There is nothing like a deadline to get things kicked into gear! MEG is recommending 7-12 business days prior to your first webinar to start your planning process. The time and day that you schedule your events is crucial for attendance. Best practices state that the most successful days to host webinars are Wednesday and Thursday. The best times to host a webinar are from 11:00am – 2:00pm. You should host multiple webinars per campaign at varying times so that if one time does not work for your attendees, another time hopefully will.
Choose Your Platform
There are dozens of platforms available to advisors out there to host webinars. Among them are WebEx, GoTo Meeting, Join Me, etc. How do you know which one to choose? MEG has done the research and have found that WebinarJam, and its sister program EverWebinar, have all the “bells and whistles” to set it apart from the rest.
Chats are possible throughout each webinar – a key element when looking through the best webinar software in the market. You can also run these chats in past webinars for other people to see them as if they were in real-time.
EverWebinar integrates with tools for building your email list, tracking, and creating autoresponders.
The tracking is rather advanced, with things like purchase ratios, webinar behavior tracking, and an option to see exactly how much money you have made.
Email and SMS reminders are included.
Branding is available across all forms of communication.
The tracking is excellent for seeing who subscribes, how many people are buying a certain item, and much more.
The process is simple for creating a live webinar then moving it instantly to the on-demand section.
I enjoy the fact that you can send SMS messages to participants.
The advanced scheduling lets you mark your calendar down to the minute and even block out special holidays.
The onetime fee might be somewhat high for some people. On the bright side, you only pay it once and you can sometimes get discounts.
You don’t get a free trial to test out EverWebinar.
Some people might find that EverWebinar is too automated, where customization is not a priority.
Define Your Audience
There are two different audiences to target with your webinars: your database of clients and prospects or the general public. MEG is recommending that all our clients launch their webinar initiative with campaigns to your database. Why are we recommending this? First, because you already have the list. Second, these people are familiar with you! Third, they will be much more forgiving if you have a few kinks to work out.
Compile/Obtain the List You Want to Invite to Your Webinar
If you are advertising to your database, you (in theory) have the list already in your CRM – which is awesome! You can download this list into a CSV format, and then upload it to various platforms (such as Constant Contact) to advertise to. If you are wanting to advertise to the general public, you will need to purchase a list. This can be done through a third-party vendor such as LeadingResponse (formally RME360).
Decide How to Incentivize Attendees
When you host a dinner seminar, your guests are incentivized to come out because you are offering them a delicious, complimentary meal. We must incorporate this into our Virtual Education Events as well. MEG is recommending that advisors offer a restaurant gift card to those who stay on for the duration of the event (which can be tracked in WebinarJam). Restaurants are hungry for business, and in some markets are even selling discounted gift cards to encourage people to order takeout. Take advantage of this opportunity while also supporting your local businesses!
Design and Send Out Invite
How do we drive people to these virtual educational events? MEG is recommending a mix of Constant Contact, Bombbomb.com, social media, direct mail, and digital banner ads. MEG is working on an invite template for our clients to utilize. The content will be all relevant topics, such as Covid-19, the upcoming election, and the volatile market. We will customize the evite for each client, but you do not have to “reinvent the wheel.”
One thing about moving to a virtual platform, is that it becomes harder to keep your audience’s attention. We are going to remedy this by keeping the presentation short and snappy! MEG is recommending a presentation no longer than 25 minutes, excluding and Q & A session on the backend. We want to keep your presentation to around 15 slides – nuts and bolts baby! See below for some helpful resources for creating your presentation: ***underlined text will be linked***
A 15-slide template to guide you through building your abbreviated presentation
Examples of PowerPoints that have been used successfully on webinars
How to create a $4 Million presentation
Edit/Augment Your Current Seminar Materials
Chances are, you have some tried and true seminar materials (i.e. your workbook, response sheet) that you can edit slightly to use for your virtual education events. WebinarJam allows you to upload documents for your audience to download, real time. MEG can help you update your seminar materials so that they work seamlessly along with your virtual presentation.
Give Your Attendees the Opportunity to Schedule an Appointment
Chasing leads from your virtual educational event is not ideal – we don’t want to create more work for anyone. MEG recommends setting up a software like Calendly so that your audience can immediately access your calendar and schedule their own appointment during/after your presentation. This is crucial.
All great performances need a dress rehearsal. This is most likely a new marketing venture for you, so you must set aside time to make yourself familiar with software and its capabilities.
Load your presentation
Have all involved team members be a part of the dry run
Upload all documents needed during presentation
Quality control check all links/offers/forms
As always, MEG is here and ready to assist you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 877.4.GAFFNEY or email firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any further questions.