More webinar tools than ever are available to help entrepreneurs serve their clients and build their businesses online. This article has tips, resources and actionable strategies for you to get started the right way!
What you will learn:
- Understand in depth why webinars are a unique marketing opportunity for online entrepreneurs
- Learn about why you need to keep a “funnel” perspective in mind when starting out
- Learn about the 4 webinar tools, to go live like a pro (YES! Only 4 tools)
- Find your tools easily with The Ultimate Comparison Chart For Webinar Tools
First, let’s have a look at the webinar marketing principles and why webinars work so extremely well, for beginners and pros. Then, we dive into what tools are necessary and what you should keep in mind when you start creating your webinar system (webinar funnel).
#1 Understanding the Strength of Webinars – A Unique Marketing Strategy for Online Entrepreneurs
There is no doubt about webinars being a superior way to connect with your audience. I have gathered the most important facts for you in this list.
12 facts about why webinars are so effective
- Perceived high value, due to the main part being educational
- Create free or paid webinars to meet your marketing goals
- Capture email addresses and grow your audience
- Highly engaging through features like video, audio, chat and resources (handouts, buttons to other services & offers) – both for the presenter(s) and attendees
- Long attention span (1h+) of attendees
- Small and big groups – creating urgency and exclusivity
- Create webinar workshops “on-the-go” that can turn into your paid online course product later
- Save costs and get direct feedback from clients to adjust your agenda, serving your clients even better
- Statistics give you insights about your webinar performance (live attendee rate, non-attendees, attendees joining from the start, joining later and those staying until the end). These data points are valuable and help to create a better webinar in the future, learn about your audience and what other services you might want to offer to them in the future
- Combine other marketing strategies with webinars, like a product/course launch, giveaways etc. and make your marketing even more effective
- Automate your profitable webinars – use either a previously live webinar recording or presentation that attendees will see without you being involved (evergreen or “live-like” replays) or use the camera to introduce yourself, focus on the chat and be available for a Q&A in the end while the actual webinar content is pre-recorded and played in between (hybrid webinar)
- Cost effective marketing & Convenience for both attendees and presenters – no travelling, saving money and time
Sounds great, right? And still there are people who nearly give up on them. Why? Well, for some the technical setup of such a system is confusing and often just overwhelming. I totally get that. However, remember webinars are considered more valuable, exactly because they “look and feel” more advanced to your audience.
And like with all things, you have to make your own experiences to find out what works for your business.
In the next part of this article I want to give you some strategies how to get started. Before we get there, let’s just get a similar understanding what a webinar funnel is.
#2 What is a Webinar Funnel?
Marketing funnels exist since businesses and trading where invented. It’s nothing new. Still while we believe the online world is full of potential customers (which it is) we often give this concept not enough attention as we should.
AIDA – is a long known marketing model that has 4 core elements: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. And that is also known as hierarchy of effects. Ultimately, that’s what you as a business owner want to achieve. Raise attention in potential customers (for example advertisement), raise their interest in your brand, creating a desire and finally taking action by purchasing from you.
The graphic below shows a concept based on AIDA. You want to attract, convert, engage, sell and connect further. Because once they have bought from you and they follow along your journey they are very likely to buy again in the future. So always take care of those that are already with you.
Keep this in mind!
When we transfer this concept to webinars, it’s not just a webinar we talk about here. You want to create a webinar funnel, which is designed to attract, convert, engage sell and connect. So it’s not just about people attending your webinar. You have to keep this whole picture in mind when you are building your webinar funnel.
The simplest version of a webinar funnel
You can start very simple (still keeping the overall picture of a webinar funnel in mind). The simplest webinar funnel can look like this:
Advertisement > Webinar Registration Page > Confirmation Page > Confirmation & Onboarding Emails > Live/Automated Webinar Event > Replay Page > Follow Up Emails
Now this is a very simple example, but it gives you an idea of the foundation.
A more complex version can look like this:
Advertisement > Podcast/Blogpost/Quality Content > Content upgrade (for example a freebie) people get in exchange for their email address (opt-in) > Welcome Email Sequence > Webinar Registration > Webinar Confirmation Page > Onboarding Webinar Email Sequence > Social Media Activities > Advertisement Webinar > Live/Automated Webinar Event > Offer/Salespage/1-1 Call > Replay > Follow Up Email Sequence > Offer/Sales page/1-1 Call > Launch your event/Provide your service … etc.
A little more complex right?
This is a more advanced system and it takes a little bit more time to set up. And you ultimately want to get there, because no business survives without sales. So keep conversions and sales in mind. Let’s look further behind the scenes, what kind of webinar tools do we need to create a webinar funnel like this.
#3 What webinar tools are necessary to build a webinar funnel? 4 software solutions you need to get in place
I want to break down for you what systems you need that you have to put together in order to create a successful webinar funnel. There are a lot of software solutions available that cover a good part of the functionality you need, but there is not yet “the-all-in-one-solution” available. However, some are pretty close to that.
Your webinar funnel ingredients are:
1. Landing Page Builder
They are called different names, but refer to the same elements in a funnel system: landing page, opt-in page, squeeze page, lead page etc. or for the purpose of building a webinar funnel you would call this page a webinar registration page.
With a landing page builder you can create your personalized, branded registration page based often on tested templates that you can use and simply edit with no programming skills. This has become a standard, however some landing page editors are easier to use than others.
This software solution is core to building your business online, because you can use it for a lot more purposes than a webinar funnel. I use it to set up my freebie opt.in pages, 1-1 call page, thank you pages, sales pages, membership site and automated webinar pages.
2. Email Automation System
Imagine writing every email manually for each person that subscribes. You would need to hire some people to manage that. So here comes a solution for email automation that helps to do this with ease.
Email Automation Systems serve several purposes:
- set up emails or whole email sequences, they will be sent out to your subscribers on autopilot
- manage your subscribers (track behavior, group/segment them and much more)
- broadcast your news or general emails to segments of your subscribers or everyone that joined you
When someone registers or “opt-in” as it’s also called, we want to make sure the person gets both redirected to a confirmation page and immediately gets a confirmation email. Advanced systems also let you connect SMS and snail mail services, so you can surprise your audience with a Christmas card or send SMS reminders before going live with your webinar.
3. Webinar Platform
This I made super easy for you. Find your tools fast and easy with my free comparison chart for webinar tools. Simply click the button and get your copy downloaded. I have also added a really cool explainer video that walks you through the document so you can get to work, instead of wasting your time doing all the research by yourself.
There is no webinar funnel without a webinar platform to integrate with. So make your choice, try it out and see if it works for you. An advantage is if you decide to go for a platform that offers monthly plans or have a trail period. This gives you a chance to test it.
Most platforms provide automatically a recording and replay feature, so your audience can tune in again to listen again or for those who missed it. This gives you the opportunity to engage and connect even further with your audience and making more sales.
I’m encouraging my clients to test the webinar platform several times and also “as if” you were going live. In an upcoming blogpost, I will talk about how to effectively test your funnel, so you have 100% control of your foundation.
4. Payment Solution
Moving on to payment solutions. You might want to experiment with free webinars, paid webinars, webinars with offers and without offers. See what works best for your audience. Either way you want to make sure to track your sales, send out emails to those that purchase and of course, get the money transferred into your bank account. We all love that, right?
The Comparison Chart for Webinar Tools offers you also PayPal, Stripe and SamCart to compare with each other.
To sum up this step, you need a landing page builder for all your pages, email automation to connect with your audience and keep them informed, a webinar platform to host your webinar and a payment solution so that you actually can make money.
I created a comparison chart for download. Grab your copy here and find out what software is out there that will cover all the features you are looking for and the above mentioned software categories.
The next step will cover something that is too often overlooked by webinar beginners, so I want to make sure you get this information right now. So let’s move on.
#4 Integrations – What are integrations and why are they SO important when choosing your webinar tools?
Pages – Emails – Webinar – Payments … all those webinar tools that serve different purposes in your webinar funnel need to talk together. Software integrations are like a puzzle for exchange of information. Some fit together – and exchange information, some don’t. So far so good. So integrations are a big thing to look out for when you test your preferred webinar tools.
Because what happens if you do not have an integration, for example your page builder and your email automation software? NOTHING will happen, no exchange of information. In that case no emails would be able to be added to you email system, when the page builder does not integrate with it.
Landing page builders and email automations systems have often the most popular systems integrated. But when it comes to webinar platforms and payment solutions, you might run into some issues.
The worst case scenarios is that you would spend a loooooot of time setting up your system, just to find out that your email system is not integrating with your webinar platform. If you are not willing to do this manually, which I guess no one wants to, you have to find a different solution.
Before signing up for any webinar tools, make sure they integrate and “talk” with each other.
I hope that makes it clear how important some research and testing is. To help you with that process I created The Ultimate Comparison Chart for Webinar Tools, so grab it while you are here and save it for later.
#5 How to find the best webinar tools for you?
Just as a reminder, the all-in-one solution does not exist yet. So weigh the pros and cons for your needs. Be clear about what is an absolute must for you and your audience. What features are most important? If you use my comparison chart you will see a list of 50+ features. Narrow down what features are most important. If you can’t find them on the list, reach out to me and also to the support of the software you like best.
You can spend hours, weeks and even months to search for the best one and switch back and forth. This is super exhausting and I know what I am talking about, because I have been there when I started out with webinars. I totally get that you want the best tools and features. Have the faith in new features to be added, learn to run webinars and learn while you go along to find alternative solutions for anything you miss.
What to do next? - The Easiest Startup-Strategy To Build Your Webinar Funnel
This simple strategy outlines for you the process to build your webinar funnel with less overwhelm. When you have decided what tools to use with The Ultimate Webinar Tools Comparison Chart you can go ahead and do the following:
- Schedule a demo or signup for your webinar platform and double check the integrations with the other software tools that you want to use
- If you find tools that integrate well, you are all set and ready to create you webinar funnel
- If you like to use tools that are not so well integrated you can check a solution called Zapier. It’s an application that works like a connecter. This way you might get it solved. If not, you might want to find another combination
I hope this article helps you to get started with more clarity and a feeling of confidence and control. You too can find the best webinar tools for your business. Go out, shine and be visible. I believe your message is ready to go live.
With love & compassion,