*Hey there, George here. I manage a lot of the content at DGMG and Dave has me kick in a blog every now and again. Without further adieu, the dramatic conclusion to “What’s in a Webinar.”
Ok, we’re back. Your webinar is prepped, polished, and ready to present. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please stop here, and read my blog from Wednesday about the pre-webinar process.)
The good news is: the hard part is over. 70% of webinar work takes place before the webinar even happens. It’s like the Art of War quote, “Every battle is won before it’s fought.” Never have Sun Tzu’s immortal words been applied in a more mundane context. But I digress…
My point is, you’ve done the leg work. Now it’s time to open the Zoom, set this thing live, and welcome your audience. Here are the exact steps you should follow to ensure the webinar runs smoothly and the followup is flawless:
Set Some Reminders
Ok so before you even think about going live, you have to make sure you’re going to have an audience to present this thing to. Remember, you’ve (hopefully) been promoting this for a month.
Which means a lot of registrants signed up weeks ago.
Which means a lot of registrants probably forgot they signed up.
Which means a lot of registrants won’t attend the live webinar if they aren’t reminded.
Hence, why reminder emails are so crucial.
Reminder emails are an essential part of the webinar process because busy people, as you well know, have a lot on their plate, and frankly, a webinar isn’t going to be top of mind for them. So your reminder emails need to not only remind them the webinar is coming up, but also give them a reason to attend.
I recommend scheduling just two reminder emails, no more. A lot of people complained when I used to send three. The first one can either be the night before, but I always preferred to send it the morning of. That way it captures their attention first thing and makes them consider their schedule for that day. The first reminder should be a little fun and have a great hook to prime people for the presentation. Here’s an example I used back in the day:
It’s real. It teases the content, and shows the actual last minute prep being put into the presentation. This reminder is all about getting out the essential info and creating some intrigue.
Now for the remaining reminder, I recommend sending one really close to the actual go-live time. Why? Because busy people, as you still well know, still have a lot on their plate. And even a calendar notification 15-minutes before the event isn’t always enough to make sure they remember the webinar 15 minutes later. This was my go-to 5-minute reminder template:
It’s urgent. It’s a little fun, and it creates FOMO. You need to attend or else you’re not going to get this super cool offer everyone else is getting.
Ideally, with these two reminder emails you’re looking at an attendance rate of 20-35%. Very respectable.
Ok so about a half hour before you go live, you should have your speakers jump into the Zoom. (Sidenote: block off the extra half hour on their calendars when you first make the event invite.)
You want them to have time to get comfortable, run through the presentation for the last couple times, and make sure all the tech is working. Also, when you initially set up the Zoom (or whatever platform) ensure that no one but the speakers and yourself can get into the room until you let them in.
About 1-2 minutes before the scheduled start time of the webinar, set it live and open up the Zoom. Immediately have the speaker offer a greeting as guests start to trickle in, and have a pre-prepared question ready for them. Just something simple like, “where’s everyone calling in from?” or “what’s your pet’s name.” Basically banking security questions. The point of this is to get people comfortable, establish that the webinar is going to be interactive, and get them used to using the chat feature to ask questions as you go along. (Second sidenote: make sure they can’t turn on audio or video…it’s a cluster you know what).
Finally, have your speaker pause for 5 seconds and then start an introduction so you have a clean break for the recording.
Throughout the presentation, you want your speakers to encourage questions in the chat box and ask people their thoughts at certain key moments. This makes it feel less like a lecture and keeps people on the line. As a webinar producer, you want to be monitoring the chat, answering any questions you can, and dropping in necessary links from the presentation.
Plan for the actual presentation to last for about 30 minutes. Any longer than that and people stop paying attention. The second to last slide should be an offer slide. This is the exclusive thing they get access to because they attended. Now the offer itself is up to you. Exclusive early ebook access. Free company swag. A 1:1 with a marketing leader on your team. Whatever.
Finally, reserve 10-15 minutes for questions at the end, then close out the Zoom.
The Post-Webinar Process
Congratulations, a webinar well done. Now it’s time to finish strong and follow up with those leads. There’s a few steps you need to take before you get the nurture streams out though.
First thing, you need to grab that recording. Go to your webinar platform, pull the recording, and trim the file so it starts right after that clean break you had your speaker take. I then recommend uploading it into a basic video platform like Wistia, just so that you have an easy link to send out to your registrants.
Next, go to your landing page and change the CTA from “Sign Up” to “Watch the Recording.” This ensures that you can keep driving leads from the content in perpetuity.
Finally, I recommend taking the slide deck and creating a shared Google Drive folder with the entire marketing team. Having all the slide decks in one place allows everyone to draw from the presentation to inform future decks or other marketing content.
Ok this is where you make your money…literally.
You’re going to want to send out two followup emails, one to attendees, and one to no shows. Each email should include your recording link, a PDF of the slides, and some sort of offer. For the attendees, the offer can be the same as what you offered them during the presentation. For the no shows, you’ll want to come up with something slightly different, but still valuable. Given that webinars aren’t very high intent activities, you don’t want to put on the full court sales press here. Instead, offer them content. A blog post on the same topic as the webinar. An ebook that takes the webinar presentation further. Something that keeps them engaged with your brand.
NEVER let them just walk away with nothing. There’s always a next step.
Here are a couple examples of followup emails for attendees:
…And no shows:
See what I’m talking about? Very loose, casual tone. Not sales-y, not pushy. And there’s a very clear distinction between the two emails. Both groups are subject to a content offer, with the attendees getting the more exclusive of the two. Also, note how I’m not chastising the people who missed the event. Be understanding, empathetic, and provide value anyways. It makes them more likely to ultimately engage with your brand in some fashion.
The final piece of the webinar puzzle. The whole reason you ran this thing is to feed promising leads to sales. So you’re going to want to do a couple things:
- Make sure your Salesforce campaign is tight – Give sales all the info necessary to understand the content of the webinar at a glance and be able to intelligently follow up with attendees.
- Shout it out in Slack – Sales has a lot of leads to sift through. Give them a reason to want to look at these leads specifically. Go into the sales slack channel and hype the webinar up: “What’s up sales, we just had an awesome webinar with ZoomInfo. 569 leads, a 40% attendance rate (which is crazy), and a TON of engagement. Here’s a quick email template you can use for outreach. *Obligatory fire emojis*”
Get them excited and make their outreach easy. Do a lot of the legwork for them by writing up the Salesforce notes and putting together a rough template for outreach.
Finally, depending on your specific lead scoring model, not all of the leads from a webinar will go to the sales team right away. Some leads will be promising, but need more high intent activities before they get routed over to sales. This is where nurtures are going to be huge. Work with your SDR team to build up some great 5-6 email nurture sequences to continue trying to push the prospects to your site and get them further and further down your funnel.
Fin. I really hope you enjoyed these two blogs and picked up at least one thing to bring back to your business. There’s certainly more I can say, especially about the month or two post-webinar and measuring success, but that’s a blog for another day.
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Happy 4th! Shoutout America again.