Webinars are one of the best converting lead gen offers. On the one hand, they offer a ton of value to attendees who get an up-close-and-personal view of an expert’s work.
On the other hand, they’re only available for a limited time and they allow the presenter to build trust at scale (which makes them a win-win).
But there’s a problem. One that those info-peddling guru’s often don’t tell you.
Here’s the problem with most webinars for generating leads and how you can solve it.
Webinar Economics 101: Why You Need Massive Reach
Webinars are great for generating both leads and driving new sales.
Only one problem, though.
They all rely on one thing: massive reach and a huge audience.
Here, I’ll show you.
Let’s say you want a single webinar to generate $1,500 in total revenue. At $500 in customer lifetime value (or average order value), that comes out to three total customers. Sounds easy enough, right?!
So let’s keep going. If you had a purchase rate around 3-4%, that means you’re going to need at least 50 people to attend the webinar.
BUT… only around 30-60% of the people that sign up are actually going to attend it. (One study puts it between 40-50%, but anecdotally I’ve seen a more dismal ~30% for a conservative estimate.)
So best case scenario, that means you need closer to 70-80 people signing up.
However again, only a fraction of the people who hit your landing page are going to sign up in the first place. So at a ~30% registration rate, that means you’re going to need at least 250 visits to a page.
And to get that? You’re looking at a much wider total reach or audience of close to 1000.
That means in order to get only three measly sales – hardly enough to grow your business – you’re going to need to reach at least 1000 people.
Your email newsletter should be the first place to look. These people are already familiar with you and have had time to build trust and engagement. If you’re shooting for better-than-average conversions, they’re your best bet.
But when subscriber recency sets in, those numbers drop like a rock. So you gotta keep filling the top of your funnel with new peeps. Otherwise, there’s no way in hell that you can scale a profitable business off the numbers we just looked at (reaching 1000 to get only 3 sales). How’s that going to happen – regularly and repeatedly?
No point in burying the lead any longer. You are reading a blog post on a tool for Facebook ads after all.
But how does the math work? By finding your Earnings per Attendee and Earnings Per Click. Here’s how this theoretical math breaks down from the example scenario we just reviewed.
There it is. $1,500 from a single webinar might not be much, but if you can do it reliably, you now have an ad budget to work with. You know how much a potential attendee is worth, and you’ve got some ideas for what you’re able to spend on a per click (or even per lead) basis.
Awesome. Now let’s do it.
The Facebook Ad Formula to Max Out Webinars
Facebook ads don’t convert like AdWords, because people don’t have the same intent when logging in.
Instead of Googling for the nearest coffee shop or most reputable life insurance company, people head to Facebook to unwind, relax, distract and socialize. They sure as hell ain’t lookin’ for your next webinar.
So it’s not a one-and-done, but more like a long, slow, nurturing process.
That means instead of a single direct ad campaign, you’ll more likely need a few different campaigns designed to slowly nurture the best potential candidates; fine-tuning potential audience members and your messaging along the way.
Therefore, instead of a single direct lead-gen ad, many times you’ll need a more nuanced approach. Here’s how to do it.
Step #1. Start with Content Promotion
Promoting your best content on Facebook seems odd at first. Like a side-step, or one back even, where you’re throwing down good money after… what? Visits? Likes?
Pretty much the epitome of vanity metrics it sounds like on the surface.
But here’s the deal.
These content-boosting ads aren’t an expense per se. Although your accountant will surely disagree with me.
Instead, see them as an investment.
The long-term future profitability of your Facebook ad campaigns – like the eventual Cost Per Lead or Acquisition you’re gonna pay down the road – relies heavily on your audience targeting and message match.
You could just throw down a single ad campaign to generate webinar leads ASAP. But unless you’re amazing (or lucky), it might get cost prohibitive.
It’s going to be extremely difficult to find the right audience, or the right interests intersection, to make the math pencil out.
This becomes a lot easier, however, when you use those experimental methods to simply just drive website visits initially, thereby lowering the bar of commitment for people and widening the top of your soon-to-be ad funnel.
So taking some of your best, most clickbait-y content is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to build a highly targeted audience you can retarget or remarket to in a few minutes.
Once you start getting website visits, you can begin relying more heavily on a custom audience of previous website visits for your next few campaigns.
Another intermediate step to try here is engagement. Or, getting this initial audience to engage in order to filter out the most interested prospects.
Why is this important?
#1. It helps the prospect with need awareness. People don’t know what they don’t know. And if they don’t even realize they have a problem or need (or in this case, a knowledge gap), they’re never ever ever ever ever ever gonna sign up for your webinar (let alone buy a solution from you).
#2. It helps him identify and segment potential leads. Now he knows which webinar or offer to send them to (based on their results).
Cool. Once you’ve gotten this far, we can move on to generating webinar leads.
Step #2. Webinar Lead Generation
Driving webinar leads is easy when you’re targeting the right audience.
You can get advanced with it like Jon Loomer does, running three different webinars for three different audience segments, each with their own funnel and creative requirements.
One way to sidestep this difficulty initially is to create different variations of ads + landing pages, each emphasizing a different messaging angle, that ultimately all lead into the same multi-purpose webinar. It may not be as effective obviously, but it does help you figure out which is this best approach when getting started.
All other setup work should be relatively straightforward. You’re watching the Cost Per Conversion, and testing different ad variations for your previously identified audience of website visits.
Here’s a great example from Ashley Stahl:
Some of her copy gets cut off. Which is a shame, because she’s also using the ‘challenge plot’ story arc.
Here’s another good example from the GMAT Club:
The best thing about this one, that Ashley’s previous one also had in common?
Both sell the end result.
First, Ashley’s was about landing multiple job offers. While this second one asserts you’ll be able to attain over a specific number on the GMAT test.
In other words, they’re selling the hole – not the drill.
In addition to your standard, run-of-the-mill Facebook ad to landing page conversion, you can also experiment with running lead gen ads here too.
The TL;DR recent findings?
This is about to get a little complicated.
But you can integrate lead ads with a marketing automation tool like HubSpot…
… which then also integrates with GoToWebinar to make this seamless.
Seems like a lot of work for an intermediary step? Why would it be important?
So you can get that Attendance and eventual Conversion rate as high as possible.
Part Two: Marketing Automation to Increase Attendees and Conversions
Driving people into successfully registering for a webinar is awesome. It’s a lot of hard work as we just saw!
You got peeps to convert. Congrats!
Unfortunately, you’re not done. Not even close.
Now you need to get them to attend.
Especially when you consider the fact that the majority of those people registering will not actually attend the damn thing (based on the data we just looked at).
What to do?
For starters, we’re going to connect marketing automation to nurture, remind, and persuade over the course of a few days (or weeks).
So another tactic to get this number up? Combine SMS text reminders:
Your initial goal is to nurture those that just registered for your webinar, while also increasing anticipation for what you’re going to offer. The hopeful end result? Get more registrations to attend.
Specifically, you can break down your webinar content into little bite-sized pieces that drip out over the course of a few days. Each day hints at the upcoming webinar, and continues to remind them of the place, time, and urgent reason they should attend.
Here’s an example from an old MailChimp campaign I ran years ago:
After the webinar, your goal is to get these attendees to the very next step. Sometimes that’s a legitimate purchase. Others, it’s simply to fill out a form.
Webinars are effective offers because they’re time-based. Meaning: people can only consume the content during a tiny open window. Their access to the content is limited, and the total number of people who can join one is limited too.
So you can combine these limited-time offers with limited-time promotions to use scarcity and urgency to your advantage.
The best way to see this play out is to go watch the experts. Go opt-in for anything from Ramit Sethi for example and go through his emails in sequence. (Just make sure to filter those suckers out of your inbox – cause you’re gonna get A LOT!)
And what you’ll see, is that after attending a webinar is a slow progression that introduces some new offer for attendees that will expire soon.
A series of emails then goes out, sometimes multiple ones per day, to continue building value, taking away risk, and driving home just how limited this offer is.
Here’s another personal example from years back:
These sequences take some time to build. They take some experimentation and a lot of trial and error.
But when done correctly, they can also help drive up the backside of your Webinar Economics and hopefully reduce (or at least ease) the burden of enormous reach (to just regular, big reach).
Webinars are one of the best ways to generate new leads and sales for your business.
The trouble is, that you’re going to need to reach a TON of people to make the math work.
The first step is to use a clever mix of Facebook ad campaigns that build up your targeted audiences before promoting webinar angles; filling the top of the funnel as much as humanly possible.
The second involves integrating this work with multiple series of email campaigns that will simultaneously get more people to attend your webinar, while also increasing your ‘next action’’ conversion on the back-end.
There are a ton of moving pieces to get right so that the consumer has a seamless, positive experience.
But fortunately, if you do nothing else right, you can make up for a lot of little issues and problems by always doubling down on volume and reach.