Webinars are an essential tool for establishing your industry authority and increasing brand awareness. The ideal webinar, however, will also reliably lead to significant conversions. Whether you’re brand new to the webinar scene or have held webinars that failed to convert, here are three ways to turn webinar registrants into new and returning customers.

1. Get people signed up and remind them to attend.

This may seem obvious, but the most precisely planned, confidently executed webinar will never drive impressive conversions if the signup process is not refined. Be sure to get the word out on your website and on social media — and show would-be attendees that the event will provide demonstrable value. Busy people must be thoroughly convinced that the information they gain will be worth whatever scheduling sacrifices they have to make to be present for the event.

2. Execute a strong opening.

The unfortunate nature of webinars is that you are bound to lose leads every step of the way. The first big loss occurs between the initial email invite and the beginning of the presentation — without an email reminder, many would-be attendees are bound to forget all about the event. From there, the next big hiatus occurs as your webinar begins. If participants are not blown away in the first five minutes, they will find a better way to spend their precious time. These individuals will not be nearly as excited about the webinar when the big day arrives as they were when they first signed up; it’s your job to get them fired up as quickly as possible and to demonstrate your value immediately.

Grab participants’ attention right away by highlighting an issue to which they can relate and offering a clear solution. It may help to begin with a brief, but detailed story that effectively demonstrates the point you want your webinar to make. Statistics can also grab participants’ attention, but spouting number after number isn’t going to keep their attention long.

3. Provide some benefit to sticking around for the entire webinar.

Webinar attendees who manage to stick around for the first five minutes are far more likely to continue listening until the very end of the session. That being said, those who drop out halfway through will be of little more benefit to you than those who depart at the very beginning. Keep attendees glued to the screen for the entire webinar by providing a clear incentive — and reminding them of that incentive once every five to ten minutes. Incentives will vary based on the purpose of the webinar, but could include access to a recorded copy of the webinar, a prize for the participant with the best feedback on Twitter, or access to a complimentary service offered by a partnering company. The sweeter the reward, the greater the potential for conversions.

4. Continue post-webinar marketing efforts with lead nurturing.

After leads have been captured via webinar signup, you should continue to market to them long after the webinar is complete. The greater the effort you put into lead nurturing, the more likely you are to emerge with valuable conversions. Marketing automation can optimize the lead nurturing process across multiple channels so your leads don’t go to waste.  

If executed correctly, a simple webinar could be the highest converting tool in your marketing arsenal. Take some time to implement a seamless signup system and to craft engaging content. The time you invest in planning will strengthen your brand and reputation, eventually leading to significant conversions.

Bonus Tips:

  • Add humor when possible. Everyone loves a little personality. 
  • Use personal stories to engage the audience. No one can relate to a robot. 
  • Don’t hesitate to deviate from your presentation deck when appropriate. If opening another website or app means deeper understanding, make it happen!
  • Always offer Q&A at the end. Follow up with each attendee personally so they feel that their questions are fully answered. No one wants to feel like they’re just another number.