If there’s one thing that nearly all of my clients needed help with, it’s decision making–especially when it comes to the tools needed to manage an online business.
And seriously, who can blame them? There are at least a dozen apps to handle any task or project you have in mind, from email management to customer support to graphic design and everything in between.
Add in the need to make multiple apps talk to one another, as you do with a free webinar funnel, and confusion quickly turns to overwhelm.
The key to moving forward? Keep it simple, at least at the start.
The Easy, 3-Piece Setup Every Webinar Must Have
As you can see, you need just three tools to complete the setup:
As long as the three tools you choose can all talk to each other, you’re good, but you do have several options (and price ranges) to be aware of. Not only that, but the connections and ease of use vary wildly from tool to tool.
For most of my clients, this is the preferred setup:
- Landing Page Builder: ClickFunnels. Most landing page builders today feature drag-and-drop technology that lets you create opt-in pages and forms that look exactly as you want them to look. They each function somewhat similarly, so if you can use one, you can use them all. ClickFunnels provides an extra benefit, though, because they’re in the business of funnels. That means you don’t have to create your confirmation and replay pages separately and string them together. ClickFunnels handles the user flow for you.
- Email Service Provider: Active Campaign. Again, you have dozens of choices for your email marketing needs, but Active Campaign is consistently my number one choice, especially if you don’t want to spend a lot of time learning new technology. It’s easy to use, cost effective, and it offers sophisticated workflows comparable to more expensive systems such as Infusionsoft or Ontraport.
- Webinar Provider: Zoom.us. This is the most user-friendly of webinar platforms, both for the presenter and the attendees. Other choices include GoToWebinar, InstantTeleseminar, Google Hangouts and WebinarJam. Each have their pros and cons, but none compare with Zoom for ease of use and reliability.
Setting Up Your Webinar Funnel
Every webinar funnel requires 3 pages:
- A landing or opt-in page. This is where attendees enter their name and email address to receive the access details for your webinar. Landing pages typically include a few details about the event, such as the date and time and what attendees can expect to learn. This page must be integrated with your email service provider.
- A thank you or confirmation page. Once an attendee “opts in” to your event, this is the next page they will see. At a minimum, it will include the event access details, but smart marketers also use this prime real estate to make an offer or to ask attendees to take some action, such as join a Facebook group or share the webinar on their social networks.
- An event page. This is the page attendees will visit to watch your event. The page is typically created by your webinar provider, or in the case of GoToWebinar or Zoom, an app will download to the attendee’s computer and open in a separate window.
- (Optional) A replay page. If you’re providing a replay, you’ll need a page to house the video, as well as a place to host it. Some webinar systems provide a replay page automatically, others require you to save the recording locally before uploading it to a media host.
Connecting With Your Attendees
Once an attendee registers for your event, you need a way to stay in touch with them to:
- Send reminders about the event. Our attention spans are short (and getting shorter). Without these emails, even those most excited about your webinar will fail to show up. Ideally, you will want to send a reminder 24 hours prior to the event, 6 hours prior, 1 hour prior, and just as you’re going live. These are written and scheduled ahead of time using your email service provider’s broadcast or date-based sequence function.
- Send the replay link and offer information. Not everyone will show up live. In fact, most won’t, so a replay can help boost your conversions. Beyond the replay though, you also want to connect with attendees to let them know about your offer, especially if you’ve created a sale price or coupon that’s only available for a limited time.
Many webinar providers offer a rudimentary reminder and follow-up email system. Some will even allow you to send different emails based on whether or not someone actually attended the live event. For advanced marketers with proven webinar funnels, these email systems can be useful, but for a simple webinar set up, we recommend all emails be sent via your own email service provider.
After all, one of the reasons you’re hosting a webinar is to build your email list, right? It makes no sense to leave your contact list inside a system that will only serve you for a single event.
What About the Webinar Content?
We’ve covered all the tools you need to collect email addresses, follow-up with attendees, and host your event, but how do you create the content?
You have three choices for your webinar format (or four, if you like to mix and match):
- PowerPoint (or Keynote, Google Slides, HaikuDeck or a number of other presentation software options). This is by far the most common webinar format. Slides are easy to create, and it’s a style most viewers will be familiar and comfortable with. All webinar providers support this format.
- On Camera. Few people are comfortable being on camera during a webinar, but if you’re planning to use this format, be sure your webinar provider supports it.
- Screen Sharing. For demonstrating complex software, screen sharing is a good choice, but is incompatible with many webinar providers (such as InstantTeleseminar) so be sure your provider supports it before making a commitment.
Upleveling Your Webinar Funnel
Once you’ve got the basics down, you can start adding all kinds of interesting options and fancy variations.
- Behavior-based email sequences allow you to send emails to those who watch the webinar but don’t buy, or those who visit your checkout page but don’t complete the purchase. (Abandoned cart emails, as this last type is called, enjoy a nearly 50% open rate on average, so this is a powerful strategy to explore if your cart supports it.)
- Evergreen webinars appear to be live, but are actually pre-recorded. The best of these capture a viewers attention when they are most likely to convert by making them wait no more than a few minutes to watch the webinar.
- Tripwires turn webinar registrations into sales by presenting a low-cost, “no brainer” offer to those who are most interested in your content when they’re most engaged and likely to buy.
- One-time-offers (OTOs) increase the average customer value by including a logical upgrade once the decision to buy has already been made.
- Paid advertising + careful retargeting keeps your most relevant offers in front of your target audience.
Ready to put your free webinar funnel together? Download our printable checklist to ensure every element is connected and working before you start driving traffic.