1. What is a webinar?
A webinar is a seminar delivered over the Internet.
During a webinar, you build a relationship by teaching. Then you have the opportunity to leverage your audience’s trust and engagement to make a high value offer for a product or service.
Webinars are typically structured as 60- to 90-minute presentations with the middle 45 minutes focusing on providing actionable education.
2. Why run a webinar?
Automated webinars are one of the most effective ways to sell high priced products or services to a pool of prospects. They don’t cost a lot to produce. They’re scalable. They’re repeatable. And they can deliver huge results.
On your webinar you can sell digital products, physical products, services, coaching, workshops, seminars, memberships, and more. The best products to sell are products that will be easiest for your customers to buy right away during or after the webinar.
3. What conversion rate can I expect?
Webinar conversion rates vary from 2-5%, up to 20% if you’re an experienced host with a fantastic product.
Top companies like Buzzsumo get 20% of webinar attendees to convert to customers. That isn’t easy to pull off. Buzzsumo has a great webinar presentation and supporting sales funnel. However, I think their results are encouraging. 20% customer conversion is a lot better than what is possible with other forms of marketing!
Other companies are not as successful. Branded Solopreneur reports that 2-5% of their webinar attendees will buy something. Those results are typical for a lot of companies.
4. How much revenue can I generate?
You can estimate how much revenue your webinar will generate using our Webinar Revenue Calculator.
Your metrics are going to depend on your traffic source. Typical traffic sources include:
- website visitors
- email list subscribers
- traffic from YouTube ads
- traffic from Facebook ads
If you have the resources for promotion, and a great service to offer, you don’t have to think small with webinars. For example, Text Request has built a sales funnel centered around webinars that generates over $1 million per year.
To calculate the revenue you might earn from a webinar, estimate numbers for each metric below.
_____ Monthly Unique Website Visitors (Set up Google Analytics for your website so that you can measure the number of people who visit your site. If you use WordPress, try installing Site Kit.)
_____ Opt-In Rate (This is the number of people who take your webinar divided by your total monthly website visitors. If you’re not sure about this number, try 2%.)
_____ Attendance Rate (This is the number of people who show up to your webinar divided by the total number of people who signed up. If you’re not sure what your attendance rate will be, estimate 40%.)
_____ Conversion Rate (Your conversion rate is the number of people who buy your product divided by the total number of people who attend your webinar. If you’re not sure, try 5%.)
_____ Price of Your Product (I recommend pricing a product that you sell in a webinar at $1,000 – 3,000. Webinars make the most business sense for high-margin products.)
_____ Adjust for Refunds (This is the number of people who ultimately keep the product they purchase divided by the total number of buyers. It accounts for the small margin of buyers who may change their mind after a purchase. If customers are likely to be happy with their purchase, estimate 90% for this.)
Next, multiply the numbers together to arrive at a final revenue estimate.
For example, if you have 3,000 monthly unique website visitors, 2% of them opt in to your webinar, 40% of them attend, 5% of them buy, your product costs $1,000, and 90% of your customers don’t refund, then your total revenue from website visitors is $1,080.
- The webinar revenue calculator is just for your website visitors. You can run similar calculations for a social media audience, email list, etc.
- My suggested percentages are based on typical webinar results.
- Most industry reports suggest an opt-in rate of 10-30% and a conversion rate of 10-20%. I’ve suggested more conservative numbers of 2% and 5% respectively to reflect typical results for first-time webinar hosts who are less likely to be surveyed.
- If you have an engaged email list, you can replace “monthly unique website visitors” with “email subscribers” and run a similar calculation. You might adjust the opt-in rate to 5% and the conversion rate to 10%. These higher estimates reflect the fact that your email list is more familiar with you than people who are just visiting your website, and therefore more open to signing up for the webinar and buying from you.
- How much revenue you make depends on each of these factors. Improving your overall marketing, iterating to upgrade the webinar itself, and automating your webinar to run without you will help you turn your webinar into a profitable income stream for your business.
5. Is it worth doing a webinar for my business?
Even though putting together a webinar takes time, creating a webinar is still a great opportunity for most businesses that sell high-ticket items costing $1,000 or more.
First, remember that you can automate a webinar to run even when you’re not hosting it live. You can set up your webinar to play on demand 15-minutes after a user opts in or you can let a user schedule a viewing date and time that is convenient for them.
Second, you can improve every element of your marketing, from the webpages that attract people to your site, to the email sequence that gets people excited for your webinar, to the presentation of the webinar itself. Iterate, A/B test, and iterate again.
Third, webinars don’t have to bring in massive results to be worthwhile. If you dedicate 40 hours to making a webinar, and it brings in a few thousand dollars in sales that you would not have made otherwise, then it can still pay for the time you put into it.
Fourth, because a webinar can be automated, you can create a lasting asset for your business. So long as it pays for itself by generating sales sometimes during your first year of running it, then you could consider sales you make in future years to be “bonus” profit.
Finally, you don’t have to use your webinar as an immediate sales tool! Hosting a webinar is a great way to get website visitors to give you their email address, to build trust with people who already subscribe, or to simply get practice for a future webinar. So long as you provide good information during your webinar, you’ll strengthen your relationships with prospective customers. Some attendees might even email you asking if you can help them.
6. What industries do webinars work for?
Most webinars are run by software and technology companies. Financial services, education, and consulting companies also a run a fair share of webinars.
Just because there is a void of webinars in other spaces doesn’t mean that a webinar can’t be effective for companies in manufacturing, retail, real estate and more.
Try plugging your business’s numbers into my webinar revenue calculators to see if producing a webinar could be a good strategy for your business.
7. What are the best webinar platforms?
I recommend running an automated webinar that users can watch on-demand. It’s going to be easier for you and more convenient for your audience. It will also allow you to focus on other aspects of your business instead of constantly running live webinars.
EverWebinar is the most popular solution and affordable option for creating pre-recorded webinars, and I believe it’s the best fit for 90% of businesses. (This article does not use any affiliate links and I have no personal interest in promoting their platform over others.)
If you prefer to run a live webinar, you have an array of options including free ones like Google Hangouts, Skype, Facebook Live or YouTube Live.
8. How do you choose the right webinar topic?
You can choose a webinar topic based on a popular blog post or based on questions people are asking online. You can also find 2-3 successful webinars in you industry and try to improve upon them.
You don’t need to be an expert on your topic to help people learn it. Just do a lot of research and then put your knowledge into terms your audience will understand.
Choosing a title is hugely important. Use a title template to write your titles, then poll private Facebook groups in your niche to choose the best option for your audience.
Your description should trigger curiosity and tell people what they’re going to be able to do after watching your webinar.
In her YouTube video, webinar expert Courtney Chaal recommends focusing your webinar on a topic that your audience wants to know more about. If you’re not sure, survey your current customers or your online audience. Next, she recommends considering what results are a prerequisite for your customers to purchase the product you’re offering. (For example, if you’re selling a camera, you might consider a webinar on how to get clients for a photography business.) Courtney said that ideally you should look for a way to give your attendees a great results in one hour or less so that they will walk away from your webinar feeling that they accomplished something. Lastly, she suggests making sure your title is relatable and specific.
9. How should I structure a webinar?
Typically a webinar includes the following sections.
- Welcome Message (5 minutes)
- Preview your content.
- Introduction (5 minutes)
- Address concerns.
- Set the agenda.
- Course Content (45 minutes)
- Teach 3-5 principles with actionable takeaways.
- Sales Pitch (15 minutes)
- Present your offer.
- Sell your product’s features.
- Sell your product’s bonuses.
- Prove your product works (with testimonials or case studies).
- Provide purchase options.
- Cover your refund policy.
- Questions & Answers (10 minutes)
- Conclusion (5 minutes
10. How do you design powerful webinar slides?
For best results, plan your presentation without slides. This will help you avoid filling your slides with everything you want to say and reading off your slides (aka, the “Death by PowerPoint”).
Once you’ve outlined you speech, practice it. Then plan your slide deck with 1-2 slides per minute. Flicking your a loaded deck with minimal text and lot of supporting visuals will keep your audience engaged.
You can create your slide deck in Keynote, Google Slides, or PowerPoint. Software doesn’t matter, but if you have a Mac, I prefer Keynote for its animations and simple interface. Choose 1920×1080 for your slide dimensions.
On your slides, use a Sans Serif font for a modern look. (My favorite is Open Sans.) Define four text styles to create a text hierarchy, or just copy the setting I suggested, and use the same text color throughout all your slides. This will make your typography easy to follow, visually pleasing, and professional.
Fill your slide with powerful photos from Unsplash. To illustrate select points, you can use icons from FlatIcon or illustrations from FreePik. For bonus points, create a visual roadmap to help people follow your presentation, and don’t forget to simplify your data.
11. What is the process for creating a webinar on EverWebinar?
If you use EverWebinar, then programing your presentation should take less than two hours. Follow along with the videos linked to in this article, and feel free to contact their support team if you have any questions.
12. What makes a webinar presentation stand out?
To record your presentation on a Mac, I recommend ScreenFlow. If you use a PC, Camtasia and Screencast-O-Matic are both good options. Make sure to use a professional microphone, not your computer’s built-in microphone. This $20 lavalier lapel microphone will do the job.
Rehearse twice, once to get semi-comfortable with your material, and once to improve on your first rehearsal. Recording both rehearsals is critical to helping you improve.
Do two takes. The first take can be normal, whatever you feel comfortable with. The second take should push you comfort zone as a speaker. Talk faster, push your inflection, be more animated, smile more, and just have fun with it. (You don’t have to use it!)
Lastly, set a deadline so that you actually do your rehearsals and record your presentation.
13. How should I promote my webinar?
The most effective and easiest way to promote your webinar is by emailing your subscribers.
To make the most of your web traffic, share your webinar on your website via a hello bar, a video, a sidebar, your footer, and an exit-intent popup.
Of course, don’t forget to share with your social media followers. The best way to catch people’s interest on social media is with a casual 1-2 minute video. You can record it on your phone. In the video, just tell people you have a webinar coming up, what they’ll learn on it, and how they can register.
14. How can I optimize attendance and sales?
Run your webinar at peak days (Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday) and hours (6pm or 9pm).
Try sending a 4-part email sequence to build anticipation.
- The first email should outline what people will learn on the webinar.
- The second email can focus on overcoming objections.
- The third email should tell a story to illustrate the transformation that is possible.
- The fourth email can give away a workbook that people can fill out during the webinar.
Lastly, send out text message or email reminders one hour before your webinar goes live, 15 minutes before it goes live, and when you finally go live.
15. What are effective follow-up strategies?
After your webinar, send out two emails: one to people who attended and the other to people who registered but didn’t attend.
- For those who attended, thank them for coming! Send them a link to the webinar replay, ask them for feedback on what they’d like to learn more about next time, and send them a link to any bonus gifts you might have promised.
- For those who didn’t attend, tell them what you covered in the webinar, send them a link to the webinar replay, and invite them to email you if they have any questions.
Share Your Experience
If you haven’t run a webinar yet, what is one hurdle that is holding you back? Time? Technology? Money?
If you have run a webinar, what are the top three lessons you learned from your experience? What will you do differently next time?