Email Marketing Tips: Using Video to Drive Webinar Registration

Submitted by: Brendan Cournoyer, Director of Content Marketing, Brainshark

April 10, 2012 12:03 PM

While there are lots of ways to promote virtual events and webinars these days, email marketing is still the method of choice for most companies. Of course, there’s more to driving registration than simply shooting out an email blast with a link.

Taking the time to create engaging content around your webinars can have a huge impact on attendance. And since video has been shown to increase the effectiveness of email and social media marketing campaigns…well you see where I’m going with this. For example, organizations like NETSEA have reported a 300% increase in email click-through rates by incorporating video with their event marketing materials. That’s obviously an extreme increase, but those numbers offer a glimpse of the potential that video brings to the table.

So what type of video content should you include when promoting webinars via email?

Not long ago, my colleague Linda Silverman wrote about the benefits of creating a webinar “trailer” for online event promotion. Much like how Hollywood creates teaser commercials to get people excited about upcoming films, you can use Brainshark to generate short (2-3 minutes max) video spots on the key elements of your webinar, with links on each slide to drive registration. All you need are the basics – What’s it about? Who’s speaking? When will it be? Who should attend and why should they be there?

It’s also a great idea to have your featured speaker narrate the video when possible to give it an even more personal touch. At Brainshark, we’ve even utilized previously recorded video clips of our speakers to include with our promo trailers when the experts themselves aren’t available.

We’ve found that click-through rates for these short trailers can often be three times higher than for the webinar registration link itself. That’s a level of engagement that shouldn’t be ignored. But there are a few other things to consider when promoting webinars via email.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Write a subject line that is clear and engaging. Since a bad subject line can keep people from even opening your email, this is critical. Highlight the topic of the webinar specifically, and keep it brief. There’s no point wasting space with marketing fluff and extraneous info in the subject line – just stick to the point.
  • Make sure the link to your trailer video stands alone. Don’t embed it within the text of your email. This will make it easier for recipients to see what your email is about and know exactly what to do from there.
  • If your trailer is short (and it should be), say so right in the hyperlink. Something like “View Joe’s 45-second trailer to learn more” might encourage a higher CTR, as it lets people know that what they’re about to see won’t take much of their time.
  • Don’t use images or clickable thumbnails to promote your trailer links (or any other links for that matter). They might look sharp when you send them out, but more often than not, recipients will have to manually download the images once the email reaches their inbox. We’ve all seen the old “square with the red X” for broken images before – it’s not very attractive.
  • Keep the rest of your messaging brief, as long emails with lots of text will be easily tuned out. Try breaking up the text with bullet points highlighting the key coverage areas of the event, and make sure your “Register Now” link is clear and visible.
  • Including additional resources that are related to your webinar topic (like blog posts, reports, case studies, etc.) is another good way to increase CTRs and make your emails more engaging. If you have additional content that you think your recipients will be interested in – share it!

Speaking of which, for more tips and ideas for webinar marketing, check out the links below:

Webinar Marketing with Brainshark 

Report: Reexamining Your Webinar Strategy

Best Practices for Producing Highly Effective Webinar Replays

Tags: external communications, myBrainshark, tips and tricks, webinar strategy, video

 
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