How to Sell Using Webinars: Increase Sales of Your Online Courses
marketing Oct 09, 2017
Learning how to sell using live webinars can make your business thrive in ways you can’t anticipate. Live video has become a go-to resource for entrepreneurs in every industry because it’s intimate, engaging, and ripe for conversions.
Research compiled by Invesp demonstrates that conversion rates on webinar registration pages can go as high as 45 percent if you build a custom page. There isn’t any reliable data yet for conversions on offers in webinars, but since webinars have been increasing steadily in popularity, they’re clearly a good way to bring in more leads and to boost conversions.
And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. You don’t produce a webinar just for the fun of it — though, of course, it should be fun. Instead, you do it to increase sales. Let’s talk about how to sell during webinars.
How Can You Make Money From Webinars?
The secret to generating money from webinars lies in your ability to pitch your product. When you’re selling online courses, information becomes your currency. If you provide just enough information to convince your audience that you’re an authority in your industry, you can easily use webinars to generate sales.
It’s similar to the practice of attending conferences and other public events. Marketers give speeches before their target audiences, then set up a booth full of their products for after the speech.
The only difference is that you’re offering digital products and using a digital solution. You don’t have to travel, deal with inventory, or sleep in a hotel room. In fact, you can conduct webinars from anywhere in the world and reach people in nearly every country as long as you (and they) have an Internet connection and the appropriate equipment.
If you want to make money from your webinars, though, you need a game plan. Let’s walk through the steps necessary to create a money-making strategy for your next webinar.
Build an Appealing Webinar Registration Page
A registration doesn’t equal a sale, but you need to get people through the door, so to speak, if you want to sell using webinars. An appealing webinar registration page serves as the first step toward reaching your goal.
The registration page should invite prospective customers to join you for your webinar. It needs to convey specific benefits that participants can expect to get from the experience, and there should be a big call to action that encourages visitors to sign up.
The registration page gets the ball rolling. It’s critical to give this page plenty of attention so that you don’t blow your chance to connect with as many prospects as possible.
How do you create a slam-dunk webinar registration page? Let’s go through the most critical elements.
Start With a Magnetic Headline
Headlines, when written well, grab attention and encourage the reader to continue perusing the content on the page. A lackluster headline might result in a high bounce rate. In other words, visitors will click away from your site and not keep reading.
The best headlines convey a benefit using strong action verbs and well-chosen adjectives. They can also convey urgency through word choice. Here are a few examples that might give you some inspiration:
- Join My Free Webinar and Learn How to [Solve a Problem] in 10 Minutes or Less
- Check out My Webinar on [Topic] and Dive Into [Subject Matter] Flawlessly
- Don’t Miss the Chance to Learn How to [Solve a Problem] Today
You’re asking people to sign up for your webinar, so make your headline pop. Put it in H2 tags on the page and make sure it’s optimized for search engines as well as potential webinar participants.
Summarize the Topics You’ll Cover
Underneath the headline, use short paragraphs or bullet points to cover the information you’ll deliver during the webinar. Make sure to mention whether you’ll include a Q&A session (which is always a good idea).
Remember to focus on benefits. You’re writing this for potential customers, so get inside their heads. What would make them unable to resist attending your webinar? That’s what you need to focus on.
For instance, if you’re selling online courses and other digital products about fitness, think about your customers’ pain points and desires:
- Wanting to lose weight
- Getting ready for a marathon
- Joining a sport
- Participating in a fitness competition
- Keeping up with friends
Mine the data you’ve already collected on your customers to get a better idea for what they’re looking for and what might be bothering them.
Once you’ve created a list of topics, they go on your registration page. You don’t have to go into too much detail. In fact, leaving something to the imagination can spark curiosity and boost conversions.
Provide a Brief Host Bio
Potential webinar participants want to know who will be hosting the event. Provide a brief bio that combines factual information with a touch of personality. Write like you speak.
Your bio should include any information that lends your brand credibility. In other words, you want people to glean from your bio that you’re an authority on the topic and worth hearing.
Consider incorporating one or two testimonials as social proof, as well. Comb through your testimonials to find options that mention you specifically. For instance, has someone complimented your speaking style or called out your wealth of knowledge? Those can go on your webinar registration page.
Make the Time and Date Clear
It might seem obvious, but many entrepreneurs get so engrossed in the process of creating a webinar that they forget to include the most important information. If people don’t know when to tune in for your webinar, they won’t register.
Make the time and date as obvious as possible on the page. It shouldn’t be bigger than your headline or call to action, but it should still be easy to locate.
Add a Can’t-Ignore Call to Action
A call to action convinces prospective participants to convert. It’s the last element on the page before you offer your signup form.
Think carefully about your call to action. It should mirror the benefits and topics you listed earlier on the page, but it needs to have a clear sense of urgency:
- Don’t Miss Out on This Opportunity
- Your Competition Is Viewing this Webinar — Shouldn’t You?
- Only Three Days Left. Sign Up Now!
Keep your industry in mind when crafting your calls to action. You want to appeal to your target audience and convince them that they’ll find themselves in a better place after participating in your webinar than they were before.
Design a Webinar Thank-You Page
After someone signs up for your webinar, you’ll direct them to a thank-you page that confirms their registration and expresses gratitude for their interest. This might seem like a fairly simplistic page, but you can use it to boost conversions by priming your prospects.
On your thank-you page, mention that you offer an online course that covers further information. Let people know that they can sign up for the course before, during, or after the webinar to get more in-depth information and advice.
You don’t want to give prospects the hard sale here. People get tired of obvious branding messages, so make the suggestion as casual as possible. You just want readers to know about your product or products so they’re prepared to buy if they find your webinar useful and engaging.
Confirm Registrations and Consider Upselling
In addition to your thank-you page, you can also send out a registration confirmation via email. Again, this is an opportunity to prime the customer for the conversion. Let people know that you offer an online course and describe it briefly. Include this information after the confirmation section.
You could also use this email for upselling or cross-selling. Instead of just mentioning one of your online courses, mention them all. Alternatively, if you offer several options at different price points, suggest your most expensive online course instead of the cheaper alternatives.
Tone down the salesy language. Paint the offer as a friendly suggestion that you’re making for people who might have an interest in the topics you cover in your online courses.
Provide a CTA for Social Shares
A registration doesn’t equal a sale, as we mentioned before, but you still want as many people to join your webinar as possible. The more people you convert on the webinar, the more chances you have to sell during the webinar.
In your emails to registrants, invite them to share your webinar information via social media. You can include buttons that automatically fill out tweets, Facebook posts, and other social-media mentions on specific platforms.
When someone promotes your webinar via social media, the event reaches an entirely new audience — the members of which might be interested in your course material. Don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of the added exposure.
Remind Registrants Via Email
As your webinar gets closer, send reminder emails so more people participate in the webinar. Remember that, just because someone signs up for a webinar doesn’t mean they will actually attend. In fact, it’s rare to get an attendance rate of more than 50 percent.
Many people don’t attend webinars because they simply forget. They’re leading busy lives, and your event slips their minds.
Don’t let that happen. In your reminder emails, suggest that your registrants add the event to their online calendars. That way, they’ll receive a reminder just before the webinar goes live.
Invite Registrants to Join Your Regular List
To increase your chances of converting prospects into customers during or after the webinar, invite registrants to sign up for your regular email list. That way, you can continue to reach out to them even if they don’t convert during the actual event.
Those who sign up might get slotted into a welcoming drip campaign that introduces them to your brand and whets their appetites for future content. Invite them to visit your blog, attend future webinars, and follow you on social media.
If you gain new subscribers from this method, you could also send them coupon codes a week or two after the webinar. Simply segment the list into those who converted during or right after the webinar and those who did not. The ones who didn’t might bite after receiving a discount off your course price.
Send a Final Reminder Email
It’s the day of your webinar, but don’t rest on your marketing laurels. Send out one last reminder email to registrants to let them know that your webinar will start at a specific time.
The registrants who didn’t mark the event on their calendars and have subsequently forgotten about the event might remember and attend. The more people who show up, the better your chances of making sales.
Don’t Forget the Email Countdown Timer for Urgency
Add a countdown timer to your email to create a renewed sense of urgency. When people see timers, they associate them with the fear of missing out.
Gain Back-End Exposure Through Replay Emails
After your webinar ends, don’t forget to continue using the content to boost conversion rates. Send emails to people who didn’t attend the webinar as well as to those who did. Invite them to watch the replay so they can glean as much value from the recording as possible.
You’ll need to host the webinar recording on a page on your website. Consider creating a landing page specifically dedicated to this purpose instead of funneling traffic to a blog post. Use a cleanly designed landing page that includes just the webinar replay and a call to action that takes visitors to your sales page.
With less clutter on the screen, visitors will focus more intently on the webinar and the call to action. You don’t want to distract them with links that might lead them deeper into your site — and away from the checkout process.
How to Boost Sales on Your Webinars
Now it’s time to get to the good stuff. While you’re not a major corporation, you have to think like one if you want to sell using webinars. This is especially true if you’re new to this process. You need a slam-dunk strategy.
There are several ways to improve the chances of turning webinar participants into customers. You can use them all or just a few, depending on your specific goals and the type of webinar you’re designing.
Offer a Guarantee
If possible, give webinar participants a satisfaction guarantee. If they aren’t pleased with the online course or other digital products they buy, they can get a refund. It’s a great way to overcome objections. People know that they’re not risking their money if you don’t deliver high-value course materials.
It’s also useful because most people don’t bother requesting refunds after they purchase something. They forget about the satisfaction guarantee, feel guilty about asking for a refund, or don’t want to go through the hassle. Whatever the case, you’re not taking a huge risk.
Of course, you need to make sure you deliver as much value as possible in your online courses. Don’t give customers a reason to send you an email request for a refund. Instead, blow them away with your expertise and content.
Keep Your Offer Visible
During your webinar, you might shift away from your offer to a Q&A session, screen-sharing session, or other event. However, you don’t want to remove your offer from your prospects’ slight line.
Instead of devoting your entire screen to the webinar content, leave a small space devoted to your offer. Include the URL where participants can find your sales page and sign up for your online course. You want it to stay front and center in case someone decides to buy while you’re fielding questions or making a demonstration.
Help Registrants Visualize Their Success
Webinars work well because people can actually see your face, your expressions, and your excitement. Use this opportunity to generate buzz about your online courses and to help participants imagine how they will feel after they take your online course.
In other words, you want them to visualize themselves getting the benefits you describe. They should walk away from the webinar with a clear picture of how they can take advantage of what you’re offering.
Use Psychological Principles to Encourage Conversions
Other psychological principles can also help get people to buy your products during a webinar. We talked about urgency above, for example. You could offer a discount on your most popular online course during the webinar. However, to increase urgency, add a countdown timer to the screen. They only get a certain amount of time to take the discount.
Social proof works, as well. You might consider inviting a satisfied customer to join the webinar and to explain his or her experience with your online courses. Consumers tend to believe objective third parties more than marketers, so you can gain lots of traction this way.
Upsell and Cross-Sell to Your Audience With Premium Add-Ons
Upselling can have an excellent impact on revenue, especially during a live webinar. Consider offering premium add-ons for your courses, such as customization options or product bundles. Convince your audience to buy your most expensive product or to buy more products during a single transaction for a discount.
Upselling (asking customers to increase the price of a transaction) and cross-selling (inviting customers to buy related products) can both prove valuable. Just don’t be too salesy. Speak like a trusted friend making a recommendation that you legitimately believe will help your audience. That’s already the case, right?
Give Multiple Payment Options
Some people can’t afford to shell out a large chunk of change at one time. They might want to buy your online course, but get scared off by the price point. Multiple payment options can help overcome that objection and boost conversions.
Let your customers break up their payments into several installments over a period of weeks or months. For more expensive courses, you might want to schedule the payments for longer periods of time.
For instance, if your course costs $300, you could offer a payment plan that requires $100 per month for three months. For a course that costs $1,200, on the other hand, you might want to break up the payment plan into 12 monthly installments.
Promote a Discount to Participants Only
You’ll create an exclusive vibe in your webinar if you offer a discount that’s only available to them. When you replay the webinar later, you’ll cut out that segment of the webinar so that nobody else can use the discount code.
It’s a great way to show your gratitude for the people who have given their time to listen to you. Plus, it’s an excellent incentive to make an impulse purchase.
Record and Replay the Webinar
A webinar’s value doesn’t disappear after you’ve said goodbye to your audience. Reuse this content elsewhere on your website to continue driving sales.
Andrew LaCivita, one of our #kajabiheroes, offers a membership website that includes CoachCasts — monthly webinars to which only members have access. However, he uses an old recording to draw in new customers.
You could use your webinars as lead magnets, as well, to capture email addresses and other contact information from prospective customers. How you use your webinars is up to you, but don’t let older recordings grow stale. Continue to reuse them so they can drive conversions.
Encourage Participants to Spread the Word
During the webinar, invite participants to tell their friends, family members, and colleagues about your online courses. Most people won’t promote something unless they’re asked to do so.
It doesn’t have to sound slick or salesy. Simply say something along the lines of this: “If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard today, I’d appreciate it if you’d spread the word for me. Someone you know might benefit from my online courses.”
You could also let your participants know when you’re hosting your next webinar. They can let their loved ones know so they can participate.
Make the Event a Blast
A webinar doesn’t have to sound like an evening news segment. In fact, it shouldn’t. If you don’t give your presentation some personality, participants’ attention will drift and you’ll lose potential sales.
Find ways to liven up the webinar and keep it interesting. Incorporate jokes, personal stories, and other material that will keep consumers riveted to their seats. A Q&A can also help engage your audience. Give people the chance to ask questions, then deliver thorough answers.
Use Repetition to Convert Your Audience
Repetition can help hammer home the idea that your course deserves your prospects’ consideration. Repeat your offer several times during the webinar — when you transition between different segments, for instance — so everyone fully understands what they stand to gain from the course.
Use similar phrasing, as well, so it sounds familiar to your audience. Repetition can prove extremely powerful when it’s used right, and you’ll thank yourself when sales of your online course skyrocket.
Don’t Bother With Lengthy Introductions
When you’re hosting a webinar, jump right into the content. Don’t “warm up” the audience with a lengthy, pointless introduction. Attendees already know who you are and why they’re watching you, so get to the point and dive into the meat of your presentation.
If you’re uncomfortable jumping right in, you can start with a brief introduction. Simply state your name and mention that you create online courses. From there, get to the point of the webinar.
Continuously Tease Upcoming Information
You want to keep your prospects engaged with your webinar as long as possible. To do so, continuously tease new information that you’ll reveal. For instance, you could mention a particular tip, then say, “We’ll get into that in more detail later.”
This strategy is similar to the cliffhangers that televisions show creators often put right before commercial breaks. People want to know the answers to mysteries, so they’ll stick around to learn what you have to say.
You need confidence to excel at webinars. You don’t want to come across as smarmy or cocky, but confident. Don’t apologize for trying to sell your online course. It’s what you do — and you deserve to earn money from your hard work.
If necessary, practice hosting a play webinar with your family members or friends. Get comfortable with the material so you can shine during the real event. You’ll feel more confident going into the webinar and your audience will sense the difference.
A webinar isn’t just a great opportunity to generate leads. It’s also a prime chance to sell your digital products. You just need a plan and a strategy to convert prospects into customers.
Start by promoting your webinar thoroughly and using post-registration emails to engage your prospects. Convince as many as possible to attend the webinar so they hear your pitch, take advantage of the offer, and hand over their payment information.
Once your webinar starts, use the tricks and tips we’ve explored to boost conversion rates. Offer a satisfaction guaranteed, demonstrate how your prospects can attain success, and use psychology to get into their minds.
Don’t forget to offer multiple payment options, especially if your course is expensive.
After the webinar, don’t stop promoting. Use the material to keep people coming back to your brand. Ask participants to promote the webinar to their friends and family members.
Most importantly, deliver the best content possible during the webinar. Make it entertaining, exude confidence, and take questions from your audience.
Using these strategies, you’ll get more sales from your webinars.
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