At KISSmetrics, we held 77 webinars with great results. You can safely assume that we would have stopped holding webinars long ago if the results had been less than desirable since we are a company that measures everything.
So, what have the webinars yielded? The 77 webinars have brought us an additional 518,399 visitors, of which 155,386 have registered to attend a webinar. However, only 74,4381 of those who registered ended up attending, and 16,394 turned into leads.
Assuming that you can close at least 1 out of 20 leads (a low closing ratio) and that each customer is worth at least a few thousand dollars, you’re looking at generating $1,638,000 in revenue by conservative estimates.
So, how did we pull this off, and, more importantly, how can you replicate it? Here’s what you need to know…
General webinar rules
Over the last few years, we have tested webinars a lot – so much so that we have dozens of A/B tests showing us what’s working and what isn’t. When we combined our data with data we got from a few other webinar marketers, here’s what we found to be the optimal solution:
- GoToWebinar – for some weird reason, most people enjoy using GoToWebinar. Whenever we’ve tried other webinar software solutions, our attendance rate dropped. It’s not just us either… Digital Marketer experiences the same thing every time they do a webinar. Even though GoToWebinar’s pricing and software isn’t the most flexible, you should still stick with it. In general, we saw an increase in attendance by approximately 21% whenever we used GoToWebinar.
- Don’t make each attendee a lead – people will have to register to view your webinar, and this is fine. But don’t automatically consider each attendee a lead… Sure, this may skyrocket your lead count, but your sales guys will end up wasting time, and you’ll tick off your attendees.
- Always record your webinars – once you do, you can reuse and republish them online. This will help you generate more traffic and leads in the future.
- Provide a date and time – even though you are recording your webinars, you should have live ones. This allows for interactive question-answer periods. When you have live webinars, make sure you give people advance notice on the time and date. You should also provide a link to this time zone converter so that your potential attendees know what time the webinar will start, depending on where they live.
Now that we’ve covered some of the basic rules, let’s dive into what your webinar pages should look like.
If you look at the above screenshot, you’ll see a description of our webinar on the right and a webinar opt-in form on the left. You’ll notice a few things…
We first tested how having detailed copy describing the webinar affects registrants. In other words, the original version looked like this:
And the variation was much more detailed:
We found that a more detailed version of the webinar description converted 12.8% better than the original, with a 98% confidence interval. This means that if we keep the more detailed description as a default, there is a 98% chance that our registration numbers will increase by 12.8%.
Then we tested having the form fields on the left versus the right. Here is what the right variation looked like:
We found that having form fields on the left side converted 15% better than having form fields on the right side.
After that test, we decided to see how bios affect registration rates. At the end of each webinar, by default we included a bio of each presenter.
We tested having a bio for each presenter, having a bio for only one presenter, and removing the bios altogether. The removal of the bios was the winner: it increased the conversion rate by 19.3% with a confidence interval of 99.96%.
We also tested a lot of other things, but the tests were a wash because they neither improved nor hurt the conversions. These tests included:
- Number of form fields – we have settled on having a lot of required fields because we found that whether you have many or few, you receive roughly the same number of registrants – so you might as well collect more information, which will allow you to better segment your attendee list.
- Fancy design versus simple design – we’ve tested a lot of visual elements within our designs, and we found that none of them impacted registration rates.
- Button color for webinar – like in most other A/B tests, button colors usually don’t have a huge impact on registration.
- Button copy – we tested multiple copies of the button and found that since each webinar topic is different, there wasn’t one clear winner.
Before we dive into how to get registrants, let’s first discuss how you can convert webinar attendees into customers.
How to sell during the webinar
We tried many different approaches to get people to sign up for KISSmetrics. Here is what seems to work:
- Give value before you ask for anything – before you pitch your product or service to anyone, make sure you help them out first. Educate them and help solve their problems – then you can ask people to check out whatever you are pitching.
- Brand your slides – your webinar presentation design should be branded with your company logo. This helps keep your business in the back of your attendees’ minds.
- Only mention your company or service offering if it makes sense – hard sells weren’t very effective for us. Whenever we tried pushing our product down people’s throats, we weren’t effective. If we mentioned our product when it made sense and opted for a soft sell, we generated more leads and sales.
- Leave room for questions – we tried to leave roughly 30 minutes at the end of each webinar for questions. This showed our attendees that we care about helping each and every one of them, and it created a stronger bond with them. In the long run, this helped us convert more attendees into customers.
- Make them a unique offer – if you offer your webinar attendees something unique that they can’t find on your website, you’ll typically see an increase in sales that can range from 5% all the way up to 60%, depending on how good your offer is.
- Launch a poll – during our webinar, we ask people to respond to a poll. One of the poll questions asks if they are interested in a demo of our product. GoToWebinar then shows you an attendee report that indicates each attendee’s interests; you can then forward that report to your sales people.
- Ask people if they are interested in your product when they register – our highest converting offer was during the registration process. Our last question before our prospects could join the webinar asked if they wanted a “demo of our product.” We found that most of the leads were driven by this question. We also found that offering a demo converted over 10% better than offering a free trial.
Now that you’ve figured out that step, you are ready to drive traffic to your webinar.
How to drive traffic to your webinar
Driving traffic to webinars isn’t very difficult. Here’s what we’ve learned:
- Emails convert the best – the simplest way to drive people to your webinars is to email your blog readers or your customer list. You shouldn’t see any pushback if you ask them to join a webinar that is educational.
- Leverage your blog – whether or not you have an email list, hopefully you have a blog. Our second highest converting channel for webinar registrations is our blog. Every time we create a blog post, we generate hundreds – if not thousands – of attendees.
- Social media – by tweeting, Facebooking, and sharing your webinar details on other social sites, you should be able to gain registrants. If you work in a large company, have all of your coworkers share your webinar on their social profiles.
- Let past attendees know – assuming you are doing webinars on a regular basis, you’ll quickly build a list of people who have attended past webinars. You can notify these people every time you have a new webinar.
- Partner up – find other businesses in related spaces, and partner up with them. You can leverage both — your own and your partners’ — blogs and audiences, which works extremely well. This channel should be your best channel for conversions… It wasn’t for us, but it was mostly because our blog is already so popular that partnering up with someone else provides more benefits to our partners than to us.
- Always leave your webinars up – as you can see, KISSmetrics has a page dedicated to webinars. This helps us continually collect leads from older webinars, which works really well. Old webinars now account for over 20% of our webinar leads on a monthly basis.
The hardest part about webinars isn’t getting the registrants or even converting people into customers. It’s taking the time and energy to create the material for the webinar and put one together.
For us at KISSmetrics, this is a bit easier because my co-founder and I speak so often at conferences that we are able to reuse some of our information. If you don’t have hundreds of PowerPoint presentations at your fingertips, expect that it will take you time to create these webinars.
Nonetheless, it is worth the effort. If you don’t believe me, just look at our numbers.
So, when are you going to start leveraging webinars?