How to Plan a Successful Lead-Capturing Webinar
Planning for your next lead generation event does not have to take months of preparation nor be hosted in the form of a large conference. You can promote your institution and programs from the comfort of your office or home with the use of a webinars. Webinars are an effective and easy way of generating leads while broadcasting your program’s key benefits and industry differentiators. The demand for your program already exits, you just need to hone in on that demand and carefully target and nurture those marketing qualified leads.
Step 1: Pick the right topic
When planning a webinar, the first step is to carefully select a topic, or if you are looking to promote a particular program at your institution, select the most compelling criteria for that program. For example, if you are promoting an environmental science program to increase fall enrollments, you will need to gather all of the benefits of the program and construct your messaging to convey the value of this environmental program for your targeted audience to compel them to take action.
Step 2: Webinar leads and logistics
Once you have your messaging and value proposition set, you must then construct your visuals, decide who will present the topic, who will moderate the session, and who will run the logistics. It is best to have at least three team members assisting with the flow and production of the webinar as each is assigned a specific role. This may go without saying, but your presenter should be a well-seasoned advocate for your program, as well as a confident and knowledgeable speaker. Having an energetic and engaging presenter will keep your audience engaged and tuned-in.
Step 3: Promote, promote, promote!
The third element in a successful webinar may be the most important: promotion. You can set up your registration form as a separate landing page or as a form on your website that directs back to the webinar platform you are using. If you are using the well-known GoToWebinar platform to conduct your webinar (which is the application of choice here at MindMax), you can easily setup all logistics and the registration page right from the GoToWebinar dashboard. GoToWebinar will then send each registrant a unique link to use when logging-in to the live presentation.
You can drive leads to your registration page in a variety of ways, but the most successful that I have found are via email and website promotion. Constructing a short but compelling email nurture campaign to promote your webinar and drive prospects or existing leads to your registration form has been proven to be a direct and effective promotional technique. Sending an initial webinar announcement email a few weeks before your webinar that outlines the topics presented and who will be presenting is the first way to spark interest. Following up with a reminder email to register either a week or a few days before the webinar is also essential in order to capture additional leads who may have neglected your first outreach. We have also found that sending a personal text-based email message positioned from an academic advisor or program specialist at your institution as either your first, second, or third outreach resonates well with your prospects. A simple non-marketing personalized outreach may just be the driver your prospects need to attend your webinar.
Make sure to notify your email recipients that a recorded version of the webinar will be sent following the live webinar for your “no shows” and attendees to reference. You will also want to clearly state in your emails that your presenter will be available to answer questions for a live Q&A session at the end of the presentation. This way, registrants will find comfort in knowing their questions and concerns will be answered in an open forum style by a knowledgeable program representative or the course instructor.
In the midst of your webinar promotion, you will also want to plan a practice session or dry-run of your webinar with all presenters, organizers, and even have someone on your team log-in as an attendee to ensure the screen sharing and audio is working properly. You are also able to launch polls during the webinar, view questions as they come in, and see who your attendees are and who is actively engaged. Better safe than sorry!
Post-webinar follow-up is just as important as the promotional aspect. You can’t really have one without the other, and you also can’t let your newly captured leads sit in limbo after hearing about the value and benefits of your program! Gather your new and existing leads and plan a sales outreach campaign through email and even telephone follow-up. Continue to nurture your leads to enroll in your program. They may not enroll right away – it could still take months or even a few years (depending upon the program), but the interest is there. For those who may have missed registering for your webinar, you will want to promote the on-demand webinar recording on your website through gated content (your prospect filling out a lead form).
Your webinar success should be measured by your institution’s goals for the program. Do you want to create buzz about a new program? Do you want to boost enrollments? Do you want to see what kinds of concerns prospective students may have in order to better structure your program? The idea of broadcasting a live webinar may seem daunting, but allowing yourself just a few weeks of preparation can break grounds for a truly successful lead capture campaign.
How I lived, saw or experienced one of MindMax’s values this month
Get Results – Learn Always – Align to Mission – Build Meaningful Relationships – Ask for Help.
Asking for help is something we all struggle with at one point or another in our lives. We want to feel like we have everything under control and are self-sufficient. The reality is, no one can do everything all by their self all the time. Recently, I have asked for help in the office when I’ve been under time constraints and needed assistance completing a task. I also have become more vocal about asking for help at home with various projects and chores because a team effort is always better than a solo act. Learn to ask for help, whether on the job or in your personal life, and 95% of the time you will feel relieved you did.