It’s actually pretty amazing how consistent webinar attendance rates are across topics, industries, and sponsors. Basically, for any given live webinar, you can expect about half of your registrants to actually show up. My experience putting together dozens of webinars consistently showed this statistic to be true, with very little deviance. A Quora article on the topic says anywhere from 40-60% is normal, with 50% being the average.
If you’re getting lower than 40% though, it’s time to re-evaluate. Here are seven ideas for how to increase your webinar attendance rate. (Warning: Some I’ve tried and some I haven’t, so proceed at your own risk.)
1. Give something away
Everyone loves freebies – capitalize on this by offering a gift to attendees only. The offer should be something related to the topic of the webinar, if possible. One idea is to give away a book or gated article that your speaker has written on the subject. Another option would be to create your own premium content from the webinar – perhaps an exclusive checklist or consultation that they can only get by attending.
It doesn’t have to be content, though. Depending on your budget, something else might be feasible. For one webinar, we offered funny, minimally branded t-shirts to the first 10 people who tweeted about the webinar. Offering something like this to those that come to the event can be a great way to get more people to log in (as long as the item is desirable and not junk).
2. Emphasize scarcity
If you’ve never watched the “Science of Persuasion” YouTube video summarizing the findings of the book, Influence, I highly recommend it (embedded at right for your viewing pleasure). This suggestion – based on the principle of “scarcity” – comes directly from there.
For some reason, humans respond when there is the notion of only-so-many-can-get-it. And you can use this to your advantage.
For one really popular webinar at my last job, we sent an email 1-2 hours before we started about there being “limited room” and to make sure to log in early. (We had a max capacity of 500 attendees due to our license of GoToWebinar.) This tactic alone boosted our rate to 60%.
I imagine over time this strategy could go either way – either your audience would tune out the message that there’s only so much room or your audience would come to expect that only 100 people can join, for example, and so if the topic is important to them, they should always log in early. (If anyone has tried the “scarcity principle” over an amount of time, I’d love to hear your results!)
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