There is no doubt about it:
Lead generation webinars work and work well …
… but after working with hundreds of companies, some spending millions of dollars on generating prospects with their webinars, I am certain your webinars — and the lead generation campaigns they are part of — aren’t working as well as they could be.
While there are dozens of advanced strategies that can boost response, decrease lead cost, and increase lead quality; before you even think about diving into them you should check to make sure the right foundation is in place.
Because even the most successful companies I have worked with are usually making dramatic mistakes that are costing them money and time.
In this post, you’ll find an even dozen of the most common mistakes companies make with lead generation webinars.
They are broken into three categories: 1) what has to happen before your webinar, 2) how you deliver your webinar, and 3) what you do after your webinar is complete.
Mistakes that happen before your lead gen webinar
1. Not offering different webinars to different segments of customers. This is a mistake in overall strategy. Too often, companies offer one “blanket” webinar in which the try to be all things to all people. Big mistake. Your webinars will generate better leads higher when you segment your market and tailor specific webinars to each of your best clusters of customers. Why? Because the more targeted your message, the more your attendees feel like you understand them and the more they want to get involved.
2. Choosing a dry, “me too” topic and title. Is your webinar title dull, broad and “business like?” If so, it’s one of the reasons your prospects are less likely to register for your webinar in the first place. The best titles elicit an emotional response from the prospects who read them. These titles make them stop in their tracks and think, “Yes, I have to have this information. This is well worth an hour of my time.” And if your webinar title doesn’t do this, you’ll never attract the kind of hungry, qualified prospects you desire.
Too often companies run their lead generation webinar on the same generic topics: a demo of this or a preview of that. And they run the same ones over and over all year long. Which is, in a way, good news for you. It means it’s easy for you to be different and to stand out from your competition. One way to do it is to capitalize on current news and trends. Constantly ask yourself this question, “What is my market most aware of or concerned with right now?” Then tie your webinar and it’s enticing title to that, and you’ll generate significantly more interest.
Reserve your seat at my next free webinar on lead generation webinars.
3. Not surveying your prospects after registration. So you’ve grabbed your ideal prospect with your irresistible topic and title, and they’ve registered for your webinar. Immediately after registration, do you offer them a survey? If not, your making another costly mistake, for two reasons.
- Surveys tell you more about who’s going to be on your webinar and allow your to tailor your presentation to the specific needs and desires of your attendees. You’d be surprised how open and honest people are with the anonymity of a private form. Which means you can gain new insights into your market that help you make stronger connections and bigger sales.
- The more your prospects interact with you and your company before the webinar, the more likely they are to show up. The small investment in time and information gets them excited about attending. And, when they know there’s a possibility one of their questions or concerns will be address, they’ll pay closer attention once they’re there, making it easier for you to convert them.
4. Not making handouts available prior to the webinar. When most people think of handouts, they think of fill in the blank. And this works. But just as, if not more, important are visual elements like graphs, charts, ect. Even cartoons or drawings have their place if they make your registrants curious about some part of your presentation.
Again, as with surveys, handouts are about involvement. About piquing your registrants’ curiosity and making them excited about one or more pieces of information you’ll reveal on the webinar. Additionally, handouts satisfy your prospects’ need for instant gratification when they’re the most “hot and bothered.”
When done correctly, the topic, title and registration page for your webinar your make registrants want the information you’re teasing right then and there. But when they have to wait a few days for the actual event, that initial excitement wears off. Your handouts give them a taste of the information they so desperately want and hold out the promise of more.
5. Not using video prior to event. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because someone registers for your webinar that they’ll show up the day of the event. People are busy and won’t remember the exact date and time of your session if they’re not reminded. And even if they do remember when it is, they may not remember why they were so excited about it in the first place. By using video between registration and your webinar, you do two things.
- You connect with your attendees, increasing the likelihood they’ll show up. People like doing business with other people, not nameless, faceless corporations. Using video beforehand gives your registrants the opportunity to get to know you (your face, your voice) and makes them more inclined to trust you and your offer.
- You stay in front of your registrants, making it harder for them to forget your session. Use the videos to remind them when the webinar is, why they need to pay attention, what they’ll gain by being there, and what they stand to loose by not. Essentially, you want to re-ignite whatever it is that go them excited enough to register in the first place. Hit the same emotional “hot buttons” and direct them to your handouts one more time.
Mistakes that sabotage your webinar delivery
6. Being boring. Anyone can hold a webinar. Very few people can sell on them. Even less can entertain on them. And an even smaller number can both entertain and sell. But the good news is if you get the “entertaining” part down, the selling part is easier than you think. Why? Because when you entertain your audience, you engage them … you draw them in and before they know it, they’re pulling out their wallets to give you money.
Now when I say “entertain”, I’m not talking about being over the top or outrageous. The best way to be boring is to recite a list of facts. The best way to entertain is by telling stories. Find a way to make the same points in story-form as you would in your list of facts.
7. Having “me, me, me” content. The bigger your company, the more likely you are to make this mistake …
Your webinar is not about you or your company, it’s about your attendees and their problems or goals.
If you don’t get that, read it again.
You don’t want to spend 90 minutes talking about how great your company is, how long you’ve been in business, how many clients you have, ect. You do want to spend 90 minutes talking about your prospects problems and/or goals and offering your product or service as a way to overcome and/or achieve them.
8. Reading your slides. Not only is reading your slides boring, but it directs your attendees attention away from where it should be: on you. Let me ask you, are your slides set up to teach, make points or deliver information? If the answer’s yes, then you’re making this mistake.
Your slides should be set up to engage your audience and recapture their attention. If attendees know all you’re doing is reading from your slides, they’ll tune you out and focus just on their screens. Instead on using your slides to make points, you could …
- pose a question
- highlight a spectacular result they want to hear the story behind
- display a visual or illustration relating to the point you’re speaking
Using slides this way grabs your audience’s attention and directs it back to you, not the screen. Do you see the difference?
9. Not having enough proof. Let me be very clear, you can never offer too much proof. Proof comes in many forms. Some of the most common forms are testimonials, case histories, visual displays (graphs, charts, before and after photos, ect.) Most people are looking for a reason not to buy. And when you overwhelm them with proof, you make it hard for them to make a case against you and your offer. Think about the different ways you can demonstrate proof and the different times during your presentation when you can present it. I’ll say it again, you can never have too much.
10. Not defining a clear course of action once the webinar has ended. Have you ever ended a lead generation webinar by saying, “If you’re interested in what we’ve talked about tonight, call the office.” If so, you’re leaving too much up to your audience. Anyone who’s already made up their mind about doing business with you or who has just a few more questions before they decide to get involved will respond to that kind of close. But the majority of your audience will not fall into that category. And if all you leave them with is an invitation to call the office if they’re interested, they won’t.
What you need to do instead is give them a clear path and make it easy to follow. Call them out specifically: “If you’re in this situation (whatever the situation is), and you want this to happen (whatever that is for them), and you understand that this will happen if you don’t act (whatever it may be), this what you need to do now (and be specific!).”
Mistakes that waste the effort put into your lead generation webinar
11. Not having a multi-channel follow up process. If your idea of following up with leads is handing them to your salespeople once the webinar has ended, you leaving a lot of clients and potential profits on the table. Following up with your webinar attendees in one way only is not enough. Ideally, the end of you webinar should trigger a series of follow ups in different media: e-mails, postal mailing, phone calls, ect. The best follow-up processes are well thought out, choreographed efforts. They’re planned to hit you leads at their highest points of interest, re-engage them at their lowest, and stay in front of them overtime.
12. Ignoring non buyers. Understand that very few people buy at the first point of contact with a company. Sometimes they buy the second time, sometimes the third, sometimes the seventeenth. The point is if you ignore a lead because they don’t buy on your webinar or from your sales person right after the webinar, you’re missing out on a huge potential for profit. You could sell twice as much as you are currently if you have a well-planned follow-up process to convert non-buyers overtime. Stay in front of your prospects. Make it hard for them to ignore you and the solutions you provide and, through time, you’ll maximize the value of the leads you paid a significant amount of money to get in the first place.