Let’s face it: most business inboxes get flooded every day with Webinar invitations. If your Webinar campaign is getting lost in the crowd, take a look at these 9 proven tips and techniques for increasing registration and attendance at online events.
1. Sell the event, not the product.
A Webinar invitation should sell the value of the event, period. No-one cares about how wonderful your product is. Every ounce of copy should be dedicated to convincing the reader why he/she should invest a precious 30-40 minutes in your Webinar.
Bullet points are easily scannable at a glance and a useful technique for highlighting key messages. Don’t just list topics – instead, provide specific, concrete things that the reader will learn, discover, gain or take away from the event.
3. Email invitations at least 2 weeks in advance.
Studies show that starting email promotions more than 7 days prior to an event increases the size of the audience by 36%. Following the initial invitation, send a second, reminder email a week later. Try sending last-minute reminders in the form of “forwarded” emails from the assigned sales representative, including the contact’s first name and a personal note (e.g. “Jane, wanted to make sure that you saw the invitation to this great event we’re hosting next week …”)
4. Make sure your registration page closes the deal.
A registration page should provide more than just a form and a tired repetition of email copy. An effective registration page, one that maximizes conversion rates, reinforces the value of the event – perhaps by providing additional, more detailed information like speaker bios or an agenda.
5. To maximize attendance, remind, remind, and remind again.
Even the most successful Webinars can suffer a 50 percent no-show rate. You can minimize that drop-off by sending a confirmation email immediately upon registration, a reminder email 1-2 days prior to the event, and a last reminder email the day of the event. (Yes, the day of the event.) Like registration pages, reminder emails are a great way to provide additional detail about the Webinar.
6. Always offer “add to calendar”.
Most business professionals live and die by their online calendars. (Translation: if it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t exist.) Make sure that you include a prominent (and functioning) “add to calendar” link or button on the thank you/confirmation page, confirmation email, and all reminder emails.
7. Take full advantage of marketing automation.
Integrate your marketing automation system (e.g. Marketo, Pardot) with your Webinar platform (e.g. Citrix, Webex.) Doing so not only eliminates tiresome manual transfer of registration data, but also gives you greater flexibility in the design and branding of campaign assets like registration pages, leading to increased conversion rates and more registrations.
8. Use SEM to generate incremental leads outside of your target list.
Consider a 4-week paid search (SEM) campaign leading up to the date of the Webinar. Either create a separate campaign focused on specific keywords and search queries related to the Webinar topic, or temporarily replace (or rotate) your current SEM ads with copy that drives Webinar registration.
9. Leverage social media to extend the reach of your campaign.
Social media can be an easy and effective way to increase attendance by leveraging existing event creative and assets like registration pages. Start by publishing a blog post a couple of weeks before the event – perhaps a short, Q&A-style interview with the Webinar speaker, or an excerpt of the planned presentation – and include a call to action that links to the registration page. Use LinkedIn Sponsored Updates and LinkedIn Text Ads to target specific demographics in advance of the Webinar. Finally, schedule a series of tweets starting 2 weeks prior to the event. Vary the copy, and include images where possible, such as speaker photos.
For more ideas on increasing registration for online events, download our free white paper: “Top 10 Tips for Webinar Invitation Success.”