So you’ve decided to have a webinar. You want to fill it up, of course. So what is the optimal time from the opening announcement to the actual event?
Pay close attention here. Many people will blow it on their first (and several more) webinar because they start advertising way too soon.
If you have a good mailing list going, or you are planning to use advertising to fill up your webinar, the worst thing you can do is schedule too far in advance.
People who sign up for your webinar are excited about attending it right now. Not 3 days from now. Not 7 days from now. Not 2 weeks from now. They want to see it NOW!
You can’t give it to them NOW of course – not a live webinar, anyway. But you can give them what they want SOON. And you should.
There is going to be some testing involved. Each industry is going to have different types of people who require different amounts of planning and flexibility. But these are general guidelines I have found to work.
More than a Weekend is More than Enough
It does not have to be a weekend, of course. If you are in B2B sales, you obviously don’t want to make your big push over the weekend.
3 days is a solid amount of time to start with. That means you send out your first email 3 days before the event. You start your Facebook ad campaign 3 days before the event. You start tweeting 3 days before the event.
3 days does not maximize the number of sign-ups your webinar will have. Clearly, the longer you push the event, the more people you have sign up. 3 days maximizes your conversion from registration to attendance. That is the most important number.
When I start with 3 days to go, I see 50%-60% conversion from registration to attendance. Stretching that number to 7 days sees the number drop below 50%. I have not extensively tested times over 10 days, but in the small sample size I have, conversion was at about 40% (sometimes under).
Now, those webinars where we had people signing up 10 days in advance had huge registration numbers! It means that many more days of tweets, emails, and ad campaigning.
More days means more eyes, and more people seeing your event. More people registering because they are interested in what you have.
It also means more time to forget. More time to have other events “come up.” More time to push your product or service to the back burner.
What you get after 10 days are not the same fired up, ready-for-action buyers that you would have had if you launched the webinar in just 3 days.
The Sweet Spot
There is a sweet spot for every industry, though. And testing is the only way you will find it.
Think back to Economics. The Supply & Demand relationship is the way you should think of your webinars.
When testing, you need to compare registration versus attendees, as well as registration versus sales.
There are a million variables to test for in your webinar, so if you are just starting out, test for registration vs. attendees. Try not to make any changes to your system and test 3 days, 5 days and 7 days before webinars.
If 7 days wins, I would test even higher lengths.
Just keep in mind what matters! We want buyers in our webinar, not window shoppers! Do not get caught up in the analytics! Only one number matters: SALES.