List-Building vs. Lead Qualification: How to Generate Higher Quality Leads from Webinars

iStock_000028512836_XXXLarge Stack of papersOne of the biggest challenges today’s marketers face is generating leads that can be successfully moved through the sales funnel. Even though we have a variety of content tools, types and mediums available to us, it seems like lead generation today is harder than ever.

While many people have negative preconceived notions about the viability of webinars, it has actually been proven that webinars provide higher quality leads. For example, 49% of surveyed marketers said that 20 – 40% of their webinar registrants turn into qualified leads. That’s a huge conversion rate compared to email, social, and even website landing pages. They might take more time and resources, but if 40% of your leads from webinars are turning into business, then it’s producing a much higher ROI than many other marketing tactics.

Webinars can be very successful, but they have to be done right. In our ReadyTalk eBook, “Did You Qualify? Getting the Most Qualified Leads from Webinars,” we collaborated with Ken Molay, President of Webinar Success, to provide you with tips and tactics that will help you build trust and attract prospects in your webinars. One big part of building that trust is making sure you aren’t trying to start the sales dialog too soon.

There are different goals and tactics a marketer should focus on during different stages in the marketing process. At the beginning of the relationship, the goal should be to simply promote awareness of your company, products and services. In the next phase, you need to provide something of value in the form of content, which could range from blogs to white papers to infographics to webinars. However, during both of these phases, it is a good time to try and build your list so that you can create a nurturing program that allows for further communications. Once you have established credibility with your audience by providing value, you will be able to move towards a more sales-directed dialog where you can help establish business needs and solutions.

Many businesses attempt to shorten the cycle by combining list building and lead qualification, but this may cause problems in retaining your prospects. Many webinar registration forms are filled with prying lead scoring questions, like:

1. How many employees do you have?
2. What is your annual sales volume?
3. Are you looking for a new solution immediately, within 3 months, 6 months, a year?

This biggest issue with this tactic is that the more questions you ask that don’t add any value to your audience, the fewer registrations and attendees you will have. A study by Market compared the performance of registration forms with 5, 7, and 9 questions. The results showed that the more information you demand from people upfront, the fewer people actually hear your message and subscribe to your marketing nurturing list. Get to know your audience before asking the hard questions.

To learn about more tips and tactics for producing webinars that produce higher quality leads, download our whitepaper, “Did You Qualify? Getting the Most Qualified Leads from Webinars.”

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