Monday, June 27, 2011

10-Point Checklist for Successful Webinars

Webinar has evolved as very powerful marketing and sales tool. It is one of the best ways to establish your thought leadership, create your brand, generate highly qualified sales leads and up-sell to existing customers. All this is possible provided the webinar is promoted, marketed and conducted well.

Some reasons why webinars are more popular:

  • Wider reach – More people can attend because it can be attended from anywhere
  • Convenience – People can attend it without disturbing their schedule
  • Affordability - Drastically reduce the travel cost and time
  • Post Event availability – Since webinar can be recorded, it can be used later on for personal review or rerun for the people who missed it during real-time 

To make your webinars successful, here is a 10-point checklist:
  1. Webinar Topic and Objectives: Refrain yourself from choosing a dull and common topic. Choose a catchy and latest topic which can make people feel like attending the webinar. Clearly define the objectives and details on what the webinar going to cover.
  2. Webinar invitation: Draft the invitation carefully and provide accurate information about the webinar. This can include: bio of the presenter, time, duration of the webinar, what the webinar is going to cover (preferably described in bulleted list) and who can benefit from the webinar.
  3. Pre-Webinar Promotion: Choose the right time to start the webinar promotion and advertising. Starting the promotion too early may make people forget why they signed up for the webinar and promoting it too late might not give them enough time to sign up since they already might have things planned in their schedule. Generally 2 weeks before the webinar is a good time to start the promotion. Use various methods like emails, social media to promote the webinar. Rather than doing all the promotion on a particular day, plan the activity over a period.  
  4. Reminders: Send out at least 2 reminders to the registrants before the webinar. Do mention the webinar details briefly in the reminder.
  5. Dry RunsEnsure that you conduct at least 2 dry runs (the more the better) before the webinar. Check the presentation loading, speaker’s timing, co-ordination, graphics loading time etc to make sure that everything is working fine. If required, tweak the graphics, presentation.
  6. Keep Presentations Short: People invest less time in webinar than a  physical event so the attention span tends to be shorter. It is better to keep the presentation short and crisp to reduce the attendee drop out during the webinar.
  7. Webinar Delivery: Practice, practice and practice the webinar. Never ever read the webinar speech. You lose out on the connection with the audience.
  8. Interactivity: You CANNOT keep the webinars one-way. You have to make them interactive. Use the tools like chat, polls (mostly available with the webinar platforms) effectively to engage the audience and communicate with them.
  9. Webinar Recording:  If you are conducting an exclusive webinar, it is a good practice to record it. Typically 50% of those who register attend the actual webinar. It is a good to record the session and send a link of the recording to those who missed it. This ensures that you reach out to the audience who could not attend your webinar.
  10. Multi-Channel Follow up: Don’t just hand over the webinar lead to the sales person. Your post-webinar follow up needs to be a well planned strategy through multi-channel communication such as emails, snail mail, phone calls, social media etc. These ensure that the leads are engaged, interest is increased and you are in front of them for a longer duration.
So be well prepared and well planned for your next webinar to make it a great success!


  1. Great stuff Radha. its helpful.

    One Qs for you: Is there some practice one should follow to specifically increase the conversion ratio (from registrants to final attendees).

  2. @Bhanwar: Glad to know you found the post useful. For increasing the conversion ratio, make sure you send out reminders (point #4 above) and ensure that the reminder mentions what the webinar is going to cover. Sometimes it is also useful to keep some giveaway for the webinar attendees (some report/ whitepaper etc) which is otherwise not available.