Do you have trouble keeping webinar attendees on your webinar long enough to hook them with your sales pitch? If so, then there are tactics you can employ to ensure a healthy retention rate for your webinars from start to finish. In this post, we’re going to look at eight ways to keep webinar attendees engaged until the end.
1. Send a Worksheet Before the Webinar
Get people engaged before the webinar begins by giving them some homework to complete before the webinar. Worksheets allow you to prep your attendees for the content you will be presented. They will get your attendees thinking and excited about what they are going to learn from you. The most effective webinar worksheet will start off with specific, actionable directions that the attendee should take, such as blocking a time slot in their calendar for the webinar and printing out the worksheet. Next, you will include questions that attendees should answer prior to the webinar. These questions should get your audience thinking about struggles they have that the webinar (and ultimately, your product or service) will help them overcome. When you get your attendees thinking about their struggles, it will reinforce their need to attend the webinar. These questions should be followed by ones that will be answered during the webinar. They should show attendees that the webinar will help them find solutions to the things they are struggling with. You want to make sure that your attendees get this worksheet, so start by mentioning it on your webinar registration page. Then be sure to offer it up in a few ways. First, include it as a download on the thank you page you redirect registered attendees to and send it in their confirmation email for the webinar. Alternatively, you can mention it on your thank you page so that people who are registered for your webinar will open your email, where you might want to share some additional details or instructions for the webinar.
If you choose to mention it on your thank you page and send it via email, be sure to use the same verbiage so that people know what to look for in terms of the download link. You can see how the above thank you page verbiage and the below email do not match, which could lead to confusion for your registered attendees.
With the email verbiage, you know you’ve gotten a free gift, but there is no indication on what needs to be done with it before the webinar. Thus, registered attendees may not get as engaged as you want them to be. Depending on the time between when your attendees register and when the webinar is about to begin, you will want to also send a reminder email about the webinar and the worksheet. Remind them to fill out specific information and prepare to get answers to additional questions that will be answered during the webinar.
2. Survey Your Audience
To get engagement off on the right foot at the start of your webinar, survey your audience. Your audience knows the content for the webinar has been planned out already, regardless of whether it is live, automated, or hybrid. So their answers don’t have to change the course of your webinar. It just gets attendees engaged and starts conditioning them to respond to your cues. This can be done live, automated or during hybrid webinars. The survey question you ask can be something simple. Where is everyone from? What level of experience do you have with the topic? What is your favorite social network? What do you hope to learn from the webinar? In addition to engaging your audience, starting your webinar off with a survey will give people who are running a few minutes late to get settled. While you are giving others a few moments to answer your question, announce a few answers and let people know that you are starting the webinar a few minutes late so everyone can get logged in. The answers to these questions can help you fine-tune your webinar for future audiences. For example, if you sell the most core offers to people in the United States, and most of your attendees are from India, then you will want to refine your webinar promotion tactics to cater to the right audience. If the webinar and core offer are geared towards beginners, and you have a lot of intermediate to advanced level users registering for your webinars, you’ll know that you need to change your webinar registration page.
3. Remind Attendees of the Main Benefits
Before you launch into your introduction and main content, remind attendees why they registered for the webinar. Remind them to get their worksheets out and make sure they answered all the pre-webinar questions. Then remind them about what they will learn today and how it will benefit them and their business. Make sure that these reminders align with both the promises on the webinar registration page as well as the worksheet they have in front of them.
After you cover the main benefits, go ahead and let them know about the overall schedule for the webinar. This should include a teaser about the great offer you will present after X minutes of great content and that you will be answering questions at the end of the hour.
4. Offer High Value at End of the Webinar
In addition to promising a thorough question and answer session, you want to also let attendees know that there will be something special at the end of the webinar (after your sales pitch). This can be an additional free resource relating to the webinar content, a special discount for your core offer, or a quick sweepstakes for one lucky attendee to win your core offer for free.
The mini-sweepstakes can be a great strategy during live or automated webinars for a couple of reasons.
- It lets you say “I’m going to pitch you an offer during this webinar” in a way that is not salesy.
- It makes the attendees pay attention to the pitch, because they want to know what they have the potential to win.
- It keeps the attendees on the webinar, because they want to know immediately if they are going to win.
- It makes the attendees who don’t win the sweepstakes more likely to buy, because they’ve stayed on through the sales pitch, paid attention to it, and gotten excited about the offer itself.
Think about any sweepstakes you’ve entered with prize other than cash. You likely got excited about the product being given away. You envisioned yourself with it. When you didn’t win it, you probably wanted to buy it more than before you entered the sweepstakes. That’s the feeling you want to create with a mini-sweepstakes during your webinar. For automated webinars a valuable bonus should be offered. This bonus would go to all attendees of the webinar. The best bonus will be:
- Have a high perceived value to the webinar attendees. This should be something that will be instantly recognizable to them as valuable.
- Help the attendees achieve the goals of the webinar.
- Make the webinar attendees feel good about you and what you provide.
You just spent time on the webinar blowing them away so don’t give them something cheesy that will lower their opinion of you. Continue blowing them away. Make their jobs easier and their success faster.
5. Keep Your Introduction Short and Sweet
Once you know what gift you will give them, give them a heads up. From here, you’re ready to start the main content portion of your webinar, beginning with your introduction. You’ll want to tell attendees who you are and a little about your business. The key is to make this part short and sweet. Telling a story is a great way to get attendees to connect with you, but if your story goes on for too long, attendees might start get disappointed that the webinar is more about you than what you promised to deliver. Hence, focus on an introduction that establishes you and your business as an authority in the topic you are presenting and the offer you will pitch later in the webinar. One to two slides will do for this portion.
If you want to give people the chance to learn more about you, include a link to your personal website or a social profile with more details so the ones who want to know more can find out on their own.
6. Energize Your Presentation Style
Monotony leads to boredom, and boredom can lead to your attendees dropping off of your webinar. Prepare for your webinar like you would a live speaking event. Practice your presentation, even if you are just recording it for use in an automated webinar later. Keep it from being flat in the following ways.
- Transfer nervous energy into excitement for your topic. If you’re a nervous speaker, you might naturally try to rush the delivery of your presentation. Instead, focus on slowing down and turning the nervousness into excitement. Remember why you love the topic you are speaking about and get excited about sharing that topic with the world.
- Move around if possible. If you’re not driving a live walkthrough, try moving about while presenting. It should keep your energy flowing, and that flow should translate through your speech as well.
- Create interruptions. You might have a dozen slides about your topic. Then you have a slide with a funny cat meme. At that point, you change up your presentation to ask a question or to explain what that cat meme has to do with your topic. That kind of thing will surprise your audience and keep them on their toes.
- Repeat previous points before moving to new ones. You may have a planned amount of content that you want to push through. But don’t forget that people have short attention spans. If you have five main points, start the second point by reminding people what the first point was, then continuing on to the second section of content. Start the third by reminding people about the first and second points. So on and so forth. When you repeat the points, slow down and pause after each point.
7. Ask Questions to Get People Chatting
Take a moment every now and again to ask a question. If you chose to create a worksheet for attendees, be sure to ask a question from the worksheet after relevant information has been presented in the webinar. If you didn’t choose to create a worksheet, you can ask something serious to do with the topic at hand, or do a mix of serious and humorous to entertain your audience.
The goal is to keep attendees on their toes and chatting. Something like the above may seem silly, but it will likely lead some people to start chatting if you have a chat room set up for your webinar.
8. Remind Your Audience to Stay Until the End… Again
Once your main content is over, you may be tempted to jump straight into the pitch for your core offer. But take a moment before you do this to transition attendees from the main content to your core offer. More specifically, if you are doing Q&A and a sweepstakes, remind attendees that you will be answering questions in X minutes and that you will be announcing the sweepstakes winner at the end of the question period. Both of these will help keep attendees on the line through your pitch. And as mentioned before, the sweepstakes will make attendees extra-attentive because they will want to know more about what they might win.
9. Continue the Pitch in Q&A
Your pitch doesn’t have to end when you move on to the Q&A portion of your webinar. The Q&A should work towards helping overcome objections that attendees may have to purchasing your core offer. If you are doing a hybrid webinar with automated content and live Q&A, mix up the questions you answer so that you are answering one question about the content in your webinar, and one question about the core offer. While doing this, make sure that you leave your slides on the final summary for your core offer. People will be listening to the answers you provide and asking their own questions while continuing to stare at the information about your offer. If you answer a question that overcomes their objection, they will have that slide in front of them with the information they need to make the purchase.
As you can see, there are many ways to structure your webinar from start to finish to keep your audience engaged so that you can pitch your core offer to them through both live and automated webinars. Be sure to look at the features StealthSeminar has to offer to help you create custom registration pages, thank you pages, surveys, chats, and much more.