Email may be the cornerstone of an effective webinar marketing plan, but not all emails are created equally. Some can be registration-generating machines, while others fall flat. The major difference is made by respecting the webinar email best practices.
Effective webinar emails can be the make or break factor during your webinar’s promotional campaign. Marketers often regard email as a “must-have” marketing channel. This is certainly true when it comes to marketing your webinar.
Your webinar emails will be one of, if not THE, top drivers for registrations. Ultimately, you must create your webinar invites with the strategic intent to get the results you want.
When it comes to email marketing, there are specific “best practices”. When observing these best practices, you can prompt action from recipients. Conversely, disregarding these rules can have a negative impact on your webinar’s attendance. Let’s take a look at what you should do to make your webinar emails effective registration drivers.
The “From” Line
All emails have both a “sending address” (not visible to recipients) and the publicly displaying “from” line. In all email platforms, you must set up both.
The sending address can be whatever your company prefers to use, like an email box a team member is monitoring. Beware this box will get all the out-of-office replies and bounce notices.
For this reason, most organizations use an alternative, like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, and send replies to a folder. You can also designate a member of your team to clean up the responses following an email blast.
The “from” display text is the verbiage users will see in the “from” line of their email box. It can be a company name, a person, or a department—you should choose what you think recipients will recognize. This will also give you the most brand recognition.
Using a company name is an obvious choice, as recipients will know who it’s from and are less likely to confuse it with SPAM or a phishing scheme.
If you decide to use a personal name, it is beneficial for the company name to follow the address. This is so your recipients will trust where the email came from, even if the personal name is not well known outside of the company. Whichever you go with, don’t be afraid to test different options or even mix it up with each deployment.
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Webinar Email Best Practices: Pre-Header Text
Pre-header text is the phrase you see in your inbox after the subject line. The email systems of Most B2B recipients have the email modes (Inbox, draft, sent, etc.) and directories on the left, and the list of your emails on the right. Displayed on the right are the messages’ subject lines and pre-header text.
That’s valuable real estate, and many marketers don’t take advantage. The length of your pre-header messaging is set by your recipients’ email clients. However, a good rule of thumb is to keep it under 60 characters.
Webinar Email Best Practices: The Subject Line
Even more important than the “from” address is your subject line. The subject line determines if recipients will open your message or delete it from their inbox. Thus, you’ll want to ensure that your subject line is eye-catching.
Let’s use a practical example to illustrate. Pretend you are offering a webinar about cybersecurity— a few suggestions for how to write a good subject line:
- Pose a question or thought-provoking statement – “Is Your Database Protected From the Latest Viruses?” or “How to Know If You Have Enough Security for Recent Cyber Attacks”
- Tease the subject followed by stating what you’re offering— “Best Practices for Data Security | Free Webinar”
- Use your webinar title— “Understanding the Top Cybersecurity Threats and How to Prevent Them”
- Lead with the desired action followed by the topic—“Register Now: Pressing Cybersecurity Threats and Prevention Tactics”
Be sure, too, your subject line follows best practice guidelines:
- Your webinar invite subject line should be 65 characters or less.
- Front-load what’s most important to you. (meaning it appears at the beginning of your subject line)
- Don’t be afraid of the word “Free” or “Complimentary.” ESP algorithms now look at the entire message, not just the subject line. Words like “free” used to be taboo and guaranteed to land your message in the SPAM filter, but it’s not a definitive rule anymore. Our advice: use it sparingly, but there’s no need to avoid it altogether.
- Always test different subject lines to know what works best for you.
- Never deceive your audience. Your subject line should accurately reflect what your email is about; anything else will cause you to lose trust with your audience.
For additional inspiration, Optin Monster offers a list of 164 best email subject lines to get your creative juices flowing.
Your Webinar Email Opening
Congrats, people are opening your email! Now, let’s ensure that people are reading the email. A common mistake is assuming recipients remember your subject line and continue reading your email with this thought in mind. This is not always the case.
It is essential to provide a recipient with the context of your message right off the bat. We recommend starting your email with a hero image that includes the name of your webinar, date, and time plus simple branding.
Or, you could put a simple logo with your message following after. Third, you could construct a headline introducing your message.
What do we mean by each of these?
- If using an image, make sure the image adds value. The most important “real estate” of any email is above the fold, and what recipients see first—make your image count or skip in and try one of the other options instead.
- Many brands are trending towards using simple branding or their logo displayed at the top of the message. Using a logo communicates who you are and gets readers into the “meat” of your message faster. Your logo needn’t be superjumbo; make sure it’s proportioned for the email appropriately and doesn’t consume the entire preview pane space.
- Starting your email message with a headline provides an excellent visual element, reinforces your topic, and draws your reader into the balance of your message. You have many options for your headline, including repeating your subject line, using the name of your webinar, or writing a variation of either one. Headlines that fit on one line for desktop readers work well visually and for mobile reading, too.
Webinar Email Best Practices: Webinar Email Body Copy
Now, we start to get into the “meat” of your webinar invite message—the body copy. Be concise with your words and strive for clarity over cleverness. Your objective is to introduce your topic, then present your webinar title, date, and time.
A great way to reinforce your webinar’s relevance is by reminding your audience why your topic is a pressing pain point or challenge. For example, “In Q1 alone, we saw 50,000 new cyber threats emerge, and the hackers are getting cleverer in their attacks.”
Once you cover the basics, start expanding further with “what you will learn” bullets. Just as the name suggests, highlight 3-4 key takeaways your audience can expect by attending this webinar.
Ideal bullet material includes what your speakers will be covering in the webinar and personal gains from attending the webinar. A personal gain could be anything from a continuing education credit to networking opportunities, or even a gift giveaway.
Make Your Webinar Invite Personal
Our second suggestion for effective webinar email practices is to make the invite personal. Using a person’s name or the company name in the subject line and body copy has proven effective. That being said, personalizing a webinar email is more than just plugging in a word.
“Personal” also means the message is relevant to the recipient. This includes that your message pertains to the right industry, job title, and skill level. List segmentation, or carving out a smaller piece of your database based on demographics and behavioral criteria, will help ensure your message is going to the right audience.
Additionally, your webinar email copy should address key points that are meaningful to the person receiving it. We consider this to be the WIIFM or “what’s in it for me?” Think of your webinar email as an invitation. In your copy, you might incorporate language like:
- Please join us
- You’re invited to attend
- What you will learn
- By attending this webinar, you will receive [enter CEU credit or incentive here]
Addressing the personal needs of your recipient goes a long way. Your email recipient is more likely to take action and register for your upcoming webinar when personal motivation is involved. Along with that, recipients when you include personal gains in your email copy.
Remember, employees, change jobs every few years. If your webinar is teaching a valuable professional skill, offering a continuing education credit (CEU), or other personal gains, be sure to highlight them. This can be a registration motivator for other reasons!
Following your bullets, your closing copy should tie everything together and tell your audience what they should do next, register now! A closing copy shouldn’t be long, but it should be action-oriented.
If space is limited or other incentives are offered for early registration, be sure to mention them in your closing copy. This creates a sense of urgency which prompts readers to take action now.
Call to Action
A popular question among marketing professionals relates to how many calls to action (CTAs) a webinar email should contain. We believe this answer can vary depending on the length of your email. The one action your email should offer is to register for the webinar. If your opening copy is longer, you might place a “Register Now” button after the opening paragraph and webinar visuals.
If your email copy is shorter, you might only have one “Register Now” button at the end of your message. Regardless of the length of the webinar invite message, we encourage using BOTH text and button links to your registration page.
You should always make sure it’s convenient for the reader to respond, and using both text links and buttons allow the reader multiple options to take action at the point they’re convinced this event is a must-attend.
Not sure what verbiage to use for your CTA? Get ideas from Hubspot’s post, 40 Call-to-Action Examples You Can’t Help But Click.
We would also be remiss if we didn’t stress the importance of using a button in your message. According to Campaign Monitor, using a button can increase your click-through rate by 28%. We’ve seen some creative variations— circles, hexagons, stars— that look fun, but if your audience doesn’t know it’s a button, they may not click on it. Our advice: go with the obvious and save your creativity for your webinar presentation deck.
Buttons can also visually break up paragraphs of copy if your message is longer. Of course, especially when using text and button CTAs, be sure to review your email analytics to fully understand how readers engage with your webinar email and which CTA is most effective.
If you’re unsure of all the latest best practices, Contentware creates event and webinar marketing campaigns – based on the last webinar email best practices – using AI and your registration page, only. And it does it in minutes, which takes implementing best practices off your plate!
Focus on the Goal of Your Webinar Email
While it’s tempting to want to list everything about your webinar in a single email, we advise against this practice. Focus on the objective of your message: getting registrations.
Having a clear focus for your webinar invite keeps your message strong, to the point, and action-oriented. We’ve seen marketers be overzealous in their efforts, using a webinar invite to link to a related blog post, learn more about a related topic, schedule a product demo, and oh yes— register for the webinar.
All told, there were six different calls to action in one email example we saw recently. Think that email was successful in generating webinar registrations? Likely not.
Bottom line: determine your objective and stick to it!
When in doubt, use the five-second test. This calls for asking a colleague to read your copy and see if they can tell what your email is about and what the call to action is in five seconds or less.
If they can, your email is very focused and you’ve set yourself up for registration success. If not, you might want to rework your webinar invite to add clarity and bring the main points further up in your message.
Remember, the goal of your webinar email is to get the click. You want to attract enough interest to get your audience to click through to your webinar registration page. Your registration page can always include additional information and your registration confirmation email can include links to read related content or even schedule a product demo.
Use Consistent Visuals Across Your Webinar Promotions
Finally, as you develop your webinar marketing mix, consider the visuals you’ll use too. You will want to create visual consistency across all your webinar promotions. As humans, we remember images more than we remember words.
Using a consistent image, colors, and presentation style in your webinar invites, your social media promotions, and your paid advertising helps your target audience to remember your message and recognize your brand.
Visual repetition is especially good as it builds recall. In fact, there’s a name for it— “effective frequency.” While there is much debate as to exactly how many times your message has to be repeated, long-standing research from the advertising industry cites 3 to 7 impressions are needed before a message is registered.
Thus, using the same image for your webinar promotions is a GOOD thing. Consistency builds registration— in more ways than one!
Respect Your Audience’s Time
Let’s face it, most business professionals likely have more work assigned than hours in a day. Time is a valued and protected asset. It is essential to make sure you are respecting the time limitations of those receiving your webinar invites.
With all of the content and great ideas, you have for promoting your webinar, respecting someone’s time may sound tricky. Luckily, there are two simple practices to follow that will get your point across while respecting a recipient’s time.
- Keep your copy short and the message clear. Avoid long paragraphs of text. Long paragraphs of text can often seem visually overwhelming, and in turn, time-consuming. Instead, use bullets and shorter sentences surrounded by white space, both of which are scannable to busy readers.
- Don’t bury your webinar name, date & time in your webinar email. Make sure the vital information is prominent and above the fold in your message.
Webinar Email Best Practices: Operational Components
While this is standard for most email platforms, just a reminder that all webinar emails need to be compliant with CAN-SPAM guidelines. Webinar invites are not considered operational; they are marketing communications. Failing to be compliant with Federal (and any individual state) regulations can get you in hot water.
CAN-SPAM compliance includes including your company name, a physical address, a phone number, and an unsubscribe link in the footer of your email and promptly honor all requests to be removed from your list.
In summary, an effective webinar email is the cornerstone of your webinar’s promotional campaign. By following the webinar email best practices, your webinar invites will be no doubt registration-driving machines. We’re already celebrating your success!
Want more tips on how to effectively market your webinar? Download our free guide, The Ultimate Guide to Webinar Promotions.
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