Currently staring at your post-webinar reporting screen with an exasperated look on your face?

We can bet that you’ve seen the attendance rate and it’s not quite as high as you expected?

Those webinar attendance statistics staring back at you can be quite disheartening when you have put so much effort into your online event.

Chances are, you’ll be asking yourself:

  • What am I doing wrong?
  • What happened to make the attendance so low?
  • What do I need to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again?
  • Where do I go from here?

Sometimes it’s simply a matter of making a few small changes to help improve your webinar attendance figures and we can shed some light on those burning questions by looking at 5 reasons for low attendance rates.

1. Placing too much emphasis on on-demand webinars

We’ll start with an odd one. We know that we have previously harped on about the benefits of uploading your webinar for on-demand viewing to prolong the shelf life of your event.

However, we should preface this by saying that although this is something we highly recommend you do, make sure that you emphasise the benefits of attending the live webinar and portray it as the preferred option, rather than the on-demand version.

Create a sense of urgency by showing people what they’ll miss if they don’t attend the webinar live and ensure they register as soon as possible to prevent attendees slipping through the net - driving numbers down

2. Poor webinar email reminder scheduling

Keeping in mind that humans are often forgetful creatures, we need to highlight the benefits of webinar reminder emails. Your upcoming webinar might mean the world to you, but unfortunately, to attendees your webinar is only a small portion of their day.

Occasionally, registrants will forget about your online event after they’ve signed up, so reminding them about your webinar is essential for increased webinar attendance.

Many attendance rates suffer because reminder emails either:

  • Haven’t been sent out
  • Were sent out infrequently
  • Weren’t sent out at the right time intervals

To address all three of these common issues, creating an email reminder schedule will help you to stay on top of your webinar reminder emails and ensure you have done everything in your power to encourage invitees to sign up.

For instance:

  • Schedule an email to be sent immediately following a person's registration
  • Follow up with reminder emails a week, 3 days, 2 days and 1 day before the scheduled live webinar
  • Then, finish by sending a reminder 1 hour before the event kicks off

3. Failing to add enough value to attend the live webinar

Promoting your webinar is as important as creating the event itself. By not emphasizing the value of your attending a webinar, you’re lowering the rate of attendees for it.

We’re not talking about promising them something they won’t get, but instead, giving them a reason to show up. How do you do this? Accentuate your event description and state why it’ll benefit those who attend. Let the audience know what they’ll gain from viewing your webinar and you can do this by tightening up your:

  • Descriptions
  • Emails
  • Landing pages

It’s common for attendance rates to be affected by half-hearted descriptions, so ensure you don’t fall victim to this.

4. Not placing enough emphasis on on-demand during the live webinar

Huh? Nope, you didn’t misread that. Just like you can fall victim to over-emphasizing your on-demand webinar, you can also undersell it during the live online event.

Webinar organizers can often miss out on capturing valuable leads by not emphasizing the ability to view the event on-demand at a later time. Again, we’re always telling our clients to utilize their webinar recording to their full potential by hosting it on their website as on-demand content - to prolong its shelf life.

A significant number of leads can be generated through repeat viewings, so making use of promotional techniques, post-event, can increase overall attendance rates. Neglecting to do so is a missed opportunity to engage with a whole new audience after the original webinar has concluded.

It’s all about striking a balance between promoting your live webinar and the on-demand version.

5. Re-treading old ground to frequently

Revisiting older webinar topics you’ve covered previously can be an interesting way to look at subjects from a different standpoint. However, it can also make you seem like a broken record.

This can manifest itself in poor attendance rates for webinars that revolve around already-covered subjects. Creating webinars that explore newer issues can help you avoid being tarred with the “same-old, same-old” brush.

So when creating content, make sure you choose subjects that are exciting, fresh and innovative. You can talk about a subject you have touched on previously, as long as you have a hook. This will help you become highly effective at increasing your average attendance rate as time goes on.

Look at your competitors and see what they’re talking about and even step outside your industry and glance at what everyone else is covering - anything to ensure you’re seen as a thought leader on your subject matter.

We’re not saying don’t draw new conclusions from old data, but try and look forward with your engaging content, while occasionally having a few glances back.

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