I know what you’re thinking; it’s about time someone wrote the definitive guide to webinar invites. Well, here it is. As you can see by the length of the guide, this is not rocket science, as the old saying goes. Instead the secret sauce here is adherence to a small set of logical guidelines.
Webinars are an effective marketing tool and often one of the better ways to engage an audience and tell a story or present thought-leadership material. The first challenge is getting people to attend. That centers on the invite, the email sent to your audience aimed at getting them to register for the webinar.
- Sell the event. Your invites should focus on the webinar and the webinar only. This is not the place to double down on your product feature message. Focus on detailing the event specifics and justify to the reader why they should register and attend, then push them to a call to action, nothing more. Be very focused on getting registrations.
- It’s about the topic/subject. The normal rules of email marketing apply; your first concern should be the subject line and open rate. That subject is also the topic of the webinar. Much has been written about subject lines and your best bet is to test multiple times to improve response rates. Choose your subjects carefully with an eye for standing out and getting the email initiation opened.
- Tease as to what you know. I teased you into reading this article by calling it “the definitive guide.” I don’t really have to do much justification of that, yet it sounds like it comes from a high level of expertise. Once you read this, you can make your own decision.
- Detail the benefits of registering and attending the webinar. Everyone wants to know “what’s in it for me” and the people you invite to your webinar will be no different. Your invite should show what valuable information and insights the reader will find out when they attend your webinar.
- Tell them how long it will be. The intended length of the webinar should be featured prominently in the invitation. It might also be something to test; shorter webinars get more response. In any event, the reader will be making a trade-off between committing time the webinar versus what they will gain by attending. Give them all the data you can to make that decision.
- Personify the speaker. Webinars allow a nice bridge between the digital and the personal worlds and that bridge is the human that “gives” the webinar. Making that person more accessible and real (by providing a picture and short bio, for example) increases the response, as readers connect as humans to the speaker.
- Test. Then test again. Ultimately, all the best practices and how-to suggestions will pale in comparison to the power of continual testing of each stage of your lead generation loop, the email subject, the landing page, the offer. Remember also that the audience evolves as you market into it and as economic conditions change. What worked last year may not this year.
Invites are just one part of the whole webinar execution, but since the number of attendees is often the determinant of success, the invite is the perhaps most important part of the process. A bit of time improving your invite may pay off in a really good return.
What invite experiences have you had? Have you done A/B testing?
You can connect with Eric on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ericlundbohm/
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