5 Sneaky Tricks to Double Webinar Attendance Rates

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Crafting an effective, lead-generating webinar is only a portion of the process. Garnering a large pool of registrants can help to ensure that your hard work isn’t for naught, but the fact of the matter is that even with a long list of registrants, you may be hearing crickets during the presentation.

The average webinar presenter gets approximately a 40% attendance rate from their registration list (Source).

That’s a whopping 60% of registrants who, at some point, showed interest in your webinar and then, for one reason or another, skipped out on the webinar itself. It’s like an abandoned shopping cart of sorts — another missed opportunity.

By doubling your attendance rate, you’re giving yourself a good likelihood of also doubling your sales and conversions. That’s a direct connection to dollars earned, so it’s certainly worth your time to invest the extra effort into getting the most registrants as well as the most attendees (which, as we’ve just discussed, are two separate things).

You don’t necessarily have to be sneaky to get a higher attendance rate, but these little tricks can certainly help boost those numbers to fill out your webinar crowd. Here are our top 5 picks for getting your webinar attendance rates doubled:

  1. One-Click Opt-In on Your Webpage.

Opting in to your webinar should be as easy as expressing interest. When you require users to enter lots of personal information, they’re less likely to register for the event in the first place. This means that even if they still plan to attend the webinar, they’re not going to be part of your email and reminder lists.

Here’s how pre-fill opt-ins work: When subscribers click the link to register for the webinar in an email, their email address, name and any other information you have about them are passed through the link’s URL parameters and automatically entered into the registration form on the webinar registration page. And if all of the form fields are filled, then the form is automatically submitted and the subscriber is taken directly to the Thank You Page.

Here’s how you do it via Wishpond:

  1. Log into your landing page editor and create your page.
  2. Activate pre-filled fields. Click on your CTA button in the editor to arrive at this screen.
  3. Select the Pre-fill Fields tab on the far right of the menu at the top.
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  4. Once you’ve arrived at the Pre-fill Fields menu, select the small checkbox next to “Auto-submit form if all fields are filled”. By selecting this feature, anyone whose email you have in your list will just need to click the CTA button to opt-in.
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  5. Edit your URL string. You will notice that the URL string section has yours already in place. Where it says “your-email-address=add_value” is where you’re going to enter your merge tag. Merge tags are used in the email you send subscribers using your email provider (like Mailchimp). A merge tag is what allows you to populate personalized content in your campaigns. It will allow your email address field to automatically fill with each individual’s email that your registration page is sent to. In this case, I’m only using the email address field so I will just add one merge tag {{user.email}} to my URL.

Now, all it takes is a single click where they express interest, and if the rest of their info is already in your system, then they’re taken straight through the process. They’ll be included in further reminders about the webinar, which can only help to boost attendance.

  1. Create an Attention-Grabbing Incentive.

This is where you can get a little sneaky. Got a few extra hundred dollars to spare? Tell registrants that three lucky attendees will be chosen at random at the end of the webinar to receive a $100 bill. That’s enough to perk up some ears.

Sometimes you just need to add a little extra incentive to get folks to show up. Then it’s up to you to really deliver an effective webinar, because now you’ve got your crowd. Other incentives can include free ebooks, audio clips, or even gifts to spice up the deal for all attendees.

  1. Create a High-Conversion Webinar Schedule.

You’re sending out emails to your subscriber lists and inviting folks to register on social media, but without a high-conversion schedule, you’re likely to miss out on the maximum amount of attendees possible. Here’s an important statistic to note:

Only 34% of registrants sign up for a webinar more than a week before the date (Source).

So what’s the secret? Keep in mind the time of your webinar, and post updates, reminders, and registration pages accordingly. A well-timed schedule can boost your registrants, but a conversion schedule aimed at keeping those registrants in attendance is key.

If your webinar is in the evening — say, at 8pm — then sending out an email to remind registrants half an hour before the start time might not be best for keeping attendance rates high. This is because most folks are at home at 7:30 and not checking emails! Instead, shot out a reminder text message to registrants.

According to a recent study, it showed that people have their mobile devices within 3 – 4ft of them 24 HOURS PER DAY! Lewis Howes brings up an additional point:

This method alone on average will drive anywhere from 7% and I’ve seen as high as 312% with a simple text message reminder. The great part about this is that it’s all permission based, your registrants opt in to receive this reminder and in fact, many are expecting it and leaning on it as they’re calendar.

  1. Add an Element of Mystery.

Kind of like giving an extra incentive (see #2), adding an element of mystery helps to sweeten the deal and make your webinar next to irresistible. If you have an industry leader joining you, don’t mention them by name. Instead, have a build-up by describing your ‘secret’ or ‘special’ guest. If registrants want to know who it is, they’ll simply have to attend the webinar!

Curiosity + Value = High Attendance

You can also add mystery in the form of a feature or piece of software as well. Build up the value of the mystery element to a very high value. For instance, “Attend this webinar, and you’ll get the chance to chat with our mystery guest who has spent over 7 million dollars in Facebook advertising.”

  1. Keep the Flow Going with an Engaging Thank You Page

Once registrants have signed on to attend your webinar, you can boost their loyalty to their response by making your Thank You page interactive. This post-signup page usually just indicates that they’ve registered for the webinar, but don’t let it be a dead end.

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Instead, optimize it!

  • Add a video to create a relationship
  • Add testimonials from previous attendees
  • Ask them to share for boosted investment
  • Add a ‘what to do next’ section of preparation materials, ‘add to calendar’ buttons, and even a Facebook comment section

Your webinar attendance rates don’t have to suffer the typical 60-70% dropoff rates. Getting registrants is only half the battle; keeping those registrants dedicated to attending is the key to a successful show. To ensure high attendance rates, try these 5 sneaky tricks:

  1. One-Click Opt-Ins on Webpage
  2. Attention-Grabbing Incentives
  3. High-Conversion Schedules
  4. Mystery Elements
  5. Engaging Thank You Page

You tell us: What’s your attendance versus registrant roster like? How have you boosted attendance at your webinars?