinar topic that will get people to show up.
Webinar Marketing Key #2: Get the language right
In SPI Podcast session 424, Ann Handley stops by to help us all hone our marketing messaging so that we can better connect with our audience—and turn them into raving fans—by speaking the language that will resonate with them.
Webinar Marketing Key #3: Give yourself enough lead time
If you want people to actually show up, you need to give enough lead time to market your webinar. If you first tell people about your webinar the day before it happens, well, guess what? You're not going to get a lot of people to show up.
At minimum, I would start marketing your webinar one week ahead of time. However, two to three weeks is optimal. During that time, your job is twofold: collect more registrations and remind people who’ve already registered why they need to show up. Don’t start marketing your webinar too early, though; any more than two or three weeks, and you're going to need to send lots of reminders (see #6) so people don’t forget.
Webinar Marketing Key #4: Have a great registration page
Your webinar registration landing page is one of the most important assets you’ll use to get people to sign up for your webinar. Take a look at a few example landing pages for some of my webinars (all made with Leadpages [affiliate link]):
|Podcasting the Smart Way||Double Your Downloads|
|Affiliate Marketing Masterclass||Free Podcasting Webinar with David Siteman Garland|
You’ll notice that all the landing pages have a few elements in common:
- First, there’s the title of the webinar at the top, followed by subtitle or value proposition (i.e., what you’ll learn at the webinar).
- Then there’s a picture of me (plus any additional hosts), because people connect with faces and want to see who they’ll be learning from.
- In the next section are some bullet points that go into more depth about the content of the webinar and what people will get from it.
- Then there’s my bio, which further explains why people should feel confident learning from me on the webinar.
- Last but not least, there are registration buttons at multiple points on the page so people can easily click to sign up.
Oh, and sometimes I throw in a countdown timer to create a little urgency. 😉 Speaking of urgency …
Webinar Marketing Key #5: Sprinkle in some scarcity and FOMO
Depending on the webinar platform you use, there might be a limited number of seats available in your webinar. So mention it! The fact that you’re providing a limited opportunity can incentivize people to register before someone else takes their spot.
Related to scarcity is fear of missing out, or FOMO. This is a common strategy in copywriting, which is all about amplifying the consequences of not showing up. In your webinar marketing materials, focus on what might happen if a person doesn’t show up—like being outpaced by their competition or missing out on some form of business or personal development.
Finally, even if you plan to provide a webinar replay, or run the webinar again in the future, there’s still an added benefit to being there when it happens live, particularly in terms of access to the Q&A portion to get custom advice from you. So make sure you remind people about this fact!
Webinar Marketing Key #6: Send email reminders
Even if someone has already registered for your webinar, you want to maximize the chances they’ll actually show up, i.e., improve your conversion rate. A lot of people register because they're worried about missing out, but then they don't take action to actually join the webinar. Why? Maybe there wasn’t enough incentive, or they lost interest, or they just forgot about it. That’s why you need to remind people about the webinar after they register—and email is the best way to do it.
Email reminders help keep your webinar top of mind and remind people what they’ll gain by being there (and missing out on if they don’t). For most webinars, you can expect roughly a 15 to 20 percent conversion rate of registrants showing up—but we can do better than that, and that’s why reminder emails are crucial.
So what exactly do these reminder emails look like? There are three main types I like to send to my webinar registrants:
- A logical email. An email that clearly describes why your webinar is something people need to take advantage of right now: what the outcome will be if they join, and what they’ll miss out on if they don’t.
- An emotional email. This one might include a story about one of your students or clients who needed similar assistance to what you’ll be providing in the webinar and how they achieved their desired transformation. Then remind people that this is what you’ll be addressing in the webinar too. Focus on the emotion and storytelling, and this kind of email will go a long way in convincing people to show up.
- A proof email. Similar to the previous email, this one shows how the things you're going to cover in the webinar will have a clear result for people by sharing proof of how it’s worked for other people, just in a less emotionally targeted way.
These three email types definitely share some overlap with each other, but they’re meant to give you a starting point for creating your own effective webinar reminders.
For a great example of how to use student success stories to add powerful social proof to your marketing emails, check out the case study of Steve Chou in the SPI Essential Guide to Email Marketing.
And by the way, another easy form of social proof you can provide in your emails is to let people know how many others have registered for the webinar. Nobody wants to be the only one at a party!
Webinar Marketing Key #7: Offer some sort of incentive
This could be a gift you send people ahead of time, or something you share with them during or after the webinar (or both!). Think of it as a lead magnet for your webinar. Also remember that the experience of the webinar itself should be full of incentives. Mention the things people will learn, as well as the fact that they’ll be getting access to you and the opportunity to ask you questions. That’s huge!
Get Amped for Your Webinar
Finally, it’s important to share in your marketing how excited you are about your webinar. If you're motivated, it'll show through everywhere you talk about the webinar, in your landing pages, emails, and elsewhere—and will hopefully get other people excited to be there, too.
As a side note, it’s okay if not everybody shows up to your webinar! You’ll have more chances to reach these folks later on, which we’ll talk about in chapter 8.
So those are just a few ways you can make your webinar marketing more effective. Marketing is obviously a huge topic, and if you want to really dive in, check out my digital marketing guide.
Our next step in this webinar journey is to dig into the guts of your webinar itself, and explore how you can make it as engaging as possible for everybody who attends!
Learn how to prepare for the perfect webinar
Get the Webinar Cheat Sheet
Don't let webinar prep overwhelm you! Enter your name and email below to get access to the cheat sheet. We'll also send you our weekly digest, with our best advice, tools, and exclusive deals.
What You'll Learn
Over the course of thirteen pages, we'll take you through exactly what you need to know—not too much to get overwhelmed, and not too short to leave out anything important.
In How to Prepare the Perfect Webinar, you'll learn what technology you need, how to make the most of your outreach, and strategies to create an engaging webinar your attendees will remember and benefit from.