Webinar Invitation Best Practices

I wanted to share with you a couple of  suggestions on how to make your webinar invitation more compelling and provide a desire for a prospect to actually take action and register for the event.webinar email invite

The email invitation is obviously very critical to maximizing webinar attendance. The headline needs be attention grabbing, even bordering on controversial.

Next, make sure to spell out  WIIFM (and no, that’s not a radio station).  Before they sign up your prospective audience is asking themselves:  “What’s in It For Me?” – and you have about 10 seconds to answer  that question in a compelling way. Tell them specifically who should attend and what benefit they’ll get from it.

Tell them what they’re going to learn is either going to make them money or save them money – or make them better in some measurable way. If you can translate what they will learn into a potential dollar value – even better. You need to hit an emotional chord…and you need to create urgency.

As far as format is concerned –  you want to do it with bullets and limited images – not boring paragraphs of text.  Including a picture of the speaker makes the webinar seem more real. And make sure you spell out the call to action, if you want them to register put a Register Now button at the top, middle and end of the invitation.

Don’t forget about time zones, remember when planning your webinar set the time that is appropriate and convenient for your anticipated audience.

The invitation is a critical piece. Spend time on it, get input from others, and get it right.

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Tips to Attract Audience for Webinars

A successful webinar means getting people to attend. Most of you will have an existing email list that you can market to and, make no mistake,  that has to be your main method for attracting registrants. However, here are a couple of additional and inexpensive ideas that can expand your marketing reach.

  1. It’s a good idea to approach potential partners and affiliates and ask them to market to their lists as well. You can share exposure and leads for mutual benefit. “Spread that email net”
  2. You’ll also want to promote your event via Twitter feeds, industry blogs and specific LinkedIn Groups with a link to your registration page.
  3. You may also want to consider Pay-per-click advertising.  For as little as $7/day you can create a compelling ad and link it to your registration page.

And finally, there are a number of web sites with online calendars that allow you to post and promote your webinars for free.  They include:










Google them – there may be more by now.

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Why Are Webinars and Virtual Events So Effective?

by Bruce Newman –  President, wwWebevents.com

The number and importance of webinars and webinar listings has surged in the past few years.  The many reasons for this include: the greatly reduced costs of development, attending, travel (which is usually eliminated) and overhead.  It’s much easier for people to attend a webinar when all they need to do is make a few clicks on a computer versus the high cost of travel and lost time.

Numerous studies depict the importance and effectiveness of webinars.  A recent Marketing Sherpa study showed that the second-most effective social marketing tool after website design (including management and optimization) was virtual events and webinars.  (I will illustrate this point more extensively in an upcoming free webinar that I am developing and expect to announce next week.)

The numbers show that web events are effective. The question is why.

The simple answer is that they allow a presenter to reach a huge worldwide audience in which people can attend a web event from almost any location.  I have attended both virtual events and webinars with people from all over the world.  (Time zones can be a problem as one attendee complained that the class he was taking met at 3:00AM, his time.)

Webinars in particular, must be effective or people wouldn’t attend them or would quickly leave – the bane of most webinar presenters.  The level of webinar effectiveness can vary enormously depending on the presentation, the content and the presenter.  It is truly amazing how much even just the pace of a presentation can affect its success.

One expert closer, Dave VanHoose, whose accolades include America’s Trainer of the Year in 2011 and Platform Closer of the Year, charges $15,000 per day to help clients improve their presentations. There is a science involving webinar presentations that when properly implemented can produce significantly improved results.  Incidentally, he also strongly advocates the use of a mirror when doing any online presentation.

Another reason for web event effectiveness is their ability to target a specific topic.  People who attend the webinar are usually highly focused on its specific content – and they won’t tolerate any deviations or surprises.  By identifying their objectives, webinar providers can better allow their potential audience to decide whether or not to attend; they don’t have as much at stake as someone attending an in-person seminar.

One final aspect about webinars: they are live (or at least they appear live to their audience).  Webinar attendees believe they are a part of a massive group; they know there could be a lot of other people attending but they can’t see them. Yet, their reactions are usually as a group and not as an individual.  Suppose a webinar is offering a limited service that is very attractive, for example.  Every attendee is aware of the offer and that potentially many other attendees may also find the offer attractive.  Since they have no way of judging the number or interest of the other attendees for the offer, they are more prone to immediately make the purchase.  By its very nature, the webinar has provided a strong call to action for its attendees to obtain the service now, before the other audience members (i.e. potential competitors) take a similar action.

The effectiveness of web events along with their costs are the key reason why companies are increasingly including web events in their marketing plans and beginning to place additional emphasis on their presentations.

Bruce Newman is the president at wwWebevents.com and an expert on web events (webinars and virtual events) and social media marketing.  Sign up for free at wwWebevents.com to learn about upcoming webinars and receive notifications of upcoming web events in only those areas you specify.  Additional services include: social media and webinar development services to significantly enhance results and a popular newsletter (circ. 10,000+).

Email:  bnewman@wwwebevents.com

Web: http://wwWebevents.com

Blog: http://blog.wwWebevents.com

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Tips to Keep Your Audience Engaged and Your Webinar on Track

First – review the promotional material to see what was promised and get to it as quickly as possible in the presentation.  No matter how interesting your other information might be, it must take a back seat to the material the audience expects to get.

Second – Tell your audience what they are going to learn, then deliver your information in the same order, at the end, summarize what they have just learned.

Third – Over 45 minutes to an hour, people’s attention tends to drift. You need to find ways to repeatedly capture the audience’s attention by:

  1. Using  polling questions and sharing results
  2. Changing your vocal style
  3. A teaser for what’s coming up next
  4. Basically anything that will get the audience listening to you again.

Fourth – Make sure you follow-up quickly after the event on any promises you made.  If  you said you would be sending something additional (even if it just a copy of your presentation) – do it that day.

And most importantly – There is no substitute for rehearsal time.  If you don’t recite your entire presentation out loud, you can’t check your timing.  You have to deliver the full presentation before the audience hears it, otherwise you’ll end up fumbling during transitions and looking unprofessional in front of your audience – which pretty much defeats the whole purpose of the webinar right?

Posted in Webinar Planning, Webinar Tips, Webinars | 1 Comment

How to Begin a Webinar: On Time and On Topic!

One of the worst mistakes to be made when presenting a webinar is to show a lack of respect for the listeners.  Yet many speakers don’t realize this is exactly what they are doing when they start a webinar late or begin with a drawn-out introduction.

There is seldom a valid, technical reason for a late start.  And it is unfair to accommodate tardy arrivals at the expense of those who are prompt. As for the introduction, a lengthy celebration of the speaker’s career belongs in the promotional material, not the presentation. And finally, the historical background of the topic should be covered concisely, and only if it is truly relevant.

Webinars cost money, even when offered for free.  Time is money. In addition to time, many webinars cost a significant amount of cash.  Then the financial hit is a double whammy for listeners.  So we can’t blame them when they are harsh critics if they feel there has been insufficient return on their investment.webinar tips

Ken Molay, of the WebinarBlog.com, recently posted “Just Start Already” in protest of use of the phrase “before we get started”.   Ken urges speakers to “skip the introduction and get to the information”.  As he correctly points out, “Your audience knows why they are present. They didn’t just happen to be scanning the radio dial and trip across your webinar by accident.” (http://wsuccess.typepad.com/webinarblog , Sept 2011).

Webinar registrations often represent multiple listeners.  One connection can actually be two to three people together in an office, or an even larger gathering in a conference room. Whether those listeners are groups of professionals or lone individuals, they don’t appreciate their time being wasted. They will undoubtedly be evaluating the benefit versus the cost.

Speakers need to live up to the expectations that were set when promoting the webinar.  If presenters are worried that they don’t have enough useful material, they should consider scheduling a shorter webinar, or doing more research. Filler certainly isn’t needed; however, it is easily recognized.

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Conferencing Tips Part 3 – Benefits of Recording Audio Conference Calls

Virtually all conferencing providers offer a recording feature which allows you to record your conference call. Recordings are digital and usually accessible via a toll-free number.

What you’re looking for in Recording and Replay functionality is:

  • Being able to start recording at any time during a conference call.
  • Having control as you record – by pausing and resuming recording.
  • You should also be able to use your touch-tone phone to start and end recording.
  • Playback is usually over the phone – with the listener having control using touch-tone commands on their phone keypad – including start, stop, rewind and fast forward.
  • You should also be able to save your recording as an audio link to be downloaded to your computer for permanent access.

In addition to the telephone, the  Audio file can be listened to on any MP3 player, including iPhones – or directly from your computer using iTunes, RealPlayer or Windows Media Player.

You can even save your recording to a CD for a permanent archive.

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Conferencing Tips Part 2 – Using Moderator Controls

Here are a few quick tips to help you get the most out of your audio conference call.

Using  the name announcement feature, where the system announces who has joined the call, can be really useful – but only for small calls. With a large number of participants, some will come late, some will potentially leave early, and you don’t want their names being announced and interrupting the call for everyone else.

Many conferencing platforms have an online viewing feature which allows you to see who is on the call while its in progress. This avoids the name announcement issues for larger groups.

This online viewing feature should also give you the ability to mute or even terminate a participant. The muting feature is particularly useful when you have a lot of participants. There is nothing worse than background noise or ‘music on hold’ playing into the conference. The ability to mute and unmute is usually also available on the phone keypad of the moderator.

Now not all of these features are available from all providers – so do your homework and make sure to pick one that will accommodate your needs.

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