Webinars help to generate many qualified leads for SketchDeck. We find that they both act as good lead magnets, and warm up existing subscribers.
In 2017, we tripled the average number of webinar signups. I wrote this guide to share what worked for us, and how to get similar improvements in your attendance and engagement.
1. Ask three times
“Just send the email multiple times.”
I had just met the VP of Marketing for a prominent San Francisco tech company. She started to tell me her email marketing tactics, and I couldn’t believe what she was saying.
“What? The exact same email?”
“Yeah,” she said, “At least that’s what I do. Up to 3 times. Change the subject and only send to people who don’t open it. If they didn’t open it the first time, how are they supposed to know what the original email was?”
I was skeptical at first, but followed her advice for the next webinar. It worked. Sending up to three invites doubles or triples the number of attendees at a given webinar. Each webinar drives dozens of additional leads for the sales team.
Perhaps more surprising, nobody gets upset. I’ve sent thousands of emails using this tactic now, and people thank me almost every time for the follow-up email. Nobody complains. Our unsubscribe rate remained unchanged and below industry average. Giving prospects the opportunity to attend a webinar they would otherwise miss provides real value.
2. Say thank you, then ask again
Understanding each client’s needs takes time. Deals take two to five months and involve many stakeholders. For that reason, sales benefits from getting more than one lead from marketing for each opportunity.
This simple tactic increases the number of qualified leads I generate from each account.
First, direct leads to the webinar signup page. After they submit the form, redirect each person to a “Thank you” page. On this page, add a form titled “Invite a colleague” asking for three things:
Your colleague’s first name
Their work email
Who should we say it’s from?
Then, send their colleague an email titled “your colleague invited you”. Insert their colleague’s name into the subject line. Finally, drop that contact into automation that implements the “ask three times” strategy above.
I didn’t expect to get many extra leads. Boy, was I wrong.
One in three people who signed up, invited a colleague. Almost half of those people hit the back button and used the form to invite more colleagues. They found the offer so useful, they chose to invite as many as four other people from their company. This webinar remains our most attended of all time.
This strategy works best on webinars with viral potential. For sales-oriented webinars focused on creating new deals, expect 5% - 10% of signups to use it. If your webinars target the top of your marketing funnel, this strategy works extremely well. Expect conversion rates closer to 30%.
3. Great design
Most webinars I attend end up being commentary read off of text-heavy slides. It makes me sad. Your audience took time out of their day to attend. This kind of bad webinar preparation strikes me as disrespectful.
For the marketer, watching your engagement rate drop minute after minute is painful. Everyone’s given a presentation and bombed. We all know the feeling.
Today’s audience expects more. Even with interesting content, uninspiring visuals will kill your webinar. In this age of engaging visuals, prospects demand something on-brand and engaging. If you don’t deliver, they will find someone else who can.
I add creative PowerPoint animations to set my presentations apart. Powerpoint animations require a lot of extra effort to make look good, but it’s worth the uptick in engagement for our own presentations.
I’m fortunate enough to work at SketchDeck, where a team of passionate and expert designers can create on-brand animations for me. The payoff is clear – high quality design increases engagement, and leads to more high quality leads for our sales team.
Don’t lose sight of the end goal. The best strategy is always to create presentations which resonates with your audience. Any tactic or hack, however useful, only works if your initial content is well researched and written. Never pursue short term boosts in engagement at the expense of your reputation.