Your webinar is over — now what?
Delivering a successful webinar is an important step in your customer acquisition and demand gen efforts. But attendees aren’t going to magically turn into paying customers all by themselves. It’s time to start the lead-nurturing process and convert those webinar leads into customers.
Here are four easy steps to help you get started:
1. Segment your audience.
Your webinar audience may be comprised of leads from a wide range of industries and target personas. If this is the case, creating a single series of follow-up messages and lead-nurturing content won’t work well. If the number of webinar leads is worth the effort, create a personalized nurturing stream for each group.
In order to build these segmented groups, you need the right data. Of course, you can use your webinar registration form to ask for registrants’ industry, job title, company size, etc. But you can also let your webinar attendees segment themselves during the webinar. Use polls and surveys to ask attendees questions that will help you categorize them according to their needs, interest level, industry or other key criteria.
Then you can use this information to create customized content most likely to resonate with each group.
2. Identify “hot leads” for immediate post-webinar follow-up.
Although many attendees who join your webinar will be in the discovery or information-gathering stages, some may be closer to the decision stage of their buyer journey. Don’t miss a sales opportunity by dropping these “hot leads” into the same lead-nurturing content streams as the rest of your registrants.
You can get a sense of which attendees are hot leads a few different ways.
First, you can use a post-webinar survey to ask questions like:
- Are you interested in purchasing [your solution]?
- Would you like a sales representative to reach out to you with more information?
Pro tip: Have hot leads identify themselves during the webinar, not at the end.
You can also use in-session polls to identify sales-ready leads. At GoToWebinar, we see that only about a third of attendees complete the post-webinar surveys. However, polls within the webinar generate much higher response rates.
Try asking attendees if they’re interested in your solution during the webinar, but only if you can do it in a natural way. Keep in mind that attendees have joined your webinar for the educational content and don’t want a sales pitch.
You can also review your other webinar data, such as attendees’ time in the webinar, engagement levels, responses to other survey questions, previously attended webinars, past marketing touches, etc. to find the leads most receptive to a conversation with a sales rep or more sales-oriented follow-up messages.
Once you’ve identified your hot leads, have your sales reps personally follow-up.
3. Send out your first follow-up within 24 hours after the webinar.
Don’t let too much time pass after your webinar before following up with attendees. You want to connect with them again while your webinar is still fresh in their minds.
We recommend sending your first follow-up message—as personalized as possible, based on what you learned about your attendee during the webinar—within 24 hours after the live webinar concludes.
Regardless of what your targeted message, your first email follow-up should also include a link to the webinar recording (which should already be live and accessible) and a copy of your presentation.
4. Continue sending your stream of relevant, high-quality content.
Now it’s time to map out the rest of your lead-nurture content for each segment of your attendee list.
The length of your lead-nurture stream will depend on your sales cycle, but four to six weeks is typical and a good rule of thumb if you haven’t conducted a lead-nurturing campaign before.
As you develop your nurturing content, think about what stage of the buying cycle the various segments of your attendees are in. It’s counterproductive to hit your ready-to-buy leads with top-of-funnel content designed for people still in the discovery stage.
Identify other key content assets you can offer in your nurturing stream. If you’re targeting top-of-funnel leads, you want to provide plenty of educational content before delivering more product-specific content for sales-ready leads.
You’ll also want to be in close coordination with your sales team, so a sales rep will be ready to send a personalized message directly to a lead in the bottom of the sales funnel—rather than having that email come from your “Marketing Team.”
If your post-webinar strategy doesn’t include lead nurturing, did your webinar really happen?
Hosting a successful lead-generation webinar is a huge accomplishment — be proud! You managed to bring a large group of attendees to an online event where they essentially raised their hands and asked your company for help.
But that’s not the end of your marketing efforts. Remember, a webinar is just one step of a longer journey. Effectively nurturing your webinar leads is the critical next step in driving sales and delivering a healthy ROI.