This post is the second in a series on webinars. While it maybe elementary to many of our expert readers, we hope the series will be valuable to those of you who are considering a webinar program. You can read the first post in the series: Webinars 101. Maybe our experts will provide some additional tips!
From a technological standpoint, hosting a webinar is easy. If you want your webinar to be successful, however, you need to put some thought and effort into it. Here are some best practices for hosting your webinar.
Determine How Your Webinar will Help Your Organization
The first thing you need to do is figure out why you want to host a webinar. State your goals very specifically, in terms of how the webinar will benefit your company. For example, "This webinar will help clients solve common product problems on their own so we can free up customer service lines for people with more complicated issues." Be careful of generalities. Don't use goals like "increase sales" or "educate customers." Instead, define specifically what you want to do with your webinar in order to increase sales or what you want to teach your customers and why.
Create a Title that will Attract Participants
Don't provide a dry, factual title! If you do, people won't sign up because they won't care about your topic. Now that you know why you are hosting the webinar, ask yourself what would attract your ideal customer. Create a title that speaks to that ideal participant's needs and interests.
Keep Registration Simple
Don't require registrants to fill out a long, involved registration form. They may be too overwhelmed or too busy to do so. As a result, they don't register. Keep registration forms simple and ask for as little information as possible. Name, email address and phone number are usually sufficient so that you can follow up with registrants and provide login information for your webinar.
Don't Overemphasize Your Programs
Your webinar should be informational, not sales-based. You can mention programs and services, but don't emphasize sales. Never put sales-based questionnaires on your registration form. When you do this, you shift the focus onto what participants can do for you instead of what you can do for them. This scares people away.
Confirm Each Person's Registration
To cut down on the possibility of no-shows, send a confirmation email as soon as you receive a registration request. You should also send reminders as the date approaches, especially if registration is far in advance of the event. Mention that you will be doing this when you send the confirmation email so you won't annoy your registrants with your emails.
Ask Registrants to Provide Questions
Giving participants the opportunity to provide questions helps ensure they are engaged with the webinar. Ask for questions ahead of time. Make it clear you may not cover every question but that you appreciate participants' input. This encourages people to attend to see if their question will be answered.
What other tips would you suggest for organizing a webinar? Be sure to check back next week for Webinars 301 and more webinar best practices.