Cold calls and emails are exactly what they sound like– impersonal, boring, and honestly pretty awkward.
If the person on the other end of the line has never heard of you, what do you think your chances are of getting them interested in what you have to say, let alone selling them one of your products? Slim to none, right?
I’m sure you can agree that it’s always better to sit down with someone face-to-face when you first meet them. But as a creator in the online world, that’s not always feasible or the best use of your time.
Those one-to-one meetings might not make financial sense when you think about how much your time is worth. So how do you make the most of your time and still get that face-to-face time in?
Utilizing webinars has been a tried and true marketing strategy for online creators for a while now. If you’ve never done one for your own business, or you’ve been too cautious to put yourself out there, now is the time to jump in!
Here are a few benefits of hosting webinars:
- List building– Webinars are the perfect way to get your face in front of your audience to show your personality and start building that trust. The more people you can get in front of and prove that you’re trustworthy and an authority on your subject, the more people will find value in your content and join your email list.
- Sales– While we caution using your time on a webinar to push products, webinars can still be used as part of your overall sales strategy. I’ll get into that a bit later, but basically your sales pitches come after the webinar in a follow-up sequence you send your webinar registrants through.
- Partnerships– Webinars are a great way to build community with other creators like yourself as well as brand awareness and your email list. What makes these partnerships mutually beneficial is the cross promotion of the webinar to both of your email lists. So not only are you promoting this webinar to your list, if you're co-hosting with another creator, they are also promoting it to their list.
- Customer retention– It’s been said before that it’s more expensive to bring on new customers than to keep your current ones happy. Webinars can be the tool you use to keep those customers coming back for more. Whether you use them as a training tool for a new product or monthly Q&A times, webinars can help you stay in touch with the people who have already been helping you pay your bills.
But while we could go on listing the benefits of webinars, the truth is, there’s a lot of work that goes behind each one.
Coming up with a topic that hits the hearts of your audience, creating content that is both educational and valuable, putting slides and video chats together, and then of course, all the communication and promotion to get an audience to even show up– the work seems endless.
But we can help out with that last one.
How to use email funnels to promote your webinar marketing
Email marketing and marketing funnels help you automate communication with your audience so you can focus more time on creating the best content for your webinar. It’s basically a no brainer at this point, right?
The more processes you can create ahead of time for your webinars, the more time you have in the moment to focus on what you’re teaching, how your attendees are reacting, and how to keep them engaged and create more future webinars.
These email funnels can be used both before AND after your webinar to go from promoting to pitching. Here are the emails that make up a webinar funnel:
Announcement and promotional emails
This first set of one to three emails is all about the hype. Why should your subscribers take time out of their day to join you on this webinar? What pain point will this webinar help them solve? Do you have a guest co-hosting with you? If so, what value are they bringing to the table?
These emails are meant to get your list excited about this webinar, so keep it upbeat, benefit-driven, and valuable. Give them little glimpses of what they can learn by attending your webinar. This could be through testimonials if you’ve co-hosted with your guest before or from past students if you’re teaching on a similar topic.
This next batch of emails is sent to everyone who registers for your webinar. These can be short and to the point so your audience doesn't miss out on any of the important details. Registration emails include:
Thank you email
A short confirmation email thanking them for registering for the webinar. This can also include dates, times, and links for your webinar room.
These are the emails that are sent right before your webinar to remind your registrants that it’s about to happen. Some people send up to six email reminders, but we don’t recommend that many.
For our webinars, we like to send one email 24 hours before, another 1 hour before, and then a last one 15 minutes before. Inside each of those emails, you should include the date, time, and the link for your webinar room.
After your webinar is finished, you can immediately start the communication again with attendees and even those registrants who didn’t attend.
Whether they were in the webinar or not, many people will want a copy of the recorded webinar. This will be great for people who really wanted to be there but couldn’t make the time work into their schedule. For anyone who did make it to the live webinar, they might re-watch it to reference something you said or share it with their friends because they loved your content so much.
Either way, having the webinar recorded makes it possible for you to set up an evergreen webinar funnel down the line, so make sure to always hit record!
There’s always room for improvement. Sending a survey or feedback email to anyone who attended your webinar helps you make sure you’re hitting the right information, making your content valuable, and staying connected with your audience.
It also opens up the chance to get some testimonials from your attendees. If they offer up some praise, reply to them and ask if you can use that testimonial for future webinars! Win-win.
We always say how important it is to not to sell on the actual webinar. As a content creator and business owner, you want to use your webinar to build trust and authority with your audience. It’s difficult to do that if you’re pushing a product during your time together. But you still need to make the sale to earn a living online, right?
To remedy this situation, you can send attendees and non-attendees down email funnels related to something they’ve shown interest in. These funnels will eventually pitch your products/services for you without feeling salesy and pushy.
A classic setup for a follow-up pitch sequence would include two to three educational emails on the topic at hand, a hard sell of your product, and then a down sell of your product (or a free product you offer) for anyone who didn’t click to purchase in the previous email.
Now that you know what goes into a webinar email funnel, let me show you exactly how to create that funnel with Vvisual Automations in ConvertKit.
How to use Visual Automations to create a webinar marketing plan
By setting up automations for your webinar, you can find out more about your audience’s needs before you teach them, give yourself more time for dedicated work on your webinar content, and follow up with your new audience after you’ve hooked them. Here’s how to set up your webinar funnel.
Step 1: Create a webinar opt-in Form
Create a webinar opt-in form that will attract the attention of your audience and get them interested in your event. Once they opt into your form from your sidebar or on a landing page they will be subscribed to an email sequence that will give them information about what they can expect to learn and other details about your event.
- Click on the Automations tab in your dashboard navigation.
- Click the blue, New Automations button to create your webinar marketing funnel.
- Click on the Create Automation button in the middle of the page and choose Subscriber joins a form.
- Choose a previously created form from the drop down or create a new form by clicking the link below the drop down.
- Click Add Event.
Step 2: Send your subscriber to a webinar welcome sequence
This could be a sequence of emails that goes out to a segment of your list that has shown interest in your webinar topic. Within this email(s), you’ll want to introduce the topic, let your reader know what they will expect to learn, introduce your co-host if you have one, and remind them of the webinar date, time, and give them any links that will either put your webinar on their calendar or send them to your webinar room.
- Click (+) under Action, and choose Email sequence and scroll the drop down to find your webinar welcome sequence or choose to create new sequence and start from scratch right there.
Step 3: Trigger reminder emails with an Event: Date Occurs box
Your webinar registrants could be opting into your webinar at many different points of time leading up to your event. Because of this, they could be on email 1 or even email 3 of your webinar welcome sequence at the time of your live event depending on when they heard about it.
To bring all your registrants to the same point in your funnel right before your webinar, you can set up an Event: Date Occurs to pull all your subscribers to the same point in your webinar funnel to start sending reminder emails when your webinar is about to take place.
Pro-tip: Check with your webinar integration provider. Many will offer automatic reminders you can set up through them. The pro to these automatic reminders is that it’s one less step for you to think about in your set-up process. The pro with using ConvertKit for your webinar reminders is that you can keep consistent branding through all your communication and all your data in one spot.
- Click (+) and under Event, choose Date occurs and set the date you want your webinar reminder emails to start taking place.
- Click Add Eevent.
- Click (+) and under Action, choose Email sequence and find your reminder email sequence in your drop down or create your sequence right there.
- Click Add Action.
Step 4: Separate your attendees vs your non-attendees
Following up with your registrants after your webinar will be easier to do once they are segmented into attendees and non-attendees. With this information you can better personalize the rest of their journey through this webinar marketing funnel.
Pro tip: Many webinar platforms will help your with this segmentation by offering lists of attendees and non-attendees that you can upload into ConvertKit as a file and tag accordingly.
- Click (+) and under Event, choose Date occurs with your webinar date and time to pull all your subscribers to your live event.
- Click Add event.
- Click (+) and under Condition, choose Tag and scroll to find the Tag you created for “Attended your webinar.”
- This Condition will create a separate path for Yes and No in your Visual Automations to segment your attendees from your non-attendees.
Step 5: Set up a limited time discount on a product after your webinar
After your webinar is over, a follow up email can include a limited time discount to purchase a product that matches the topic of your webinar. You can also follow up with non-attendees to download the recording (and then make a similar pitch).
Depending on whether or not your subscribers click the Link Triggers in your pitch email to purchase your product, you’ll add a Conditional Tag to continue pulling the subscriber further down your marketing funnel.
- Under the attendee tag, click (+) and under Action, choose Email sequence to create a marketing funnel to pitch your product and include your webinar recording.
- Click Add Action.
- Under the non-attendee tag, do the same to connect a sequence with the webinar recording as well as a lighter product pitch.
- Click Add Action.
- Under both these sequences, click (+) at the joining line to create a Tag under Condition.
- Scroll to find your Tag related to Purchased: Product
- Click Add Condition.
- If they purchased your product, you can tag them as a buyer and that Tag will subscriber them to your customer onboarding sequence.
- If they did not purchase your product, you can send them to another email sequences that pitches a free or lower-price point product, or you can send them to a newsletter sequence.