Webinars are an extremely effective tool for moving potential customers down the sales funnel.
After equipping them with product and industry knowledge, your prospects become warm leads who can then have fruitful conversations with your sales team. But here’s the thing: the content and delivery of the webinar will affect the prospect’s experience and will affect the quality of the leads you generate.
If the information does not match the needs of your prospects, you run the risk of deterring them from doing further business with you. If the webinar is boring or too long, you can lose potential customers before you end up delivering your final product pitch.
If you don’t provide the appropriate Calls to Action at the right time, you may not get enough attendees or you may not be able to demonstrate ROI to your company’s executive team.
There is a lot at stake in creating a webinar. For this reason, it is important to use a webinar scheduling list and follow best practices. Below, I’ll cover the best practices for creating webinar invitations and share key tips for hosting webcasts.
Invite Webinar Best Practices
In some ways, the hardest part is inviting people to your webinar.
Typically, you send a formal invitation via email. You can promote the webinar through your company’s social media profiles, LinkedIn, website, and even your blog. However, the invitation to the webinar will be sent by email.
With this email, you have one goal: to communicate the value of your event so that potential customers have no choice but to sign up.
Let’s see how you can do that.
1. Create a short sentence with your value proposition.
Before you sit down to write your webinar invitation email, it is a good idea to summarize in one short sentence what your attendees will get out of your event. This will be your guide as you write the invitation.
2. Create a subject line that shows the value of the event.
Next, it’s time to write a subject line that shows the skills and tools that participants will walk away with. Don’t forget to include the word “webinar” in the subject line.
Here are some good examples::
- [Webinar] Grow your 3X brand with this proven method of [Industry Leader]
- [Webinar] Learn how to get more deals [Industry Leader]
- [Webinar] Do you want your company to be the next Apple?
Here are some so-so webinar subject lines to avoid::
- You will be invited to a customer service webinar that is not to be missed
- Attend our marketing webinar on February 15th
- Don’t miss our next webinar on social media strategies
3. Add an attractive banner image.
Your banner image should include the title of the webinar and a clear call to action. You can also specify the date and time, but this is optional. Keep the text light.
Here’s a great example from Elementor, a WordPress plugin.
This is a great example as it has high contrast lettering and the word “Webinar” in the top right corner. Most importantly, there is a call-to-action button that says “Save Your Seat”. Every webinar invitation should include a CTA.
4. Include a header that shows the value of your event.
In an email, the header acts as a title that comes directly after the banner. The header can be the title of your webinar or the subject line. In any case, the value of the event should be communicated. What will people learn? How will they grow?
Your invitees should immediately be able to tell from the header alone.
Here are some good examples::
- Webinar: Learn How To Use 5 Simple Tricks To Increase Sales
- Do you want to double your organic traffic? In this webinar, you will learn how
- These proven strategies will triple your conversion rates
Here are some examples::
- Attend our SEO webinar on May 15th
- Sales Training Seminar by [Company]
- Leadership Innovation Summit with [Industry Leader]
5. Include a brief description of the event.
Add two to three sentences describing the event immediately after the header. The description should briefly outline a challenge and include the insights and tips that will help participants overcome those challenges. Alternatively, you can identify a goal and share with attendees how the webinar will help them achieve those goals.
Remember: value here is the name of the game. People don’t spend an hour doing anything. So make it clear why your webinar is worth it.
Here’s a great example from HubSpot::
“Creating a great customer journey is a challenge that many marketing, sales, and customer service teams face. A great experience is always the ultimate goal, but the path to success is not always clear. Join CX Spotlight on March 2nd and learn how to better market, sell, and serve your audience. “
This example is great as it will no doubt tell participants the insights that they will walk away with.
Here is a mediocre example::
“Join our exclusive webinar on February 5th where we will discuss everything in the industry, including email marketing, SEO and social media. Your host, XYZ, is an industry veteran with 20 years of experience. The presentation will cover key topics and trends that are happening in marketing today. Dont miss it. “
This is a bad example for three reasons. First, it’s too general. Second, no challenge or goal is identified (e.g., growing organic traffic or creating a great customer experience). and third, participants are not informed of the skills they will acquire through the event.
6. Add a bullet list that tells people what they will learn.
After you’ve given an overview of the event, you can add more information about what attendees will learn during the webinar.
Here’s a great example from HubSpot::
“In this webinar, we will focus on the data that is really important for business growth. Our panel will discuss:
- What information should you collect in your web, chat, and email assets?
- This is how you stay organized with this new flow of data
- Best Practices for Customizing the Buying Experience “
Notice how the bullet points address the participant directly, telling them what they will learn and how they can apply it in their role.
7. Close the deal with a call to action.
Throughout the email, you have consistently shared the value of your event. Now is the time to invite your prospects to sign up with a clear, high-contrast call-to-action button.
Use the following sentences::
- Save your place
- Join Now
- Register today
- Request your place
Now that you know the best practices for webinar invitations, let’s go through the best practices for running your webinar. Use this webinar planning kit to make sure you complete all of the steps.
Recommended Resource: Webinar Planning Kit
Download your free kit now
Webinar / Webcast Best Practices
- Schedule your webinar for 60 minutes.
- Host it on Wednesday or Thursday at 10am or 11am.
- Send reminder emails.
- Practice accessing the webinar with a teammate.
- Establish a process for the Q&A area.
- Slowly move through product demonstrations.
- Create a clear stop for the presentation.
- Keep your desktop and digital workspace clean.
- Start 2 minutes past the hour.
- Enter the webinar room early.
- Use slides and announcements before the webinar.
- Send a recording and slides to attendees (with a call to action).
1. Schedule your webinar for 60 minutes.
How long should your webinar be? The answer is an hour. It is well known that 60 minutes is the optimal length of a webinar. The average display time is 56 minutes (ON24).
2. Host it on Wednesday or Thursday at 10am or 11am.
Both ON24 and GoToWebinar report that Wednesday and Thursday are the best days to hold your event. So far, 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. have established themselves as top performers in terms of both participant engagement and attendance rates.
3. Send reminder emails.
Send reminder emails twice in advance of the webinar – one day before the event and one hour before the event. Your webinar platform should also have the option to automatically send these reminders to those who have signed up.
4. Practice accessing the webinar with a teammate.
Have someone on your team access the event link two days before the webinar to make sure it works for attendees. Have that person send you a question, raise their hands, show you what the presentation looks like on the other end, and interact with the webinar interface.
5. Establish a process for the Q&A area.
In the introduction, let the audience know how you will answer their questions – whether you will end up answering selected questions or answering them as you proceed. We recommend allowing 15 minutes for questions at the end.
6. Slowly move through product demonstrations.
While doing a demo or viewing software, try not to move too fast or to scroll up and down a web page too quickly. Every time you change your screen, it can take 2 to 5 seconds for everyone to see the change.
7. Create a clear stop for the presentation.
After about 50 to 55 minutes, make a definitive “stop” on the core material. It is okay to move past the end times as long as the “officially scheduled program” has a clean ending and those who must go can go.
8. Keep your desktop and digital workspace clean.
Close all unnecessary applications, especially your email clients, the file browser, and the web browser. If possible, conduct the webinar on a separate desktop (you can create a different desktop on both MacOS and Windows). You don’t want personal or sensitive information to be displayed, and you just don’t want to interrupt the webinar with notifications that are displayed.
9. Start 2 minutes past the hour.
This gives people time to call, but doesn’t make them wait too long. As a moderator, it is tempting to wait for more people to join, but you should wait a maximum of 2 minutes.
10. Enter the webinar room early.
Enter the event at least 15 minutes earlier. This will give you time to prepare, troubleshoot, and verify that your microphone and camera are working.
11. Use slides and announcements before the webinar.
Put up a slide that introduces you and your company. Show links to your website, social media, and other relevant websites.
12. Send a recording and slides to attendees (with a call-to-action).
Do so within 24 hours and let them know during the webinar that you will. A quick follow-up encourages attendees to keep engaging (or converting) with your business while the webinar is still on their mind. This follow-up should include a unique call-to-action button.
Use Webinar Best Practices to Make a Great Webinar
Hosting a webinar has been proven to be a great return on investment. By following the best practices outlined in this post, you can ensure that your event is driving lead generation, establishing your brand as an authority, and increasing your sales.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2007 and has been updated for completeness.