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Using Email to Drive Webinar ROI and Success

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by: Loren McDonald (@LorenMcDonald)
10 July 2009

To achieve the highest ROS ("return on slides") from your Webinars, you must generate a high number of registrants, get as many of them to attend as you can, deliver a valuable and informative experience during the presentation and leverage the Webinars as part of your lead-nurturing program.

Email delivers on its cross-channel potential as the key value driver for effective promotion and follow-up:

>Invitation: Use your existing client, prospect, newsletter and Webinar email lists to generate a large number of registrants cost effectively.

-Stand alone email invitation series (initial and follow-up) presents the value proposition and benefits of attending the Webinar and event details.

-Promotions within your existing newsletters can range from the title, date and registration link to a short article on the Webinar topic itself and registration link.

-Send the initial invite at least 2 to 4 weeks ahead, although you can test this for effectiveness.

-If you send a second invitation, exclude those who have already registered.

-Consider encouraging employees to incorporate Webinar information and a registration link in their email signatures.

>Confirmation: The confirmation email, usually generated by your Webinar technology system and sent immediately after registration, restates the Webinar time, date and topic, login instructions, system requirements and an "Add to Calendar" option.

>Reminder: These emails remind your registrants of the Webinar date and time and restate the topic and speaker information, access link and login instructions. Your Webinar technology usually generates these, but you should customize content and timing.

-Typical send times are a few hours before the Webinar begins, and a day or two before.

-Consider sending a first reminder a week or so before the Webinar for people who signed up far in advance.

>Follow up: After the Webinar, communicate to both the attendees and registrants who didn't attend. The email content for each audience is almost the same, but you should personalize the emails to reflect their attendance or non-attendance.

-The subject line and content can reflect "thank you for attending" to attendees and "sorry we missed you" to no-shows. Both should have links to material presented during the Webinar (PPT or PDF version of the slides, white papers, studies, articles) and the recorded presentation.

-These emails should be sent within a few days following the Webinar.

>Ongoing Webinar Notifications: If you conduct Webinars regularly (at least monthly), consider creating a separate email channel just for content notifications such as Webinars, white papers, podcasts and studies. Add this channel to your newsletter subscription page, and promote it to your subscribers as well as prospects.

>Lead Nurturing: Webinars are now a staple of B2B lead nurturing programs. Make sure your email nurture program incorporates both archived and upcoming Webinar promotions. Additionally, include Webinar attendance and registration data in your lead scoring process if possible.

Want more details? Sign up for "Using Email to Promote Your Webcast," my Webinar with David Pitta of BrightTalk on July 15.




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