Webinars are universally accepted as a mainstay of B2B lead generation marketing programs. Their ubiquity, however, means that marketers need to optimize planning and execution in order to have a webinar stand out from the crowd.
The two primary elements of your campaign that are in your control are your content and your email deployment strategy. So, do everything you can to make them count by following the best practices below.
Grab their attention with targeted, relevant content
First, you need to land on a strong topic and title for your webinar. If no one wants to learn more about your webinar, little else matters. After that, you can focus on building out your content to persuade them to register.
Want to quickly figure out how to grab your audience’s attention? Identify the trending topics your target market is already talking about online. Below are some tools that can help you do just that:
- Twitter API
- Social Blade
- Hootsuite, TweetDeck, Mention
- Google Analytics (to measure engagement on your own website)
- Google Keyword Planner (to identify popular topics across the web)
When coming up with your title, remember that the most effective webinar titles tend to feature:
- How to
- Classes, Trainings, & Workshops (e.g., Dominating Content Marketing)
- Something new (e.g., New Data Reveals How Marketers Can…)
- Trends (e.g., The New Trend in…)
I’d recommend reviewing your historical open rates and looking for any patterns in the winning subject lines.
- Call to Action
I’m sure you’ve read about A/B testing that proved the color and placement of the CTA button/text can influence click-throughs and registrations. Interestingly enough, studies have also shown that Calls to Action using first-person pronouns outperform those written in the second person. So, make it personal. Instead of “Reserve YOUR seat,” go with “Reserve MY seat.”
- Registration Page
I’m sure you’ve also read about studies comparing longer versus shorter registration pages and different visual element treatments. Start out with a few simple ways to optimize your landing pages to boost registrations:
- Reduce form fields: In general, the fewer fields, the better. Only include form fields that are necessary to register.
- Include a video: Including a video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by as much as 80 percent.
- Highlight the benefits: Just remember to keep it short; nobody likes a long registration page.
Build your audience’s awareness, anticipation, and participation
When promoting a B2B webinar, most marketers agree that email is a top tool and should be the primary channel for promotion of your event — not just for sign-ups, but for pre- and post-event reminders as well.
So, make sure to plan your email deployment strategy with the goal of building your target audience’s anticipation for the event.
- Lead Time: While the strategy can vary depending on your target audience, you will likely want to start at least 2 to 3 weeks before the event and continue to send registration reminders right up to the time the event goes live. GoToWebinar found that starting four weeks in advance can increase the number of total registrations by approximately 12 percent.
- Time of Day: When you send your email invitation matters more than you may think. The highest number of registrations occur between 8-10 am, so send your webinar promotions when people are most likely to register. Registrations tend to drop off starting at 12 pm, so avoid promoting your webinar in the afternoon.
- Day of Week: Registrations also tend to be highest in the middle of the week, with Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday accounting for 77 percent of all registrations.
- Sequencing and flow
- The Initial Invite (2-4 weeks before): This email should be similar to the landing page in tone, branding, and layout and should tell your audience:
- you’re having a webinar
- what it’s about
- speaker credentials
- when it is
- how to register
- The Reminder (1-2 weeks before): Ideally broken into two emails with a different message for:
- People who clicked on your initial email but did not register
- People who did not click on the first invite at all
Both emails should remind the recipient of the webinar, but also ask for some feedback on why they haven’t registered yet.
- The Second Reminder (optional): Two emails are likely enough, but it’s always worth testing if you think a third has a chance at increasing engagement.
- Last Chance Email (1 hour before): Remind them that they registered and it’s about to begin!
- Thank You Email (immediately after event)
- To registrants: Send your registrants your “thanks for attending” message, along with a link to the recorded webinar.
- To non-registrants and registrants who didn’t attend: A sorry we missed you message, along with a link to view the recorded webinar.
Let someone else do the heavy lifting
Sometimes there are just too many campaigns to get out the door to give each one the attention it deserves — not to mention the time it takes to put together an impactful webinar!
That’s where an experienced partner like DemandGen can make a real difference. We help keep our clients’ campaign efforts humming — whether that’s managing global, ad-hoc campaigns or executing large and complex campaigns for a small team of marketers supporting a large, global organization — so they can focus their efforts on more strategic priorities.
We’ve gotten campaign execution down to a science to ensure an efficient, repeatable process that supports your marketing initiatives — while increasing the accuracy and consistency of your emails. Learn more about our Campaign Execution Services and let us know if you’re ready to let someone else do the heavy lifting for you!
Gayle Crawford is an impassioned connector who loves collaborating with forward-focused marketers. As a DemandGen Campaign Manager, she helps support client goals by quantifying objectives and developing supporting strategies for success.