Marketers know that hosting webinars is one of the most effective ways to generate leads. In fact, 89% of marketers believe webinars outperform other channels in influencing pipeline and revenue. It's no secret that webinars are valuable lead gen tools, but to succeed at them, you need the right people entering the top of the funnel.
A question that gets asked often is, "How do I increase registrations to my webinar and get people to show up?"
So what's the secret sauce to generating webinar leads and getting people to attend?
Here's what you need to know:
Tips to Boost Webinar Registrations
To get people to sign up, you need to focus on getting in front of the right people and optimizing the registration process. Here's how you can do that:
1. Optimize Your Webinar Registration Form
One key element often overlooked is the webinar registration form. It's the gateway to your virtual event, so show it some love. This includes everything from making it easy to fill out to getting the form copy right.
So what makes an optimized registration form?
- Keep it short. When it comes to form fields, less is more. According to HubSpot, the optimal number of fields to have are three. It's a balancing act between business needs and user experience, but slimming down your form to gather the least amount of information possible will reduce drop-off.
- Use smart fields. A great feature of marketing automation platforms like HubSpot is smart fields. Smart fields keep your leads from doing unnecessary work by removing form fields that a customer or lead has previously submitted.
- Design using a single-column layout. A single-column layout has been proven more effective in driving conversions than multiple columns on the same page. They offer better flow, resulting in better UX.
- Optimize for mobile. Don't forget about mobile-friendly design when creating your form. Make form fields and submit buttons finger size (generally 44x44 is the best size). Limited the amount of typing needed by using dropdown menus, radio buttons, and auto-selected answers, and use easy-to-read fonts.
- Use Quick Registration Links. Including Welcome's Quick Registration link in your promo emails, invitees can simply access your webinar via the link provided.
2. Add CTAs to Unexpected Areas
Email is the top promotional channel for webinars. On average, up to 57% of registrations come from that channel. It's a given that you'll add call-to-action buttons to email invites and social posts, but here are several other areas to add CTAs:
- Add a CTA banner to your website
- Link a CTA to your email signatures
- Promote through your newsletters
- Add a CTA for your next event during your current webinar
Take stock of all your digital assets and think of innovative ways to get your message out.
3. Create a Virtual Events Page
If you consistently host webinars, create an events page to post all of your upcoming and on-demand events. Like Welcome’s own event page, the page serves as a repository for all future planned events to which website visitors can be directed. This allows you to capture new sign-ups that may not already be in your email marketing database. Better yet, by adding your past events as gated on-demand videos to the events page, you can continue to increase viewership long after the webinar wraps.
Planning a webinar? Check out the Webinar Best Practices Guide to ensure your webinar program is a success!
4. Promote your event up until showtime
We recommend promoting your webinar with various touchpoints, including the day of your event. Standard practice is to start promoting your webinar two weeks before showtime. However, 29% of people register for webinars on the same day that they are taking place. As most webinar registrations occur closer to the event, continue to promote it across your marketing channels.
5. Add Webinar Partnerships to Your Strategy
Building partnerships with like-minded brands is a win-win situation for both companies involved. Joint webinars can significantly increase the number of registrants and quickly grow the email list of both partners. By co-hosting a webinar, you double your marketing efforts and reach if you carefully select your partner. Only choose partners that will commit to promoting the event and ask them which marketing activities they plan to execute.
Manage expectations as early as possible and get alignment on the following:
- Whether the registrant list and emails will be shared
- If there will be a shared recording
- When you and your partner will announce the webinars in your email marketing and social media
Tips to Boost Webinar Attendance
Getting people to sign up for your webinar is only half the battle; you need them to show up too. Here are five ways to increase the attendance rate:
1. Host Webinar During Optimal Days/Times
The first step in getting people to attend your webinar is choosing the most popular day and time to host one. As a rule of thumb, avoid hosting webinars on Monday and Friday and aim for the middle of the week. The best day to host a webinar is Thursday, with 26% of viewers preferring to join webinars that day, followed by Tuesday (23%) and Wednesday (21%).
Not only is the day important, but the time of day is essential too. 28% of people prefer to join webinars mid-morning, and 27% prefer mid-afternoon.
2. Use Webinar Reminder Emails to Keep in Touch
So your invitee signed up, fantastic! But the webinar is still a way out, and you want to ensure the people who register actually come. Set up an email cadence that reminds attendees of the upcoming event that leads with the benefit of the webinar at every touchpoint. There is a fine line of over-emailing, so be sensitive to their inbox. Don't bombard them with tons of emails; keep it limited to only three reminders.
The complete email cadence can look like this:
- Post-registration follow-up confirmation email
- First reminder: Sent 1 week from the webinar
- Second reminder: Sent 1 day before the webinar
- Third reminder: Sent 1 hour before the webinar
- On-the-fence reminder: Send your final promotional email on the day of the webinar to people who've opened previous emails but did not register
- First follow-up: "Here's your recording!"
- Second follow-up: "Additional resources"
- Third follow-up: "Future events"
3. Don't forget about on-demand recordings
Just because the live event is over doesn't mean you should stop driving attendance. Audiences today like to consume content on their own time, so don't sleep on the value that on-demand recordings can bring. The attendance of on-demand recordings tends to be higher, too, as registrants sign up and attend the event when they're most excited and interested.
In fact, around 30% of your audience will watch the on-demand version of your webinar rather than the live event, so it's worth making your content readily available.
4. Incentivize attendance
If you haven't used eGifts yet to drive webinar attendance, you might miss out on a cost-effective way to get high-quality leads. Think back to every trade show or industry event you've been to and all the swag given away at booths. Just as in-booth swag can be used to drive visitors, so can webinar giveaways. It's standard practice to give away free things in the event world, so giving gifts during your virtual event shouldn't feel out of place.
Try incentivizing people who register if they share the event on social media or simply giving them a gift for showing up. Take a Sendoso customer as an example. The gifting platform customer, Lessonly, had a 60% virtual event attendance rate for one of their events. They sent Starbucks' eGifts the day before they hosted an intimate conversation with their CEO, "Coffee Connection, " and saw attendance soar. Even though giveaways add to your bottom line, sending eGifts can be one of the most impactful things you can do to boost attendance.
5. Always add value
The last tip for driving attendance has to do with the quality of content you provide. Even if you have the best webinar platform in the world, if you don’t prioritize your content and provide valuable insights, you’ll lose out on return visitors. Great webinars can draw up to 40%, if not more, repeat visitors, but they'll only come back if they feel their time was well spent. 70% of B2B professionals seek tips, tricks, and best practices. So make sure your webinars are actionable and educational, not just an extended sales pitch.
To wrap it all up
There are so many different tactics for generating leads for your webinar. And the perfect promotion strategy for your business will depend on how your audience responds to each one.
The tips above are good starting points but by no means an exhaustive list of everything you can try. Some of it will be trial and error, so don't be afraid to test different approaches and track their success.