By Jake Meador | 19 Jun 20
73% of B2B marketers say that webinars are the best way to drive leads to their business. If you’re an online marketer, especially an online marketer at a B2B business, then you have likely been involved with webinars at some point in your career.
The problems people face when trying to use webinars are well known: How do you make sure people actually show up? How do you know if they found it valuable? How do you then convert someone from being a webinar attendee to a customer?
There are plenty of resources out there about how to solve those problems. But one resource that is still generally under-utilized is SMS marketing. In this post, we’ll talk about five ways to use SMS to promote your webinar marketing campaigns.
The most basic way to use SMS is to send out reminders just before the webinar goes live. After all, most of us have fairly busy schedules and it can be easy to forget about a webinar we signed up for. So a quick text five minutes before the webinar starts can be a really helpful reminder to attendees as well as being a great, simple way to boost attendance.
Reminders have another value as well. There are several reasons why people might no-show for your webinars after signing up. One is what we already described—they’re busy and forgot about it. If that’s the biggest problem you have, then SMS should help to solve it.
But what if SMS doesn’t solve it? You send out reminder alerts. People open them. But your attendance numbers don’t move at all.
This is still helpful. Why?
Because now you know something other than busyness is keeping people from attending after they have already signed up.
The most obvious culprit is that when it actually came time to commit that hour or hour and a half, the attendees were not convinced that the content was worth their time. You caught their attention initially. That’s why they signed up. But now they’re not convinced.
If that is happening to you, then you know that you need to improve the hook for the webinar to improve attendance. So even when an SMS reminder campaign “fails” it succeeds because it gives you more information about why your attendees aren’t actually showing up.
In addition to using it to send out reminders, you can actually use SMS as a marketing tool to promote webinars to your audience.
We will not take too much time explaining how this works because you would use SMS to do this in the same way you would email. The difference is simply that SMS messages will be shorter and more targeted.
But it is the same concept: You have a list of contacts. Based on their behavior, you are sending those contacts certain messages asking them to take further steps with your business. Almost everyone does this on email. Very few do it with texting.
Given that texting open rates are 4xs better on average than email, that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Texting, just as much as email, should be part of your marketing toolbox.
Another way you can use texting as part of your SMS promotion strategy is by using SMS to ask for feedback on previous webinars. This can be a great way to evaluate how your webinars are currently performing, ways to improve them, etc.
Obviously there are other ways of evaluating how engaging a webinar is. You can look at how long the average person watches. You can look at how many people show up that signed up. You can look at what attendees do after attending. But in each of those cases, you’re looking at a behavior and then trying to identify the motivation for the behavior.
In contrast, by simply asking for feedback, you’re letting people tell you what they thought. This can give you another type of data that you otherwise will not have when assessing future webinar plans.
One of the obvious benefits with webinars, of course, is that they can be recorded and viewed later. But for the same reason that it is easy to forget about the live webinar it is also easy to forget about the webinar replay.
That said, every replay can potentially be a significant asset for your marketing team. You can—and should—be using the content in the webinar in other venues, of course. You can turn it into a blog post or a case study. But you can also continue to benefit from the actual webinar recording by sharing the recording with your SMS list.
In particular, we recommend sending your replay link to people who signed up to attend the webinar but then did not actually come. They have already communicated interest in the content so you have strong reason to think they’d want to see the recording.
Finally, we already mentioned the option of using SMS messages to ask for open-ended feedback from webinar attendees.
But you can also create simple surveys and send those out to segments from your SMS marketing list. For example, if you had a large number of no-shows on your last webinar, you might send out a survey question like this:
Or, you might reframe the question so that it will not put people on the defensive:
The idea is that you are re-establishing contact with the person and giving them a chance to share what they think. People are usually happy to share their opinions and by doing that here you are, potentially, reengaging a lead who had gone cold after skipping the recent webinar.
Ultimately, webinar success is about the quality of the webinar itself. SMS marketing is a tool to drive traffic to your webinars and make it easier for people to both follow your work and share their thoughts on it. But you can have all the marketing techniques in the world, if you don’t have the right product and the right fit, you’re going to struggle.
The goal here, then, is not to present a kind of silver bullet for webinar success. Rather, it’s to suggest some relatively simple ways that webinar hosts can use SMS to increase viewership and receive valuable feedback.
If you’d like to start using SMS to promote your webinars, you can sign up for a 14-day trial today with Mobile Text Alerts: https://mobile-text-alerts.com/signup