Research shows that the most effective way to promote a webinar is via an email invitation to your own database. GoToWebinar states that >90% of registrations come from this type of promotion. It is therefore very important that the content of the email is thought out in detail. An email invitation set up according to the AIDA model ensures a higher conversion in terms of opening and registration. In addition, thinking of the content for the invitation is the basis for good webinar content.
When creating up an email invitation, consider at least the following points:
- Subject line
- Content: What’s in it for me?
- For whom, by whom and when
- Moment(s) of sending
- HTML or text
Get to know the intended audience for the webinar; why would they want to attend? Is there a particular expert speaker, valuable information or an urgent update? Put this in the subject line of the invitation!
Formulating the subject line is best done in the form of a question or a “how to…”. Mention here or further on in the text that this is a “live” webinar. This avoids unnecessary phone calls about where the webinar will take place. Words like “now” and “tips” also do well in the subject line. In any case, the urgency to attend the webinar should be evident to the readers (Attention). Finally, there is a limited number of characters available for the subject line and the shorter the better. Preferably use less than 50 characters.
Here are some good and bad examples of subject lines:
- 10 tips for an effective webinar (prompts to open);
- Live webinar: how to get started with SEO (question readers want answered);
- 5 best practice investment tips from <thought leader>! (special speaker);
- What do the new regulations mean for you? (question reader wants answer to).
- Webinar investing month of June (does not excite to open);
- Preview of our new product line (no benefit);
- Learn how to write an effective email invitation for a higher Click Through Rate (too long).
Tip: About 40% of the emails in B2B nowadays are opened on a mobile device. Therefore, make sure the e-mail invitation is easy to read on them and keep in mind that only 30 characters of the subject line are visible.
Attending the webinar is not a given, a time investment is required from participants and they must clearly see the benefits: “what’s in it for me?”. (WIFM) (Interest). For a well thought-out invitation, you must put yourself in the participant’s shoes.
Firstly, the topic must be presented as a MUST, not as a “nice to have”. Communicate the WIFM clearly, in the language of the target group and do not turn it into a sales pitch. Enthuse the audience by telling them what they will learn from it. This should be short and sweet: use 3 or 4 bullet points, and write 1 or 2 paragraphs with a short description of the benefits, and not just the facts (Desire). This creates expectations about the content and is important when the potential participant considers registering. These expectations must of course then be met in the webinar.
If multiple invitations are sent, which is certainly recommended, do not send the same message multiple times. Promote it from different WIFM perspectives.
Describe the target audience for the webinar: who is it for and what is the level? Readers should be able to identify themselves with the target group, which will make them feel encouraged to register.
The speakers of the webinar should also be introduced. This can be done in one line, where only the name and function are mentioned. If necessary, a photo and/or company logo can be added.
Finally, the date, time and duration of the webinar should always be clearly stated in the invitation.
Subscribe! This is the call2action that needs to be conveyed. Put a link in the invitation and/or create an eye-catching button. In addition, create several links in the e-mail invitation to the registration page, such as a large call2action button, a link at the top and bottom of the e-mail and images that are ‘clickable‘ (Action).
Tip: Add a button/link for the online agenda. When the webinar is in the calendar, it is more likely to be taken into account and ultimately more registered participants will participate in the webinar. However, only do this if the link is not also in the email notification that participants receive after registering.
A good e-mail campaign for a webinar should preferably start about 3 weeks in advance. This allows for multiple contact moments, which will ensure that more people will register. Send 3 or 4 different invitations in this time, American research has shown that this quantity is not experienced as disruptive. People who have registered will of course not receive any subsequent invitations.
When starting the promotion more than 1 week in advance, you can count on many more registrations and a final invitation on the day of the webinar provides a boost of 23% registrations!
Consider carefully on which day the invitation is sent out, as this affects the number of registrations. Brighttalk, ON24 and spotONvision indicate that Tuesdays through Thursdays are the most effective days for this. On average, Friday to Sunday are the least favourable days to send out e-mail invitations.
The best time to send the e-mail invitation is somewhat more complicated to determine. It is wise to make a distinction between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C). B2B e-mail invitations are best sent out at the start of the day around 09.30, after lunch around 13.30 or at around 15.00. The B2C target group is best reached between 17.00 and 20.00 hours. Determining the right time is always difficult, so test this thoroughly and look at your own statistics.
Finally, for both the day and the time of sending, always consider the target group. Think about when they will read an e-mail invitation.
E-mail invitations can be sent in HTML or text format. HTML has the advantage that more can be done with the layout of the invitation. For example, the house style of the organisation can be fully expressed through the use of colour and images. On the other hand, text invitations often get through spam filters. It is therefore advisable to use both types of e-mail.
Tip:Place different information in the e-mail invitation than on the landing page. The email invitation is the place to go into more detail about the content of the webinar in other words.
- On average, 22% of email invitations are opened, >90% registrations from email invitations from own database.
- When promotion starts >1 week in advance, 34% more registrations.