How to Increase Webinar Attendance

Zest guests' marketing takes July 7, 2020
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How to Increase Webinar Attendance

There’s never been a better time to host a webinar. 

Almost everyone in the marketing world has access to a computer or mobile device. Plus, current events have a lot of us working from home. 

Maybe you’ve hosted a webinar before or maybe you’re completely new to this strategy. Whatever the case is, you can always learn more about improving your webinar attendance. 

Is webinar attendance that important? 

Think about it… the point of a webinar is to show your audience knowledge you have about your niche. 

No audience = no webinar. 

As you keep reading, you’ll learn more about why webinar attendance matters and 5 steps you can take to increase it. 

Let’s get started. 

Why does webinar attendance matter? 

Before we answer this question, let’s go over why webinars are important for your overall strategy. 

People want to know who they’re buying from and their values. A webinar is a perfect platform to showcase your knowledge and help viewers solve their pain points. 

A webinar should be educational and useful for viewers. 

Yes, you can bring up your services throughout the webinar, but that shouldn’t be the only purpose. Direct advertising can break trust with your leads. 

If you provide useful information, your business will be more credible and connected to potential customers. 

You can also hold webinars at an extremely low-cost. All you need is a computer and some webinar software.

To sum up, webinars deepen your brand and trust with your audience. And they’re affordable. 

So why is webinar attendance important? 

Think about the end-goal of hosting a webinar. Webinars are ultimately held to attract new users and nurture them into customers. 

Basically, they’re used to sell more of your services or products. 

44% is the average attendance rate for marketing webinars. 

That doesn’t sound too bad, right? 

Well, if 44% of registered users actually attend the webinar, an even less percentage will become a customer. 

What does this mean? 

The more people you want to convert to customers, the higher percentage your attendance rate needs to be. 

Sure, webinars are affordable, but they still take time to promote and create. If you’re going to do all of this work, you want to make it worthwhile. 

How to boost your webinar attendance 

Below are 5 steps you can take to grow your webinar audience. Remember, a high attendance rate means more potential customers.

1. Understand your audience  

The first step to almost any marketing strategy is to understand your targeted audience – marketing doesn’t work without your user’s input. 

First, decide what your audience needs. 

Are they looking for an answer to a problem? Or are they looking for insight? 

Once you answer this question, you can choose the topic of your webinar. 

If your audience wants solutions, your webinar should address the problem and end with actionable steps to solve it. 

If they want insight, your webinar should cover a thought leadership topic and your personal experiences you’ve had as a professional. 

Both webinars are equally important. What really matters is what your viewers prefer. 

So how do you find out what they need? 

First, look through your analytics. 

Which of your articles do users spend the longest reading? What social media posts do they interact with the most? Which of your emails have the biggest click-rate? 

You can also use analytics to decide what day to host your webinar. Find out your most popular day of engagement. 

Graph from Livestorm showing that Wednesday and Thursday generally have the highest level of engagement for Webinars
Source: Livestorm, Webinar Statistics and Benchmarks 2020

In general, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to hold a webinar. 

Another way to figure out the topic of your webinar is to ask them directly. 

Create a social media poll and ask what they need help with. Or send them a personalized email. 

Take your time with this step and find out exactly what your audience wants. They’re the most important part of boosting your webinar attendance. 

2. Catch their attention  

Understanding your audience is only one part of building an audience. You also have to grab their attention. 

You can do this with a conversion-focused landing page

Screenshot of Pat Flynn's landing page advertising his webinar about podcasting
Source: Pat Flynn’s landing page about “Podcasting the Smart Way”

Pat Flynn, founder of Smart Passive Income, created a simple yet effective landing page. Let’s examine this in more detail. 

1. Visuals – A headshot 

Pat’s photo is friendly, professional, and high-quality. He uses colors and fonts that are easy to read and focus on. 

2. Headline 

Screenshot of the headline on Pat Flynn's landing page, reading "A free training by pat flynn - Podcasting the smart way"

This headline is clear, catchy, and direct. It gets readers thinking, “How can I create a successful podcast?” 

Also, notice how he mentions “Free training” at the top. People love free stuff, especially when it’s useful, like a training. 

3. Body 

A screenshot of the Body on Pat Flynn's landing page, reading "9 strategies to creating, promoting, and monetizing a successful podcast that grows your influence and income"

Pat does a good job of cramming useful info into one sentence. Let’s break this sentence down into 3 parts. 

  • What 

Pat directly states what he is going to teach in his webinar – to create, promote, and monetize a successful podcast. 

  • Why 

His audience might wonder why they want to create a podcast. He answers this at the end of the sentence – to grow your influence and income. 

  • How 

You should always explain how you’ll help your audience. This takes away doubt and confusion. 

In this landing page, Pat mentions using his “9 strategies” to teach viewers how to create a successful podcast. 

4. Event details and CTA

A screenshot of the Call To Action on Pat Flynn's landing page, reading "Register to attend live on February 10 at 4pm et/1pm pt

The date and time are presented clearly as a CTA button. 

A screenshot of the event details and CTA on Pat Flynn's landing page advertising his webinar

He also presents a call to action in the middle of the page. 

Notice how his name and title are repeated here. This reemphasizes his brand and what the webinar is about. 

5. Other cool features 

The most interesting part of Pat’s landing page is getting access to a past webinar recording. 

A screenshot from Pat Flynn's landing page advertising his webinar, with the words "Get immediate access to a past recording"

This CTA shows credibility. It’s saying, “My webinars are so useful, I want you to listen to a past webinar and see for yourself. 

Another way to show credibility is to add social proof. Tell your audience how much other viewers like your webinars. 

Add social proof and attach your testimonial’s photo and quote to your landing page. You can use multiple testimonials to increase your credibility. 

3. Promote your webinar with Facebook ads 

Facebook ads… why so specific? 

Facebook ads reach out to people outside of your audience. The bigger your audience is, the more likely you’ll raise your webinar attendance. 

Here’s how you can get started: 

1. Create a targeted audience 

Facebook ads only work if they’re promoted to the right person. 

With that in mind, you have to target your ads to the right audience. You want your ads to be seen as helpful, not useless. 

Use your current targeted audience to create another audience for Facebook. Your current audience says a lot about who you should target on Facebook. 

It’s a good way to test out your Facebook ads. 

2. Promote your content  

Think about your experience on Facebook. Do you ever log on to look for advertisements? 

Probably not.

Most people use Facebook as a social tool. They don’t want their feeds filled with useless ads. 

A webinar promotion can be pointless if they don’t know who you are. To avoid this, promote your content first. 

This exposes your brand to users without being pushy. 

You can promote content related to your webinar topic, like a blog post or e-book. 

Shane Barker, "Becoming a Zest Contributor exposed my content to a community of highly engaged marketing pros" banner (Contribute your content)

Once you’ve posted, analyze the click-rate. Notice who’s interacting with your ad and reading your content. 

This group of users will be a new and more accurate targeted audience for Facebook.  

3. Promote your webinar

It’s tempting to skip to this step, but I highly recommend finishing steps 1 and 2 first. 

Steps 1 and 2 nurture users to your service, aka, your webinar. 

As you promote your webinar on Facebook, analyze who signs up – these users will be part of your official targeted audience on Facebook. 

Long-lasting customers are always the end goal. 

Keep in mind that Facebook ads aren’t the only way to promote your webinar – you should use organic advertisement as well. 

4. Remind your attendees 

It’s easy to forget about an online event, especially during a workweek. This problem can be solved with email. 

49% of workers check their email every few hours when they aren’t working.

Graph from Statista showing that 49 percent of workers check their work email every few hours outside of normal work hours
Source: Statista, Share of workers in the United States who check their work e-mails outside of normal work hours as of July 2019, by frequency

If almost half of users check their emails outside of work, think about how much they check their emails while working.

Use this to your advantage with email marketing. Emailing your attendees about your webinar doesn’t have to be a hard process. 

All you have to do is send up to 3 follow-up emails. And they need to be personal.

Webinars are usually promoted for about 2 weeks leading up to the event. 

Follow up with your registered users at 3 different times – the day they sign up, a few days before your event, and the day of. 

You don’t want to bore them with a simple, “Hey, don’t forget about my webinar!” message. Make it interesting and tailored to them. 

  • Attach a past webinar recording to get them excited 
  • Ask them what they look forward to learning in your webinar
  • Release content about your webinar 

These are just a few ways to catch user’s attention with email. The main goal is to make your audience feel wanted at your event. 

You can also help your audience remember the date with an “add to calendar” option. This adds your event to their personal calendar. 

Most email marketing software will offer this. 

5. Convert attendees into long-lasting customers 

There’s a lot that goes into increasing your webinar attendance beforehand. But there are steps to take after you’ve hosted your webinar. 

Keep tabs on your attendees and create space for a long-lasting relationship. Remember, webinars build trust and credibility if done right. 

Here are a few ways to follow-up with your audience: 

1. Send a thank-you email 

Send a quick thank you to everyone who attended and ask for any feedback or questions. 

Their feedback is valuable for your future webinars, and they’ll feel included in your strategy. 

2. Send a follow-up email to those who didn’t attend 

Ask why they couldn’t make it, and attach a link to your recorded webinar. 

Most registered users probably didn’t make it because they forgot – Your recorded webinar gives them a second chance to watch your event. 

It may also give them more incentive to go to the next one.

The takeaways 

Hosting a webinar can be beneficial for your business – it builds credibility, reputation, and most importantly, your relationship with your audience. 

Webinars, like any other marketing strategy, won’t go far without an audience. Your webinar attendance goal should be kept in mind as you create, promote and execute your event. 

Understand who you’re talking to and make adjustments as you go through these 5 steps. The most important part of hosting a webinar is your audience.

Focus on them, and they’ll return the favor. 

About the author: Jessica Pereira is a freelance writer for hire who specializes in digital marketing. She helps B2C and B2B businesses grow their online presence. Some of her services include blog writing, web copy, and ghostwriting.

Erik Haribson

CMO, Aweber

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