Today the web is filled with buzz about webinars. Everyone seems to have a webinar they are promoting these days.

Software developers that are demo’ing their software.

Coaches that are pitching their curriculum.

Speakers that are trying to cut down their traveling.

The reason for this wave? ...THEY WORK!

Webinars are generating leads, delivering content, and selling product faster and better than any other medium right now. The best ones are even out selling top sales reps!

Meet Brumby The 2,000lb Purple Elephant of Webinars

Hidden among all this success is a 2 ton purple elephant of a problem. The concern is not with registration numbers, engagement, or closing rates. No, this pachyderm is wearing a giant sign that says “Attendance Rates Are Problematically Low.”

It’s quite common for someone to get a 50%, 60%, even 70%+ registration rates from their webinar sign-up landing pages. Getting people to sign up is not an issue.

We’ve seen closing rates in the 30%+ range also, so people aren’t having a problem selling the audience something.

However, attendance rates lower than 20% is what surprises most first time webinar hosts and gives fits to webinar veterans. It’s a slap in the face when you start your webinar and see only 90 people on when you KNOW that over 500 people signed up.

The SHOCK of Poor Attendance Rates

Imagine the first timer thinking he’s going to pitch his product to 500 or 1,000 people and then gets a gut-punching 150 people for his audience. Now instead of the 50 - 100 sales he thought he was going to get, the reality is 15 - 20.

This doesn’t have to be such a wretched problem for you though, as some of us have been figuring out solutions to this problem. My company, Automize, depends on webinars to sell our software as well as having our own webinar tool.

We’ve had to find better attendance strategies out of necessity.

The 3 methods I’m about to share with you have cost my company thousands of dollars in testing to learn. All I ask from you in return is that you share this article with as many webinar hosts as you know so we can fix this problem for everyone.

Use These 3 Tips To Double Your Webinar Attendance

1. Offer an Attendance Incentive (A Gift For Attending)

Mention a free gift that everyone gets for attending the webinar on your landing page and in your email follow up series. Remind them the day of the event that they get your “freebie” just for attending and then mention the amazing benefits of attending again.

We’ve used free reports, tech gadgets, and “scholarships” where someone on the webinar gets our product or service for free just for attending.

Friends of mine have used password protected members areas and reports. The persuasive power behind this method is the registrants can see the members area or download the PDF but can’t actually access it until they get the password!
(which is delivered at the end of the webinar)

2. Send a SMS Text Message Reminder

Now I’m a little biased to this tactic since my company sells the software that does this for you (full disclosure). That does not mean it is any less powerful though.

With a text message marketing software, like CallLoop you can have a reminder for your “on-the-go” registrants that may have forgotten about your webinar. They’ll get your text message unlike an email broadcast where you can get caught by filters or simply scanned over.

It’s very simple to add this step into your current process too, just add a field to your sign-up form that asks for their cellphone number. You can even make it optional and tell them “Would you like a text message reminder on the day of the event.”

Most people are so busy that they know they might forget and actually APPRECIATE this being added to the mix. It’s not viewed as spammy, it’s viewed as helpful in most cases.

3. Add a Mystery Element To Your Webinar

In some of our webinar registration copy we have added an element of mystery. Either in the form of a mystery guest or a mystery feature to our software. We build up the value of this mystery element to very high value.

For example, imagine a webinar about Facebook Advertising. On the landing page you say “Plus you’ll get a QnA session with a mystery guest that has spent over $1 million dollars on Facebook ads which generated over 9 million clicks and $21 million dollars.”

If the audience wants to learn about Facebook advertising, THEY WILL BE STARVING to find out who the mystery guest is and have the ability to ask him/her questions on the webinar.

It doesn’t have to be a person, it can be a feature of your software, a topic in your coaching program, or whatever else you can add a mystery element too. It works on the persuasive power of curiosity.

Curiosity + powerful benefits = high response!

If poor webinar attendance has been an elephant sized problem for you, add these three strategies and let me know how they worked for you.

I’d love to hear your feedback, comments, and concerns in the comments as well. I read every comment and reply to as many as I can.

Author's Bio: 

After struggling to find a way to send automated text and voice messages, Chris Brisson, pioneered a new technology that allows for businesses to create automated multi-channel marketing systems with voice, text, and email. His automated voice and SMS service was recently written about in the Miami Herald.