Getting people to register to your webinar or live event is only one of the tasks you have when creating free webinars or free events.
When you’re have a free event, the level of commitment of the person that has registered for free is lower than a person that is paying for attending.
In the past few years we have had over 600 webinars, 15 online conferences and 48 offline events and we have tested 21 different techniques to increase the attendance rate that can be used both in online and offline events.
While all of these techniques have created and increase in the attendance rate to our webinars, online events and offline events, you should test them in your own niche and your audience to see which of these techniques are creating you the maximum results and which are not.
Technique #01 – Engagement
The more a webinar registrant is engaged to you and your message, the more likely that he will show up for the live webinar.
The best way to engage with is by communicating with them in multiple channels.
The most cost-effective way to engage with the registrants is by sending them emails with questions and request a reply back to them.
Now, not only that we are getting them engaged towards attending the live webinar, asking the right questions, we are also able to improve the webinar by approaching the questions that most of your registrants are looking answers for (and we can also communicate it to them on the email reminders, showing them we will be talking exactly on the things that they want).
Here are the 3 questions we usually ask our webinars’ registrants (in a general format):
- What is the biggest challenge you have right now in your….?
- Why is it important to you to get/solve it right now?
- What prevents you from getting/solving it right now?
While only 25% to 40% reply to this email with detailed reply, we see that the attendance rate goes by 10% to 20% and in terms of money, we were able to increase the revenues by 10% to 20%.
Since this is the most cost-effective engagement technique there is, we use every time for both in webinars and offline events.
Technique #02 – Email Reminder Sequence
This is a great way to communicate with your registrants to remind them on the webinar, the date & time, the value you’re going to share with them during the webinar and more.
At the end of the day, emails are the cheapest way to communicate with them and they expect you to send them these emails.
We call it the “Email Reminder Sequence” as you need to send a few emails – we send 3 in our normal sequence:
1st email is sent as soon as the person registered.
2nd email is sent 2 days before the webinar.
3rd email is sent 30 minutes before the webinar.
Again, make sure you’re email are filed with value and it is like you are “marketing” again the webinar to them and why they should be attending the live webinar.
You can (and should) use the emails to communicate some of the other techniques you will read.
It is always good to ask for the registrant number, it can be used in 3 different ways in terms of reminders: Real Person, Text and Voice.
Don’t miss this special FREE traning!
Technique #03 – Reminder Calls
There is no better way than an actual person calling on behalf of you reminding the registrants about the live webinar and how important it is for them be there or they will miss out of all the great value you’re going to share.
The most critical component is the human interacting with them and asking for their commitment to attend.)
When making these calls, after we remind the person, you need to simply ask them a fairly simple question: are they going to attend the webinar – expecting a Yes / No / Maybe answer.
Yes – If they were planning on attending, we confirmed they have all the information to connect on time.
No – If they indicated they are not planning to attend, we wished them well and invited them to participate in future events.
Maybe – Try to find out why it is a maybe. If they don’t understand the value, it is the time to give them the biggest befits and takeaways they are going to have by being on the live webinar. If it is an issue of schedule, offer them to register them to a different date & time webinar (if you’ve already scheduled one).
While it is a lot of hassle, the numbers are making it worthwhile. By calling and reminding them to attend, we’ve increase the attendance rate by 25% – 50%.
Technique #04 – Reminder Text Messages
Send your attendees a text reminder for the webinar.
We usually send 2 reminders. The first one 2 days before the live webinar and the second one is 20 minutes before (if it is an offline event, we sent the reminders 3 days before and at the day of the event, early morning as they need to get to the evet location and 20 minutes would not be sufficient).
In the second reminder to the webinar (20 min before) we also provide again the link to make it as easy as possible for them to attend (with a click of a link…).
Technique #05 – Reminder Voice Messages
This technique of sending registrants a voice message to remind is really powerful. All you need to do is either have someone record saying that you’re expecting to see them on the webinar or record it yourself.
While having an actual person calling them is the best reminder the voice message reminder is easier and done automatically in a push of a button and still by people hear a voice message from a real person (possibly you), you’re increasing their likelihood of attending.
Technique #06 – Attending Free Gift
Everyone likes to get gift and this is why offering your attendees free gifts, just for showing to the webinar, is a great way to make them show.
You can tell them in advance what is the gift or you can surprise them at the end of the webinar.
Also make sure that this free gift is not something that conflicts with the product or service you’re planning on offering towards the end of the webinar.
This is also a great way to make sure they stay until the end of the webinar (after your offer).
Technique #07 – Ruffle
Like gifts, a ruffle is a form of gift that is being given just to one or a few of the attendees.
The same rules as gifts apply here as well:
A ruffle should be conducted at the end of the webinar after you offer your product or service and make sure it doesn’t conflict.
Technique #08 – Prizes
A free prize is a way to not only reward the webinar attendees but also to make sure they show up on time.
Instead of offering a ruffle or a gift to everyone who attend the webinar, you can:
a) Award the first XX people who join the actual live webinar.
b) Award anyone who joins the actual live webinar until the time you begin.
c) Mixing a + b together: meaning you will award the prize to anyone showing on time but only until XX People.
Technique #09 – Add To Calendar
A great way to remind attendee that he needs to go online to your webinar is by utilizing his own calendar reminder, locally (remember, the more ways you engage and remind them about the webinar, the more likely they will show up).
So you need to add this option to your registration process.
While some of the webinar technologies do support and offer a calendar button option in the thank you page, not all of them do.
If the technology you’ve selected doesn’t support it or you’re creating your own pages, then you can use this following free “Add to Calendar” option to your webpage to make sure its gets added to their calendar and you get more attendees showing up:
Technique #10 – Mystery
Adding mystery, adds an intrigue element to your live webinar.
What can be a mystery element?
A mystery element for your live webinar could be a mystery guest (this is what it is often used for), guest speaker that will join you. It can also be a client of yours that for the first time going to share his results and how he was able to get to them.
Another mystery element could be that during the webinar it will be the first time you will share a secret technique, strategy or activity that can help the attendees to reach the success they want very fast.
Technique #11 – Retargeting Campaigns
People are exposed to huge amount of messages every day. In order to make sure you and your webinar is in their mind, you need to approach them in as many communication channels as possible.
Using the power of paid retargeting advertising, you are able to be “in their face” from the moment they’ve registered to the webinar communicating different messages towards them showing up to the live webinar.
The two best advertising platforms for you to retarget the webinar registrants are on Google using their remarketing tool and Facebook Exchange.
Technique #12 – Helping Them Connect
There are always people who are not able to connect or can’t find the link to connect to the live webinar.
The fact is that you cannot support them with their local technical issues as you’re about to begin the live webinar and you need to focus on the value you’re about to give the people.
There are 2 ways to handle this issue:
The first way is you can hire or ask someone to help you with answering people who email you they have an issue getting online with you.
In the second way, (which I recommend to do in any webinar) you can actually reduce these issues to minimum by sending in advance to all registrants an email with:
a) A link to a detailed video that shows them, step-by-step, how to connect and join you right now to the live webinar. This should be both text and a link to videos how to connect on different devices
b) A link to register to the webinar again (if they didn’t get the confirmation email).
Don’t miss this special FREE traning!
Technique #13 – Different Technology System
As outlined in the above technique, some registrants have difficulties to get on the live webinar and a great way to minimize this issue and increase attendance is by helping them get into the live webinar.
One day we’ve decided that we’re going to be testing the different solutions (systems) in the market to run a live webinar.
There are many live webinar solution and I will probably write a separated article outlining the different options you have.
While in most cases we found that GoToWebinar is the best, we found out that it can be different between the different niches because of the type of audience that you’re targeting.
Thus I recommend that although it is best to use GoToWebinar, over time, you should be testing different systems to get different people to actually attend your live webinar.
Technique #14 – Speaker’s Rapport
Rapport is very important and a big component in getting people to show up to your webinar.
Whether it is just you or you have a guest speaker in your webinar, it is always a great thing to build a rapport to the person who is going to speak on the webinar.
Send exciting information about yourself, maybe a social proof video, testimonials – anything that will increase your rapport and get people more excited to show up to listen to you and get the great value that you want to share with them.
Technique #15 – Social Proof
When communicating with the webinar registrants, engaging, building rapport, you have to give them social proof.
Social proof can be provided by simple yet powerful delivery of video text, images and links for clients testimonials (on yourself, on the results they’ve received by working with you or even on the webinar itself and what they’ve taken from being on it live) and pictures and videos (of clients showing their results or that are creating a social proof of who you are and why they should attend the webinar and listen to you.
You can also send a screenshot of the last webinar you had XXX amount of registrants and YYY amounts of attendees to show your webinars are demanded.
Depending on what niche you are in, you need to deliver the right social proof.
Technique #16 – Scarcity
The dictionary definition for scarcity is “the state of being scarce or in short supply, a shortage”.
You can create the urge to attend the webinar by adding a scarcity element into your messages.
From our extensive experience, we’ve found that there are 3 powerful scarcity options that work the best:
- Limited Seats – this depends on the technology you have (if you had encounter before a situation where you actually had more people want to get into the webinar then actually can get on it, communicate it – and if you have a screenshot, use that as well).
- Last Time – If this is the last time you’re doing this specific webinar, make sure you communicate it to your audience.
- No Recording – This is very powerful scarcity option that we’ve actually turned it into a technique by itself (see the next technique below).
You have to use scarcity in a smart & real way. Adding the scarcity element is very powerful but comes with a big responsibility.
You have to make it in a believable and reliable way that you can stand behind and making sure that you do not break your credibility with your audience.
What does it mean?
It means that if you’re planning to make this webinar many more times in the next few months, don’t use the “Last Time” scarcity option. But you may use like we just did, announcing on a webinar to be the last one until the summer ends – while it is maybe “less powerful” it is still great to use, as the webinar was in early June and the next one will be in later September.
Technique #17 – No Recording
By announcing that your webinar will not be recorded thus you will not be sending a recording and if they don’t show, they will miss the great value you’ve prepared for them.
Yes, this is a scarcity technique but it is very powerful and important that I’ve decided to put it in highlight.
Make sure that you don’t announce that there will be no recording and then send a recording.
Technique #18 – Day
Most people have their own weekly agenda and recurring activities. That means that if a person has a yoga class every Tuesday and Thursday and these are the days you are usually having your live webinars, he most likely never to show up.
So what is the best day to have a webinar?
We’ve tested every day of the week:
We’ve tested and the results were very interesting:
Every day we’ve selected we had many new people that have never attended the same webinar we’ve been running for the past 6 months.
What does it mean to you?
Test the different days of the week and find out which day works the best for you and no matter what day works for you best, always have the same webinar over time in different days to maximize the attendees’ rate to your live webinar.
Technique #19 – Time
Like the day of the week, time is a big factor.
And like the day, we’ve tested different time of the day:
The best times of the day we found that brings the most attendees to show up were:
So what is the best time for you?
Not surprisingly, you need to test it. Like selecting the day, in the different times of the days we got many new and different attendees that have never attended the same webinar we’ve been running for the past 6 months.
Test the different times and find what works best for you and make sure that you always have over time, webinars in different times (as people are busy in different times of the day).
Technique #20 – Promotion Time Period
While most webinars are being promoted for 3-5 days, we’ve decided to test if changing the time period from 3 to 5 days makes a difference.
We’ve tested the exact same webinar in 4 ways:
Test #01 – 30 days of webinar promotion
Test #02 – 5 days of webinar promotion
Test #03 – 1 day of webinar promotion (24 hours)
Test #04 – 0 days of webinar promotion (yes, ZERO days, we actually sent an email 25 minutes before the webinar began)
Here are the results of attendance rate in each one of the groups:
Test #01 – 30 days: 20% attendance
Test #02 – 5 days: 25% attendance
Test #03 – 1 day: 35% attendance
Test #04 – 0 days: 100% attendance
Our conclusions were:
The attendance rate went down as we promoted the webinar for a longer time period and went up as we shorten the time period.
The more time we promoted the event, the number of registrants and attendees went up and went down as we shorten the time period.
This amazing 100% attendance rate is created whoever registered a few minutes before we begin, was immediately got connected to the live webinar (which was already open and ready to begin at that time).
The great thing about this 0 days promotion tactic is that you’re not tiring your list with multiple emails, while at the same time we found out we got only 50% to 60% of the number of attendees in a 5 days promotion (but still great result for a single email minutes before we began!!!)
So how many days before the live webinar you should start promoting?
Use our results as a great reference to decode and test it yourself as well.
Technique #21 – Worksheets
Creating worksheets that your webinar attending can use while you’re having the live webinar is a great way to create engagement throughout the webinar itself making sure people follow up on you as you are sharing the great value content you have.
By sending these worksheets in advance to the webinar registrants, you will be increasing the attendees’ rate, meaning the number of people who are actually showing up to the live webinar.
This should be communicate through the reminder emails sent to the webinars’ registrants reminding them to print it and bring it to the live webinar as they will help them achieve more when they show up and participate.
It is also recommended that when you’re going live on the webinar, to keep reminding the ones who showed up, to print out the worksheets right away, on the spot (if they haven’t done so until then).
So what is your next step?
Always measure and compare the results – many times you will find that implementing a few of the techniques above together will have a big impact and grow your attendance results fast.
Select the 3 things you’re going to add and test in your next webinar and share them with me below here in the comments.
Don’t miss this special FREE traning!