How to Get More Webinar Attendees
Core tactics to boost your webinar numbers.
A great webinar is worthless if nobody attends it, and a webinar invitation is useless if nobody opens it. Learning how to increase webinar attendance is a complicated topic. Fortunately, others have gone before and helped identify core promotional tactics that can boost the number of webinar attendees. Here’s are some tips on how to scale your attendance and fill virtual seats.
1. Set goals
How many people can you realistically expect to attend your webinar? Unlimited attendees are theoretically possible, but it’s best to aim for a concrete number. There are two different goals you should be thinking about:
- Registration goals
More than half of your registrants will sign up for your webinar via email. The size of your email list and your average open rate can directly affect the number of people who register. How your webinar emails are crafted and delivered will also affect registration numbers. Pick a nice round number as a goal for your first presentation, and then try to increase your registrants with each successive webinar.
- Attendance goals
The average webinar attendance rate shows that 30% of those who register follow through and attend the complete webinar when it is being streamed live. Learning how to increase webinar attendance will help boost your numbers past this percentage. Once you have a list of past attendees, you can generally raise your webinar attendance statistics by encouraging their return.
2. Choose the topic wisely
The best webinar titles are ones that identify a pain point and offer a solution. The topics you choose for your webinars should provide high value to attendees while subtly positioning your brand as the solution they need. You can brainstorm ideas using data from:
- Previous webinar polls where an option was given to vote for an upcoming topic.
- An identified need from internal input, such as sales, marketing, or customer service departments.
- An identified need from external trends, such as current events or industry news.
3. Time it right
Yes, there is a best time to run a webinar. Certain hours of the day, days of the week, and parts of the month have been proven to result in higher attendance.
The best time for webinars to be presented to a U.S. audience is between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on the East Coast and between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on the West Coast. More than 50% of overall webinar attendees take part during these hours.
You can also increase webinar attendance by scheduling your presentation midweek. The best days for webinars are generally Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with three-quarters of all attendees choosing webinars held on these days.
4. Promote properly
Emails are one of the best ways to invite attendees to a webinar. Create a webinar email template for each stage of your pre-webinar promotion. Use the following timeline to increase webinar attendance:
- Starting four weeks in advance of your event can boost attendance by 12%. Use tact and politeness when inviting – you’ll be sending repeated emails, so keep them short and sweet. The best webinar reminder email samples have one thing in common – a way to add the event to the recipient’s calendar.
- A webinar reminder should be sent two weeks before your date to keep yourself on people's radar. You can expect only about 40% of your registrants to sign up before you get to the final week, so don’t panic. Some recipients may wonder if they can attend via their phone, so anticipate and answer that question in the affirmative.
- Send a third webinar reminder email one week out. Add that you are limiting seating (pick your goal number) to create a sense of urgency. Almost 60% of your registrants will respond in the final week of your promotion, so you should see things start to pick up.
- A final reminder can be sent an hour before your webinar goes live. Seventeen percent of attendees register the day of, so this can increase your numbers even more.
While more than half of your registrants will come from email, don’t forget to promote adequately across all channels, including your website and social media. Match branding but customize for each platform. Sell the event, not your product or service, and highlight the value you will provide. Remember to clarify that your event has no cost.
5. Don’t give too much away in advance
Even if you plan to record your webinar and make the recording or a transcript available later, don’t publicize this beforehand — it can cut down on live attendance. Instead, pique interest with an incentive only available to live attendees.
6. How long are webinars, ideally?
Most people are more willing to devote blocks of time to a webinar than other types of visual and audio media. One survey showed that webinars between 45 and 60 minutes in length attracted more than two-thirds of registrants. For a webinar series with a standing weekly date, a twenty-minute webinar length might be more convenient and attract a larger return audience looking for quick, high-value content.
7. Follow up
Follow up after the event with two versions of a final webinar email. For live webinar attendees, include:
- Thanks for attending the event.
- Any incentive that was promised to live attendees.
- Notes and resources from the webinar. Stats with links can make it more likely to be written about and linked back to.
- Access to a recording and transcript of the live webinar.
- An invitation to your next webinar.
For people who registered but didn’t attend, send a follow-up webinar email that provides:
- “Sorry you missed it” verbiage.
- A link to the webinar recording as a courtesy. Don’t supply notes or transcripts.
- An invitation to your next webinar with a reminder about the incentives for live attendees.
Following these guidelines can increase webinar attendance and lay the groundwork for return audiences when you provide high value in return for their time.
Get answers to all of your webinar questions.
- How long should a webinar be?
While there are no specifications for how long a webinar should be, most webinars are around 30 minutes to one hour long. The best webinars include time to interact with attendees via surveys or a question and answer session. If webinars are used for training purposes, they may last longer than an hour. The key is to engage and interact with your audience, regardless of the length of the webinar.
- How do I record a webinar?
To record a webinar with GoToWebinar, simply hit the Start Recording button on your organizer control panel. If you want, you can also customize your recording settings beforehand by selecting View and then Recording. This will open up your recording pane where you can . click Settings and adjust your audio and video options. Be sure to save your settings! Step by Step detail can be found here.
- What equipment do I need to run a webinar?
In order to hold an effective webinar, you’ll want the following equipment:
- A device that can connect to the internet. A laptop, desktop or tablet will work.
- Audio input (a headset is best, but your device’s built-in microphone will also work)
- Webcam (if you’d like to do a video broadcast)
- What is GoToWebinar?
GoToWebinar is an easy-to-use solution that enables businesses and sole proprietors to easily host webinars. GoToWebinar has a number of use cases and innovative features that enable rich and engaging webinars for connecting customers to brands.
- How much does a webinar cost?
The cost of a webinar is minimal. With Wi-Fi now available in almost all parts of the world, webinar attendees can connect with little to no cost. The main expense for a webinar host is the purchase of a webinar solution and any necessary hardware. That said, many effective webinars can be held using existing computer or laptop hardware. Find our more about pricing and plans on GoToWebinar pricing page