With traditional marketing tactics getting less effective, marketers always look for innovative ways to acquire and grow their audience. And hosting a webinar is one such marketing tactic that has been proven time and again and highly result-oriented for lead nurturing and conversions.
Yes, you heard it right. It is a webinar — the online seminar that we all know, yet we rarely make it a part of our online marketing strategy.
Webinars can drive your business to new levels, as they help you achieve conversions by making your product sound irresistible to the people who need it the most. Sadly, very few companies actually use them. Even many attendees aren’t pleased about their first impression of a webinar. It reminds them of the salesy slides, boring speakers, and cliche topics.
Still, webinars continue to thrive as one of the most effective marketing tactics, and you probably know the reason. The difference lies in the way we conduct it and whether we use an effective webinar funnel or not.
Conducting a webinar is not a costly affair and is relatively faster. Furthermore, it is accessible for all. According to a study, 73% of B2B marketers and sales staffers admit that webinar is the best tactic to generate quality leads.
You can make a lot of money by building a successful webinar sales funnel. So, in this article, we will discuss how to create excellent webinar funnels and how to optimize them for conversion. The post will also discuss how to use this funnel repeatedly and still generate revenue.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
A webinar funnel is designed and frequently used to convert website visitors into leads and leads into customers. You can use inbound and outbound marketing tactics such as Facebook marketing, influencer marketing, SEO, or affiliate programs to divert traffic to your webinar registration page.
The people who fill up the registration form are then taken to a “Thank You” page to find a link to attend the webinar. If the visitors sign up before the scheduled time, they can join the live session using the link. If they miss it, they can request the webinar recording.
The process is pretty simple and can be explained with the help of these flowcharts.
Hosting a webinar is a tried and tested method of generating leads and sales.
Apart from the webinar funnel, there can be several other types of marketing funnels that you can use. So, why do the marketers love the webinar funnel so much? The reason lies in its effectiveness and power to generate leads and conversions.
People love to consume video content more than other forms of content like blog posts, ebooks, and whitepapers. 72% of consumers prefer video content over blog posts. Therefore, compared to downloadable lead magnets such as eBooks, tutorials, or white papers, webinars produce more ROI.
So, we can safely say that a webinar funnel is the most potent sales funnel for leads and conversions.
When you start experimenting with webinars, you also tap a sizable chunk of the audience that prefers watching videos to reading an eBook.
But, before you take a step further, go through the three most frequent but deadly mistakes people make.
Now let’s have a look at some startling webinar funnel facts and stats:
We have compiled some highly informative facts and stats from the Australian Marketing Institute’s Blog Marketing Voice. These facts will immensely help you if you are planning to host a webinar:
Webinars are gaining tremendous popularity these days as these are one of the most effective ways to reach your potential audience. Even though people prefer a Zoom meeting over a webinar, webinars are turning into highly effective marketing vehicles, as they are known to grab people’s attention toward your brand.
The primary reason is that you get the opportunity to present your topics during the webinar, which adds a personal touch, and you get your audience’s uninterrupted attention for almost half an hour.
So, it serves many purposes, including creating brand awareness, building relationships, attracting new leads, and then nurturing them.
However, experienced marketers consider it the first step towards nurturing those leads into paying customers.
Here are the seven simple steps to build your webinar funnel:
You can create a great landing page on your website to get people to sign up for your webinar. So, it would act as your campaign hub. Many landing page builder templates are available online, and you can use a template that matches your brand. Here are a few page elements that you can design specifically for the purpose so that more and more people can sign up directly from the landing page:
A headline is the first thing your visitors see, so it should be compelling and attention-grabbing. While running paid ads on Google, you might be using your headline in your ad, so make sure it is clickable.
It is essential to share the benefits an attendee would receive by joining your webinar. People are always curious to know how something can help them and add value to their lives before committing their time and attention. It will help them sign up for the webinar and provide their email address.
Even the best landing pages aren’t going to work in the absence of a call to action. It should have high visibility enhanced by contrasting colors. It should be the first thing the visitor sees when they come to your landing page.
Lead capturing is an essential element of marketing and outreach, but in the beginning, you should restrict it to just the email and the first name of the prospect.
Now that your stunningly beautiful landing page is ready with eye-catching visuals and a compelling copy, it’s time to promote it online. You can leverage your social media properties and share your landing page link to inform and invite attendees to the event.
Facebook and Google are respected worldwide for their online marketing capabilities. If you want to promote your webinar, both these platforms can attract hundreds of leads. Facebook hyper-targeting based on different demographic attributes can do miracles and get more and more people to sign up for your webinar.
Google pays more attention to intent-based search terms. Besides providing you several quality leads, it will also extend your brand awareness among the untapped audiences.
So, when a searcher uses a keyword that matches your campaign keywords, Google flashes your ad in front of them, expanding your reach. If their need matches with the webinar topic and you have used an enticing ad copy, they will likely click on it and sign up for the webinar. Google Ads has a very high CTR of 7%.
Here are a few tips to increase engagement on your ads:
1. Your ad headline should be similar to your landing page headline. It will help you synchronize your ad with your campaign to achieve more conversions.
2. To better target audiences, you should include your webinar topic keywords in your ad copy.
When it comes to hyper-targeting, Facebook is the social media king. For example, in your field, you can choose English-speaking people who work in digital marketing and those who have liked your and your competitors’ FB pages. That is why you can use Facebook ads to increase awareness and also to boost conversions.
To achieve the best results from Facebook ads, you should try the following:
Facebook and Instagram are all about images. People look at the picture first and then read the content. So, make sure that the images you use are attractive and possibly color-contrasted. The visuals should explain the topic clearly without saying a single word.
As explained earlier, Facebook hyper-targeting capabilities can do wonders to your campaigns. You can try many things on Facebook, such as hyper-targeting based on its vast demographic data that enables you to target lookalike audiences, custom audiences, interest targeting, and website custom audiences.
Facebook looks like a platform for retailers mainly, but it’s also suitable for B2B marketing. The reason is almost everybody is on Facebook for work or personal reasons. So, you will find content marketers, digital marketers, chief financial officers, and even CEOs on Facebook. With decision-makers present on the platform, you can very well use it for B2B marketing.
Remarketing is a highly effective online marketing strategy. With decreasing attention span online, it is crucial to bring back the bounced traffic.
You eventually attracted targeted traffic to your website, but it bounced off due to some reason. Instead of reinventing the entire wheel and wasting time and money to attract new traffic, you should bring back your lost traffic.
For webinar marketing, retargeting works in the following manner.
Remarketing is said to increase the conversion rate by a whopping 147%. If you can direct the visitors to the specially designed personalized landing pages, the conversion will multiply further.
One of its significant advantages is increasing brand awareness even if it doesn’t convert the page visitor.
When someone signs up for your webinar, make sure that he attends it. Since it’s a free webinar, chances are they might ignore, forget, or back it off. To make them participate in the event, you need to kick start an email marketing automation campaign. As soon as a prospect converts and signs up for the webinar, you need to instantly send them a thank you email and share the benefits they will receive by attending it.
Soft marketing should start at this point, and you should begin to share valuable content with them. However, it should be very limited in the beginning. Don’t do anything that may annoy or put off your customers. Also, tell them who you are and what your approach would be during the entire contract period. Share your mission statement, vision, and values. To sum up, you can take this opportunity to create some brand awareness as well.
Don’t forget to send a reminder email a few days before the webinar. Send a third email a few hours before the webinar starts.
A few harmless emails would increase your attendance rate and would also act as icebreakers with your attendees, who are strangers to you and your brand.
As discussed earlier, your relationship with your customers doesn’t end when they attend your webinar. It starts from that point, and savvy marketers know that the process of lead nurturing has begun.
So, the first thing you can do is send a “thank you” email to all of your attendees. You’re fresh in their mind, and it is the best time to capitalize on this warm new relationship. When they have just entered into your funnel, you need to engage them and keep them moving along the funnel. You should also take this opportunity to send them to your free trial page or VIP demo to encourage them to move to the next stage of the funnel.
A few days later, you should send the webinar recording to the attendee to remind them about their experience. If you have made it publicly available by publishing it on your website, you can send them a link along with the transcript. You can start engaging them and also ask them to share the recording with their friends. Make sure that you don’t hurry up and make a mess of your sales process.
Sale is a delicate process, so start sharing with them the links to your content related to the webinar topic. For example, if your webinar is about growth hacking, you can send them an eBook on easy-to-use growth hacking techniques.
Sending an eBook as a gift to your webinar attendees serves many purposes. Apart from lead capturing, you can use an eBook to educate your products, create brand awareness, and sign up people for your newsletter, etc.
If you have a dedicated landing page for your eBooks, it’s okay. Otherwise, you can create a separate landing page for each one of your eBooks that can be used for lead capturing as well. This page will only have one easy-to-download PDF file with little to no distraction and a simple opt-in form.
The best way would be to create a unique and personalized post-webinar landing page. You would thank the attendee for participating in the webinar, offering a free helpful ebook. Ensure that the eBook has quality content and comprehensive information.
The attendees will love to receive an ebook with valuable and easy-to-implement tips that a person will not find anywhere easily. An eye-catching multicolor eBook with attractive typesetting, images, tables, and graphics can be fantastic.
Your second post-webinar email will direct the recipient to your free trial landing page. Similar to the tactic we discussed above that involves creating personalized landing pages to download ebooks, we would suggest you create a unique landing page for your webinar campaign as well. The more personalized it is, the deeper connection you’ll establish with your audience. Use your soft skills and persuasive copywriting to convert.
Once your prospect has signed up for the free trial, don’t leave them alone. Offer genuine help and lots of support, so they can successfully use your product. Contact them to know if they have any questions. Maybe they are stuck somewhere yet feel reluctant to ask for help. When the free trial period is about to end, release another email that re-emphasizes the value of your product. Explain the benefits and support your claims through case studies and examples. Use videos as your preferred content format.
The market is often unpredictable and if still, your prospects don’t sign up for the paid program, maintain your calm. Send another email, thank them for everything and ask them to join you at major social media sites. You can provide them with the links to your social media accounts for quick action.
We have discussed above how many people don’t have a very positive impression of a webinar. There can be several reasons for that, but the most prominent ones can be the non-interactive nature of your webinars. Here are a few mistakes people make while hosting a webinar.
If the presenter is non-interactive and parrots the script through the microphone, the attendees will soon realize this, and your webinar will get deserted in no time.
Even though the webinar format is already fundamentally interactive, the presenter should make extra efforts to engage. They should address the audience’s pain points and keep them hooked through light humor and lots of practical examples. 88% of marketers admit that interactive content separates them from their competitors.
Keep the live chat feature on and ask your audience to drop questions. Occasionally ask them to drop different numbers such as 3,4, or 5 to confirm if they agree with you during their conversations. Host a live Q& session at the end. Make sure that your session is entertaining and you’re clear in your communication. Furthermore, the webinar host should be passionate and energetic. The host should try to deliver helpful content without sounding too salesy.
Chad Kodary, the CEO of DashClicks, employs these methods in his highly engaging webinars.
Watch the entire webinar at YouTube: Get Clients for Your Digital Marketing Agency in 2019 on Autopilot – Marketers Mindset Ep. 1
Even if you have some free time, you wouldn’t want to listen to a sales pitch. So, act as a problem solver during your webinar and genuinely try to solve users’ problems. Try to tone it down and offer valuable and personalized content. Sale is a process, and you will lose your prospects if you skip the steps involved. However, it doesn’t mean that making sales is forbidden in a webinar. You need to act as a problem solver for your audience rather than a pushy salesman who is only interested in selling his products and services. If your content resonates better, sales will follow for sure.
If your presentation is not well-planned, people might abandon it midway. In other words, you shouldn’t use your slide deck as a teleprompter. Prepare in advance and keep it exciting and engaging. Keep a brief copy ready for each slide and use lots of graphics and images. Visual content is better for retention as compared to audio content.
Use storytelling during your webinar rather than making it look like a monotonous and boring classroom lecture, and you should do it throughout the session. Stories are up to 22 times more memorable than plain facts and theoretical stuff.
One of the reasons people don’t get much response and receive a lower count of attendees is that they schedule their webinars at the wrong time. Here are a few tips to overcome this issue:
If you have a series of webinars to conduct, schedule them at a fixed time each week. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are considered suitable for hosting webinars as the headcount is highest on these days of the week.
Similarly, the best time to conduct a webinar, according to WebinarNinja, is between 11 am to 2 pm in your audience’s primary time zone. But, since it’s not applicable for all kinds of audiences, better do a telephonic and online survey to find out their best and most convenient slot. According to GoToWebinar, 58% of webinars run between 45 and 60 minutes.
Transitioning from free training to your sales pitch/offer can be the most challenging part of a webinar. If it’s not handled in an articulated manner, it may turn off your audience.
The good news is there is a simple workaround for this. During the transitioning, you can say something like this:
“So, now I would like to draw your attention to something that I’m fascinated with. I believe that this can change many lives and boost the prospects of struggling businesses. However, I need your permission before I share it with you. If you guys are interested to know more about XYZ(mention your product or services), then type “4” in the chat bar.”
In the end, don’t forget to promote your webinar across all the channels such as social media, blogs, your website home page, a dedicated landing page, and forums. Email marketing is also an integral part of the webinar sales formula. Email drives 57% of webinar registrations, which is by far the highest for any marketing channel. Registrations start flooding a week before and may happen on the day the webinar is scheduled for. Ask people to add it to their calendars. Send a lot of reminders till it happens. People are extremely busy, and they tend to forget things if not reminded. The promotion doesn’t end after the webinar is over. Almost 26% of people who sign up don’t even plan to attend. They want to watch the recording.
Nothing is quite as bad as a thankless gesture. So, it can be a big mistake not to reward your attendees. A valuable freebie or a small gift can make a big difference when people don’t expect it. It’s an excellent way to attract a stranger toward your brand and product, get them to try it, and make them aware of its value. It needn’t be anything expensive, so an eBook, template, cheat sheet, access to an online course, or a downloadable product that might benefit them will do. A freebie or a gift creates a sense of reciprocity, so it works wonders for your marketing effort. It’s found that free samples can boost conversions by 25-30% in a restaurant. The same strategy can multiply your online sales by as much as 2,000%.
The most significant benefit of building a powerful webinar funnel is that it increases your customer touchpoints, creates interest in your brand, and gets you lots of sales and conversions. The 7-step process to building webinar funnels will change the game for you. Include webinars in your marketing strategy and use them for creating brand awareness, building relationships, and conversions. Do some A/B testing for landing pages and ads and see what works best. A slight variation in the landing pages may lead to a significant spike in conversions, which could translate into a business worth thousands of dollars.