Feature Friday: Invite From Contacts

Visit the ReadyTalk blog every Friday to learn more about a ReadyTalk feature.  

Why use this feature?

Whether collaborating with a small circle or hosting a large webinar, the Invite from Contacts feature makes it easy invite participants to your scheduled meetings. This saves you time and energy and helps you move on to the more important aspects of your day.

How to use this feature:

  • In Conference Center, click Schedule a Meeting and fill out the appropriate details
  • On the next page you’ll be taken to the Next Steps section. Under Invite Participants click the “Send Invitations” button

  • You can invite your contacts either manually or through a bulk upload.

Manual Upload

  • Start typing the name in the dialogue box. If the name is already in Conference Center, the system will auto suggest a name from your contacts. 
  • Hit enter and continue inputting names until you have completed.(**To upload your frequently used contacts into your Conference Center directory, see the section at the end of this post)

 

Bulk Upload

  • Where it says “Upload a CSV file of email addresses” click the Browse button and select your spreadsheet from your documents
  • The system will scan your list to make sure all the email addresses are valid. If there are errors, you will be prompted to fix them.

The system will validate the email address to make sure the formats are valid and show which are incorrect. It will show you which emails need to be corrected (below).

Give this feature a try the next time you are inviting meeting participants. Have a comment or question? Leave a note below…we love hearing from you!

 

 

 

**Uploading Contacts to Conference Center

As mentioned above, we recommend uploading your frequently used contacts into your Conference Center directory prior to manually inviting contacts. To do so:

  • In Conference Center, Select the Manage Contacts bar

  • Click the green button
  • Upload a .CSV file; you can upload up to 2,000 contacts

 

 

 

#Winning: 5 Tips to Webinar and Super Bowl Victory

Want to make your webinar series worthy of a Lombardi trophy? ReadyTalk will help you plan and execute your webinar like a champ. Let’s kick off your webinar the right way and secure victory against your competition. Here are a few drills to keep your webinar fans coming back for more:

  1. Draft a subject matter expert. Find a webinar speaker who’s the “Peyton Manning” of hosting live events. Popularity doesn’t hurt either. Even if they have a “Johnny Manziel” reputation, if they’re knowledgeable and engaging, leveraging your speaker’s name can help drive audience registration, resulting in more leads.
  2.  
  3. Get your audience pumped for kickoff. Since a stadium flyovers and halftime shows won’t work in this case, add pizzazz to your preview webinar slides and grab your attendees’ attention before the webcast begins. Enhance their engagement and generate excitement with trivia, pictures, music or videos.


3)    Don’t compete with the primary colors. For slide design, choose colors and fonts wisely. Stray away from conflicting and distracting colors. Although the University of Oregon and the Seattle Seahawks have creative football uniforms that encompass all sorts of colors and combinations, that is not what your webinar slides should look like.  

4)    Utilize commercial breaks. Pay attention to the clock and don’t hesitate to take timeouts. Pause the webinar and take the opportunity to poll the audience or show a quick video clip to reengage the audience.

5)    Watch the game tape. Conclude your webinar with a questionnaire asking the audience how your presentation was. Evaluate your reviews and take notes on the webinar recording to make smarter plays the next go around.
Remember that a perfect game is very rare, and a webinar may never be perfect, but with practice and lots of repetition, future success and webinar wins will result.
 

#Winning: 5 Tips to Webinar and Super Bowl Victory

Wbroncoswebinarant to make your webinar series worthy of a Lombardi trophy? ReadyTalk will help you plan and execute your webinar like a champ. Let’s kick off your webinar the right way and secure victory against your competition. Here are a few drills to keep your webinar fans coming back for more:

  1. Draft a subject matter expert. Find a webinar speaker who’s the “Peyton Manning” of hosting live events. Popularity doesn’t hurt either. Even if they have a “Johnny Manziel” reputation, if they’re knowledgeable and engaging, leveraging your speaker’s name can help drive audience registration, resulting in more leads.

  2. Get your audience pumped for kickoff. Since a stadium flyovers and halftime shows won’t work in this case, add pizzazz to your preview webinar slides and grab your attendees’ attention before the webcast begins. Enhance their engagement and generate excitement with trivia, pictures, music or videos.

  3. Don’t compete with the primary colors. For slide design, choose colors and fonts wisely. Stray away from conflicting and distracting colors. Although the University of Oregon and the Seattle Seahawks have creative football uniforms that encompass all sorts of colors and combinations, that is not what your webinar slides should look like.  

  4. Utilize commercial breaks. Pay attention to the clock and don’t hesitate to take timeouts. Pause the webinar and take the opportunity to poll the audience or show a quick video clip to reengage the audience.

  5. Watch the game tape. Conclude your webinar with a questionnaire asking the audience how your presentation was. Evaluate your reviews and take notes on the webinar recording to make smarter plays the next go around.

Remember that a perfect game is very rare, and a webinar may never be perfect, but with practice and lots of repetition, future success and webinar wins will result.
 

9 Tips to Promote and Increase Registration for Webinars

Turning prospect to client - conversion rate

A webinar is only as good as the number of attendees, and the first step in gaining attendees is registrations. In a world of endless webinars and promotions, it is not enough to just provide great and captivating content to attract registrants. You should have a promotional plan and strategy in place in order to increase registrations and awareness about your webinar.

According to Hubspot, only about 30% of the people who register actually attend the webinar. Therefore, marketers need to think about how to promote, when to promote and what to promote as it gets closer to the webinar in order to turn more registrants into attendees. Here are some ways to promote and increase registrations for your next webinar:

1. Get the topic right: An interesting and informative topic is key. Focus your webinar around a topic that is educational for your target audience and that will help them solve a problem in their organization. Having an appealing title for your webinar will also help bring in more registrations, if the prospect can quickly gather what the topic will be from the title.

2. Get the timing right: According to our data, the best days to conduct a webinar are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On Mondays and Fridays, most people are in catch-up mode, and may not want work (and work-related events) to spill over the weekend.live_demo_orange
The best time to conduct a webinar depends on the location of the majority of audience. However, according to the Webinar Benchmark Report for 2013, the best time is 11 a.m. PST.

3. Get the timing of the invitation right: Start the promotion at least a week before the webinar for best results, but expect a flurry of registrations the week of the webinar. According to the 2013 Webinar Benchmarks Report, 64% of all attendees register during the week of the event. Email promotions more than seven days before the webinar increases the size of the audience by 36%, and sending an email within one day of the event increase registration by 37%. Start promotion a week out, but keep going up to the day of the event for more registrations and attendees.

4. Have a comprehensive landing page: There is nothing more tragic than going all out via PPC ads, social media posts, and SEO marketing to bring traffic to the landing page of the webinar and to see visitors walking away without registering. It is important that the landing page is clear and includes the Who, What, When, Where and Why of the webinar. The landing page visitor should be clear as to why registering for the webinar would benefit him or her. A clear and visible link to the registration form helps as well, generally with a bright and bold CTA button.

5. Leverage social media and other relevant channels: The importance of social media is obvious. Posting news of upcoming webinars on your Facebook page or tweeting about the event is another way to attract potential registrants. Blog posts are great for providing more detail to your subscribers, and sharing links with your network on LinkedIn can help you spread the work with a relevant audience. Make sure to tailor your promotional messaging on these channels to appeal to more of your followers.

6. Use paid media: PPC ads are effective in driving leads to the webinar landing pages, and bidding on long-tail keywords helps to keep CPC costs low. Use lead management and marketing automation systems to narrow the focus and target the right audience based on industry, roles, and expression of interest. Make sure to generate a good first impression in both the advertisement that pulls people onto the landing page and the landing page itself. Both require a definite “call to action,” which, in this case, is to register.
Also, make sure that your webinar is available on-demand for continued PPC campaigns after the actual event.

7. Enter into strategic partnerships: Entering into partnerships with other individuals or brands can be very beneficial in spreading the word and driving registration. Two heads, or brands, are better than one, and partnering up can also increase your brand recognition and awareness.

8. Market through speakers: Don’t just promote the webinar through the company brand — ask the speakers of the webinars to promote the webinar among their own networks. (And don’t forget your other brand advocates!)

9. Keep it simple: Last, but not the least, keep the registration formalities to the bare minimum. Many prospects are frightened away or simply turned off by the idea of filling out a lengthy or complex form. A best practice is to simply ask for the name, email address and maybe one or two simple questions about what they are looking to get out of the webinar or what problem they’re experiencing their organization. You can gather more information during the webinar with polls and Q&A.

Webinars are a great source for new, qualified leads, where 20 – 40% of attendees can turn into qualified leads. By using these nine tips effectively, you’ll see more registrations and attendees at your next webinar. Happy webinar-ing!

Want to conduct interactive webinars? Sign up for a live demo to learn more about the ReadyTalk solution.

Fear Factor: You Mean I Have to Conduct a Webinar in Two Weeks!? Don’t Sweat It.

afraid of webinarsLet’s face it, unless you are regularly conducting web meetings or webinars, you’re going to be nervous.  And, as a matter of fact, a majority of people I talk to are thrown into it last minute. Yikes!  For the occasional user, conferencing may be a low priority and some may wait until the last minute to prepare. I mean, you have your “current” job to do and now you have to do this!? Couple this with not being able to see your audience and maybe you're new to presenting? That would make anyone anxious, uncomfortable, and downright scared.

Break it down into the basics to get through the first one. Think of this as your high level survival guide. I have found that fear of a new technology or delivering new content can paralyze many people; use the K.I.S.S. principle to get through it. We’ll get to more advanced marketing and content marketing ideas in later installments.  For right now, we’ll simply think of this in three categories and won’t over complicate things.

 

Pre-Meeting or Pre-Webinar

  • Send invitations/registrations
  • Create your slides and talking points
  • Practice both using your web conferencing tools and giving the presentation

Make sure your invitations have clear instructions for audio and web connections as well as a Customer Care or support number in case there are technical questions. Keep your invite simple and easy to read. As for content, hopefully you know at least something about the subject. If you are under the gun, bullet or outline the talking points as soon as you can in a cohesive flow. Then, whenever you can, pre-visualize and practice what you’ll say for each talking point. (I’m not a fan of scripts unless there are specific legal terms or corporate policies that need to be adhered to). Build your slides as a complement to your talking points. You don’t want to end up reading your slides.

In-Meeting

  • Relax
  • Double click the slide you want the audience to see and talk about it
  • Deliver your content that you’ve practiced so well
  • Click stop and hang up phone

Get to know your web conferencing tools. I can’t tell you how many times people just wing it. Don’t. With ReadyTalk, you could literally get away with dialing a conferencing call, clicking two buttons, and then double-clicking the slide you want the audience to see. Point being, find an easy-to-use conferencing solution so you can concentrate on delivering your material and not boring the audience to death because you’re so intimidated by all these things that could go wrong. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine if you've practiced.

Post-Meeting

  • Enjoy all the positive feedback
  • Send follow-up emails.
  • Done. (and start preparing for the next one)

Like your Mom always said, send thank you cards! There are many ways to follow up with your participants. Do it. Whether it’s through email or calling them to thank them personally, I promise they will appreciate it.

 

OK…so maybe that does sound like a lot, but again just break it down into easy steps. As you develop your webinar and web meeting skills you’ll get more comfortable with talking to "nobody" yet reaching dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people.  I heard a great term once – "doing the basics brilliantly." I think I that applies in so many ways. Know your stuff, know your conferencing tool. Now, time to get ready for the next one…

For more advice on getting started see Think before you speak: Top 10 must-dos before presenting on a webinar or join Shawn on a live training.