The last two core pieces in a webinar marketing plan include the webinar invitation and getting the tactics right.

The Invitation Email

Getting your message out through your webinar invitation requires writing promotional copy that highlights the title, timing, speaker or speakers and primary benefits of attending your presentation.  A good invitation also calls your prospect to action with some urgency.

When marketing and selling something intangible such as webinar content, it is especially important to paint a vivid picture of the benefits of attending.  Many successful marketers distinguish between the “big benefit” of the webinar (that is, how will the webinar attendee’s life be better or different after attending) and the benefits of different parts of the webinar experience.

The primary or “big benefit” of the webinar is often summarized in the title of the webinar.  Secondary elements could be what they will learn, what questions will they be able to ask and get answered, what will they see or experience during the webinar, etc.

1. Subject Line – the headline
The prime benefit of the webinar could also be the subject line used for the email invitation.  While one could take an entire course on headline or title writing alone, remember that the subject line of the email is critical because it is your “ad for an ad”

2. Marketing Copy – building up interest and desire
The purpose of the webinar invitation is to “sell” the webinar and any information included should support, not detract, from this objective.  Often, one will see much of a webinar invitation devoted to background information on the company, speaker or related products or services.  This information often does nothing to educate the reader on the benefits of the webinar so it should be minimized or avoided.  One model for creating copy which gets response is the AIDA formula:  Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.  You first get their attention with the subject/headline.  Next, create interest with the initial text of your email.  This could be questions, or a nagging problem they face.  An effective way to make sure you generate their desire is to summarize the case for your webinar in three to five phrases, sentences or bullet points which are almost entirely focused on benefits.

3. The Webinar Offer and Call to Action
The description of the webinar offer includes the title, timing, speaker or speakers, and any bonuses or extras given as a part of registering or attending the webinar.  The offer also includes whether the webinar is free or has a cost.  Because webinar content can be considered the promise of future benefit, including something tangible or immediate in your offer may help increase the response.  Tangible bonuses can include writings such as a white paper, checklist or book, a free product, small giveaway or a small amount of consulting time.  A good invitation also calls your prospect to action with some urgency.  Some common strategies are to: limit the number of virtual seats available to ensure personal interaction, articulate the downside of missing out, state that the webinar is only being offered once this year or mention that this invitation is a “last chance.”  Call your prospects to action (urgently) by having them click on a direct link to the registration page, also known as the web registration form.  Remember – a strong registration form will achieve 50%+ conversion to registrant.  A weak form or cumbersome registration process will net conversion rates as low as 10% or less.

Make your layout and design decisions with the goal of getting the maximum response from the invitation.  These elements are not an end to themselves, but support the best presentation of the webinar and its benefits.

Getting the webinar invitation right means constructing a winning headline/tile, building up desire for the event through benefits, and articulating your offer and call to action in a way that moves people to register for the webinar.

Getting the Marketing tactics right – common questions and answers for better planning

Taking care to ensure the marketing tactics are executed right is vital to maximizing registrations – so much so that it should be considered in the strategy phase of planning your webinars.

When should you hold your event?
Plan to hold your event when your target market is most likely available.  For business audiences this is usually mid-week, mid-day.  For an audience such as individuals buying financial services this maybe early evening, at 7:00 PM.

How long should your marketing event last?
Generally, free marketing webinars will last between 30 and 45 minutes.  Since the average webinar attendee will tend to join the webinar about 3-5 minutes after the start time, plan your content, including questions and answers, for either 25 or 40 minutes.

Should you always record the live webinar?
Yes.  And, make sure your webinar recording is available to all registrants 12 to 24 hours after the event.  Also consider promoting the availability of the recording to your entire invitation list the week after the live webinar to take advantage of awareness built up before the live event.

What is the best reminder sequence to turn registrants to attendees?
Use an auto-responder email which sends a confirmation email at the time of registration and a minimum 24 and three hours before the webinar.

Pay attention to these core marketing strategies and your free or paid webinars are guaranteed to be successful.

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