The pandemic changed how audiences registered for events. From 2020 to 2021, for example, we found registrants most often signed up for an event near its live date. This trend meant marketers had to shift promotional strategies and rely on last-minute registration surges to reach audience goals.
But, in 2022, there was a welcome change in registration behavior: a return to 2019 trends, with a balanced mix of registration occurring in the weeks leading up to a webinar. Audiences are signing up for webinars further in advance, allowing for marketers to make a registration for an event part of a broader program, rather than a tactical scramble.
To summarize, 50% of registrations occur the week leading up to — including the day of — an event in 2022. Still an increase from before the pandemic.
For marketers, there is an opportunity to give your registration and promotion strategy a refresh this year. Here are our top three tips:
1. Evaluate promotion timing
Most marketers rely on a mix of promotional channels for webinars. Many clients see email being the top performer. With this, most organizations may only be able to send three or four emails to promote each webinar.
The timing of these sends is crucial. ON24 recommends the following approach if there can be four promotional emails:
- Two weeks before the event
- A week before the event
- One to three days before the event (depending on the day of the week your event is)
- A day-of promotional email
This mix hits the core time frames for audiences’ propensity for registration, without fatiguing your database.
Now, as with anything, testing is the key to getting your email cadence right. We’re sharing ON24 benchmarking data across our global client base, but industries and audiences can be unique. Listen and learn from which emails are driving the most registration and evaluate moving forward.
2. Think beyond the corporate email machine
Another way to improve your promotional strategy is to embed your GTM motion within it. Enabling sales, customer success and any other client-facing part of your organization in your upcoming events are critical. Make each team aware of the upcoming schedule, topics to be covered and provide slides for use in customer and client presentations or emails and social media posts.
The best practice here is to make this part of ongoing learning and enablement for each team. Making webinar promotion a part of their routine will allow them to be aware of what is at their disposal to get clients and prospects engaged with digital experiences.
3. Rethink your reminders
A longer promotional cycle means having to send reminder messages about the event. You can ask attendees to add the event to their calendar through a post-registration message, but sending reminder emails also helps improve conversion from registrant to attendee.
One successful reminder tactic we’ve seen is the “we’re live” reminder — a message sent to registrants as the event begins. Most organizations also send a few additional messages, generally a day before the event and another either one hour or fifteen minutes prior. Using partner referral codes in the URLs for reminders, just like for registrations, will allow you to determine which reminder emails are driving the most traffic to the event.
Check out more webinar and digital experience benchmark data and best practices in this webinar.