There are some common mistakes we see businesses make all the time who run recurring live webinars to deliver content, Q&As or hot seats as part of their group programs.
These programs are typically structured to occur regularly, such as on a weekly, fortnightly/bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly basis.
I have personally been part of countless group programs over the years as a participant, and we now also run our own.
Unfortunately, most businesses make these fundamental mistakes when setting up the technology for their recurring live webinars.
I’m going to share a variety of these mistakes throughout this article, so be sure to read through to the end to make sure you’re not making any of them.
Some of these mistakes could be impacting your member retention rates and therefore could be costing your business in $$’s.
Don’t let that be you!
Let’s get stuck into the biggest mistakes businesses make running recurring live webinars.
Here is the first one…
Using A Cheap Platform
Look, I get it.
You want to reduce your running costs.
However, sometimes this is done without true consideration of the end user’s experience.
Let me share some of my personal experiences over the years as a participant…
One program I was part of, the coach used a webinar platform that had a time delay between when I typed a question/comment and when the speaker saw it….
This was very frustrating from my side (and other participants) and very hard to have a live conversation with the speaker.
I have been part of programs that are persistent only to do audio… which make it very hard for a visual person like me.
Remember everyone learns/absorbs information differently, please consider that.
Another program they were insistent on all participants using video…
Now I don’t know about you, but yes this is a lot more engaging but I may not always be in a good spot (or feel like sharing my face!) to do video.
The point here is all platforms are different.
It’s important to outline what your platform requirements are and select the best platform before setting it up.
Do you want to do audio, visual and video? How do you want your users to engage with you? What is other functionality critical for you to deliver a high-value interactive session with your clients?
(Ok so there is probably another blog I could do just on the platforms that are available, if you want me to do a review, please shoot me an email at email@example.com)
Further to this point around requirements, often this one is missed for a successful webinar setup…
The webinar tool has no integration with your CRM.
You might be thinking… why does that even matter?
These clients are part of my ongoing program… they are existing clients, and it’s not as if they are a new lead or anything that I really need to worry about this?
I beg to differ.
Using a webinar platform just to manage your recurring live webinars (as in you using the webinar platform to register and control the emails being sent), doesn’t give you some critical functionality.
Firstly, you will need to either manually add new members into the webinar, or send them out a link to register into that platform themselves.
This can create extra work, in fact, this could be hours managing the administration around webinars over the course of a year.
Also, there is a greater risk that non-members or canceled members may get access to these webinars that they haven’t paid for.
I’ve seen some coaches use the same URL for all their webinars, so essentially anyone who has the link from last year can still use it.
Without an integration with your CRM (like Infusionsoft), you also do not have the ability to completely control your branding when you send out your webinar confirmation/reminders.
You might use something like GoToWebinar, it’s a solid platform, but if you’re relying on it for all your webinar communications, then it’s GoToWebinar getting into your client’s inbox, not your email.
In pretty much all cases, you cannot make the emails from these platforms look and feel consistent with the emails being sent out from your CRM.
Furthermore, without a tight integration, it does not allow you to automate and follow up specifically when members do or do not attend.
Yes some do, and you can tailor the message, but you would need to manually set that up after every… single… webinar… yuck to that manual work!
Finally, and this one is often missed but absolutely critical…
Without integration, it doesn’t allow you to monitor your member’s engagement centrally.
As mentioned, a lot of businesses use webinars to deliver an ongoing program.
Let’s just say it’s a monthly recurring model.
Clients pay a monthly amount, and one of the core components of this program is a live webinar.
Do you think if someone hasn’t attended a webinar in 3 months live, are they at greater risk of canceling than someone who is on consistently every month?
Are you able to track this with your current setup?
Wouldn’t it be great to be more on the front foot and reach out to your unengaged members BEFORE they canceled?
By integrating your webinar platform with your CRM, you’re able to track not only who just attended or didn’t attend your webinar, but you could also setup automation if they haven’t attended in X period, a task/re-engagement campaign is triggered to get them back in and engaging.
This could potentially avoid lost revenue by reducing the number of members who cancel.
In this article, we’ve talked about some of the common mistakes that businesses make putting the technology together for recurring live webinars.
We run our own group program and have learned first-hand how to pull these elements together.
In our setup, we focus on making it easy to manage (in fact less than 10 mins to setup our webinars every 6 months) so that we’re not a slave to the technology.
We integrate Infusionsoft our CRM with GoToWebinar so we can follow up based on whether people attend or not, we track engagement and focus on creating a great user experience for our members.
We love helping small businesses succeed and believe webinars are a fabulous way to leverage time, impact more lives, but of course only if you’ve got it setup in a way that is optimal for your business.
If you run recurring live webinars and want to jump on a quick call to discuss the opportunities to make your recurring program better, then drop us a line here – firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d be happy to help.