The Perfect Webinar Funnel

Webinars can be a great tool for content delivery and, more importantly, for turning prospects into buyers.  If someone is willing to give you their time, they are typically a lot more open to the idea of giving you some of their money, too.

But, webinars have some major flaws as well. Fortunately, a webinar doesn’t have very many moving parts. There are so many tools out there to create and play back webinars, that you should be able to execute a really successful webinar funnel in just a few hours, even if you’re not technical at all.

First, you need a webinar registration page. This is pretty easy to do; a good, benefit-driven title and bullets with a picture is all you need to be 90% done with this part.

If you’re doing a “one-off” webinar and don’t need it to be “perpetual” or “evergreen” (meaning that it happens every week or every day), I would suggest using a service like GoToWebinar to create your registration page and handle the actually delivery of your webinar.

GoToWebinar’s registration pages are simple to build and typically get really high conversion or registration rates.

Capitalize on Scarcity

Now, one of biggest benefits of the webinar model is that it’s event driven, so it has built-in scarcity. However, that can be a major flaw if you’re not careful.

Think about it from an opportunity-cost position for a minute.  If you’re mailing your list for a normal promotion, users have the ability to click a link in the email, go to a sales page and buy a product or service.  So it’s easy to determine your EPC (Earnings-Per-Click) on that promotion. If it’s not up to par, you can make some changes or switch to a different promo with minimal opportunity cost in your marketing calendar.

Unfortunately, with a webinar, you don’t know if the promotion is a success or not until after you’ve mailed typically 3-4 times.  You can’t go back and notsend those mails…

So how do you overcome that exposure and potential opportunity cost? Hedge your bet and make an immediate offer to registrants — after they sign up to attend your webinar, but before you take them to the confirmation page.

It works just like a traditional upsell page. So what kind of offers work best? Continuity trials and bucket offers.

If you have a continuity offer, this is the perfect time to offer a free (or low-ticket) trial, adding in some additional bonuses to sweeten the deal.  A well put together continuity trial offer can convert at over 20% on the back of a webinar sign up page.

Think about that; if you register 2,000 people for a webinar and you can put 200 of them into your continuity or subscription program, you’ve just lessened the blow to your month’s revenue if the webinar happens to bomb (yes, it happens).

Don’t worry if you don’t have a continuity or subscription program, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your webinar registrants an offer. You can put together a bundle, or bucket offer, of several of your products at a discount (60% off works well). Sometimes this actually converts better than a straight continuity play.

However, that’s not your only other option.

Spilling the Beans

Remember when I said webinars have “flaws,” as in plural?  Another major flaw with webinars is that, if you do a really good job reminding people to show up, you’re still probably only going to get half of them to attend the webinar.

That’s a bummer, but it also gives you the opportunity to make the registrants an offer for the product that you’re selling on the webinar.  This can seem counter-intuitive — you don’t want to “spill the beans,” do you?

Let’s think about that for a minute.  If only 50% of the people that register actually attend, and only 15% – 20% of the people actually say “yes” to your immediate offer, what are the possible risks?

Well, one possible risk is that the people who already saw the offer (and actually attend the webinar) and said “no” will see the offer again.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Traditional logic is that once someone says “no” to an offer, you’ve got to work twice as hard to get him or her to say “yes.” In this particular scenario, I’d challenge that logic a bit.

Depending on your price point (which shouldn’t be any lower than $500 if you’re selling it on a webinar), you might need a little more time to make the sale than a written or video sales letter can handle.  That doesn’t mean that after watching a 60-90 minute webinar that they may not change their minds.

Either way, being able to monetize your webinar before it actually happens can be the difference between a home run and a “so-so” promo … or the difference between a “so-so” promo and a total flop.

One Final Flaw

Now, let’s talk about the other biggest flaw with webinars. I’m referring to Webinar Attendance Rate.

It’s getting harder and harder to get people who register for a webinar to actually show up.  A 50% attendance rate is actually pretty good right now. So how do you make sure as many people as possible show up?

Assuming you’ve chosen a timely and benefit rich topic, attendance rate is all about the follow-up. You have to remind people, and remind them often, that they have someplace to be.

Here is how your webinar follow-up or reminder series should look:

  • Webinar Confirmation Mail – IMMEDIATELY
  • Webinar Reminder Mail #1 – 6:00am EST next day (2 days before the webinar)
  • Webinar Reminder Mail #2 – 6:00am EST next day (1 day before the webinar)
  • Webinar Reminder Mail #3 – 6:00am EST next day (day of the webinar)
  • Webinar Reminder Mail #4 – 1 hour before the webinar
  • Voice Blast Reminder – 30 minutes before the webinar
  • Text Blast Reminder – 15 minutes before the webinar

It’s important not to start promoting your webinar too early. While you will get more registrants, your attendance rate will suffer.

People have short attention spans (as well as a touch of shiny object syndrome). So if you register people too early, they’ll just forget, or some other shiny and new thing will come up in the meantime and grab their attention.

I start promoting a webinar three days before, no earlier.  Do this and follow the reminder series I outlined above, and you should see a pretty good turnout for your webinar.

Making the Good Times Last

But what happens after the webinar? This kind of depends on how successful your webinar was.

If you had a good conversion rate, or Earning-Per-Attendee, then you need to make sure as many people see your webinar as possible.  If this is the case, you need to have at least one webinar replay, but there’s a strategy here, too. Don’t just send out the video and let people watch it whenever. Schedule another timed event.

Now, you don’t have to make people register (especially if they registered the first time), but the webinar needs to start at a specific time and then end.  Doing this was a real game changer for us in the webinar follow-up process.

If you have high conversion rates from your replay, you can send out an “On-Demand Video” of the webinar; but you still need scarcity. Don’t leave the video up for more than 48 hours — and make sure people know that.

If you have a high-converting offer and you follow this plan, you will have successful webinar promotions.