Meet the #Webinerd: SAS’ Erin Hathaway

At ON24, we love all things webinerd. That’s why we wanted to take the time to celebrate the ultimate webinerds out there: you. To do this, we’re going to share some of the #webinerd personalities that make ON24 what it is.

This week, we have Erin Hathaway, Campaign and Events Specialist at SAS. Erin is an event organizing guru who’s seen it all. Tradeshow booths, user conferences, executive receptions and, now, webinars. These are all helpful skills to have when it comes to explaining SAS and sharing how the company makes advanced analytics work for organizations across the globe.

What else is there to know about Erin? Check out our Q&A below:

Q&A with SAS’ Erin Hathaway:

Q: To you, what does it mean to be a webinerd?

Erin: To be organized, innovative, and encouraging.

A: What’s an app or tool you can’t live without?

Erin: My calendar and task reminders – it’s all about keeping things on track and moving forward.

Q When you’re not in the office, you are…

Erin: Making pens on my lathe, weaving chainmaille jewelry, or hiking somewhere near a river.

Q: What is one of your career highlights? What are you most proud of in your career thus far?

Erin: Finding small efficiencies that can add up to big time or monetary savings.  It’s been a recurring theme in my life and I’m constantly on the lookout for new ways to save.

Q: Okay, what do you love about ON24?

Erin: It offers so many ways to engage your audience and customize it to fit your brand.

Q: Final question. Why is the ON24 #webinerd community important to you?

Erin: As a newer user, it’s helpful to have a group to ask your obvious questions and provide feedback on your efforts.

 

Using Engagement Data to Delight Your Audience

When it comes to delighting your audience with surprises and turning attendees into brand advocates, engagement data goes a long way. Engagement data identifies your company’s biggest fans, gives them the recognition they deserve and shows your organization is invested in its community.

How do we do this at ON24 with the #webinerd community? Simple. Any person who attends a webinar hosted on the ON24 Platform has a tabulated 1-10 Engagement Score based on how they interacted with a webinar experience. Before we reach out, we ask ourselves if the audience member…

  • Answered the poll questions?
  • Completed the post-webinar survey?
  • Asked any questions?
  • Downloaded any of resources?
  • Or if they did all of the above?

The Engagement Score takes all of these webinar interactions into account. Many ON24 customers take this supercharged data point and include it strategically into their lead scoring models and lead routing, but there are additional high-touch use cases to consider.

Gamify your webinar, award prizes to top engagement scores

Using engagement data and gamification is a great way to encourage audience participation! When you’re promoting your webinar, advertise that you’ll be raffling off something, like conference tickets, a book or gift card based on audience engagement. Once the webinar is over, use your top engaged audience members to choose your winners.

For example, here at ON24, we’ve taken this approach when promoting free tickets to our annual conference, Webinar World, along with roundtrip travel and lodging.

Surprise your most loyal followers

Our friends at the Content Marketing Institute decided to surprise and delight their most loyal webinar follower. They ran a report on previous webinar attendees and realized that there was one customer who had attended every single webinar over the past six months with high engagement. To reward this super fan, they decided to gift a nice pair of headphones that he could use to tune into the upcoming webinar with.

You can do this too. Here’s how to find and delight your biggest fans in these easy steps.

Step 1: Pull the Data

With the ON24 Platform, you should be able to generate a Power Leads Report that’ll provide you with a lot of insights into your attendees. The reports show how many webinars an attendee has attended, the number of minutes they’ve had of viewing and their average engagement score. The higher the score, the more time they’re spending and interacting with your brand. This is a good indicator of a fan you might be able to connect with.

Step 2: Decide on an appropriate gift and who should say thank you.

Try to get creative or provide options. I’m a huge fan of Loop & Tie for gifting. Perhaps you have an internal SME that your audience looks up to. A few nice words from them goes a long way.

Step 3: Connect!

Send a gift and request a call to get to know them better. Along with your message, you can offer opportunities to highlight them on your blog. Sit down and ask your top advocates how they use your platform/technology and develop tips based off of those interviews. And, who knows, you can learn something new about your client in the process.

Meet the #Webinerd: Securly’s Will Patterson

At ON24, we love all things webinerd. That’s why we wanted to take the time to celebrate the ultimate webinerds out there: you. That’s why, over the coming weeks, we’re going to highlight some of the biggest webinerds out here with a quick overview and interview.

Our first webinerd of the week is Securly’s Will Patterson, Customer Success Engineer and Chief Webinerd. Securly and Will’s mission is a critical one in today’s society: ensuring all students — from kindergarten to senior year of high school — have a safe and secure digital life.

To make this safe environment a reality, Securly developed a parental integration program which allows parents to see how their children are interacting online and — yes — to see if they’re actually doing their homework.

To see what makes Will tick as a #webinerd, we asked him a few questions. Here they are in Q&A format:

Q: To you, what does it mean to be a webinerd?

Will: Fully embracing that it’s alright to geek out over the smallest feature releases inside of ON24.

Q: Tell us about an app/tool that you can’t live without

Will: …an app that I can’t live without is Slack. There are Webinar Channels and DM’s going back and forth which help me stay on track.

Q: When you’re not in the office, you are…

Will: Riding my bike.

Q: What is one of your career highlights? What are you most proud of in your career thus far?

Will: My first 600+ Attendee Webinar. I felt like a famous newscaster and the live feedback we were receiving was humbling. I would say I’m most proud of how far our webinar platform has come over even the last year.

Q: Okay, what do you love about ON24?

Will: I love ON24 because of two things; Customization and Analytics. Last year we gave the ON24 keys to our design and marketing teams, the things they have put together have just been mind-blowing.

Q: Final question. Why is the ON24 #webinerd community important to you?

Will: It’s such an amazing platform that brings highly creative advocates together to share ideas. I went to Webinar World for the first time this year and walked away with about 20 pages of notes of things I couldn’t wait to put in action.

Build Better Email Marketing Campaigns (With Tips From Webinar World!)

At ON24, we’re all about webinar marketing. But webinars are more than just the event — they require a full suite of marketing expertise. That’s why we’re thrilled to share this article by Betty Kaufman, Senior Director of Content Marketing for Position² . In it, Betty lays out the email marketing rules — inspired by Webinar World 2019 — you need to abide by. This article originally appeared on Position².com. Shared with the author’s permission. 

Email continues to be a critical piece of most demand-gen marketing campaigns. But sadly, email doesn’t always perform the way you need it. Often leaving you to wonder if the email was opened, was it just deleted, or even worse, was it seen at all?

You know how it is, we have all done it. We skim through the long list of emails we receive daily and delete the ones that do not grab our attention. We are busy, in a hurry and usually on a different mission.

I recently attended Webinar World and took away a lot of great ideas that apply not only to webinars but also to email marketing.

Many of these ideas you will probably know, but do you use them on every email? Do your emails grab your email recipients’ attention and hold it long enough for them actually to open the email, and click through?

What can you do to send an effective email and to improve that email’s performance and get better click-through rates? If you follow these seven tips to improve emails, you’re likely to see much better open rates and marketing ROI from your email marketing strategy.

Email Tip #1: Enhance your Emails

Start with your email subject line. This is where you will grab or lose your email recipient’s attention. Spend a little extra time on your subject line. Treat this as if you were creating a thought-provoking, engaging blog headline. However, keep the length in mind. The optimal range should be between six and ten words. Keeping subject lines short and sweet will ensure that they look and read great for both PC and mobile users. Subject lines that are too long are often cut off on mobile devices. Thus, your reader will not get the best view of your email and may delete it or send it to the spam folder.

Your subject line should include action verbs that help direct the reader before they even open the email, and:

  • Be disruptive
  • Address a specific pain point
  • Promise change
  • Build curiosity
  • Create a sense of urgency

Try titles like these:

  • Top 10…
  • How to…
  • Insider’s Guide to…
  • 2018/2019 report…
  • Solving…

If you really want your email to have personality, consider adding an image, an icon, a dynamic gif or an emoji to the subject line or header. This will help use fewer words but get more information in a fun, engaging way.

Make sure to optimize images using alt text to help give a context for your email images. This helps if your images get blocked by the spam filters or email clients. Also, if you can, make the whole email clickable. If not, at least make the entire header clickable.

Try to alternate between HTML and plain text. Include images and colors along with plain text with no graphics or formatting.

Email Tip #2: Prepare Preview Text

The preview or preheader text is a quick snippet of text that follows the email subject line. Many email programs show a preview to help you decide whether to open the email or not, especially on mobile devices. If you use the preview text in the right way, it presents an extra shot at picking up the reader’s interest and sway them to read past the subject line. However, you only have a few characters to do so.

Remember to:

  • Keep preview text short and engaging
  • Keep the keyword or buzzwords to the beginning of the preview
  • Keep your headline promise the same through your preview text
  • Include a sense of urgency

Email Tip #3: target your Target Audience

Writing email copy that meets the needs of your audience can improve conversion rates tremendously. When you know your audience, you can better target their need and provide solutions. Build out a persona list before drafting your email copy. Use a segment list and sort it by demographic, gender, age, and type of industry. One piece of advice is to target the subscribers who interact with your emails the most.

There are times when people will look, but not download an asset. Send these people an email saying something like “We know this is very important to you. Here is one last reason why you should look at…” Make these on-the-fence emails look different from other marketing emails. Build those loyal customers and clients, one email at a time.

Email Tip #4: Personalize

Forget those email templates. Address the reader by their name and make them feel like a friend. Personalized emails can improve open rates tremendously and keep your email from being sent to the spam folder. Let’s face it; when we see our name, we feel a sense of belonging and feel that the email is created especially for us. Stay away from templatizing your emails and create them on a more personalized level by signing off with your own name instead of a generic company name. By keeping your email personal, you are instilling a sense of trust.

Improving Emails Tip #5: Use more you and less we – write in the second person

Keep your email targeting towards the reader. Try to refrain from the “me, our, we,” syndrome. Create your emails by using the pronouns “you,” “your,” “yours,” keeping the focus on the brand of the customer. Remember to give them answers that explain what is in it for them, how you can help them or their company.

Improving Emails Tip #6: Short, Sweet and Scannable

Recognize that the earlier somebody is in the sales cycle, the less time you have to talk to them. Get to your enticing point or value proposition quickly. Be respectful of their time. Do not use technical or sales talk. Keep it jargon-free and in layperson’s terms. Steer clear of overly promotional claims. Overall, create your email for those that scan read with subheads, bullet and numbered lists and small bite-sized information that is quick to digest.

Don’t forget those images!

No one said it better than Elliott Erwitt. “The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.” Images help support your marketing email message and tell your story.

Email Tip #7: Make those Calls to Action Shine

Never send an email that doesn’t have a follow-up call to action. If you want to increase your conversion rate, you need to think of your email campaigns as a customer journey. Each email should be an experience for your email recipients. Remember, when you’re on a journey, you’re always looking for the next step. So, figure out what path or following action you want the email recipient to take as a result of reading each email. Use your calls to action to make that step crystal clear.

A Couple Email Marketing Tips Beyond Email Content

Share your Information First

Forget about getting names as a priority strategy. This was the hardest takeaway for me. However, I am going to try to abide by it. The moment you ask people to fill out a form, you get pushback. How many people do not download your asset because they are not ready to tell you who they are? Therefore, you do not get their name or information. However, if your information is so valuable that everybody should see it, let everybody see it. Share it instead of hiding behind it. Wait until the bewitching hour – perhaps when somebody’s ready to request a demo – to get their information. This will also help with your subscriber list.

A/B Test Everything and Learn from Every Drop

Remember your email marketing strategy does not stop after sending the email. Don’t write all of your emails in advance. Learn from each email drop. Build a stronger marketing strategy by A/B testing everything – from the titles to the headers to the text to the images. Use what you learn to create subsequent emails to make them more effective.

Remember, your email copy and subject lines are only a part of a larger email marketing strategy. Get the strategy right and follow through with compelling email messages to get better open rates, conversion rates, and marketing ROI.

I hope these email tips have a positive impact on the performance of your next email campaign.

3 Women Webinerds Share Their Webinar Wisdom

During Women’s History month, we took note of women who fearlessly push the envelope on their company’s marketing programs, and we’re excited to tell you about them. Let us introduce you to three women webinerds you should aspire to be!

Brandy Rowden – Sr. Marketing Program Manager, ServiceNow

The Webinerd Diva

Brandy doesn’t mind being nicknamed the “Webinerd Diva.” She knows being meticulous and innovative when it comes to her webinar program is what drives results. In just a few years, Brandy has grown the webinar program from 45 webinars a year to 135 webinars a year.

She’s all about delivering results and loves that she can feed leads to her inside sales team and drive marketing influenced pipeline directly from her webinar program, seamlessly.

Words of Wisdom:

“Always be prepared for the unexpected. Have a plan b and be able to think on your feet. Things happen during a live webinar. You just have to remain calm and act with your backup plan.”

Check out Brandy’s webinar program in action by perusing her on-demand webinar library here.

Rory Tokunaga – Sr. Marketing Manager, Demandbase

The ABM Trailblazer

Sometimes it’s hard to try something new, but not for Rory. She’s not afraid to think outside the box. Rory and her team embraced various webinar formats for their ABM program, from product demos to customer-success stories, and the results paid off! They ultimately engaged with 30 percent of their target accounts and increased pipeline by 178 percent.

Why is she a webinerd?

“I’m a webinerd because webinars give me the opportunity to be creative, tell stories, but also allow me to be analytical, keeping me focused on the business objectives.”

Words of Wisdom:

“Wiley Coyote has influenced me throughout my career because he never gives up! Same goes for my webinar program; I’m always looking to optimize and improve.”

You can learn more wisdom from Rory by watching this on-demand panel webinar where she shares insights into her webinar program and new ideas for your own.

 

Sheri Butts – Marketing Manager, G3 Communications

The Webinar Project Management Guru

Sheri, who recently presented at Webinar World 2019, knows that to accomplish stellar things with your webinar programs, like build a webinar series, you need to start with a solid foundation. That’s why over the past three years she’s taken the time to build and optimize her Webinar Planning Guide. Not only does this guide keep Sheri on track, but it also gives full transparency to other stakeholders in the program. Take a sneak peek into her planning guide here.

Words of Wisdom:

Think about investing in tools that help streamline your webinar program processes. Our team couldn’t live without Trello, Slack and AddEvent!”

You can take on more wisdom from Sheri by checking out her full WW’19 presentation here.

ON24 Makes the Grade: Banzai’s Top 5 Marketing Events for 2019

Originally published on getbanzai.com. Shared with permission.

Marketing leaders are constantly putting on great B2B events for their customers, prospects, and teams. They believe in creating educational experiences that transform how people work and find value in their product. But where do marketing and event professionals go to learn more about their own field and growing in their career? Here are five marketing events that all marketers should add to their calendar in 2019.

Hubspot’s INBOUND 2019

SEPTEMBER 3-6, 2019 | BOSTON, MA

INBOUND is a community of people who are passionate about marketing, selling, and delighting customers in an inbound way.

Hubspot’s INBOUND brings 20,000 + marketers, salespeople, and business leaders together for four days of keynotes, breakouts, and educational sessions. In 2018, they had more than 300 sessions over the week. Their speaker lineup is always an impressive mix of visionaries, public leaders, and end-users. Past sessions included:

  • Building Diversity and Inclusion Into the DNA of Your Brand
  • How to Develop and Run a Growth Marketing Team
  • Achieving 10x Growth by Optimizing Customer Marketing & Retention

From SEO, to content marketing, to creating lead generating emails, Hubspot’s INBOUND is a can’t miss for anyone looking to grow their overall marketing skill set.

ON24 Webinar World

MARCH 11 – 13, 2019 | SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Engage for Action

If you’re a B2B marketer, chances are webinars are a big part of your overall marketing and demand generation strategy. ON24’s Webinar World 2019 brings together a marketing community that is eager to grow and share in their webinar best practices. The goal of the conference is to give you tools and playbooks that enhance your webinar strategy as soon as you get back to the office. The 2019 agenda is made up of some powerful sessions including:

  • Scaling Fast with Fitbit: How to Run a Successful Webinar Program Solo
  • From Awareness to Action: Workfront’s Full-Funnel, Multichannel Marketing Campaign Strategy
  • Repurposing your Webinars with Align Technology: How to Use a Single Webinar Multiple Ways

Webinar World is an opportunity to connect with marketing peers and get great, scaleable tips for elevating your webinar strategy.

High Five Conference

MARCH 4 – 5, 2019 | RALEIGH, NC

Where Marketing and Creative Meet

The two-day marketing and creative conference is put on by AMA Triangle. The goal of this event is to connect creative marketers around the North Carolina area. A successful marketing team is made up of a variety of roles and talents. One of the biggest challenges for a marketing team is establishing a collaborative working environment where everyone is aligned. High Five Conference is open to writers, designers, content marketers, developers and more, and provides best practices for working together to create an unstoppable marketing program.

MozCon

JULY 17 – 19, 2019 | SEATTLE, WA

Exceptional speakers. Actionable tactics. Fist bumps for all.

SEO is tough and is always changing. MozCon connects marketers with their peers and helps them stay on top of the constantly evolving industry. Attendees can expect to hear from industry experts, Moz leaders, and end-users. Topics range from SEO, to content strategy, to data analytics, and much much more. Past sessions include:

  • Ranking Is a Promise: Can You Deliver?
  • Email Unto Others: The Golden Rules for Human-Centric Email Marketing
  • Bigger Data Requires Bigger Tools: How BI Helps You Tell Stronger Stories

MozCon is a great option for marketers looking to boost their digital marketing skills and stay on top of the latest trends.

Smartsheet Engage

SEPTEMBER 30 – OCTOBER 4 | SEATTLE, WA

Learn. Share. Innovate.

Marketers deal with a variety of moving pieces every day and keeping track of all the details is not always easy. Smartsheet is a great tool for managing work and internal collaboration. So why should marketers attendee Smartsheet Engage? This four day event provides valuable tips and tricks from streamlining and managing the multiple projects marketers are leading. Sessions from 2018 included:

  • Smartsheet and Google: Moving from Communication to Action — Fast
  • Conversations Matter: How Chat Will Affect Your Business
  • Customer Panel: Smartsheet in Marketing

Smartsheet Engage is a great opportunity for marketers to learn about streamlining their process and collaborating with the rest of the business.

January is Webinerd Appreciation Month

2018 was a year of accomplishments for the webinerds around the world. We saw massive community support around the globe at our Webinar World events in San Francisco, London, Sydney and Singapore. We also saw an outpouring of support for the Webinars That Rocked award-winnersAutoTrader, Octopus Investments and Promega— and its entrants. All in all, we had a lot of fun in 2018 and we have every intention of keeping the party going well into 2019.

That’s why we’re starting the year off with Webinerd Appreciation Month! That’s right, January is all about you, fellow webinerds. We’ve got a series of activities we’re launching every week that celebrate the webinerd community and offer great tips, tricks and insights for you to use. At the end of the month, we’ll cap it all off with — what else? — a party.

What’s Going On in Webinerd Appreciation Month

What exactly is taking place? Here’s a quick rundown of Webinerd Appreciation Month activities in no particular order:

Webinerds in the Wild

First and foremost, we want to bring you and other expert webinerds together in the flesh! That’s why we’re hosting Webinars in the Wild, an in-person-networking, best-practice-sharing night at an ON24 office near you. If you’re interested, make your RSVP here. Just note: Webinerds in the Wild meetups are only taking place in Charlotte, NC; London, UK; San Francisco, CA; Singapore and Sydney, Australia.

Ask the Experts Webinar

Next up, we have an Ask the Experts webinar taking place on Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST). Featuring Braeden Fair, Webinar Producer at Paycom; Lisa Hackbarth, Demand Generation Manager at Outsystems; and our very own Tiffany Beddow, Senior Customer Marketing Manager at ON24, this webinar brings two of our 2018 Webinerd Award Winners together to share their expertise on building stellar webinar programs, generating fresh ideas for webinars and more. Register here.

Personality Quizzes

The webinerd community has a lot of characters in it. So many that we put together a fun little personality quiz that’ll match you up with your inner webinerd. Take the quiz and discover your webinerd personality. Click here to learn your webinerd personality!

Predictions

Curious to see what 2019 has in store for webinars and B2B marketing in general? Boy, do we have the webinar for you. Our own Mark Bornstein will give you the rundown in “Webinar Marketing Predictions for 2019.” Taking place on Jan. 16 at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST), this webinar will give you the insights to give your webinar marketing program the edge in 2019. All you have to do is register here.

Webinars That Rocked Highlights

Our annual Webinars That Rocked took place last month, but we’re still celebrating 2018’s entries! Keep an eye on the ON24 blog for more insights and inspiration from the Webinars That Rocked 2018 and out the Webinars That Rocked 2018 on demand.

We’re looking forward to a great Webinerd Appreciation Month. Keep an eye on our blog and our social channels as we issue updates throughout the month. Happy webinaring, webinerds!

Looking for great webinar guidance? Get the freshest webinar tactics and strategies at Webinar World 2019.

It’s the Webinerd Ugly Sweater Extravaganza!

Seasons greetings! Today is National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day, and to celebrate, we designed our own festive sweater (big thanks to Sketchdeck and Roody Originals) to share with the webinerd community. To earn one of these beauties, we asked folks to share what it means to be a webinerd, and we LOVED the responses we received.

Below were some of our favorites:

[tribulant_slideshow gallery_id=1]

We felt like Santa sending these out around the globe and can’t believe how snazzy our customers look in them.

We wouldn’t be here without our amazing community of savvy webinerds. Thanks for your commitment to building beautiful webinar experiences and for being good sports and donning our 2018 edition of the webinerd ugly sweater. And remember, just because your sweater is ugly, doesn’t mean your webinars have to be!

We have a few more great #UglySweater posts for you take a look at below (even a dance we’re going to steal). We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. See you at Webinar World in 2019!

 

The Secret to Engaging Stories? Ask NPR’s Scott Simon at Webinar World 2019

Looking for great webinar guidance? Get the freshest webinar tactics and strategies at Webinar World 2019.

The best way to grab an audience’s attention is to tell an engaging story. It helps, too, if you have a wealth of experience to draw on for inspiration. Scott Simon, war reporter, world traveler, best-selling author, renowned journalist, Peabody award-winner and host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday” has both plenty of experience and the know-how to tell a gripping narrative.

That’s why we’re happy to announce that Simon will share his storytelling secrets with attendees at Webinar World 2019. Webinar World 2019, which centers on the theme “Engage for Action,” runs from March 11 to 13, at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, California. The three-day conference brings together digital engagement experts, marketing, training and communications leaders, webinar practitioners and, yes, storytellers to share strategies, best practices and tactics for audience engagement and business growth.

In addition to Simon, Webinar World 2019 will feature several keynote speakers, including:

Webinar World 2019 also features a robust, hands-on series of breakout sessions guided by companies on the frontier of digital engagement, such as Oracle Netsuite, Salesforce, Box, SAP, Merrill and many more.

Ready to take your marketing and storytelling to the next level? Register for Webinar World 2019 today and prepare to engage for action!