With the novel Coronavirus shaking the entire world, “social distancing”, and “work from home” have become the words du jour. The impact that this pandemic has had on business has been widespread, with, hundreds of events, meetings and conferences shut down. While COVID-19 is a totally new threat in many ways, post-pandemic effects are probably quite predictable. Businesses will take a major revenue hit for a while,  with many forced to make cost-cutting decisions. So while offline events may have been canceled, learning should continue— businesses need to upgrade their effectiveness to minimize the impact on customers and clients.

Webinars are one of the most effective channels to keep your audience engaged. With everything happening remotely now, webinars have a more significant role today than ever before. So grab this moment and be there for your customers by curating useful webinars. And while you are at it, keep in mind that webinar promotion is just as important as creating and delivering a great presentation.

While there are many channels to promote webinars, email marketing remains a tried and true way to bring people in. So let’s talk about how you can adjust your webinar email marketing program to meet today’s needs and stay at the top of your customers’ mind.

Pro tip:

Choose topics that your customers need

Before you decide on a topic for your webinar, remember that your audience must find it helpful right now. For example, a health care professional could conduct webinars that spread awareness on personal hygiene and healthy diet as a way to help their audience cope with the crisis, while a personal trainer could offer tips on home workouts.

Regardless of the industry, think of how your business can be useful to your audience at the present moment, and frame your webinar topics with that in mind. Being proactive during such emergencies can really build your brand’s reputation.

Now, read on for more tips on tailoring your promotional emails to maximize your webinars’ reach. 

Show empathy in the subject line

The best thing to do in any email promotion during stressful times is to understand people’s emotions and pain points and speak directly to them in your subject line. Use subject lines that create empathy rather than panic. For example, words like COVID-19, Coronavirus, Crisis, etc., might create a negative impression with the readers. Instead include phrases like We’re here to help, Free live webinar, Online training, Work from Home, Remote work, etc.

Keep your email content short and sweet

Don’t make your email recipients read through dozens of paragraphs just to RSVP to your webinar invitation. Make your content simple and easy to digest by including just the essentials such as the title, agenda, host name, date, and time of the webinar. Make sure to always include a link to your webinar, too! Many email marketing platforms integrate with webinar hosting tools and they provide dedicated email templates for your webinar promotions. This makes your work easier, since it pulls the webinar details right into your email template. Take a look at how Zoho Campaigns tightly integrates with Zoho Meeting and simplifies creating webinar email invitations.

 

Segment your lists

If you have properly researched your webinar topic, your customers are more likely to attend. Schedule your webinar in two sessions so that audiences around the world can join you at their convenience. Segment your target lists based on city or country and send out your email promotions to these segments. Make sure your email includes the time slot that matches the time zone of people in these segments.

Automate your follow-up messages 

Pre-webinar promotions and pulling off a successful event are just half the battle. What matters even more are your post-webinar efforts to retain your audience, i.e., your follow-up messages. And while this might look like a lot of work, don’t worry; with email marketing automation, you can get rid of manual work by automating your follow-up series. Once your webinar is over, automate a thank you messages by tailoring your content to your registrants and attendees. Further, send your follow-up messages to nurture them down the line, you can preset all of it and let email marketing automation take care of the rest. Check out this webinar to know how workflow automation can help you automate webinar follow-up activities.

Conduct polls and surveys

Include polls and surveys in your follow-up emails to understand exactly what your customers are currently looking for. Some questions could include:

  • How often do you want us to conduct webinars?
    Once a week | Twice a week | Three times a week
  • What time of the day works best for the next webinar?
    Morning | Afternoon | Evening

A good webinar tool should allow you to run surveys during the webinar. You can make use of this opportunity to ask your audience questions such as:

  • Did you find this webinar useful?
    Yes | No
  • What topic(s) would you like covered in our next webinar?
    Immune-boosting diet | Personal hygiene | Social distancing

Pick the most significant and relevant topics that will help your audience.

[Note: Pick the most significant and relevant topics and ask your audience to vote. The options given above are chosen with reference to the previous example of the health care industry]

Use a marketing calendar

Since remote working is now the norm, it is important that you keep your fellow marketers informed of your upcoming email promotions. Mark the date of your webinar promotional email in the marketing calendar available in your email marketing software. This will help keep your team from clashing with your schedule—a must right now 🙂

If you follow these strategies, you are likely to see higher open and click-through rates, and eventually more registrations for your webinar.

Bonus: Here are the ten best practices you can follow while planning your webinar to make it a success.

  1. Now is the time for empathy. Respect your audience’s time by choosing useful topics.
  2. Once you decide on the topic, feed the webinar details into the tool you will be using to deliver the session. Your webinar title and description should instill a sense of calm and confidence  in your audiences’ mind, so make sure to avoid words that could create stress.
  3. Make sure you collect information through your webinar registration forms. This will help you create better follow-up and nurturing emails.
  4. Have a webinar checklist and track your progress through the promotions and follow-ups.
  5. Make sure you have a high-speed internet connection, good USB microphone (recommended), and webcam in order to provide the best webinar experience.
  6. Record your webinar for your audience to watch  later. You can also host the recording in your website so that future visitors can see what you have to offer.
  7. Send a recording of the webinar to registrants and attendees, along with a thank you email, within 24 hours of your webinar.
  8. Get real-time feedback during (or after) your webinar with surveys. . This will help you improve engagement levels in your next webinar.
  9. Don’t use your webinars as a sales pitch. Right now, your content should be aligned towards reassuring your customers and prospects that you are there for them.
  10. Pause your other auto-responders and workflows until things get beck to normal. Plan a new nurturing series that is relevant to what is happening right now. 

We hope this blog will help you effectively plan your crisis-related webinars and email promotions so that you can focus on being there for your customers. As the saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” Regardless of the situation, we should always be ready to provide our customers education and connection.

Let’s all hope this moment ends soon. You are definitely not alone, and we will get through this all together. 🙂