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1. WebinarJanuary 27, 2009Marketing Non-Dues RevenueWebinarsExecutive SummarySpeakers: Ken Molay President Webinar Success Rick Olson CEO KRM Information Services Executive Summary produced for KRM by
KRM Webinar January 27, 2009 Marketing Non-Dues Revenue WebinarsMarketing Non-Dues Revenue Webinars Presenters: Ken Molay, President, Webinar Success (www.wsuccess.com) Rick Olson, CEO, KRM Information Services (www.krm.com) There are many successful low-cost ways to market andOverview promote webinars.For associations, webinars are an important way to educate Email is usually the most common technique for promotingmembers and a viable source of non-dues revenues. The keys webinars. Despite some people feeling bombarded with email itto success: understanding your audience’s specific situation and can still work well, especially in organizations such asframing all aspects of the webinar to deliver value. associations which have good lists of members and targeted attendees. The more personalized and relevant an email is, theValue is created based on the webinar’s unique content, who more attention it will get and the better the response rate will be.presents it, and how it is presented. Value is conveyed throughmultiple marketing techniques, all of which should emphasize the One of the key goals of email marketing is to drive possiblegeneral value of webinars (unique speakers, interaction with attendees to your “landing page.” This is a page where thosespeakers, multiple attendees at one site, and low costs) and the interested in attending go to learn more and register. The contentbenefits of a particular webinar, which are based on the specific and presentation of the landing page is critical. The benefits ofaudience and content. the webinar should be clearly communicated, with big, simple buttons to register and to forward information to others. (A great resource for developing effective landing pages is available atContext www.marketingsherpa.com.)These webinar experts drew on their experiences to share secretsfor promoting and producing effective revenue-generating While email can be effective, it should not be the only marketingwebinars. They also responded to questions from participants on a technique. Other low-cost approaches can also be successfullywide range of webinar-related subjects. used to attract attendees. Among them: ⎯ Your home page. Many organizations have an upcomingKey Webinar Takeaways events area on their website. In addition, it is valuable to have a highly visible spot on the home page with a banner about The keys to producing successful revenue-generating the webinar and a link to the “webinar landing page.” webinars are focusing on the audience’s self interest and ⎯ Links in emails. Many organizational emails can add a delivering value. signature block at the bottom of the email with information Attracting your target audience and engaging them in a webinar about the upcoming webinar and a link to the landing page. requires stepping into their shoes and understanding their This can be a great technique for organizations that send out specific goals and interests. Knowledge of their interests is a lot of emails. If the emails have valuable information, they needed to frame all aspects of the webinar (the title, messaging, will be forwarded, making this a viral technique. benefits, and content) and to produce a webinar that audience ⎯ Press releases. This is a great and underused way to get members perceive as valuable. information about your event into search engines, and it need not be expensive. There are many low- or no-cost web-based “You have to understand, “What are the audience’s distribution options. When crafting a press release, put the selfish self-interests?” critical information in the header that comes before the ⎯ Ken Molay dateline; this is what people read first. An audience’s interests must be addressed in the messaging ⎯ Blogs and newsletters. Advertise your webinars prominently with a clear statement of the value that a webinar provides. For on other organizational communication vehicles, both online example, in an industry with new regulations, a webinar titled and offline. Also, you might advertise your webinar on blogs “New Regulations” fails to provide a relevant or meaningful for your industry or on search ad sponsorships, such as statement of the value and benefits. For managers interested in Google. Paid search ads may not be practical for most, but it how the new regulations will affect them, a more engaging title is is possible to start small, set budgets, and precisely track “Learn How New Regulations Impact Your Business Operations,” results. In any advertisement, it is essential to convey value whereas a more engaging title for workers would be “The Impact for the attendee. of New Regulations on Your Health and Safety.” ⎯ Social networking. Using social networking can be valuable for associations that already have Facebook or MySpace “You have to appeal to what matters to your sites, that have a following on Twitter, and that target a audience. You have to frame everything in terms younger audience. But these channels will work only if an of value to attendees.” organization already has a social network and a known ⎯ Ken Molay presence.© 2009 KRM Information Services, Inc. Summary produced for KRM by: Page 1
KRM Webinar January 27, 2009 Marketing Non-Dues Revenue Webinars ⎯ Partners. Working with partners can also help drive up In KRM’s experience having worked with clients to produce more attendance. This includes prominent speaking partners that than 7,000 events, the vast majority of these events were attendees will want to hear. It can also include marketing revenue-generating for the host organization. In KRM’s analysis partners who help market the webinar to other groups of of recent events, the median price being charged is $230 for a potential attendees. site license for a 90-minute webinar. Many associations offer one price for members and a slightly higher price for non-members. Regardless of the technique used, it is important to: The speakers agreed that offering a money-back guarantee is a ⎯ Emphasize interaction with speakers. One of the foremost good strategy; it can help convince some reluctant individuals/ benefits of webinars is the ability for participants to interact organizations to give the webinar a try. It is extremely rare that a with prominent, knowledgeable speakers. Mr. Olson cited an person asks for his or her money back. When this does occur, it example of a webinar that brought together seven leading shows there was a problem with the event, which is a learning experts on a subject; their schedules would never have experience, and it provides an opportunity to satisfy a allowed all seven to be together at a face-to-face event. disappointed customer. “One of the great benefits of webinars is the ability to In addition to generating revenue by charging attendees, in some have unique speakers you wouldn’t be able to get instances it may also be possible to generate revenue through otherwise.” sponsorship. Once again, the key is putting on a valuable ⎯ Rick Olson webinar. Valuable webinars attract an ever-growing audience. Such an audience then is attractive to potential sponsors. ⎯ Convey exclusivity. In your marketing, convey that only a select group of people are being invited. Webinars are an extremely effective educational tool. Webinars can be used to educate members as well as a broader Other effective ways of promoting webinars include: audience. At times, a webinar can be used to convey general ⎯ Event confirmation with calendar attachments. A good business information, as is the case with KRM clients such as practice is to send registered attendees an event confirmation Harvard Business Publishing and Kiplinger. At other times a that includes an attachment to the attendee’s calendar. This webinar can be used to convey very specific information. In puts the webinar on the attendee’s schedule. recorded comments, Eileen Joschko, manager of professional development of the American Dietetic Association, said that the ⎯ Reminders. A good practice is to send one email 24 hours American Dietetic Association offers webinars as a way for before the event reminding each registrant about the webinar, members to gain continuing education credits. and another 1 to 3 hours in advance. Always restate the key value proposition for the registrant, as they may have Regardless of the information being conveyed, web-based forgotten why they signed up. learning offers advantages of convenience and reduced travel ⎯ Encouraging participation. An email sent prior to the webinar costs. asking registrants to respond to a survey about areas of interest and/or provide questions to be answered during the “As an educational tool, web seminars can’t be beat.” webinar can boost attendance and enhance value. ⎯ Ken Molay When webinars offer value, they can become sources of The actual presentation of the webinar plays a key role in the non-dues revenue. webinar’s perceived value. The decision whether or not to charge for a webinar is based on Prior to a webinar it is beneficial to get input from registrants on each organization’s goals and reasons for offering webinars. But their specific areas of interest so the webinar can be tailored it is important not to underestimate the willingness of participants appropriately. In the webinar presentation it is important to: to pay for a webinar if they perceive it to be valuable. Organizers ⎯ Highlight key points. Explicitly link presented facts and of face-to-face conferences don’t hesitate to charge for these information to the key topic points you want your audience to events, knowing that the event provides value for attendees. remember and benefit from. Likewise, if potential attendees perceive that a webinar offers value, most people/organizations will be willing to pay. “Remember to frame everything you present in terms of value to the audience.” In recorded comments, Diane James, executive director of the ⎯ Ken Molay Women’s Transportation Seminar, said that her members always like to get things at no cost. But if a webinar has valuable infor- ⎯ Personalize the message. Deliver the content in a way that is mation, members are prepared to pay. Her members often think easy for people to understand on a personal level. Use stories about the “unit cost per person” for training. Because multiple and anecdotes. people can sit around a conference table and attend a webinar, the unit cost per person is low. (Rick Olson said that most ⎯ Avoid complex slides/charts. A webinar is not the time or registrants see webinars as a cost-effective form of education as place for detailed, complex information. If it is important to webinars educate multiple people and no travel is required.) provide such information to attendees, provide supporting materials separate from the webinar.© 2009 KRM Information Services, Inc. Summary produced for KRM by: Page 2
KRM Webinar January 27, 2009 Marketing Non-Dues Revenue Webinars Webinars can generate revenues long after the webinar is Costs of webinar services. The costs to produce a webinar complete. depend on the specific services that are desired. For an Creating and selling recordings of a webinar provides a cost- organization’s first one or two events it may make sense to err effective way to generate further revenue. Rick Olson pointed out on the side of using more of the vendor’s services to make sure that KRM’s analysis shows that on average, when clients offer a everything goes smoothly and to learn about the various service recording they see a 15% increase in sales. Also, offering options. With experience, organizations can better define recordings doesn’t appear to cannibalize webinar attendance. exactly which services they need and which services to provide themselves and which to outsource. “When clients offer recordings [of webinars], they see Audio delivery: phone or web? For now, phone is preferable a 15% increase in sales revenues [from the webinar].” as there are far fewer problems; at times, participants can have ⎯ Rick Olson problems with voice signals over the Internet. In recorded comments, Dave Barry, managing editor of Dow Additional resources. Valuable resources with further Jones Financial Information Services, said that his target information about webinars include: audience is comprised of extremely busy people. These Webinar Blog. This is Mr. Molay’s personal look at web- individuals are very interested in purchasing a recording when conferencing technology, news, and best practices. they are not able to participate live. In the past nine months, Dow (www.theWebinarBlog.com) Jones has had more people purchasing CDs than attend the live events. They price the recordings comparable (or identical) to the Webinar Wire. This is a community blog that accepts live event and sell the recordings for weeks after the event. Mr. submissions from conferencing professionals. Barry views recordings as a great addition to his company’s (www.WebinarWire.com) webinar program. Web Conferencing Community Forum. This is a community message board for end users in web conferencing. (www.wcc-forum.com)Other Important Points Use alliteration. Alliteration is a quick and easy trick to capture Replacing face-to-face events? Webinars are unlikely to people’s attention and help them remember the key items. Mr. replace face-to-face events. Face-to-face events are great for Molay demonstrated this by grouping his ideas under the networking and connecting with others. But, they are often headings: Promotion, Payment, Preparation, Presentation, and infrequent and expensive. Web events provide a complemen- Post-event. tary way to educate members and help people stay connected between face-to-face events. And, they can be an additional source of revenue.© 2009 KRM Information Services, Inc. Summary produced for KRM by: Page 3
KRM Webinar January 27, 2009 Marketing Non-Dues Revenue Webinars BiographyKen MolayPresident, Webinar SuccessKen has a background in software development and marketing,working for companies such as Advanced Micro Devices,Syntelligence, Blaze Software, Brokat, HNC Software, and FairIsaac. He has acted as development manager, product manager,and product marketing manager.Ken has been producing and delivering business webinars since1999. His background in public speaking, radio, stage acting, andtraining has given him a unique perspective on what it takes tocreate a compelling and effective presentation.Ken enjoys world travel and spent a year on his own in Europe. Healso spent five years as an international tour guide, leading groupsthroughout North America, England, and the South Pacific.Currently Ken offers consulting services through his companyWebinar Success (www.wsuccess.com).© 2009 KRM Information Services, Inc. Summary produced for KRM by: Page 4