Growing Your Business With Email Marketing

Jul 19 2011   7:26PM GMT

How to Promote Your Webinar

JaninePopick Profile: JaninePopick

In my last post, “How to Give a Great Webinar,” I provided five tips to create and present a webinar. Now that you have a killer presentation that’ll knock your audience’s socks off, how do you get the word out? Unfortunately, the “If you build it, they will come” strategy doesn’t always work, especially in the world of technology marketing.

Email marketing is a smart and relatively easy way to get the message out about an event, whether online or offline. To help you fill that virtual room on the date of your webinar, here are some tried-and-true tactics that my own company, VerticalResponse, has found to be quite effective.

1. Remember the basics. It may seem obvious, but sometimes we, as marketers, get so caught up in the creative aspect of hyping up an event that we often forget the most important information. In your email correspondence, don’t forget to include the date, time (with time zone!) and name of the webinar. Make sure there’s a link that recipients can click on to pre-register for the webinar, and include opt-out and opt-in links, too, so you can track overall interest in your company and your offerings.

2. Keep descriptions simple. No one likes a long, drawn-out email, so make sure yours is succinct. (Besides, you don’t want to give away all the content of your webinar in the email invitation, do you?) Get right to the point by providing the who, what and why upfront. If you have guest speakers and a moderator, provide bios that really highlight their expertise so that recipients feel like they’re getting something truly special and valuable. Instead of paragraphs, consider using bullet points to identify exactly what audience members will get and take away from the webinar.

3. Show, don’t just tell. In direct marketing, customer quotes and testimonials are incredibly effective. Leverage this in your webinar’s email marketing, too. You can include links to previous webinars in your current invitation, and call out the benefits of attending one of your events by letting a recent attendee explain what he or she got out of the experience.

4. Send email reminders. Despite our best intentions, we all forget things from time to time. Create a separate email list of all the people who’ve signed up, and schedule reminder emails to go out one week prior and again one day before your webinar. It won’t seem intrusive if you keep it basic – usually just the webinar name, date, time (with time zone!), speaker/moderator list and quick program synopsis should suffice.

5. Follow up with email. Once someone has registered and taken the time to attend your webinar, it’s safe to say you’ve got their interest – and now’s the crucial time to make sure you keep and grow that interest. Emailing a thank you note – with a link to the archived, recorded webinar and perhaps even a special offer – immediately after the presentation shows that you value their time and gives you another opportunity to engage with them. Consider dividing your list into attendees (those who actually attended) and registrants (those who registered but didn’t attend the webinar, for whatever reason), and tweak your email message to each group accordingly, so that it’s even more personalized. And while you’re at it, why not use the follow-up email to attract recipients to your website or blog? Include a sentence that says, “If you didn’t get your question answered, check out our blog” or “For a rundown of the great questions and answers we received during the webinar, check out our blog.” This way, recipients – especially those who didn’t attend – have another reason to click through.

Have you implemented any successful tactics to promote your webinars? Would love to hear it!

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