Are Webinars Dead?

One of the best methods for driving sales (especially for high-ticket items) is the use of live webinars.

Not only do they allow you to demonstrate your products or services, present your engaging content, they also help facilitate trust with your attendees.

For the longest time, marketers were using teleconferences to sell their products and services before webinars changed the game.

shutterstock_65009236When I first started using webinars almost a decade ago, it was very easy to get registrants and webinar show up rates of close to 80% weren’t uncommon.

But that was then and this now.

Things have changed dramatically and with cheap alternatives and autowebinar software scripts selling like hot-cakes, almost everyone and their grandma is running a webinar.

Your prospect only has so much time in the day and with plenty of webinars to choose from, you’re just another voice shouting in the crowd for their attention.

Once you get past the struggle of getting their attention and then getting them to register, you are now left with the difficult task of getting them to actually show up.

A decent show up rate to a webinar these days is roughly 20%. If you are getting a show-up rate higher then this, you are doing great.

Does this mean that webinars are dead?

Hardly.

But the game has changed and marketers who start creating a more sophisticated webinar funnel will definitely see way more success then those who don’t.

I’m referring to the:

1. Post-Webinar sequence (traffic, ads, pitch page, self-liquidating offer, post webinar emails, etc.)

2. Webinar sequence (presentation, content, story-telling and close)

3. Post-Webinar sequence (replay, follow-up emails, close emails, retargeting, etc.)

4. Automated-Webinar sequence (technology, script, etc.)

There are a lot more moving pieces to a successful webinar then there were years ago.

Your audience is more sophisticated now and by incorporating more of the crucial pieces to the entire sequence, it’s still quite possible to make six-figures on a single live webinar.

What’s your opinion on webinars? Over-used? Over-hyped? Too many?

Share your comments.

15 comments

  1. Although I haven’t presented a webinar yet (but I plan to for Fundraising presentations for non-profit organizations), I listen to a LOT of them and I enjoy them. The biggest mistake I see is that many presenters do not provide replays. As a working professional, I may not be able to attend the webinar at the posted time, so replays are vital!

    I also wish that webinar platforms would provide “mp3 downloads” of the webinar. When I can, I record them on my own so that I can listen to them in the car, in the gym or on a plane when it is convenient to me.

  2. Wayne

    I used to hate teleconferences (e.g. Dan Kennedy, Jay Abraham, etc.). While I prefer webinars, there must be a replay as Harry Maurer said or forget ’bout it! Having said that, I’m being inundated with “opportunities for free training” and consequently, they have lost their uniqueness. Furthermore, there are only so many hours in the day to watch them.

  3. Stan Self

    Stan Self….Gauher sorry I can’t be of any help I listen to webinars but I have not way of knowing if they are successful or not. I appreciate the value you give to each program, course etc. that you supply us with.

  4. Mike Carl

    Webinars are too much of a ‘time-suck’ and more-over, many use the same old tired bullshit line that ‘the webinar will not be recorded’ or ‘this is a one-time webinar’ just to get butts in the seat. Most of them promise to answer all the concerns and issues, but do a poor job of answering. And the tough questions are always ignored. I personally sign up for webinars that will move my business ahead, then not attend. If they offer a recording, and if I can download it, I play it in the VLC Player and speed it up by 50%, skip through the lengthy introduction shit, move ahead to get to the problem and their fix & the price. But then inevitably, I’d have to let the recorded webinar play in the background for 1-1/2 to 2 hours for the freaking buy button to appear. The marketer who’s gonna figure out that the attendees’ time is valuable and does something about it to make it easy to make a decision, without the blow-job, is going to exponentially raise the game.

  5. Nelson Carney

    I watch a lot of webinars to get ideas to improve and broaden my IM business. Since January I have been inundated with webinar offers, more than I have ever seen in a comparable period in the past. I think this is a testament to the ease of creating and presenting webinars. I saw a piece of webinar software the other day that allegedly can make a recorded webinar appear to be LIVE.

    I restrict myself to the top tier trainers/marketer like yourself, Paul Sinclair, Matt & Jason at Amazing.com, Jason Fladlien, Ryan Deiss and a few others. The top tier webinars provide valuable information and offer products that have good price/performance ratios. I have bought three products this year ranging from $997 to a $39/month subscription.All have been from the top tier guys.

    I have found that the 2nd and 3rd tier guys have fluffed up presentations with no free info of value and a product that is unproven.

    My conclusion from all of this is that the Top Tier guys need to work even harder to differentiate themselves in today’s cluttered webinar environment. Perhaps as you reach out via email, online advertising, etc to get registrants, some of your copy should focus on your credentials and standing in the IM market.

  6. Doug

    Most of the webinars I attend (or start to attend and then leave) are just blatant sales vehicles that deliver little to no actual value. If webinar presenters focused on delivering real value first and then selling second. I think the results would be commensurate.

  7. Replay essential. I can actually listen while at work, but sometimes I get booted if it’s not the active window. Others scheduled for prime times in east coast are impossible, since they’re during my commute home from work. So yeah, replay essential.

  8. Janis

    Webinars are somewhat of a lesser priority for me since so often I just don’t have the time, so I mostly go for the replays if they are available . When I do attend a webinar, there are some that amaze me with outstanding quality of information that can be very usable. But too often, it’s a hook, I’ve even been told that an upcoming webinar is to teach me about the product that I just purchased, and how to use the product to it’s fullest, only to find out that they used the webinar to push yet another product on me proclaiming that it will make the product I just purchased much better. And so another sales funnel to agonize through. Maybe, for me, it’s not the webinar dying out, as much as the sales funnels that are wearing thin on me.

  9. Ike

    We all know now that at the end of the webinar there is a big push to sell something that we supposedly “need”. I imagine most of us just stick around for the free bits then bail when the pitch makes it’s way in.

  10. Ian

    Hi Gauher

    I used to watch webinars that where the subject was either interesting or useful to me, but almost all are a waste of time as you will almost certainly learn nothing of any use. Plus they are normally 2 to 4 in the morning for me.

    So nowadays I sign up to interesting sounding ones. then wait for the replay, if none no problem didn’t waste any time, if a reply I skip through it only listening to the bits that may be interesting then to the price. IF THE price is reasonable and it may be of interest THEN and only Then to i listen more carefully.

    If there is a replay and the marketer has made it so you cannot fast forward ie no video controls then I just delete, so as not to waste my time.

    Ian

  11. Paul

    A high majority of webinars are not worth attending. The only benefit of a live webinar is the opportunity to ask a question about the offer. If I can’t attend live, a replay is good to have just so I can see the offer.

    I get very little value out of presentations. They’re not even interesting. I think they are there to build the case for why the opportunity is so great. But to me, they are there just to fill the webinar with filler content before naturally sliding into the pitch.

    The purpose of a webinar is to sell a product. So, why not skip the filler content… and just do a demonstration of the product? My buying decision is never based on the presentation. It’s based on what the product can do for me.

    I wish I wouldn’t have to sit through everything that comes before the offer. I just want to know how the product can help me.

  12. michael

    I agree with Wayne that I’m blitzed with offers. The ones that do it too often I unsubscribe from even though they may be experts in their field. The last thing I want is to waste time sifting though mail that I just trashed because I’m not ready for the content.

    I also agree with Harry Maurer that there simply must be replays. I don’t particularly like waking up at 3am because the talk is given somewhere else in the world. Ok so I miss the live engagement or the ability to ask a question, the flip side is I get a cosy sleep.

    Ditto what Mike Carl said. If they say it won’t be recorded then build trust and stick to it. Kudos to those that attend.

    I’d like to say I only listen to the best like Nelson Carney but I’ve found those trying to break into a competitive industry are giving value as well. You soon learn who to tune into again anyway.

    Yes the webinar is a push to sell, we sell ourselves every day. I must master convincing my son to study, the joys as they get older…

    My ideal webinar, hmm…

    In two parts, let me explain.

    Part A:
    A recorded presentation available to listen any time within the first week.
    It would follow the usual story, who am I, why am I great, why you should listen, here’s some value.
    Ask for relevant questions
    that will be answered in Part B. This will measure your audience engagement. If they ask a question then they’ll probably tune in for the answer.
    Say briefly what value will be covered in Part B building anticipation.

    Part B:
    A live presentation that is recorded but not available unless blah blah.
    Give value.
    Answering questions from Part A.
    The sales pitch.

    Everyone values their time so if a presentation can’t prove a products value and why people should buy within an hour and half then the presentation needs polishing. I would listen to two 45 minute presentations. After the first I know if I need to tune in for the second.

    I get a sense that some presenters are turning into TV stars where people will just watch them instead of TV. What’s important to me is that I take action on what I’m learning and monetise it. I always try to come away with one nugget that I can use.

    That’s my 2 cents worth (yep still got a couple sense/cents/scents)

    Go go gadget Gauher

  13. Sean

    It seems like someone decided that all IM/MMO webinars need to be held on Thursday nights. Since I work Thursday nights, I am not able to attend live…making me the type who needs the replay.
    Also, it wouldn’t be asking too much for some of these things to be loaded with better ‘gimme’s’. Timeshare presentations understand this…everyone who sits through gets a $___ prize, REGARDLESS of whether or not they purchase. With webinars, the value is in the information. It’d be nice to see someone raise the bar in terms of that. “One pro tip for traffic/keywords/conversion/etc” would really be an awesome thing to help increase someone’s attendance records.

  14. Micheal Heijman

    Webinars are the epitome of censorship. Try calling out one of these webinar presenters on the validity of their offer or ask them to prove their unbelievable earnings (fake screen shots easily fool the masses) or their success rate with their students and you’ll find that they will gloss over the issue or just disregard the question. Webinars are super biased in favor of the presenter. The presenter has all the power and know the majority of the attendees are like sheep going to slaughter. Sheep don’t question authority (the presenter). Webinars will work as long as sheep exist. Webinars will fail if the majority of the attendees start acting a little more like wolves. Because wolves don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.

  15. Jerry Amigo

    “Webinar” “Online Training” = Sales Pitch The more you watch the more you realize.

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