If you’re planning to host webinars in the near future, you’re probably pretty excited about their potential. Companies from all over the world and in countless industries have used webinars to increase their reach, build their authority, and, of course, turn viewers into customers.
However, that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed the result you want. While there are plenty of important parts to virtual presentations, if you don’t know how to drive webinar registrations and conversions, the actual session you host won’t do a whole lot.
A brief primer on webinar registrations
Before we go jumping into the nuts and bolts of driving webinar registrations and conversions, let’s make sure everyone is on the same page about this topic.
After all, if you’re new to webinars and/or marketing, you may not understand why having people register for your webinar is so important. Some have even worried that putting a step like this between viewers and webinars may actually be counterproductive.
Webinar registrations are important because they help you build a target market. Registration data teaches you about the people signing up for your webinar, including how they heard about it.
That’s not all. Webinar registrations provide email addresses, allowing you to contact the audience about new programs and opportunities.
All things considered, you ultimately want to drive conversions. Webinars are great for countless reasons, but if they don’t lead to revenue, what’s the point?
Conversions are ratios of how many webinar attendees become customers. It may not happen immediately and it may take you several programs, but it’s still important to drive this number.
Now that we’ve covered webinar registrations and conversions, let’s move on to talking about how you can increase both.
Understanding the relationship between webinar registrations and conversions
The first thing you need to understand about webinar registrations and conversions is how the two are related.
You might think this is obvious: Without registrations, there cannot be conversions.
That’s true, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. If you only get that far in your understanding of how the two are connected, you’re going to be very disappointed by your webinar’s results.
The people registering for your webinar will have a direct effect on your conversion rate because of the types of people who are registering.
Take this example…
Let’s say you’re a fitness coach and you specialize in coaching men older than 40 in weight loss. In an effort to sell books, courses, and more to clients, you decide to use a webinar where you cover basic topics, answer questions, and engage your audience.
After your webinar, you see that you hardly converted anyone. With a bit more digging, you learn that the vast majority of people actually dropped off early on into the webinar.
What went wrong?
It turns out your registration process set you up to fail. It didn’t mention that you were only focusing on men 40 and older. All you talked about was weight loss, six-pack abs, and easy diet plans. By trying to market to everyone, you ended up converting no one.
That’s an extreme example, but it illustrates how webinar registrations and conversions are related.
With that established, let’s dive into how to drive conversions.
Know your audience and how to target them
Never assume you know everything about your market and your customers. It’s easier than ever before to learn more about them, so it’s worth researching which sites they visit, who they follow on social media, what their goals are, and more.
Truly understanding your audience helps you craft a message that resonates with readers and drives registrations.
At some point, you’ll have a large email list you can use for this heavy lifting, but right now, you may have to rely on ads or social media to promote your webinar.
Use ads to drive webinar registrations
It’s important to know where your audience will be and to craft an ad that will resonate. The more time you spend researching and testing this, the more effective your ads will be.
Video ads are one of the best ways to advertise a webinar and build interest. They give viewers a great idea of what to expect when they join your webinar.
So what kind of first impression should you make?
First, the audio and video must be perfect. This communicates to registrants that they will be able to see and hear the webinar.
Second, presentations must be polished. They don’t need to have expensive graphics and features, but they need to be delivered smoothly, succinctly, and confidently. This conveys that you are a trustworthy expert, and attendees will be more likely to register for future webinars.
Third, your audience should receive compelling information. Ideally, this is actionable advice that they can use right away. If you’re able to give them concrete help in an ad – even if it seems small – they’ll be incentivized to attend your webinar for more information.
Video ads are easy to run on YouTube, but what if your audience prefers Facebook or LinkedIn?
On sites that use static ads, you can redirect your audience to a shorter, teaser ad video on a landing page.
Earn webinar registrations through email
Over time, you’ll grow a reliable email list to attract registrants every time you host a webinar. If your content is always amazing, one email should be enough, right?
Unfortunately, that’s not usually how it works. Webinar experts with great content still struggle to keep attendance high.
To avoid this problem, first and foremost give prospects plenty of time. Instead of emailing them for the first time a few days before the webinar, help them plan for it by announcing it ahead of time.
For best results, use a three-week period when following up with prospects. You can always make it longer, but on average, 91% of registrations happen three weeks before the webinar.
Now, what kind of email are you going to send?
To drive webinar registrations, you will want to mix it up. For example, if you were to send three invitations, you might start with an HTML email, then a plain text email, then an HTML email again.
You should also vary the promotional message you use. It’s important to understand your audience, but in this case, we’re referring to the tone and verbiage. In one message, you might be formal. In another, you might be more personable.
When you create variety in your emails, your recipients can’t predict what you’ll send next. This piques their interest and makes them more likely to register.
Before we move on to conversions, we’ll leave you with one piece of advice about the copy you use to drive webinar registrations: Promise something big.
People take the time to attend webinars because they are looking for something impactful and they believe they will gain something valuable. It is important to give them a sense of certainty that the webinar will change their lives or businesses in an important way.
The art of turning webinar registrations into conversions
As discussed earlier, if you have a strong foundation of webinar registrations, it should be manageable to convert quite a few. This will be especially true if you follow our advice from the previous section and excite people about what you have to offer. They will show up ready to convert before the webinar even begins.
You might be wondering, “What is a good conversion rate?” The truth is that there’s no way of generalizing this number across industries and product lines. All you can do is look at the ratio between registrations and conversions and continuously improve it.
Give an exclusive offer
One way to increase conversions is with an exciting and unexpected offer during your webinar. Even if your goal is to sell at the end of the webinar, it is key to provide exclusive, obligation-free offers. This will excite them and they will want to reciprocate.
It’s important to hype this exclusive freebie. Instead of simply stating the offer, build up to it for a natural yet attention-grabbing moment.
Save the sales pitch for later
Keep the product or service out of the spotlight until the very end. Again, your webinar needs to add value, even if attendees do not convert. Webinar registrations improve when you not only promise value, but you deliver. Failing to deliver, or only delivering after you sell, can negatively impact conversions.
If you jump right into a sales pitch, it’s almost guaranteed that you will sell absolutely nothing. Avoid the sales pitch, and conversions will likely improve.
Finally, you can use scarcity to your advantage. This is a powerful sales technique, and a webinar is a great time to leverage it.
Scarcity works one of two ways:
- You can tell your audience that you have a limited quantity, or that you can only accommodate a certain number of people
- You can make a limited time offer (e.g. After the webinar ends, they have until midnight to convert)
Of course, in order for your webinar marketing to be effective, your audience ultimately needs to be exicted about what you are offering.
More than anything, each webinar you host is a learning experience. If you knock it out of the park on your first try, that’s amazing! However, don’t be discouraged if that’s not the case. The more you host, the more you learn, and your results are bound to improve.
Even when you see positive registrations and conversions, keep improving. These two components make all the difference, so the better they are, the better your overall results.
To drive webinar registrations, you’ll first need a webinar software that allows you to design an amazing landing page. BigMarker is a modern webinar platform, offering a full stack of marketing tools that help you capture leads and maximize the impact of your webinars.