Hosting your first (or, let’s be honest, even your 100th) webinar is nerve-racking. Not only do you have to think of a kickass topic that will keep people on the edge of their (virtual) seats, you have to present it in a way that is engaging and interesting. And you have to make sure it fits into your set time slot. AND make sure people register and show up… it’s enough to make you break into a sweat just at the thought.
So it’s no surprise that the majority of webinars are just mediocre (at best), and only a few shining stars break through the clutter. And that’s because most webinar hosts are making a lot of mistakes that are easily avoidable with just a little extra work and forethought before the big event.
But before you think all hope is lost, we’re here to turn your webinars around. Read on to discover eight webinar mistakes you’re probably making and how to solve them.
Mistake Number 1: You Don’t Promote Your Webinar Early
In a world where the average person is exposed to roughly 5,000 advertisements a day (we barely even register the vast majority), it can be a challenge to break through the clutter. That’s why it’s important to let the world know about your webinar early, and in as many ways as possible.
And if you think one week is early enough, you are wrong.
The solution: Start promoting your webinar at least two weeks before it goes live, but even earlier if you have the time and resources. This means you should send out a sequence of emails to your list and post on your social media channels — at the minimum. If you want a large list of creative ideas to promote your webinars, check out our free 40 Ways To Fill a Webinar Guide.
Mistake Number 2: You Ask Too Much, Too Soon
I get it. You want as much information on your audience as possible, so you’ve created a registration page form that is as long as that 12-foot CVS receipt you got last week. Except do you really need to know their twitter handle, their zip code, and their website? (I really hope you know the answer to that….no).
By asking potential registrants too much information upfront, you make it a lot of work to sign up for your Webinar. The more work you ask them to do, the harder it will be to convince people who just stumbled on your page to actually sign up.
The solution: Ask them the bare necessities you need: their name, their email and maybe their phone number and company (depending on your webinar niche). If you want more information, you can always ask for it on your thank you page after they’ve registered (and been added to your list).
Mistake Number 3: You Forgot A Calendar Reminder
This mistake is (fortunately) not one we see too often with WebinarJam users because all of our thank-you page templates include a button to add the Webinar to your calendar or sign up for SMS reminders.
However, if you are building your own custom page, decide to remove this little button from your page (don’t do that please) or use a platform that isn’t WebinarJam, not having a calendar reminder can be detrimental to getting registrants to become attendees. Your registrants are busy and, unless you make it easy for them to pencil your event in, it is highly likely that when it’s down to crunch time, they’ll forget and be busy running the kids to soccer or munching on a tasty taco.
The solution: Make it easy for your registrants to remember your webinar event by adding an “add to calendar” button on the thank you page after they register.
Mistake Number 4: You Schedule Your Webinars At Bad Times
If you’re like many webinar beginners, you’ll assume the best time to schedule your webinar is when you have free time —late in the evening, or on a weekend — and you’d be so terribly wrong. No one (well maybe some computer-savvy hermit out there) wants to view your webinar on a Friday or Saturday night. And they most likely don’t want to view it on a Monday either, when work is hectic and they’re readjusting back to the work-week.
The solution: The most popular days for webinars are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. And the best time? 1-3pm EST. If you’re scratching your head and wondering… aren’t people at work… well yes (if they work a 9-5), but viewership doesn’t lie. That time period is not during a commute, not during people’s leisure hours or, for most people, it’s not even during their lunch, making it a sweet spot.
However, it is important that you test this and keep an eye on your attendance rates. Depending on your audience and their location — people in South Africa are going to want to watch at a very different time than people in New York — the time and day can vary.
Mistake Number 5: You Don’t Send Reminders
It’s no longer enough to get people to your registration page, have them sign up and thank them (sigh, it would be nice though). With attention spans that shift every time we see something shiny, it’s important to remind people of your webinars and actually build the anticipation so they cannot miss it.
The solution: Send out invites a few weeks before your event, along with a confirmation email once they register. THEN, create a reminder email a week to a few days before your event hinting at one of the incredible things they’ll learn. But don’t reveal your secret…they have to attend for that. Follow up that reminder with another reminder one day before your webinar, and a third reminder email about three hours before you go live. If you really want to get their attention, send out an SMS reminder text 15 minutes before you go live.