Webinar Promotion & Engagement Strategies for Lead Generation
The latest strategies for getting attendees to register and attend your webinars – and actually engage when they show up!
Welcome to Tech Marketer Live, helping you create and capture demand in an enterprise technology market. Today we will tackle some of the most common webinar lead gen and production strategy questions. Everything from registration, incentives, creative engagement, and how to follow up with your hot leads. Now, here's your host, Geordie Carswell.
All right. Hey, welcome everybody. We're excited to have you with us today, and we're going to talk webinar strategy. We're going to talk about what's working and what's not working when it comes to driving r o i From webinars. We're going to talk about lead generation, how you can get folks to show up, and we're going to talk a little bit about production and follow up. So basically over the years as we talk with our enterprise IT and cybersecurity clients, we keep hearing the same questions over and over again. We've been compiling them and we have put them into a quick order here that we can talk through some of the answers and share some of what we have seen succeed. So to help me get through this, we've got Jess Steinbach here who is our lead webinar moderator extraordinaire at actual tech, and she's logged hundreds of hours running webinars with tech Web by our audiences. So welcome Jess. We're excited to get your insights as well.
Hey, Geordie. Yeah, I'm really excited to be here and jump into some of these questions because I spend a lot of time in webinars, as you said, although I have to say they just fly right by because they're all so darn engaging. But I very rarely get to step back and think about what leads into it. There's wonderful, we have such a great community as you know, and great audience members, but how do we actually get those people in the room? And so I'm really excited to learn a little bit more about that from you today, and that's where I want to start with you, Geordie. Can we talk about webinar promotion? And in particular, I want to hear a little bit more about what actually works when you're looking to drive that qualified cause that's important, qualified registrations and leads for the webinars.
Yeah, we're recording this in June of 2023, and I think we're probably up to about a hundred thousand registrations for our webinars so far, year to date. So we see wow a lot here in terms of what works and what doesn't. Email is king, social is in the mix. You need to do some social, but email is what will actually move the needle for you in terms of driving registrations for webinars. So yeah, everybody, we put it on social to keep a heartbeat out there and make sure that we get the branding effect, but email is what will drive the reg list.
Yeah, that is interesting because when I first heard you say that, I think I would've thought that social was the way to go, but you're right, it's a little bit more of that vibrancy, that heartbeat, but okay, so if it is in social media, if email is the way to go, how are you getting those lists? Who are you actually emailing? Geordie?
Yeah, so let's talk about that. So first you want to think about your internal lists. So every marketer has a list of leads that have come in from various contents, indication activities, trade show activities, previous webinars, whatever it might be. And they've got a sort of a nurture list. That's the first place to go when it comes to your in-house lists and testing plain text versus HTML invites, trying to mix it up a bit, get as much as you can. So that's the very first source of, you know, go to your go-to nurture list to get people to show up for the webinar.
I like that. I like the idea of doing a little bit of AB testing internally as well. Okay, so internal list. Yes, check. Great, that's important. What else can we do? What about renting a list? Geordie, is that a good option?
Yeah, well we'll get to that in a second, but I mean our sales team also is a source of an internal list. That's actually a good point. The sales team has a Rolodex, both of existing clients as well as folks they've been reaching out to, they're trying to nurture from either cold or some other activity that they've been involved in to try and drum up leads. So those lists can be good as well. So how can you have the sales team succeed in inviting people using their Rolodex essentially to help
Rolodex? Shorty, this is an important, know it's
Old school. This,
For anyone born before the eighties, a Rolodex was a paper contact list, so we're going back
Exactly. Yeah, no, this is old school, but basically your contact list, right? So your contact list, each sales rep, if you give them a customer referral link and then keep them in the loop about how it's going and whether or not they referred anyone who those people are that can build a good relationship with sales. Also giving them short, plain text scripts, copy, graphics, whatever they might need to be able to reach out and tweak their invites as they invite people both cold and warm. You're going to see a nice lift there from your sales teams Rolodex,
I like giving them the tools you're relying on them to pursue, make the resource easy that they have. Exactly, but you're hitting the easy button for them. And I can only imagine that that's a positive for the relationship between marketing and sales as well.
Yep, definitely. Now you talked about external promotions, so list rental and things like that. And yeah, there are companies that will allow you media companies and things like that that do list rental. You know, got to temper your expectations, make sure that you're targeting the right audiences there. And we see folks do list rental campaigns. They might get 20 or 30 registrations out of doing something like that, which is good. It's definitely a thing to try. But another one that people often forget about is partners. Your partners are a source source of external promotion capability. So add something to the webinar that will make the partner want to go and promote it for you, something that's in it for them. So for instance, mention how their solution dovetails with what you're talking about and then get in touch with the partner and say, Hey, we're running a webinar, we got a nice mention for you.
Do you want to promote it to your audience? And then that will help you to leverage their audience as well. Those folks then become part of your audience and you can continue to remarket to them after that. And then of course there's full service lead gen webinar production firms like actual tech where we do all of that targeting and promotion for them for you. And you know, can also give you referral links for your audience to make sure to keep things separate as the leads come in. But if you're shooting for 100 to 200 targeted registrations, you're going to need to leverage email as your primary channel. I'm not saying don't push it on social, but just temper your expectations in terms of what you're expecting from social, whether it's organic or paid.
Okay, I like it. So emailing some cool AB test ideas, the making it easy for the sales team and then partnerships and potentially some lead out with actual tech media. That's fine. And come see us. Yeah, exactly. Okay, well those seem like a good place to go. So let's say now you've got your incoming registration traffic, so you've sent all your emails and they're working because why would they not? We've given you all the tips. So there you go. And then once you've got that registration traffic coming in, what's next? What are the next steps that you need to take in order to get people to, and here's the tough part, actually show up for that webinar.
So you've got some touch touchpoints that happened before the event or before the webinar that you need to optimize. I think there's three things. Number one, you need to optimize your page for conversion. So when we say optimize your page for conversion, what do we mean? It means get rid of any unnecessary fields that people are bailing. If they hit the reg page and they see a 30 field form, they're gone. Right? So done. Get rid of as much as you can there. Use some of these form complete engines to go out and gather the demographic data that are that's necessary. Revenue, company size, all of that kind of stuff. Don't ask the end user for it if you don't have to. There's automation for that. Also, another one, Jess, you've probably seen on our registration pages is an exit pop when people go to leave without registering. Have you seen what we're doing there?
Yeah, I didn't know it was called an exit pop. I think that is the cutest name I've ever heard. I like it even more now.
So basically what it says is if you can't make the time, so they go to the back button. If you can't make the time and enter your registration details anyway, we'll make sure you get a copy of the recording And schedule conflict is number one reason why people bail out on these pages. They can't do the particular time that you've picked, but you'll find that a lot of these people will actually show up live in the end, even though they signed up through that route saying they didn't make the time. They actually do show.
Yeah, we see that happen all the time. Somebody shows up, sorry, I was running late, I had to get out of this thing or that thing. But they had it on their calendar so when they wrapped up their meeting early, they show up, they're happy to be there, they're excited to be there.
Exactly. Yeah. So we're continuing in this vein of optimizing your reg page for conversion. The number one thing that we see people blow it with is basically making sure that the branding, the creative and the copy all match the email promotion that you sent out. So for instance, if you're saying, Hey, this is what we're going to be talking about, this is the title of the webinar, the look, the feel, the colors, everything must match what's on the reg page because when people get there and there's a disconnect, there's something they think something's off. Hey,
Yes, absolutely a hundred percent. Especially now we're all on the lookout all the time for something to be scammy. So exactly, if you see something that seems a little off, you trust your instincts and you walk away.
Yeah, exactly. And that goes for a prize incentive too, right? People are worried about that. So if you do have a prize incentive, make sure it's front and center the clear terms and everybody can feel comfortable that that prize is actually going to be awarded. Absolutely. So that's the first thing. Optimize the reg page for a conversion. The second thing is you are optimizing your confirmation email. So making sure that there's a prominent ad to calendar link you just mentioned. If it's on their calendar, the chances them showing up are better. Hey.
And so making sure that the branding and the copy on that email, the confirmation email that goes out is a match as well. So not just using the generic zoom template, the generic on 24, whatever it might be, customize it to match your event and you'll increase your chances. It looks like your event is legit and that your effort's been put in there and it's going to be high value. So that's kind of key. And then also offer them something in that confirmation email if there is there something that will help them get primed for the event questions they should think about stuff that you want them to think about their environment that they could share, put that in the confirmation email. So those are two things, and I know you're thinking about number three. It's a very simple come along,
And make sure you're automated. Reminder sequence is dialed in. So we see this often people forget to set up their reminders on a proper cadence. So we recommend 24 hours out, one hour out, and an event is starting notification that starts at the time of the event. If you can do all of these three things, they work together to maximize attendance and you need to make sure that you're capturing incoming traffic from your invitations, converting it to a registration with a great page, and then helping them not to forget to show up.
And I love that, Jody, A lot of what you said, it almost sounds, I hate to use the word common sense, but a lot of it just, it's paying attention to details. It's just putting that tiny little bit of extra effort in. And I know that no effort is tiny in our busy lives, but putting in that little bit of extra attention to those details, even just thinking through the look and the feel all the way through makes such a big difference in how the audience feels. Because we can feel that care and attention, we can feel that you've put the energy and effort in. And so when I'm deciding if I'm going to put my energy and effort back into attending, I feel better about that trade already. Already. Exactly. I know you're invested in my experience.
And that even goes down to the quality of graphics. So are the graphics blurry? Are they sharp? Is everything nicely put together? It sends an ima, it sends impression or an image about your event that this is special. It's worth carving out time for. So Jess, I'm going to ask you a question now. I know. So we're getting into your world. So now that you've got people to show up for the webinar, how do you keep them engaged during the webinar so they're not just drifting off working in other tabs? People don't do that, do they?
Never No. Obviously as soon as I come on screen, everyone is laser focused, all the other tabs get closed.
Yeah, exactly. No, a hundred percent and nail on the head, Jody. We've got a room full of people out there across the world that I don't get to look in the eye that I don't get to have a conversation with. So I actually have no idea how much they're engaging with me unless I'm asking them questions or interacting with them in one way or another. And I think that is a really important part, and I just have to hit that one more time. For anyone out there that is planning any type of online event, any type of virtual event, please do remember that there's an audience of humans out there. I think so often when we're thinking about our checklist of things, it's the lead gen, it's the graphics, that's all these wonderful things that we're putting together and those are so important. But then also have speakers that their job, their checklist is 100% focused on the audience that's out there and not forgetting that they're just a faceless mask. Now I'm talking to Geordie, I can look at you, I can see you, I can interact, but in a webinar, I'm talking to my two monitors in my apartment. Yeah. So it's remembering that audience is out there with you.
And I think if you had those people come into a room with you and sit in a boardroom with you, right? Yes. Or in a conference room at a hotel or whatever it is, and you're giving a pitch, right? Yes. You're not going to phone it in
A hundred percent. Yeah, there's
No, no, you're absolutely right. The energy would kick in, the nerves would kick in, and your performance side of things would kick in. No. Yeah. And that's where you have to come from with these virtual events is sort of bringing yourself back into that room, into that boardroom with those 20, 30 or a thousand people that you're speaking to. And so how do we do that? Well, there's lots of ways to do that and we definitely don't have time to dig into all of them today, but a few things that I have found are polls, games, incentives, and some interactive presentation styles that are worth looking at. And we actually have some content for you all as well. If you haven't seen our engagement webinar, I'll highly recommend that you go check that out. There's a shameless plug.
Yeah, we'll put that in the show notes actually. There you go. That's a good idea. So
Do go check that out because it does have a little bit more of some of the specifics here, but staying a little more high level polls, I know those can be sort of hit or miss for people. You absolutely can overuse them a hundred percent, but if you can use them in a pointed way, it's a way that the audience gets to feel like they're participating. If you don't want to actually just do a click on poll, ask them a question or have them respond. And it doesn't always have to be a topic sensitive question. We've had some great feedback from audience members interacting about what their superpower would be if they had one. And so yeah, sure, they're not talking about a tech solution, but they're leaned forward, they've closed down the other tabs, they're focused in on our tab, they're asking that question and then, oh hey, while you're here talking about what your superpower would be, let me just hang out and talk to you about this cool tech solution that I have for you. So again, it's all about just getting their attention back. Polls are a great way to do that. Interactive games are a great way to do that. Geordie, I've asked you this before, but do you remember back when you were in school, did you have to play games in school?
Yes. Even though I was homeschooled. No, even
Though you're homeschooled, right?
Yes. So games, if there's anything wrong with that, we're in the homeschool generation.
Yeah, very important. So games were a way that our teachers would sort of sneak learning in under the radar, right? Yeah. You thought you were playing jeopardy and really you were learning about the French Revolution. And so this is still true for us. This is still something that adults need. We want to play, we want to interact with information a little differently. And so when you play true false, when you play Jeopardy, when you have a little bit of fun with the information, you're finding ways to get that information out to the audience in a way that's a little bit less expected. But the best part about that is honestly what it does to the speakers. Because yeah, when I'm reading from a script, even though I read from a lot of scripts, so I'd like to believe I'm okay at it by now, there is a big difference. Yeah. You'll tell you me if not Jordan. No, you're
Doing good. You're doing
Good. Great. Thanks so much. There's, there's a big difference between me reading off a script and me speaking off the cuff. Yeah, there's a big difference when I'm playing a game, when I'm doing some of the ones that are in our webinar engagement, having to eat really gross foods while asking somebody questions about cybersecurity or really spicy hot sauces. Okay, so you might say, what is the point of that? Well, it put myself and the speaker in a mindset where we were having very authentic physical responses, I promise you that was real. And then having to talk about a solution. And so we were giving the audience a genuine connection moment. We were giving them an authentic human moment. So that energy, that authenticity comes out through these games, through these sort of physical actions.
And I think prizes bury into that too. So yes, if you have prizes, so we've experimented a bit with this. So you have a grand prize on the event, but then also on our larger summit style events where you've got S 5, 6, 7 hours of content and people stick with us through those, but you do have to pace the prizes. Absolutely. Take the prize kitty and split it up into more chances to win. Spread it out so that people wake up after each segment or before each segment, right? So that they stick with you through the whole thing and prize. Well, I noticed you had a question about prizes here on the list, Jess.
Yes, I do. I want to talk about prizes because it is something that we do on our webinars. And Geordie, I have heard back from people a few times when chatting about webinars kind of saying, well, I don't know, my company's not really sure about including prizes on our webinars that comes up. Are you just going to end up with prize hunters? And I know we've had a lot of success about it. So what is your response to that, Geordie?
Yeah, it's a good question. So we have done a lot of testing with this in the last 10 years with whether or not you should use prizes on your virtual events and your webinars. One test we ran with this identical traffic source landing page, copy forms, everything was the same. The only difference was the addition of a prize promo. And the results that we got are pretty typical of the other testing that we've done. So for instance, in this test, the reg form conversion rate before adding a prize was 21.6%. And there was a lot of different traffic sources coming into this. So it was a little lower than our usual, but then after adding the prize, it jumped to 34.9. So that was like a 61% improvement in registrations. So you've done all this work to get people there, you know, want to maximize your chances that they'll register. So it helps boost registrations. But what's the intent, like you said, those people that are coming, are they just there for prizes? For
So we think of it this way, if just one qualified prospect was swung off the fence from potentially registering to definitely registering because they found the prize offer compelling, that entire incentive was paid for many times over, especially in high ticket sales environments. So why not risk pushing that one or two or three prospects over the edge into the funnel when the relative cost is so low, you miss a hundred percent of the shots you don't take. We look at it from a risk reward standpoint. Sure, you're going to have some price hounds and we filter them out. We've got a pretty good idea who they're from time to time after doing hundreds of webinars, but the potential upside makes it worth it, and that's why we always recommend the use of an incentive.
Yeah, I love that. And one thing that I do want to highlight, Geordie, because you did mention, so we have our prize, that's our sort of grand finale prize, our grand prize, and then we have the prizes that we offer throughout longer webinars as well. And then we also have a best question gift card that we offer.
That's a good
Too. So we have, and that one that that was a hugely successful uptake in questions asked and has been really fun because it gives us another reason to remind people throughout to think about engaging with their speakers and asking those questions and hey, it's an extra chance to win that prize. And so also keeping that, we were talking about energy earlier, prizes are fun and energetic. So for the moderators, for the audience members that have been through a seven to eight hour day, getting to have those ebbs and flows is really important. So I really, what we
Even did, sorry, Jess, I was just going to say, you know what we did to mix it up one time is we did something called Spin to win. So we put a bunch of different prizes on the wheel and we spun the wheel and the person, we would click it for them and everybody could wait and see what they were going to win. And there was a lot of great prizes on the wheel and it worked really well. And then I think we overdid it though, to be honest, I think because we were doing spin to Win all the time, people were like, yeah, yeah, yeah, let's just get onto the next thing. They just wanted to know who the winner was. So I think once in a while, there's things you can do to mix it up a bit, but I guess overkill you got to watch for too.
Oh, I really like that. Okay, now, well, I want to do spin to win now.
Yeah, we probably have to still have the code sit sitting around somewhere.
We have to bring that back. But that is a good point that it doesn't always just have to be give it away. And one more quick example, there was a company that we had recently that did a prize giveaway if you signed up for a demo, and they gave that prize incentive to everyone who signed up for a demo. But the demo got bigger throughout the webinar as I was scoring virtual hockey goals by a little virtual hockey game. And I would try to shoot the puck into the net, and if I got it in, then everyone got an additional $10. So, oh,
Okay. So their prize got bigger as you succeed. Nice.
And then everybody got that, which was also fun because it meant that throughout the webinar as I was scoring these goals, people were coming back, coming back to that tab to watch the score to make sure that money was going up. And they had a lot of feedback and a lot of people signed up for that demo. So that was a very successful one and fun. I couldn't do it every day. I don't want to play that much virtual hockey, but it was, yeah, it a good time.
Great. So Geordie, you got people in the seats, I entertain them to no end with all my incredible stories. And then the webinar has come to a close and the curtain has fallen. What is the best way to approach to follow up with all these wonderful audience members who gave us their time?
All right, so let's approach this from the standpoint of a company that has a decent size sales team, but the sales team maybe is reticent about jumping on a CSV file full of webinar leads for whatever reason, they're too busy, they've been burned before by low quality leads with the phone numbers, the emails don't work, whatever the reason is, right? Let's say that there are 200 registration leads after an event. That's the most common one. We run them and you're trying to get meetings lined up because as a marketer you're measured on pipeline generated or that you've helped generate. So meetings are a key piece of that. Maybe you're even measured on the number of meetings. The first step is to separate out those who attended live. So now you got to think about, okay, we've set them aside. Now are you going to want to send them the on-demand recording from the webinar personally or from a sales rep along with a complimentary asset or an offer for a demo or whatever it might be. That's a natural touchpoint. Or if you're going to send it out for marketing, the on-demand recording, are you going to send that out via nurturing email, personalized emails through the system, through Zoom or whatever after the event is over and the notification for the recording. And some people hold back recordings like they're gold, they don't want to give it a Don't do that. Don't be stingy with your don't, don't be
Stingy with your
Don't hoard recordings.
So the notification of that recording availability is a awesome touchpoint for both attendees and non attendees alike. If they attended, they still might want to share it with colleagues. So make it easy for them to do that. And
Oh Jody, we hear that, don't it all the time. Yeah, I need to make an argument to my bosses. I need to make an argument to the decision makers. I have to convince my team. So if you give them the recording, not only are you making it easy for them, but you're also getting more eyes, more looks. Yeah, it's
Great. And people might say, well how do we track that? We who cares? Just take the attention, right? Yes. And it'll come back to you. So another metric, so you've got attendees versus non attendees. So we have that as a metric for warmth and intent. Another metric is poll responses. If you've done a good job with strategic poll questions on your event, you and the team do, Jess, thank you. That will help you gather more prospect profile data that you're going to have more potential intelligence points that can determine warmth for your sales team. So if someone answered the poll and says, yeah, we're in the market in six months, or we're in the market in whatever, and this is the size of our environment and whatever. Those things can go a long way to giving sales something to work with. Handouts from inside the webinar console.
Did they down download a handout? Did they click through in the webinar console to a demo? Did they ask a buying question during the webinar? How much is it? How long does a proof of concept take? Things like that. Here's another one. Are they on your target account list for b m? Right? If they are, then alright, we're going to fast track those folks. Are they part of the buying committee? Are they a technical decision maker, business decision maker? All of these data points, if you align them, you start to see where you can give sales a heads up on how to prioritize and go after some quick wins and demos and meetings. And when you approach sales asking for immediate follow-up instead of giving them the entire list. If you've got the resources for that, great, but if not, give them all of these data points so that when they phone them up, they can say on the webinar, you indicated X, Y, and Z, here's the recording. Really wanted to chat with you sometime about or in the near future about your environment and how we can help you. That kind of stuff. Take that data, splice it, dice it, and get it ready for sales to be able to do something with and give them context so that they can be successful when they follow up.
Oh lo, that context is so key. I know a couple of times I've seen some of our sales team reach out to people with something really specific. You indicated this, we had this conversation with you and sometimes it's even something you know indicated that you were going fishing next week and so I want to chat with you about something a month from now. But it's just showing those little moments of care. So if you're handing the sales team, Hey, this person showed up and they asked a question about this and they indicated that their superpower would be flying, that's gold. Your conversation opener right there. Hey, I also want to fly. Do you talk about that a little bit?
Yeah. Something to break the ice, right?
Exactly. Yes. Yeah, that's it. So Geordie, that works really well. What you just gave us that those ideas of having these sorts of ways to warm up the conversation and make that a little bit more well conversational really, instead of salesy, which is what we're trying to do is sort of engage with folks, but what about for those folks that didn't attend live and so we don't have that data.
Yeah, great question. So I think knowing how to deal with no shows and to best handle them is where your solid pre-planned nurture strategy for a post-webinar campaign begins. So the thing you can do is set up an automatic drip sequence with the on-demand recording. Think of that as day one, right? Okay, sorry, we missed you. Here's the recording. Day two in your automatic sequence, it could be to offer them a content asset, a cheat sheet, a transcript from the webinar, something maybe the slides in PDF form. Something to get them that ties directly into the conversation that was had on the webinar on day three. Offer them a short survey to fill in maybe a nice mix of general interest questions about the topic as well as some profile specific questions so it doesn't become so obvious that it's a profile sales building exercise. But at the end of it, offer them a demo at the end of the survey. If they bite, great. If they don't on day four, offer the demo again. So basically have a plan about how you're going to handle this. Don't try and make up your nurturing strategy for no shows after the event is already over. You want, because you need to go back and stay as close to the webinar date as you can to make these engagements as effective as you can as you try and reach out to people.
So I think the point, Jess, is that try to think this through in advance and recognize that not all webinar leads are the same in that csv after the event is over, they can't be treated that way. We hear a common refrain from our clients say, well I can't get sales to follow up promptly on those leads, but if you work to segment things well and if you equip sales with the intelligence, they need to sound more up to speed when they do get on the phone, you're going to see that relationship with sales build over time and they're going to have a more positive direction for all of those conversations that sales is trying to have there. And the alignment between sales and marketing,
I think. So the things I'm taking, I'm thinking back through our conversation, Geordie, I'm taking away, I think that that forward thinking, the planning on, but all the way through the arc. So really putting that care and attention from the first minutes you put that webinar on the calendar, knowing who you're going to talk to, how you're going to get them there and what is the message that you're bringing to them. And having that kind of through line, both graphically, visually, but also in terms of the key points and conversationally all the way through and having that be part of their experience when they're there live. And then most importantly, not saying done and dusted once you've kind of hit end webinar and then making sure that there's a full follow-up arc on the other side and really continuing through with that same conversation.
Yeah, it's a strategy. You know, have to have a strategy, you have to have an approach to it that's going to work. But anyway, Jess, are we at time for today?
Geordie? I honestly dunno how this happened so quickly. I think we are very close to the end of our time. I feel like we could keep going about this stuff for a while, so we'll just have to save some of that for,
We'll save them for next time for
Our next session. That's it. This has been really great and I know that our plan jie is to do a little bit more of these sorts of q and a style episodes, where on Tech Marketer Live where we get to dig into your questions out there, the things that are really top of mind for you. So on that note, if you have those tech marketing questions or lead gen questions that you would like to cover, that you want to hang out and chat about with Geordie, myself and some other members of the actual tech media team, we are so excited to get to share some of that information. Geordie, where would you like people to reach out to you?
Yeah, just shoot us an email. Geordie ge, O D I e, actual tech media.com and we'll do our best to tee up your questions for next time.
All right folks. Awesome. All this has been fun.
Thanks Jess, appreciate you being here with me and we will see everybody next time.