I did occasional webinar in the last 10 years however with little success and low attendance rate.
In 2021 with a new strategy, I decided to use webinars to deliver quality in demand webinar content, starting with “Financial Freedom Power BI Dashboard” (Includes recordings, dashboard etc.) and while I do that do a bit of self-promotion by sharing my first book “A Career with Microsoft Power BI“, my life coaching services and main one my Power BI Consulting services.
My lesson learnt was that there is no point of doing it, if no one comes!
This time, for our 19th of April 2021 webinar I have used LinkedIn events and from January 2021 I started to invite everyone in my and Katie’s (my wife) network and we did get 1,178 people interested in the webinar (LinkedIn even page) so this way of promoting a webinar was a big success for us!
However having loads of interest doesn’t mean that these people will actually register properly for the webinar, for registration and webinar itself we have used webinarjam.
Attendance rate was a big thing for us, as previously it was very little so we have decided to use sms / text reminders using twilio and send the reminders 24h and 15min before the webinar.
It turned out that we had 950 visitors on the registration page which is very good as it was 80% (may have included traffic from outside of LinkedIn event page).
From 950 visitors we got 374 registrations which is a reasonable 39.37% conversion and 54.28% people joined the webinar with 12.83% replay attendees.
See image below (from webinarjam analytics)
Overall it was a great success and the largest webinar we had so far!
Did sms / text reminders helped a lot?
Here’s the tricky part, which is working out if sms reminders was worth it.
Overall we send 2 reminders + 1 post webinar message to 200 people (600 messages in total) that cost us about £40. We didn’t send 100 reminders due to error which affected all +1 (USA) reminders and we didn’t send about 75 reminders for last minute registrations (24h before the event) which likely have come from LinkedIn event reminders.
According to my research standard attendance rate is 40% to 50% (Which occasionally may include sms reminders) and in our case we got 54.28%.
I started to interrogate the data from webinarjam as I wasn’t sure if attendance rate would be higher if I sent properly all reminders, however because I didn’t it gave me actually a very good comparison data.
It turns out that last minute registration (24h before the event) was a massive 92% attendance rate, when I excluded this data and split it by sms reminders, people who didn’t received sms reminder had 39% attendance rate and those who received sms reminder had 45% attendance rate.
According to my research sms reminders should be up to 15% higher attendance but as it is “up to” in my case it was actually just 6%.
You may think that 6% is still good, and I would agree that 6% extra is good, however there is one thing to consider which is sign up rate. I had 39.37% sign up rate (950 visitors, 374 registrations), and my assumption is that not everyone likes to give them mobile phone, which I could see by some people who entered clearly invalid numbers.
The question here is how many sign ups did I lose because I have asked for a mobile phone number?
Let’s say I would have gotten 10% more sign ups, which gives me 95 more sign ups with attendance rate of 40% (no sms reminders) and that gives me 38 extra attendees comparing to 22 “extra” attendances assuming 6% higher attendance rate, so in this particular examples, more people would have attended without sms reminders, however it’s important to use your own assumptions here for the more sign ups parts (not asking for mobile phone).
I believe 10%+ more sign ups is sensible assumption when not asking for a mobile phone, and my own decision has been not to use sms reminders anymore!
Personally I was hoping that sms reminders would have had bigger impact on the attendance rate, as I was thinking about how many times did I not attend a webinar because I forgot about it! but then we need to ask ourselves a different question… Would you attend a webinar even if you got an sms reminders 15 min before it started? and it seems statistically in real world there is little difference between I forgot and I didn’t attend even though an sms reminder was sent.
Interestingly, the last minute registration was 92% attendance rate which kind of tells us that if I know I don’t have any other plans in the next 24h then I’ll sign up and attend which seems to be a largely more important than sms reminders 😀
I hope you find my analysis of our webinar insightful