How to Use Webinars to Convert Blog Readers Into Customers

Are you tired of spending money on content marketing… especially because it isn’t generating any income for you? Sure, you can throw some ads up on your blog, but unless you get millions of visitors a month, you probably won’t get a great return.

1 million visitors

Just look at the image above. That content site gets over one million unique visitors a month and monetizes through AdSense. Can you guess how much money it makes each month?

If you guessed $10,000 or even $20,000 a month, you got it wrong. The site only generates $4,000 a month from ads. When you factor in hosting and maintenance costs, however, the site is actually losing around $3,000 a month.

So what’s a better strategy to convert your blog readers into customers? It’s through webinars.

Video creates loyal readers

The first thing you need to know about converting visitors into customers is that the loyal visitors tend to convert first. They believe in what you are preaching; they appreciate everything you have to offer; and they tend to be early adopters.

You can increase your visitor loyalty by doing the following:

  • Responding to every email you get from your readers.
  • Replying to comments on your blog to show your readers that you care.
  • Continually giving people more information and great content, all for free.

Although these three tactics will help you build a loyal audience, one strategy you should also consider is videos. Videos tend to have a higher perceived value, which is why people look forward to watching them.

But if you suck on camera like I do, another form of video content that you can leverage is webinars. They are just as powerful as other types of videos, but they are better suited to sell products or services.

Finding the right topic

Are you ready to make some money through webinars? Well, before you make some money, you need to first figure out what your webinar should be on.

What you need to do is to go through your Google Analytics stats to see what your five most popular blog posts were. You want to look at not just current posts, but the old ones too. Make sure you go all the way back to when you first started your blog.

Now that you have your top five posts, look for the one that is the most technical and resource-related. For example, a “how to” type of post or a “list” type of post typically can be turned into a good webinar.

Case studies also make great webinars. For example, my webinar on how I grew the KISSmetrics blog from 0 to 350,000 monthly visitors had over 4,000 registrants.

Picking the right software

As much as I hate GoToWebinar’s fees and limitations, their software converts higher than everyone else’s. We’ve tested a few different types of webinar software, and even some custom ones, but I’ve found that GoToWebinar generates 15-38% more signups on average than any other webinar software.

I don’t know why this is the case, but my guess is that people are familiar with the GoToWebinar brand. Don’t worry about their fees as the increase in conversion rate will make up for the cost.

GoToWebinar also collects all the information you need to sell to your attendees. From your attendees’ names and email addresses to their phone numbers and company names, you can collect almost anything you want.

Promoting your webinar

If no one joins your webinar, you won’t make any money. A week before your webinar, you should create a blog post encouraging people to sign up for the webinar. If you have an email list, you can also do a blast to your list asking them to sign up.

Here is what I recommend you add to your blog post:

  • Add “webinar” to your post title – I’ve found adding the word “webinar” to your blog title will decrease how many people will read it by roughly 30%, but the conversion rate from readers to attendees goes up by over 50%. Although adding the word “webinar” in the title will typically get you fewer visitors, it should get you more attendees.
  • Tell them what they are going to learn – don’t try to be mysterious. The more you tell your blog readers, the more likely you are going to get attendees. Be very descriptive when telling people what you are going to cover without giving away the farm.
  • Don’t forget the details – tell them who is going to present the webinar, the date and time it is going to take place, and even how long the webinar will be.
  • Sneak peeks – I’ve found that when you give people a visual peek of what the webinar will look like, you can typically boost your signup rate by 11%.
  • Call to action – don’t forget a call-to-action button that drives people to sign up. I would make sure that you place this button throughout your blog post.

If you are looking for an example of what to do, check out this webinar post.

Creating your presentation

When you are creating your webinar slides, you want to avoid doing anything that is overly salesy. Focus on creating slides that help educate your attendees. You want them to walk away with step-by-step instructions that will help them solve a problem they are experiencing.

Now, within the presentation, you can mention how your product or service can help them solve their problem and even show them how it is possible. Using this approach tends to lead to a lot of conversions. I’ve typically seen the conversion rates at around 3-25%, depending on what you are selling and the price points.

The key to using this approach is to mention your product or service throughout the webinar. When doing this, make sure to show examples of people who currently use your product and the results they are experiencing.

I’ve also tried a much more aggressive approach by telling people in the middle of the webinar that I want them to go sign up for KISSmetrics and that I will resume the webinar in a few minutes. Every time I tested this tactic, as well as variations of it, the number of attendees dropped by 20-30%.

Don’t forget the Q&A

The one thing you have to leave room for is questions. Make sure you answer the questions that your attendees have as it will make them feel more loyal to you and help increase sales.

When you answer the questions, make sure you mention your product or service whenever it is relevant as this should also help you increase your sales. Just make sure you don’t only talk about your company because the goal of the webinar should be to help the attendees. The indirect benefit of helping them is generating more sales.

At the end of the Q&A section, follow up with all of your attendees. If you have a sales team, give them the leads and have them start dialing. Or if you sell through email, sending a special discount code or coupon to all of the attendees is a great way to generate sales. The key is to follow up as quickly as possible because the attendees are excited and ready to buy.

Conclusion

If you haven’t tried webinars, you should give them a shot. They are so effective for me that I am able to generate $30 to $100 from each attendee depending on the offer. That means every time I have a webinar with 1,000 attendees, I am generating $30,000 to $100,000 in income by selling them services or products that they can use.

Plus, my favorite part about webinars is that they are a win/win situation. Your attendees are learning something new, and you are generating income from it.

So, what do you think about monetizing your content marketing efforts through webinars?

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Comments

  1. Great post. I’m curious… what exactly are you selling and how do you attach the sale to the webinar? Banner ads after the webinar? Follow-up email?

    Also, our experience with webinars is that it works best to start promoting them a month in advance. You feel a week in advance works better?

    • I am either selling software such as KISSmetrics, consulting services, or other various software products for marketers.

      Sometimes at the end of the webinar I offer an exclusive deal just for the people who are on it, which is how a lot of the sales come.

      I typically follow up by email with the offer or educating them about the software.

      I haven’t tested doing them a month in advance, but I will try that out. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Amazing post Neil! I am always learning something new when I visit your blog. Thanks a lot for sharing golden nuggets with us. Waiting for your next email

  3. Great reminder post. My partner and I would do weekly Webinars for my last company. We would also see a higher conversion rate. In addition to converting higher, the promotion of the Webinars would generate a high number of leads.

    I also attend a good number of Webinars. As an attendee, I am aware that you will be selling, and Im ok with that. But some people way over do it, with very little quality content, and a lot of sales. I log off fast.

    • Jason, sounds like a solid strategy. I Think webinars, when done right, can really promote the agenda of your product of service. It’s all about providing the right content in the right context. You are right, when people overdo it many people are inclined to leave the webinar all together. Thanks for reading!

  4. Neil, thanks for the post.

    As regards replying to each and every email, this sounds great. But the downside of it that the quality of replies may be not very good, because it is simply not possible to reply to all people’s requests with due quality.

    However it is worth doing it even just to show that you do really care about your readers. In many cases just a simple attention and sign “I hear you” is enough for readers to make them a bit (or even much) happier by being kind of closer to them.

    I think it is especially works great when replying to newcomers who see that this big guy who is extremely busy (you, the blog owner) could spot them and answer their comment/email. After such sign of warm treatment there is a high possibility that the reader will become a part of a loyal audience. And will participate in webinars etc and then will bring income to you occasionally.

    • Michael, you bring up a great point! I think while it is difficult to be as thorough and elaborate you can still show your readers you care and that you are hearing them out. You’d be surprised how easy it is to spot the core needs of your users while looking looking through lengthy emails. My strategy is to trouble shoot and move forward accordingly. Thanks for reading and thanks for providing such thoughtful insight :)

  5. Glad you found the post helpful. I think the main aim of any webinar is to make sure you are sharing as much information as possible regarding the quality and utility of your blog. Please let me know if you have any questions :)

  6. Fantastic post Neil. Thank you for sharing what works for you and the successes you derived out of it. I remember joining your webinars for KISSmetrics and now reading how you promoted it was pretty similar to what I experienced.

    Curious question, have you measured the impact of how much the Q&A has helped improved your conversions?

    General question, what was your general funnel conversion from popular post to webinar to converted sales like?

    • Yes, but not directly in the way you are thinking. Sometimes we couldn’t get to the Q&A as the presentation ran a bit too long. And we learned that this hurt overall deals closed, which is why we always do a Q&A.

  7. Dornubari Vizor :

    Great Post Neil! Love that you actually provided solid numbers behind this. What you think about prerecorded webinars, where people email in their questions ahead of time and you shoot the video for it. Do you know how well that converts?

    • Dornubari, I think anything that gets people to convert and provides useful information is valid. It doesn’t matter if the webinar is live or not. However, in my experience people often tend to favor live webinars a bit more.

  8. Neil this is great timing. I’ll also add that for marketing, individuals should consider listing a FB event page and using FB’s system to invite. The event page should be a pre-sell to the actual webinar landing page though. Many blogs have their own FB pages so this is easy to execute. And also listing the event via Eventbrite since Eventbrite does summary email outs which provides free exposure.

    And try to use stories laced into your content. No matter how great the content/training is… adding in anecdotes, case studies or relevant stories does a lot to maintain and engage an audience.

    In initial tests, we found $220+ value per attendee with a very hands-on version. So if you have a smaller turn-out, make the most of it by making it even more interactive. Engage with all attendees directly and you’ll convert far more of them into sales.

    Great post Neil. I’ll share this out on Facebook.

    - Rob

    • Rob, thanks for your help in sharing this post. I agree with the FB system. It really gets the ball rolling and provides your webinar with more eyes– thus leading to more attendees. I think a good story is great for sharing your content, you definitely do not want to sound dry. The ROI on webinars, in my experience, has been tremendous. It sounds like your test confirm that notion :)

  9. Thank you Neil for this & every other blog of yours. I have never come across a anyone else with such useful insight that is shared so wholeheartedly!

  10. Hello Neil,

    I am working on my personal blog at the moment. I feel like I have so much to say.

    I have been looking for ways to remunerate my effort on the blog, and of course ads are not the way. I found this post inspiring, now I can’t wait to work on my blog and set up some webinars. I will test to see how it goes.

    I have been working at VoiceBunny and we wanted to help add value to your community. We therefore created http://quicksprout.fm/ using BunnyCast so that your readers can now listen to your great content in podcast form.

    Just how you mentioned that people should add webinars to their content marketing, I feel adding podcasts is an equally effective medium.

    Thank you very much Neil

    All the best,

    Alejandro

  11. Great post Neil. I completely agree. In general, people are skeptical when purchasing things on the internet, especially in the home based business industry.

    A webinar makes you a real person and can help your viewers/readers relate to you. And when they can relate, they’re in a better buying attitude.

    Have you tested doing webinars through Google Hangout?

  12. We’ve been talking about how we can us webinars for our category (personal branding) all this week.

    This piece was helpful in the sense of preparation.

  13. Good article. It makes me think about Ramit Sethi. Especially the promoting, presentation and Q&A parts.

  14. Hey Neil,

    Really solid insight about webinars. I’d like to add that while a blog can use the top 5 blog posts, an ecommerce store can use their 5 top selling products and create webinars around those. Maybe a webinar can even kick-start them into starting a blog!

  15. Kingsley Enwereuzo :

    Hi,
    Thanks for this great content. Plesae my question is that in case you don’t have time to do webinars , can you outsource the whole thing out? And if yes, can you recommend a good one?

    • Kingsley, you can definitely outsource the whole thing out. Some things you will need though: content, purpose and someone to speak on your behalf. There are a ton of agencies that provide these services. I would just google: webinar ; and see what comes up.

  16. Top tips and it reminds me of the story from Vishen Lakhiani, how he made money from “Learn Remote Leaning”.. How that site mad him almost 1 million in 18 months.

    I haven’t tested or much participated on Webinars but this article gives the trigger to give it a try.

    • Fernando, I definitely think you should hop into a webinar or two. It gives you an idea of how the industry works and is a great tool to generate qualified leads. Let me know how it works out for you!

  17. Hey Neil,

    You mentioned that you trialled other webinar services other than Gotowebinar, what were they? And why didn’t they meet your standards?

    We use Livestream for our webinars but we will being doing a lot more of them in future and so now is the time to review the software we use, and make sure we are using the best that’s out there.

    We found that Livestream worked for our audience because it had less steps required to sign-up which our members find annoying to do (our webinars go straight to current members only- so no need to capture email addresses etc). It was also good for creating more dynamic webinar slides with a rolling ‘ticker’ of news down the bottom, and a live chat box.

    Also I have noticed that there comes a point where you stop answering questions at the end of your blog, is this deliberate? Does it signify to people that it’s time to move on to the next blog post?

    • Hey Lauren

      From my experience it is from setting aside time to responding to blog posts and then moving onto other business ( Neil for example runs a few business with other blogs). Its impossible to dedicate all your time to respond to everyone’s comments at once, for busy bloggers its usually done in stages :)

      So they will respond, attend to other businesses and matters and come back at another stage and respond to more ect .

      Paul

    • Webex, Any Meeting (they can’t handle the volume), Adobe Connect, and a few custom ones that my buddies built/use.

      I’ve also played around with Live Stream, but haven’t tested it as my buddy Tim Sykes had poor experiences with it as a webinar solution.

      As for stop answering questions, I do it because I just can’t get to them all. :(

  18. Seriously doubt the claims about Gotowebinar in this post. Did you just make them up Neil Intern?

  19. again top class article for me . every method explained like a teacher

    thank you neil

  20. Patrick Hathaway,

    You do realize you asked that question to the Founder of KissMetrics… right?

    Awesome post Neil… keep’m coming bro!

    Remember… be a servant,

    Cory Boatright
    The Real Estate Servant
    http://callwithcory.com

  21. Thanks, Neil, for a thought-provoking post. It looks like a Webinar could be a good tool to bring my potential buyers to the surface.

    I’ve got a lot of work to do first, but you have got me thinking it might be something worth doing to find out who’s really interested in my topic.

    I appreciate your blog and the openness in which you share your business practices.

    Best regards.

    • Paul, great points. I think you should definitely do some research and prospecting before you get into doing any webinars. Your content and information should really resonate with your target audience. Please let me know if you need any help along the way :)

  22. Hey Neil

    I personally would love to see you do some videos for Quicksprout, I think everyone feels that they aren’t great on camera.

    I have seen some of your interviews and I think you would make some fantastic resources, I for one find it easier to learn when I can actually watch someone talk to me as if its one on one and can show how to do things on camera and not just in writing.

    Look at Derek Halpern’s Social Triggers http://www.socialtriggers.com for example, some of the tips are fairly basic but the fact that they are delivered in video format means it really sinks in and people take in on board, I think they are great and he does a fantastic job ( and you share some of your personality with your followers)

    As for webinars, I have been part of some great ones, and some that need a lot more work. To me the more value one provides the more success it will be, I have no issue with people advertising their products but it really is about how its done.

    If the host is upfront about the ads, and lets me know then I have no problem with it. But if its done in a sleazy, salesy way trying to pass it off in the presentation it sometimes leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    I REALLY want you to hold a webinar Neil, I would join in a heartbeat – please say its in the works?
    Thanks for the great article.

    Paul Back

    • Paul, videos and webinars are definitely in the works. I agree, I think most people feel they don’t have an on-screen presence… when in fact they do. I really think videos and webinars resonate well with your prospects, customers and peers. I should have videos and the like coming out within the next couple of months. Stay tuned!

  23. great tips to earn but i think we must have something good to sell to our attendees.

  24. what a coincidence as i am advertising my webinar right now and i saw the post..useful information Neil patel..

  25. Neil! You’re kind of a big deal!

    ;-)

    I sell hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly thru webinars on one of my info-products. I have NOT used a blog post page, let alone one with a proven format. It’s strictly been an email list that comes FROM the blog and PPC.

    I’m going to blatantly rip off this format exactly, from numbering which webinar it is (“Webinar #12″), to screen shots, to the multiple CTAs and comments.

    Thanks again Neil. Appreciate everything you’re doing in this space.

    Keep Stepping,

    Kurt

    • Kurt, feel free to use any of the methods and templates I have provided. One thing I do request though is that you keep me up to date on your progress with the webinars. I would love to hear some feedback :)

  26. Wow. That’s a lot of traffic. Webinars will surely improve one’s earnings because it helps you have deeper relationship with your prospective customers. However, that would need a great reputation and authority like yours Neil to succeed.

    • Entreb, it definitely is! Webinars are a great way to share your ideas and build strong relationships with prospects, customers and peers. I think, rather than having reputation and an idea all you need is a brilliant idea :)

  27. Fantastic post Neil! We are getting ready to do our first webinar at youAPPi and your tips have been EXTREMELY helpful!

    Cheers!

  28. Hey hey!

    Neil if you’d like a pair of fresh eyes looking at that website for opportunities, let me know. I am not an adsense expert by any means but would be fun :D

  29. Nice post….keep going!! Wants more post like this.

  30. Great post on Webinar , Neil.
    I watched your KissMetrics Webnar and understand it’s impact. Video is indeed a great format and has greatest impact on us as far as audience engagement is concerned.

    Thanks for useful post (this could have been a webinar :-) ) as usual.

    • Naveen, glad you found the webinar helpful. You bring up a great point: it’s all about making your content visually appealing and catchy. You want to be able to engage your users in a very streamlined manner.

  31. Hi Neil,
    Thanks for the valuable insights. We have not tried webinars. But we are starting a youtube channel. Would love to read something about Youtube or video marketing.

    Thanks Neil! :-)

  32. Hey, Neil, this was a really great post. I might consider doing webinars at some time!

  33. Thanks Neil!

    I’m thinking about doing my first webinar very soon and this will surely come in handy.

  34. It was a good read, this article is going to help me very much in the future.
    Keep posting more articles about Webinars.

  35. Amazing post Neil! I am always learning something new when I visit your blog.

  36. Another interesting post Neil. Learn several new things from it. Thanks for the share.

  37. Hi Neil,

    Webinar – new term for me . I do not know what this mean. after reading your post i understand that webinar is something that convert readers to customers . Now i am really interested to create a webinar Can you please Help me to create a webinar

    • Helen, glad I could clear that up for you. Webinars are basically a means of displaying your product or service to a broad base of users/customers. I don’t specialize in creating webinars but there are a ton of companies that do. You should google webinar services and you will find many companies that can help you :)

  38. Neil, Thanks for this information. It is really valuable to me.

    Regards,
    Nevzat

  39. Thanks for sharing this, Neil! We’re developing some webinars of our own, and this has given me some great ideas.

    How soon do you typically follow up after the webinar? You say “soon”, but what works best for you? Automated follow-up immediately following, or over the next day or so?

    • Alex, I think you should be following up as soon as you can. A good strategy is to send them a thank you email that outlines the webinar and asking them if they have any questions or feedback. You want to get as much insight, as quick as you can from the webinar. Thanks for reading :)

  40. This is the first time I will be reading an article on how to use webinar to generate traffic. But I would have appreciated it more if you can give us an article on steps to be taken if webinars is to be used in details

  41. Nice trick to get readers with 1 hour impressive webinar.If the speaker is most active in the webinar it is easy to grab more customers with in less time.

  42. Hi Neil, Great Post but if you really want to convert your blog readers to customers via Webinars then you must have power to influence your readers, points to hit deeply on the spot :)

    • Aparajita, great point. It goes without saying that you need great content to convert. Often times webinars are done in poor taste and people forget the most important element of a webinar is not to get users to sign up but to share valuable information. Thanks for your great feedback!

  43. What would recommend if you are dealing with thousands? Maybe a recording?

  44. Hi Neil, I just learned that webinars exist yesterday! I have recently started marketing for a company that would REALLY benefit from this technology. Where do I begin? We have testimonials from clients who have LOVED our product! Is that something that we can use?

  45. I like the suggestion about video. Video is a great help for turning blog reader into customer. People are more likely to spend time on watching videos than reading articles.

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