Your Complete Guide to Organizing a Webinar to Acquire and Convert Leads [Trello board + checklist]

By: Mary Jantsch

This isn’t a blog post about why you should run a webinar.

Hopefully, if you’ve landed here, you’re already convinced and need an actionable plan to organize a webinar and nurture the new leads you earn from a well-run webinar. 

It’s not enough to pick a date, pick a topic, hope people show up, and then hope they like what you have to say enough to become a client/customer/user, etc. That’s about as reliable as a gas station chili dog.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s to follow:

  • The tools you’ll need to follow this action plan

  • Your webinar promotion timeline

  • Your email breakdown

  • Your Trello board for project management

  • What I didn’t cover

The tools you’ll need to follow this action plan

Trello - This is where your checklists and project timeline will live. It’s important to have a resource to keep track of your progress. While it’s all pretty simple and straightforward to put into action, there are a number of moving pieces.

Zoom - This is our favorite tool for hosting webinars. With chat, Q&A and polling, attendee hand raising, and an attention indicator, Zoom makes it really easy to keep your guests engaged. Beyond that, it’s important to use a tool that captures the emails of the people who do attend your webinar.

Mailchimp - Email! Email is an important part of nurturing the leads who sign up for your webinar. There are two parts: promoting your webinar to increase the attendee percentage and then post-webinar you’ll want to continue engaging with this audience. It doesn’t have to be Mailchimp, it can be whatever mail service you currently use to send emails. You can also use Mailchimp to create your webinar landing page.

Yet Another Mail Merge - While Mailchimp isn’t your only option, we highly recommend using Yet Another Mail Merge for some of the emails we’ll cover below. Yet Another Mail Merge is a Google Sheets AddOn that lets you take a list of names and emails and send a templated email from your Gmail account. This means you can send what looks like personal emails from you, to many people at a time and track the open and click rate.

Your webinar promotion timeline

You want to start thinking about your webinar 5 weeks out. That may seem like quite a lot of time, especially if you’re a fast moving startup. But, planning this far out lets us be really intentional about our promotion. And, the first week of planning is fairly high level. This timeline can be condensed into 4 weeks as well. 

We have a public Trello board in an upcoming section to help you track this to do list. You can also download a PDF of the following timeline, here


WebinarTimeline.png#asset:241


Your email breakdown

In the checklist above, I mention 6 different emails. Let’s break those down.

Email 1: Webinar registration confirmation

Subject: See you on [webinar date]!

Tool: Mailchimp

When: Trigger immediately upon sign up

Goal: Save the webinar date to your calendar

You want this email to be short and sweet and focus on getting them to add the webinar to their calendar. They will have just signed up from your landing page so you don’t need to remind them too much about the topic and content. Here’s an example we sent out from a webinar we held this summer:

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Email 2: Webinar Reminder Email

Subect: Your friendly webinar reminder: this time, on [day of the week of your webinar]

Tool: Mailchimp

When: 2 days before the webinar

Goal: Save the webinar date to your calendar

People are busy, they need lots of reminders. Especially if they didn’t add the webinar to their calendar the first go around. By now, you’ll have a better idea specifically what you’ll cover so use this as an opportunity to give people a sneak peek. Again, an example from Tuff:

LKvLSs7RS2f6UwVCOfQRWBmyL8hxIWUqUctoNttD_Z-q1qR5cXBVBlX4alJIP2JlABN2ZAp_ewu0wmIxCNIY8ol66BY3xgycws8GUxD7ngYZQoW3FpvcNpzQIsZMGNvIPfrC7cCM

Looking back, I think we could have made this email even more detailed on what people could expect in the webinar.

Email 3: Webinar starts in 30

Subject: Your webinar starts in 30: Webinar Name

Tool: Mailchimp

When: 30 minutes before the webinar

Goal: Attend the webinar

This is your last shot to get people to attend, catch their attention and make it easy for them to access the webinar. A Tuff example:

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Email 4: Thanks for attending our webinar

Subject: Thanks for attending the [your company name] webinar, [first name]!

Tool: Yet Another Mail Merge

When: Immediately after the webinar

Who: Webinar attendees (pull list from Zoom)

We recommend switching from Mailchimp to YAMM here because you want this email to feel more personalized than a Mailchimp blast. Someone just shared a decent amount of their time with you and that’s a big deal. Acknowledge that with a ‘personal’ email (made easier with YAMM). Tuff example:

PPx1rqMXtDVa-jZ2FzOpuVHE5OB5Dq4EW3ccHudIRu7rF0VifT5eXS41nNbBAdoUmAtS87QH2Z_yVf9-p-eHbzt8FeIh1Eu6iYBhzQVcJmWHBMzbSOUtuvMTcpaITy7WMh9yXbY9

Email 5: Here’s the recording

Subject: [First name], your recording of the [your company name] webinar

Tool: Yet Another Mail Merge

When: Immediately after the webinar

Who: People who signed up but didn’t attend (exclude list from Zoom)

The copy doesn’t have to be too different from Email 5 but you want to target this audience slightly differently. They’re a slightly ‘colder’ audience than the people that just attended the webinar. Use this an opportunity to open up a conversation. Tuff example:

0SZoBrgBfiK9jhCKACZvkWxjwI39N2EAz0FhHa0KWaSD6GuXl70ZoKwSoUpFZro7YMlyaTBYX6QLihyIKRzUJeLJz1YHLZRQBi2DpD4Bp2ZRPUpkbcxQlP7XsqJ9GN-KbmjJwXjN

Email 6: Webinar follow up

Tool: Yet Another Mail Merge

When: 1 week after the webinar

Who: Everyone who signed up (attended + didn’t attend)

This is an email we dropped the ball on from our webinar this summer so there’s no Tuff example to help illustrate the goal. I think this is one of the most important emails of the series. While holding a webinar and sharing insights and examples on a topic you know well and in-depth is incredibly valuable, you also want to make sure you nurture these leads and don’t just disappear.

Use Yet Another Mail Merge so this email, again, is from a human rather than a company. I’d keep it short and simple. Something along the lines of:

Hey there [[first name]],

I know there are hundreds of webinars a day (at least it feels like it!) you could choose to sign up for or attend. Thanks again for signing up for ours.

The topic, [[webinar topic]], must have struck a chord or related to something you’re interested in or working on.

Do you have any specific challenges or questions about this? Our team spends all day, every week working on this and we’d love to share any thoughts or insights that might help you out.

Just hit reply and let’s chat!

Cheers,

Mary

Your Trello board for project management

As promised! There’s a lot to wrap your brain around in this blog post. Again, it’s nothing too complicated just a bit of project management.

Here’s a public Trello board to get you started with all of the steps above. 

You can make a copy and then add your team members and assign them to any cards, set your own deadlines, comment on cards, etc.

What I didn’t cover

This is more of an operational rundown of all the pieces you need to run a webinar but there are a few things on the checklist I skimmed over. 

A big part of promoting your webinar should be advertising. We’ve had a lot of success with Facebook ads as well as LinkedIn InMail and Instagram stories.

Recently, we helped a client promote a webinar with these results:

  • Facebook spend: $385
  • Clicks: 236 
  • Relevance Score: 8 
  • Cost Per Click: $1.60 
  • Sign Ups: 85 
  • Conversion Rate (Click to Sign Up): 36%  
  • Cost per Sign Up: $4.50

We were super happy with these results. We tried a long form ad for the first time. The copy in the message of the ad 314 words. If characters are your thing, it was 1,750 characters. We told a story that compelled people to trust the host and sign up.

I also didn’t cover landing page suggestions. You may have noticed in the email examples, we held a webinar this summer about optimizing landing pages for conversion. Check it out here for both ideas for your landing page as well as an example of a webinar recap.

Your webinar is going to be awesome

You have an action plan and a Trello board to project manage. If this is your first webinar, you’re doing great and will learn a lot about how to improve your next one. If you’re a webinar veteran, hopefully, this can help bring a fresh perspective.

If you have any questions, need any help with paid advertising to promote your webinar, or have any feedback or suggestions on how to improve this guide, let us know!

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