If you’ve participated in a marketing planning meeting of an IT company, there’s a 99% chance the word “webinar” comes up every time.  It’s no wonder — what’s not to like? It’s educational, convenient for the viewer, less expensive than a live event, interactive, promotable on social and let’s face it, it looks good on a marketing calendar. Why not plan one every week? Beyond taking significant time and effort to plan, additional challenges persist:

  • It’s harder and harder to get someone to commit an hour of time from their busy day; and even when they do, 50% or more of confirmed webinar registrants don’t dial in – ugh.
  • Your cast must be broad enough to get plenty of attendees, but focused enough to hook someone with a relatable pain point – double ugh.
  • Converting an “interested webinar attendee” to someone wanting that “initial sales call” is the trickiest challenge of all.
  • It remains to be seen whether they actually produce qualified leads and, more importantly, sales.

Can these challenges be overcome? Absolutely. Implementing webinar best practices like these will help you to not only run a smooth, well-attended webinar, it will help covert those interested attendees to sales.

  1. Plan objectives of webinar, audience, date, participants and content outline.
  2. Set up registration page – we recommend Zoom or Go-To-Webinar.
  3. Based on objectives, audience and webinar content, hone your email database or purchase a new list from a list vendor.
  4. Generate three waves of invites with registration link starting one month out; consider sending invites out on Saturdays – statistically a good day for getting email opens.
  5. Communicate updated list of registrants to sales reps weekly.
  6. Launch Sponsored InMail campaign to your LinkedIn followers with registration link.
  7. Drop social posts on LinkedIn and Twitter (several before, and after with link of recording).
  8. Review and finalize presentation material 2 weeks out; presentation should include a special offer/call-to-action (CTA) just for webinar registrants, and provide clear contact information on the screen.
  9. Conduct a webinar rehearsal call with presenters on the webinar platform 2-3 days prior; align fulfillment pieces, special offers and CTA.
  10. Record the live webinar and post to company website immediately upon completion.

These Next Three Magical Steps Are the Most Important and the Most Frequently Overlooked:

  1. Immediately after the webinar, send your sales reps the final attendance list AND post-event follow up emails — containing a link to the recorded webinar — for them to personalize and send to each registrant THAT SAME DAY. Prompt follow up is critical! One version should be sent to attendees, “Thank you for attending…” and one to registrants who did not attend saying, “Sorry you were not able to attend…”. If the attendee asked questions, be sure to share them with the reps for a more detailed follow-up.
  2. Host a post-event call the next day with presenters and sales reps on action items/follow up; discuss what went well and what would be changed for next time.
  3. Require sales to make continued contact weekly and provide status updates on each webinar registrant; after 3-months, calculate the number of deals closed or in the works to measure success; repeat this calculation after 6 months.

If you follow these steps – and don’t forget the final three – you will get a bigger bang from your webinar investments in 2020 AND have the metrics to plan future webinar spend more effectively.

This post courtesy of MMC Account Manager Jeni Stephens.