Using Webinars to Drive Leads & Sales: A Guide to Planning, Organizing and Prompting Live Events

By Quincy Smith

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Due to COVID in 2020, a lot of companies faced a situation when planned in-person marketing activities like conferences and events got canceled. During this time, we decided to organize webinars for the Mira community as an experiment and replacement for these lost “live events”. 

Over the past year, this has grown into regular monthly webinars as well as an incredible marketing channel - in this post, we will explore the processes we follow to choose topics, find relevant speakers and organize and promote each event.

The Original Plan

Initially, we planned online events to better educate our current customers - the idea was that fertility treatment centers were shut down and the webinars would be a way to support them and answer questions using a live format. 

However, we saw a big interest from not only our customers but also from people who were interested in the fertility topic in general. Their feedback encouraged us to continue with webinars and expand both our topics and viewership.

One of the latest webinars that we’ve held is “How to Increase Your Sex Drive While TTC”. 

Read on to find out more about some specific steps that we took to plan, organize, and present this topic.

Choosing a Topic

Finding an appealing topic was key - we were not alone in our decision to move events online and faced competition from inside and outside of our industry.

In order to stand out, we landed on this formula to pick a topic:

  • Timeliness & urgent paint points: We focused on the needs that our audience had right now. The title should immediately generate feedback “Gosh! That’s exactly what I’m going through”.
  • Be specific: Very broad topics are unlikely to get breakthrough insights and practical tips.
  • Appealing: At the same time, a topic should be broad enough to get at least 500 registrations. We tried a few niche topics related to specific health conditions but didn’t receive many sign-ups when compared to bigger topics.
  • Result-driven: Time was still a valuable commodity for our users and we wanted the webinar title and description to clearly state what people can get in the end: specific tips, frameworks, action steps, or new insights.
  • Relevant to us: It should be easy to answer the question “Why does this brand run it?”. Yes, this is a free event, but the balance between promotion and information needed to be found. We consider webinars as a storytelling way to promote the Mira brand.

Here’s how these factors were taken into consideration when working on the webinar “How to Increase Your Sex Drive While TTC”:

  • In late December we started planning our content calendar and activities for the upcoming year. For the month of February, we decided to focus on Valentine’s Day and all the topics that might relate to people during this time. 
  • We chose the topic that aimed to answer a specific question and share practical tips on how to keep the fire in your sex life.
  • At the same time, we didn’t narrow it down too much. We didn’t focus on only one specific problem that may be related to sex life like women’s fatigue or men’s fatigue, communication problems, or health issues. Instead, we covered all of those aspects under one question that concerns both partners – how to boost your sex drive.
  • Our goal was to provide our audience with answers on why your sex drive while trying to conceive may get lower and what practical tips they can apply to boost it.
  • The topic was connected to our product. If a woman’s fertility goal is to get pregnant, she needs to have sex during her ovulation which lasts only 12 to 24 hours. Our product predicts ovulation with 99% accuracy and helps couples to avoid the pressure of having sex without pleasure just to maximize chances of getting the timing right. 

Finding a Speaker

When looking for a speaker, the easiest way is to leverage existing partnerships with your experts or brand ambassadors. We’ve found doctor influencers - popular health experts on social media – to be the best option as they have their own community which can also bring a lot of interest to the event. 

You’re also able to tie webinars and events into your contract or add it as a nice bonus for kicking off-brand ambassador’s collaboration. Ideally that a speaker knows a product well, uses it, and can share its benefits in their own words.

We already had a partnership with Kela Smith, CEO and program director of the Hormone Puzzle Society, a woman’s health hub for fertility, hormones, coaching. Even better was that our CEO, Sylvia Kang, was a speaker on Kela's podcast so it was easy to invite her to host the webinar.

It’s important to note that one of the biggest appeals for experts interested in doing online events is the business development aspect.  We give our speakers the ability to promote their services or products during our events and across our marketing channels so that they can increase their brand’s awareness and performance as well.

Getting Organized

Finding the right tech stack, as well as the processes and sequences of what needs to happen when was the most challenging aspect of getting this up and running.

Here’s what’s working for us now:

Software

After using Zoom for previous live events, we needed something that was a bit more funnel- and engagement-friendly.

We settled on Demio, which made it easy for us to create a registration page, email notifications, automated event alerts, and a robust chat function to host polls and questions during the event.

However, there are a few downsides when compared to Zoom:

  • Unable to stream to Facebook
  • Unable to stream to Youtube 
  • Unable to track replay views on Demio

We got around these by uploading a recording to our social media after the event, as well as hosting replays somewhere that offered better analytics.

 webinar registration page

Gear

This was easy - most people are going to have the equipment needed to run a live stream.  In our case we used:

  • Laptop camera
  • Laptop mic
  • Well lit room

Time and date

We chose 1 pm ET on Wednesday as we found that between 11 am - 5 pm on Tuesday - Thursday usually works best for our primary US audience.

Promotion

When you put so much effort into organizing a webinar, the most important and challenging part is getting people registered. In the past, we have experimented with Eventbrite, Meetup, and Facebook events, but none of these really delivered for our audience. 

For this webinar, we chose to:

  • We created special visuals and descriptions for the topic
  • Created a popup for our website
  • We sent out an email blast to subscribers (be careful with spam words in your subject line as using “sex” resulted in some of our emails being sent to junk folders)
  • We ran an SMS campaign among our US text subscribers
  • We asked our speakers to promote on their channels
  • We posted on social media and boosted the posts

 

webinar IG promotion

All of these steps helped us attract more than 1200 registrants!

Engagement

Anyone who has ever run a live event knows that registrations do not equal engaged viewers!  We’ve found that teasing unique freebies only available during the event is a great way to boost attendees and we’re usually fortunate enough to offer items from our presenter(s) as well. 

Engagement is also important during the event and we use a few tactics to keep viewers interacting and paying attention via the live chat:

  • Surveys
  • Solicit questions for Q&A
  • Offer discount code(s) for all products and services (including those of your presenters)

Finally, make sure to create and send an event survey the day after the webinar to understand any issues regarding time, topic, or presentation.

Webinar Checklist

After running more than 10 events and analyzing the failures and successes of each, we came up with a checklist that describes every step needed to organize a great webinar.

We now rely on this checklist as a template - it helps not to forget anything and use previous key learnings. 

Preparation

  • Create a topic, approve it with a team
  • Create Description
  • Create Image
  • Set up Demio Event (Create a new event; Set date+time by adding new session; Registration - add description + background + speaker info; Check email notifications)
  • Send meeting invite to all speakers
  • Notify the team when the registration link is ready

Promotion

  • Add to the website events if you have a dedicated page
  • Design & launch Pop-Up
  • Post on Social Media
  • Create Facebook Event
  • Boost posts on social media
  • Ask speakers to post and promote
  • Send out an email blast

1 week before a webinar

  • Schedule reminders for all who registered at intervals of 3 days, 1 hour, and 15 min before
  • Send speaker's bio to host
  • Send agenda to all speakers
  • Create polls inside the webinar software to engage people and collect feedback after an event
  • Create a discount code or offer for the event
  • Request and review speakers' slides
  • Ask speakers if they want to promote any link or information during the event
  • Create a presentation for the event
  • Add slides to the Room-Presentation materials on Demio
  • Add slides to handouts on Demio

1 day before

  • Send link how to join to all speakers + ask them to join 10 min early

Live

  • Check sound
  • Check presentation 
  • Send promo-code or links from speakers in the chat
  • Start poll
  • Start Facebook Live (not possible via Demio)
  • Moderate questions
  • Remind about discount code

After

  • Thank you letter to speakers
  • Follow up auto-notification on Demio with replay link to registrants + promo-code + links from speakers (30-40 min after the end)
  • Upload Replay on YouTube
  • Analyze statistic + poll replies, make suggestions for the next event

Results

Running a live event or webinar is a tremendous project and after 10+ events we’ve seen some pretty incredible growth in our KPIs:

  • 5,000+ new leads
  • $30,000 in direct sales via the unique coupon codes
  • Our Instagram community has grown to 11,000+
  • Webinar replays viewed more than 17,000 times

By Katherin Sakovich and Valerie Bystrova from Mira, a D2C femtech company that makes it easy for women to monitor hormones, predict ovulation, and track their fertile window.

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