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Today we answer a listener question and bring in our content and email marketing experts to talk about getting and closing leads using educational and promotional webinars.
Dusey: Hello listeners this is Dusey and I am your host today for the Small Business Success podcast. We are joined by a newbie on the podcast, Ben Snedeker. Hi Ben, how's it going?
Ben Snedeker: Hi Dusey.
Dusey: You want to tell our listeners a little bit about what you do here at Infusionsoft.
Ben Snedeker: I manage the content team that means I just make sure [00:00:30] that we're producing quality content all over the place.
Dusey: Fantastic. And you just got a new title which is one of my favorites. I need you to share the new title.
Ben Snedeker: Yes. My new title is manager comma content.
Dusey: Yes. Is that how you introduce yourself in the elevator to somebody? Hi Ben Snedeker manager comma content?
Ben Snedeker: Yes I have to because I'm not manager of content. Just manager comma content.
Dusey: Fantastic. And we are answering a question today and we brought in an expert for that question. An expert you [00:01:00] have heard him before on this podcast is Jared Kimball. Hey Jared, how's it going?
Jared Kimball: It is going really good.
Dusey: Well it's great to have you here again. Can you remind our listeners a little bit about what you do here as well?
Jared Kimball: Yeah, so basically I run a bunch of marketing campaigns mostly in whatever's in our funnel. Essentially.
Dusey: Fantastic. And he has lots of experience with webinars which is why we brought him on today. And I'm going to go ahead and dive right into our question from Julianne Idleman, I'm sorry Julianne if I'm mispronouncing that but I [00:01:30] believe it's Idleman or Idleman. She's the director of communications at Hand in Hand Parenting and they are a stage three business over there, you can go check out our episode on the stages of small businesses of success to see what that means.
Her question is when using a webinar for lead generation, what are the best practices in timing the auto responder messages that follow up? How soon to send and how many? How soon to send and how many?
[00:02:00] So we will answer that question but I want to start just by answering the question of why use webinars for marketing in your business? I remember a few years back I first introduced to this idea, I didn't know any of the behind the scenes of how people were using webinars to market. I always thought of it just as a presentation. Even my mindset was more for internal communication. Like, hey we're having this meeting and we're going to present it to all of you guys. But there's a big thriving [00:02:30] marketing technique out there of using webinars for marketing, I'd love to hear a little bit from both both Ben and Jared why, how you would use that in your company? How they're used for marketing?
Ben Snedeker: Well just speaking from the content side which my world exists primarily at the top of the funnel which means people are a little bit more new to your product and you want to educate them. Webinars are really great tools for generally [00:03:00] educating around the kinds of things that you do in your business. This necessarily, you can use them for a number of things but from a top of the funnel point of view you can really attract a lot of interest around your area of expertise. So I was thinking of the example of say the National Arbor Day Foundation, these guys are the people that champion trees and sell trees.
Ben Snedeker: They could for example have a webinar for people who are interested in their own landscaping. Maybe [00:03:30] homeowners or whatnot about what kinds of trees they should use in their particular hardiness zone. When it freezes, what time of year it freezes. A lot of people don't know how to that works and a webinar would be a great format for talking about that and then the Arbor Day Foundation could talk about trees that they sell. But necessarily educating about which ones to plant.
Dusey: That's fantastic. I know Ben so I'm [00:04:00] reminded he's a, I wouldn't call him a closet gardener because it's all over the place.
Ben Snedeker: I do love to get my hands dirty.
Dusey: So you talked about the specific example of okay, this place that sells trees and they could have webinars that talk about what trees in your area but you also can step back and start to think about of who your target audience is. So obviously their target audience is people that are looking to buy trees but there might be a lot of other gardening related webinars that they could [00:04:30] have. So it doesn't necessarily have to be like this one thing about your product but you can broaden it and say, all sorts of webinars about gardening, about gardening in specific areas and then you could take it a step back even further and say, well my target audience, they're also interested in some other topic that's more tangentially related to gardening.
Ben Snedeker: Right.
Dusey: That there's all sorts of landscaping and possibly lifestyle type topics that could be covered. So there's really a huge variety of things that could be used [00:05:00] for webinars for that market.
Ben Snedeker: Absolutely.
Jared Kimball: I'd also add to it when it comes to webinars there's advantages to, for you as a business owner to run and host them because if you're speaking in front of people, people have to make a commitment to a date and time and a place where they have to physically leave wherever they're at, get in their car, drive to that location and then sit and attend the speaking event. Whereas the advantage to webinar is [00:05:30] that literally people can do everything on their computer. They sign up for it on their computer, they can attend right there on their computer or even just call in on their phone and they can listen to the presentation on whatever that they're attending. That's a huge advantage to webinars. A great reason why small businesses should definitely focus on using webinars.
Dusey: That's awesome. So there could be people from all over the world chiming in, listening into your webinar.
Jared Kimball: Exactly.
Dusey: Having comments with you while you're there live. So how do you handle, do you have [00:06:00] advice on timing for webinars since there are people that are all over the world. How would you handle that?
Jared Kimball: So when it comes to timing, one of the things you'll, is a challenge is trying to figure out the timezones. One of things I would focus on depending on your type of business, so for example if you're B to C, one of the things you could focus on is how do you address customers who are buying your product or your service, whatever you're selling if you're selling something or you're trying to [00:06:30] educate them on something. If they sign up for the webinars, one of things I would say is, can work really well for B to C type of businesses is start around six o'clock Pacific time.
Now granted it just depends on when the timezones change but six o'clock will then, you'll be able to hit a decent hour through the entire United States right there. On the east coast it's nine PM. Kind of late but it's not super late. You know what I'm saying? It's not like, oh man it's three AM or something like that. Whereas it'll be three AM [00:07:00] or two AM roughly in the UK area but then also the advantage to it with that same time spot at six PM Pacific, you're also hitting Australia. So Australia can also tune in during that time as well.
Jared Kimball: So for folks in English countries. If you're doing B to B though, going through normal business hours like lunchtimes are great. You can also experiment with Saturdays. It always depends on whatever type of niche you're in. Test it out for sure but that's [00:07:30] my, a good place to start at least when it comes to timezones.
Ben Snedeker: Yeah, you know I was going to say. In terms of the timing thing I've actually signed up for a webinar for tomorrow and it's there in the east coast and right now Arizona's in the Pacific timezone so that the time is a little bit of a challenge for me to meet 'cause it's pretty early in the morning. I was curious, how do you solve for that Jared, when people can't attend, you can record [00:08:00] your webinar right?
Jared Kimball: Yeah totally you can record it. You can, there's different ways you could do it. You can either do the live presentation, record that live presentation and then send it out to all the people who registered. Obviously that's a great way to do it and I would recommend every business do that because from just me running webinars here, whenever we send our recording we double, everything is doubled. The viewership is doubled, [00:08:30] the whatever the next step offer is, if there's an offer, sometimes there's not an offer, whatever the call to action is is doubled pretty much every time with a recording.
Dusey: That's fantastic.
Ben Snedeker: Yeah, I remember first learning about that you also have the option to record a webinar and then replay as if it was live. Then you'll have to decide if that's the right for your business but I was like, I wonder if I've been tricked before?
Jared Kimball: There are software tools out there where you can prerecord [00:09:00] a webinar and then have it play automatically which is a great time saver for a business. And I wouldn't necessarily say it's trying to trick people, there's ways you can definitely not do that. So for example I know of a couple of people who are actually that are customers of ours that they'll run something where they say right there on the webinar, hey this is just so you know that this is a prerecorded training session and the reason why it's prerecorded is because one we have, [00:09:30] they actually set live chat support during the whole thing so if you have any questions type those in, somebody is here definitely.
Ben Snedeker: So the chat is still live which ...
Jared Kimball: The chat is still live.
Ben Snedeker: Yeah, that's fantastic.
Jared Kimball: Which is really cool. And then they just call it out. This prerecorded training because I want to make sure that I don't, I have the best content for you at the fastest time, giving you the best results the quickest. That's the idea he's conveying. And then I've also known of other small business owners, they'll come on, they start out live and they say, hey so I've [00:10:00] actually done this presentation a number of times and I'm going to just basically press play on the presentation and let it go and then I will, whenever it ends, I'll be here for question and answers and we will go back and forth live with that. That's very effective.
Dusey: That's really cool that hybrid, I love that a lot, I think it's fantastic. So speaking of software, for somebody that's never done a webinar before maybe you have a couple recommendations of an easy place for them to get started hosting a webinar.
Jared Kimball: Yeah, totally. There are some defacto [00:10:30] or some bigger brands out there. Go to Webinar is very popular. But it can be a little bit more cost prohibitive for some businesses just depending on where you're at. It's a great platform, it's good to, it's nice to use. They've been around for a long time. So you know you're working with something that's tried and true. But if you're, your budget's a little bit smaller I would recommend starting with something like Webinar Jam. That's at WebinarJam.com and that tool is awesome. It's a great platform, they're actually updating there [00:11:00] technology and they're moving, they used to run everything through YouTube live but now they're actually doing their own fully hosted webinar platform and they're also trying to integrate Facebook. They're doing all these really neat things with that. That tool is very much more affordable. I think it's like you pay 300 a year or something like that.
Dusey: Wow cool.
Jared Kimball: And then another one that's really, really good is Webinar Ninja. That one's a great one, I think it's WebinarNinja.com. The neat thing about Webinar Jam and Webinar Ninja [00:11:30] is they have these call to actions that you preset up and run during your webinar. You can do live polling, you can do all these really cool features.
Ben Snedeker: What a great way to get data on your prospects while you're there with them.
Dusey: That's very cool.
Jared Kimball: So that's just some tools that would be very useful.
Dusey: Awesome. Thank you. So let's talk about then, let's get to the question, her specific question was, best practice in timing, autoresponder messages that follow up. How soon to send and how many? I think in addition [00:12:00] to the follow up is probably the most important part of this whole thing, of this whole webinar so that you're able to stay engaged with people who are at least interested in some of your content if not yet interested in your brand. Hopefully becoming interested in your brand. But also maybe you can give some best practices for getting people there as well. For some emails that should be being sent out before your webinar.
Jared Kimball: Sure. We can do that. If you have an email list and you're already promoting your webinar it's a good idea you can start out anywhere from two [00:12:30] weeks in advance but I know of a lot of small business marketers, one of the things that they've seen being really effective is doing two days before the actual event and then they'll do an email everyday so two days out, one day out, day of. And then probably even a fifteen minutes before, like, hey we're getting started.
Ben Snedeker: Here it goes. Here' your link.
Jared Kimball: And then as far as following up after people register especially if there's a two week timeframe or whatever, definitely [00:13:00] send them some reminders. I would say the first one obviously is going to be the confirmation email, confirm that they are registered, gives them their information, how to join and all of that. But then you want to probably send a one day reminder and then potentially a 15 minute reminder.
I would also just as a little added tip, it's very affordable tool, it's a very, very cool, it's called AddEvent.com I think is the website. [00:13:30] That tool allows you to come in and basically set up a calendar of when your webinar's going to occur and then you can just copy some really simple code, put it in all of your emails, put it on the webpage, the thank you page, wherever you want to put it at and then people can just click that and it'll add that event to their calendar, put all of the information you want them to have, like how log in, how to get in, the date and time and then that way they're getting not only reminders from your emails but they could get reminders from their calendar tool as well which is really [00:14:00] useful.
Jared Kimball: And then so after the event occurs, people attend, I would also just have some sort of follow up plan when it comes to promoting the replay. And this could be like, hey the replay's live, go watch it. Replay's going to come down in the next two days or whatever timeframe you want to have. Ideally you want to remove the replays 'cause some people for whatever reason because they feel the replay's going to be up there forever, they want to watch it but because it's not really a priority, [00:14:30] they just kind of think, oh yeah, I'll just watch that one day and then one day never ever comes so it's great to limit that time.
Ben Snedeker: Say hey you've got a week to watch this or whatever, something like that.
Jared Kimball: Yeah, something like that's very very useful. It can definitely improve conversion and consumption rates. And then if say for example you are selling something, you made sort of offer, you definitely can send out a couple of emails of like, hey is the offer we made on the webinar and then you could do something where like the cart's closing in the next few hours, make sure you sign up now and [00:15:00] take advantage of this special offer.
And then whenever your cart closes, this is something that a lot, very few people do but I think it's really effective, you can do one of two ways. One you could send out a feedback email where you actually just say, "Hey I noticed that you registered, you didn't buy this product. I'd love to just get your feedback on why you did not buy it." Just a simple personalized automated follow up email that you send out and then people can just reply and give you their feedback or you can even do a down sell. Where it's like, " [00:15:30] Hey I know that this thing, some people just couldn't afford so what I've done is I've taken this part which is a core piece really good, it'll give some quick wins and it's 50 bucks," or something like that.
Those are two ways you could follow up after that.
Dusey: That's fantastic. Very cool. Well any last thoughts about webinars in general before we wrap up?
Jared Kimball: I would just say when it comes to timing for the follow up emails, try to keep things spaced out. [00:16:00] You don't want to overwhelm people with multiple emails in one day. But just definitely just focus on creating a delightful experience, that's really the goal.
Dusey: Absolutely cool. Well we have a tool available for all of you that are looking at creating this follow up around webinar marketing. This tool is actually a lot more useful besides just stuff for webinar marketing but this, we've created an email copy generator that I know has a specific [00:16:30] section for webinars and maybe you guys can kind of walk us through what that is and what that looks like.
Ben Snedeker: Actually it's a really cool tool. It's really easy to use. You just literally put in some data into a form and it pumps out the copy for your email campaign. You download that and then you can just plug that into whatever email platform you're using to follow up on a variety of campaigns. One of the campaigns in the tool is a webinar follow [00:17:00] up so it's very apropos to this.
Jared Kimball: And neat thing about it too is that it's totally free to use and it's super simple. We talked about that. You have I think in there, there's roughly like nine fully different email follow up campaigns. So there's a whole entire webinar campaign. I think the thing has 10 emails in there and you just select it and then you just type in a couple of things and then you just click download and then you can just copy and paste all that content, put into whatever email marketing tool you're using. It's super useful, very [00:17:30] delightful to use.
Ben Snedeker: We're really excited about it.
Dusey: Awesome. I was going to say, buy now, but it's free. So you guys can find that at Infusionsoft.com/drip-now. That's Infusionsoft.com/drip-now. So we've partnered with Video Fruit, right Jared?
Jared Kimball: That's right. Brian Harris is the founder of that company.
Dusey: Fantastic. They've helped us with that tool so that was Infusionsoft.com/drip-now. Hopefully that tool is useful for all [00:18:00] you guys out there, all of our listeners. So thank you for listening to this episode of the Small Business Success podcast. And we will catch you next week.
Speaker 4: Do you have a question that you want us or an expert to answer? If you have questions about your small business, submit them at SmallBusinessSuccess.com/questions.