Webinars are one of the ways, if not the best way, to convert traffic and subscribers into actual customers.
Even with a mediocre webinar, you can convert around 5% of your viewers into customers.
Very few other conversion tactics come even close to that.
Depending on how long you've followed my work, you may have seen any one of the many KISSmetrics' webinars.
The total number of attendees of the first 77 webinars at KISSmetrics was 74,381. And 16,394 of those converted. That's a 22% conversion rate if you don't want to do the math.
We had good webinars, but they weren't anything that others couldn't deliver.
Adobe reports a 19% conversion rate with webinars, and Buzzsumo says that 20% of their webinar attendees turn into paid customers.
If you search around, you'll find many other businesses achieving similar results.
I've written before about creating high converting webinars.
But that leaves one problem: Where do you get the traffic (that turns into your viewers)?
I'll admit, it's not too difficult for businesses like mine. You may have seen that I hold regular webinars on NeilPatel.com:
I have enough traffic to my blog that I get plenty of new webinar signups on a regular basis. Even if I didn't do any extra work, I'd be fine.
But if you don't have that traffic already, I can see why you'd be hesitant to hold webinars. After all, you don't want to hold one with two people in the audience.
That's where this post comes in. I'm going to show you 6 things you should do in order to get your webinar attendance to a solid level.
It might not be thousands right away, but it will give you a base to build on, and over time, if you keep doing the right thing, your audiences will grow.
If you're interested in getting more traffic to your webinars, read on…
1. Start with the basics
If you've been doing any sort of marketing already, you need to start with your existing audience.
It's cheaper and easier to convince your existing subscribers and readers than complete strangers to watch your webinar.
Let's quickly walk through your options to make sure you don't miss anything:
- Your blog – You can create a dedicated post that announces your webinar so that any casual reader can see it (and those subscribed to your RSS feed)
- Social media – Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or some other network, create a post promoting your webinar. Don't stop there, though. Post multiple times leading up to the event.
- Your email list - Your email list has your most active readers. This is a great place to get a lot of webinar signups. However, there's much more to it than that, and I'll get to it near the end of this post.
- YouTube/Vimeo - You can create a promotional video for your webinar and post it on these major video sites. Obviously, it works best if you already have subscribers on the sites or are willing to pay to promote.
One common aspect of the above suggestions is to try to make your promo shareable.
For example, when I promote my webinars on social media, I usually create custom images:
Not only do they get more attention, but they also get shared more.
If you create a custom video to promote the webinar, make it great. If you can get people sharing it, it can lead to thousands of views and hundreds of visits to your webinar signup page.
2. Re-design your website to focus on your webinars
Webinars are something you can't half-commit to. You either go all in and make them your main focus or don't do it at all.
Yes, you can test them by doing a few to start off, but if that trial run goes well, decide to commit (at least for a while).
When you commit, it'll be worth it to spend extra time re-designing parts of your website to get your webinar offer in front of more of your readers.
The big opportunities are in your sidebar or content and your webinar landing page.
Start with the sidebar: Check out any blog post on NeilPatel.com when you get a chance.
You'll see this attractive image in the sidebar (or something similar):
This is one of 3 links to my webinar landing page.
These images were custom designed, but you can see that they're not that complicated or expensive to make.
Spend a bit of time or money to get some really high quality images for your sidebar to drive traffic to your webinar from your blog posts.
Next, create a landing page: All webinars should have their own landing pages.
If you're asking for webinar signups in a sidebar with a simple opt-in form, you're missing out.
A good webinar is jam-packed with value, and there's no way to explain it all in a small sidebar feature. Instead, you need a landing page where you can highlight the biggest benefits of attending the webinar:
I took it a step further when I saw the power of webinars. If you look at the NeilPatel.com homepage, it's actually a landing page for my webinar.
All that organic traffic that arrives to my website from searches such as “Neil Patel” is presented with the webinar offer. I get a lot of extra signups this way.
3. Webinars make advertising highly viable
I, and most marketers, consider webinars a form of content.
The only difference is that webinars convert much higher than other types of content.
So, while you can definitely advertise content like blog posts and e-books on “cheaper” advertising networks like Facebook, you need to have a really effective sales funnel in place if you want to profit.
Webinars are different.
You can sell high-priced products with high profit margins through webinars at an incredible conversion rate.
Say you were selling a product priced at $300 with a $100 profit margin, and you managed to get a 10% conversion rate from your webinars. (That's a pretty conservative example, by the way.)
That means you could spend $10 to acquire a single webinar viewer and still break even.
With a good landing page and a decently run AdWords campaign, you can convert visitors to webinar signups easily at the rate of over 30% (usually much more).
Accounting for 40% of signups not actually showing up for the event, you can still spend up to $1.8 per click if my math is indeed correct.
That's not a hard target to hit on an expensive advertising network like AdWords, and you can easily achieve it on most others as well.
And remember, that's a conservative case. If you have a really effective webinar, you could spend 3-4 times that and still profit.
So, while you probably don't go too crazy advertising your other content, you can get a quick and healthy return advertising your webinars.
4. Encourage sharing with your promotion
People share content all the time.
Let me rephrase that…people share great content all the time.
The great thing about webinars is that your audience already likely values them higher than any written content you create.
And it's generally true. They get an hour or so of your time to not only learn something valuable but also ask you questions live.
That means that people will share webinars.
Some will do this automatically, but others need prompting.
Start by making a thank-you page for your visitors after they register for the webinar.
On this page, you can put a lot of important information, but one of the elements should be a sharing section, complete with sharing buttons for all the major social networks.
On top of that, when you send a confirmation email about the webinar, you can add another call to action to share it.
If your niche isn't particularly social, provide a direct link to the registration page to share. Ask them to share it with their co-workers, employees, and friends.
5. Don't send a single email
Email is very important to running successful webinars.
The worst thing you can do is send a single email to ask if anyone wants to subscribe and a single email to let them know when the webinar is (after they've signed up).
I'm going to divide this into 2 main subsections: pre-signup and post-signup.
Emailing before the signup: Here, you're emailing subscribers on your existing email lists to get registrations.
There are a few key factors here:
- Send more than one email
- Be compelling
- Split test (if possible)
Starting from the top, you need to plan ahead and send at least 2-3 emails in the weeks leading up to the webinar (if it's not a frequent occurrence).
These emails should not just say “sign up for my webinar.”
Instead, approach them like any other serious piece of copy.
Here's an example of a promotional email Tim Soulo of Ahrefs sent to his list:
Notice that he came up not only with a good, benefit-driven headline but also with 3 more specific benefits that he knows his subscribers are interested in.
Just like any other good email would have, this one also has clear calls to action on their own lines.
Finally, he takes it one step further by limiting the number of viewers to 250 to leverage the power of scarcity.
If you send a single email, make it like this one.
If possible, treat your webinar like a product launch, and send a few emails beforehand to build anticipation (e.g., “we'll be showing you soon how we do things behind the scenes-live…stay tuned”).
Emailing after the signup: These emails are just as important, if not more important, than the pre-signup emails.
You'll never get 100% of people who signed up for your webinar to show up for it.
A decent chunk of them, say 20%, just plain can't make it due to scheduling issues.
Then, another chunk will simply forget about the webinar. That's usually another 20-40%.
You can reduce this percentage significantly by sending reminders about the webinar. An effective default schedule is:
- 1 day before
- The morning of
- 1 hour before
- Just as it's starting
This ensures that very few people who sign up forget about it.
You can also follow Gael Breton's lead and send a final email the day before to the rest of your list (that didn't sign up) to see if they want to join at the last minute:
6. Make use of your thank-you page
One final way that is really effective to get more webinar signups is to create a custom thank-you page for new email subscribers.
On top of your typical thank-you message for new email signups, you need to highlight your next webinar and include a call to action that lets them register for it.
This is something Tim Paige from LeadPages did with great success (example below):
He was able to double the number of his webinar attendees by making this one simple change.
In addition, it's great for starting a relationship because you're giving away something of high value right away to your new subscribers.
I really hope that if you haven't yet given webinars a try, you will now.
While you might be afraid you won't have enough viewers, if you use the tactics in this post, you'll be able to get 50-100 at a minimum.
That's enough to get some practice with webinars and still make anywhere from 5-15 sales in most cases.
Keep in mind that you don't necessarily need to use every single one of these tactics. Instead, pick a few that fit your business, and get really good at them.
I'd love to hear about your experiences with webinars and the most effective ways for you to drive traffic to them. Please share them in the comments below-I'll be waiting!