Webinars have become a popular marketing strategy for a reason.
They do everything a good content marketer wants: they’re a lead generation tool, they help establish your authority in your niche, and they attract leads who are willing to invest time (and hopefully, money) into solving the problem your business or organization specializes in solving.
But a webinar is only as good as the email marketing strategy to promote it. That’s because email marketing for webinars will be the number one driver of registration. Read on for an in-depth guide to creating an expert webinar email sequence to maximize registration and attendance for your next webinar.
Why is email marketing for webinars so important for your business?
In a webinar, a presenter (or group of presenters) provides information or a demonstration over a narrow topic, such as “How to Build a Landing Page” or “How I Earned $5,000 in My First Month of Freelancing.” Seems simple enough, right?
But what many non-marketers don’t realize is that a webinar is more than a one-time seminar on a niche topic. When done right, a webinar is a powerful marketing tool that can create a steady flow of qualified leads for your business—in fact, three-quarters of B2B marketers report that 20%-40% of webinar attendees convert to qualified leads.
There are many reasons an organization might choose to host a webinar, such as:
- Content marketing
- Thought Leadership
- Technical and/or product support
- Product demonstrations
No matter your goals, building an excellent webinar is important for reaching them. But your webinar could be the best one on the planet—if no one attended it, it wouldn’t matter.
And since 57% of webinar attendees come from email invitations, hosting a successful webinar means you need to nail your webinar email marketing strategy.
To get the best results, email marketing for webinars takes more than sending a registration link to your email list. You’ll need to carefully guide your audience with pre-launch, invitations, and reminders. You’ll also need to optimize the subject line, email body, and call to action for maximum engagement.
Knowing when to send an email is half the battle. To promote your webinar effectively, you need to know two fundamental things: how to create a great email and when to send it. Let’s start with the former.
When to Send Webinar Emails: A Sequence for Pros
In general, a webinar marketing plan is divided into four stages, each to generate registrations, but with a slightly different messaging angle:
- Launch: introducing your presentation and creating awareness with your target audience. Your objective in this stage is to provide context for the topic, present your webinar details, and promote the speakers for your event. Your call to action might be a little softer, such as “Save Your Spot.”
- Promotion: marketing messages to drive registration. The objective in this stage is to promote why your webinar is important to the audience, including “what you will learn” bullets. Additionally, you’ll want to feature who the speakers are. The call to action for this stage is blunter, “Register Now.”
- Momentum: building excitement as you get closer to the event. The objective here is to create a sense of demand and start to introduce urgency. Be sure to repeat why the topic is important and “what you will learn” bullets and list your speakers. The call to action is straightforward, “Register Now.”
- Urgency: final chance to register; getting procrastinators to take action now. FOMO, or fear of missing out, is a compelling motivator and exactly what you want to leverage in this stage— don’t miss this event! Keep your messaging short, so the event details and the desired action (“Register Now”) stand out.
The key to a successful webinar email marketing strategy is to stay in frequent contact with your prospects. You don’t want to send so many emails that you’ll increase opt-out rates, but you don’t want to err on the side of sending too few emails, either.
Best Time for Sending Emails
We’ve already mentioned that email will be your best registration driver. Afterall, sending webinar invitations to your own database, an audience that is already familiar with your brand, will naturally respond more favorably to your message. And just a word of caution: always send your emails to an opted-in database; never purchase email lists as they are full of SPAM traps and will get you into trouble. Every. Single. Time!
According to the ON24 Webinar Benchmark Report 2020, the majority of marketers surveyed agree email is the strongest channel, reporting that 65% of webinar registrations came from emails sent mid-week. Specifically, ON24’s research reveals the best days to send your email are: (in order)
We recommend varying the days you send your emails, to reach your audience on their most convenient days and maximize your results.
At this point, you might be wondering if email is the best way to get registrations, then shouldn’t your plan include more email? Our advice: be careful. Avoid over-emailing your database. Watch your email analytics: an increase in unsubscribes means you are promoting too often or sending irrelevant messages. If you see your metrics falling or unsubscribes increasing, make adjustments to your messages and or cadence.
And speaking of your email cadence, plan a week plus between each message; 8-10 day range between messages is ideal. Your promotional period will likely include 4-5 emails, so make them count! And remember too, people don’t always open emails immediately; responses may continue to trickle in a day or two after your email goes out.
|Time frame||Time for Action|
|Best Days||Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday|
|Best Times||Between 11 and 4 pm (recipient’s time zone)|
|Days to Avoid||Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Friday|
Creating Your Webinar Marketing Cadence
How often you promote a webinar depends on a variety of factors – the importance of the webinar, other marketing priorities that require promoting, the idiosyncrasies of your company, etc. You’ll have to balance these things in determining the best cadence for your webinar campaign.
At Contentware, we’ve built an app that uses AI to auto-generate a complete webinar marketing campaign in a matter of minutes. So we’ve learned a lot about webinar marketing best practices, and we’d like to share a model schedule that was developed by experts. The model uses a promotional period of 4 weeks, and assumes the webinar is a top priority, so there’s no competition to get on the marketing calendar. It includes social media posts, as well as emails.
How to Create a Webinar Email to Maximize Attendance
Designing an outstanding promotional email comes down to the structure, the messaging, the audience, and the call to action. You may also want to take advantage of automation and scheduling tools to ensure an optimal user experience.
Let’s look at each component of great webinar email design below.
Structure of an Email
Marketing emails take a bit more thought than a quick email to a friend does. Because your email campaign will be sent in batches from a brand account, you’ll need to do everything in your power to keep it from being assigned to the spam folder.
And of course, you’ll want to be creative enough with your subject line and description to encourage recipients to open your email instead of archiving it.
Below, we’ll look at the important components of a marketing email’s structure: the sending field, subject line, pre-header text, IP address, mobile responsiveness, and graphics.
Your recipients want to hear from real people—so avoid leaving the “from” field blank or simply using the name of your organization. Instead, it’s the best practice to use the first name of a spokesperson for your brand, followed by your organization’s name, if you choose.
On the back end, you may want to differentiate between the ‘from’ and the ‘reply-to’ fields.
If you have a large mailing list, it can become overwhelming to deal with bounce-backs and out-of-office replies. The workaround for this problem is to use a less-used email address as the ‘from’ field, and then attach your preferred receiving email address to the ‘reply-to’ field. That way, the recipient would need to click “Reply” to the email to get through to you; other autoresponders would be delivered to the ‘from’ email, which you won’t need to check as often.
Since it’s one of the first things your audience will see, the subject line should be the right blend of compelling and informative. For best results and for optimal viewing on mobile devices, keep your subject line at 50 characters or fewer. Also, try to use action-oriented verbs whenever you can.
There are several strategies email marketers use to maximize open rates with subject lines, which include using humor, including personalization, and presenting deals too good to pass up. Marketing brand Hubspot breaks email marketing subject lines into nine categories:
- Promotional (“Get 15% off!”)
- Curious (“The $1,000 hair trend with a dirty little secret”)
- Funny (“Up to 40% off trousers & sport coats. It’s a tailor-made sale.”)
- Pain point (“Here’s one way to meet your New Year’s Resolution”)
- Reengagement (“Looks like you forgot something”)
- Emoji (“IMPACT Live: Last week to save 💰”)
- Social Proof (“Top reviewed styles from customers like you”)
- Personalized (“Come Back This Winter With an Exclusive Deal, [Name]”)
- Welcome (“Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!”)
As a webinar marketer, you’ll probably have the most luck by capitalizing on a sense of urgency (“Don’t miss this webinar: “Webinar Title”) and social proof/pain point (“Learn the secrets of [topic] that helped [Webinar speaker] reach $1 million in revenue”). And of course, a little humor never hurt anyone, so feel free to sprinkle that in when appropriate.
And to get the highest open rates possible, try to use words that spark excitement, such as “alert,” “free,” “join us,” and “congratulations!”
A pre-header is the short description text that appears after the subject line in the inbox. Many email clients, such as Gmail, show email pre-headers to give recipients an idea of the contents of the message:
By default, the pre-header text is taken from the first text found in the body of the message. But many email marketing platforms allow you to designate pre-header text. Mailchimp, for example, calls it “preview text” in its email campaign creation window.
To get the best results, be sure to use this pre-header or preview text to your advantage. Generate curiosity by hinting at the value inside the email. For many recipients, the pre-header is the last line of defense between your email and the archive folder—so make it count.
Deliverability and IP Addresses
One of the struggles for many email marketers occurs before the recipient even has a chance to decide whether to open the email. You’ll need to make sure your email doesn’t get shunted to the spam folder before it even sees the light of day.
The most powerful way to ensure your emails consistently get through is to provide valuable content. Opens and clicks by your recipients is the best remedy for any deliverability problem. Conversely, if you’re sending content that people don’t like, or didn’t sign up for, you’re sure to have more deliverability issues.
Most marketers are using an email service provider or marketing automation firm like Hubspot, Mailchimp, Higher Logic, and many others.
fighting a losing battle on the deliverability side. One way to help your emails get through to your audience’s inbox is to use either a dedicated IP (internet protocol) address or a shared IP address through a highly trusted email service provider.
Before you begin sending marketing emails, take a look at your IP address to make sure it’s clean enough to ensure good deliverability.
No matter which platform you’re using to design your emails, make sure they are mobile responsive. 59% of millennials and 67% of Gen-Z check their email on their phones, according to a 2021 Bluescore study—so for the best engagement, you’ll want your email to be visually appealing and easily navigable on mobile devices.
Most email marketing tools, such as Mailchimp, HubSpot, and Campaign Monitor, come with mobile responsive design. But if you’re designing your own email template from scratch outside one of these platforms, be sure it looks good on mobile devices.
Images and Graphics
Finally, all good webinar marketing emails include compelling images. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy; in fact, minimalism can serve you here. Simply display all the vital information in a streamlined and aesthetically pleasing way, like this webinar invitation email from SurveyMonkey:
Note that all the important information about the event is included, like the topic, date, and time of the event. It also features the names of the guest speakers and humanizes them with headshots.
One reminder, however: if you choose to use a photo you didn’t take or a graphic you didn’t design, make sure it is properly licensed. When in doubt, look for royalty-free pictures. You can find paid options at Shutterstock and Getty, or download free images from Pixabay and Creative Commons.
Now we get down to the nitty-gritty: the body of your email.
For best results, you should define your brand voice early and remain consistent across all your communication channels. If you’re not intentional about presenting a consistent voice, it can be difficult to establish a clear identity—and wIthout a clear identity, it’s hard to attract your target audience.
Not only should each webinar promotion email embody your brand’s personality and tone, but the email copy should also be simple and concise. No one wants to read a novel when they open an email, so cut out any fluff and get straight to the point.
Make your webinar marketing emails easy to read by:
- Using bullet points whenever possible. A “what you’ll learn” list is a great place for bullet points.
- Using engaging visual elements like GIFs, images, graphic design, and video to spice up the copy
- Avoiding industry jargon; state what you mean in a clear way that doesn’t sound stuffy or exclusive
If your company or organization is hosting a webinar, odds are good that it’s not the right fit for everyone on your email list. You risk unsubscribes when you send batch invitations to people for whom your webinar isn’t relevant.
It’s a good idea to segment your audience by sending emails only to a relevant subset of your mailing list. Choosing segments based on customer behavior, demographics, location, or other factors can help you pinpoint your messaging and avoid wasting the time of customers who may not be interested in this particular event.
Are you hosting an introductory or demo webinar introducing newcomers to your product’s features? It’s probably a good idea to avoid sending invitations to long-term customers who’ve been using your product successfully for years.
On the other hand, your nonprofit’s webinar on environmental sustainability may appeal most to the people on your email list who volunteered at your latest park cleanup initiative.
You may be tempted to message as many people as possible to get the highest registration rates possible; however, the reality is actually the opposite. The more focused your target audience, the more likely they are to respond. The best webinar email marketing strategy means sending the right message to the right people at exactly the right time for them to hear it.
Your Call To Action
No marketing effort is complete without a call to action (CTA), which is the part of your email where you ask your audience to do something. CTAs can take the form of banners, buttons, links, and more—and they can have desired actions ranging from purchasing a product, to signing up for an email list, to registering for an event.
A great CTA button goes beyond the simple “register now” or “click here.” When done right, your entire message is crafted to carefully lead up to the call to action. Then, the CTA seals the deal by:
- Capitalizing on the reader’s emotions
- Highlighting the value to be gained from taking the action
- Providing a sense of urgency
And of course, the more creative your CTA is, the better it will stick in readers’ minds.
The desired action in a webinar invitation email is that readers will register for the event. While you might go with the typical “Register now,” try something a bit more compelling, like “Save my seat” or “Join us!”
Nearly every industry has been revolutionized by the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), and marketing is no exception. Using AI marketing tools for your webinar email marketing strategy can help you save time, gather important data, and time your communications for best results.
Many email automation tools can handle tasks automatically that used to need to be done manually, such as:
- Segmenting email lists
- Choosing the best day and time to send emails for best results (including accounting for time zones)
- Tracking subscriber data in a CRM
- Sending autoresponder messages triggered by certain actions, such as a registration or signup
And perhaps most impressive, some tools will even take the work of creating the content itself out of your hands.
Marketing best practices dictate that you should publish 40-60 pieces of original promotional content for each event you host. Even if you enjoy copywriting, that amount of work can be daunting—especially for small teams. That’s why we at Contentware designed our tool to generate that promotional content for you in just a few minutes.
Registration and Reminder Emails
Registration Confirmation Email: Immediately After Registration
For those who register, don’t forget to send a confirmation email as well. This email doesn’t need to be lengthy or complicated; you’ve already convinced them to register.
The confirmation message can contain a simple thank-you note for signing up, along with a rundown of the event’s basic information, such as:
- The name of the webinar
- A quick reminder of the webinar’s date, time, and approximate length
- Any individual registration details
- A link to join the webinar on the date of the event
- A link to add the event to the recipient’s calendar
Reminder: One Week Before the Webinar
Even after you start getting signups, your promotional work is far from over. According to the latest webinar benchmarks report from ON24, only 58% of registrants on average actually show up to a webinar.
So if 100 people sign up, it’s likely that only 42 of them will attend.
What does this mean for you? The best bet for maximum attendance is to continue nurturing registrants after the initial invitation email.
Webinar reminders should start about a week before the webinar takes place. Your registrants are busy people, and even if they’re excited to attend your event, life may distract them. Sending reminders can help keep your webinar at the forefront of their minds.
To keep the content of your reminder emails fresh and engaging, try including relevant content to not only keep your registrants interested, but also to establish your own credibility and add context to the webinar topic. You may include links to blog posts, case studies, customer stories, or related tools and apps.
Reminder #2: The Day Before (or Day of) the Webinar
You should definitely send a reminder right before the webinar starts, as well. Send this email to your entire list of prospects, not just those who’ve registered; in 2020, 15% of webinar attendees registered on the day of the event.
Whether it’s the day before or the day of the event (or both), a last-minute reminder will help ensure as many registrants as possible have the event front of mind at just the right time to log on and join it. This email from GetResponse is a great example of a last-minute reminder:
This reminder email recaps the value proposition of the webinar and lists the benefits to be gained by attending. It’s short and to the point, while taking advantage of the last effort at convincing readers that attendance will be worthwhile.
After the Webinar: Follow-Up Emails
Promotional emails for webinars are most of the battle, since they play a part in generating maximum attendance. But post-webinar emails can also play an important part in building on the foundation of goodwill and trust you’ve built with your webinar marketing strategy.
Send a follow-up email to attendees that includes a link to the webinar replay. Thank them for attending and include a short recap of the topics that were covered.
Because open rates for post-event thank-you emails is high, these emails are a great place to include content that continues to nurture the customer relationship, such as:
- A link to the webinar recording
- A request for feedback in the form of a survey or other method
- Links to additional relevant resources
- Telling readers what they can expect from you in the future (such as future webinars, events, product rollouts, etc.)
- A call-to-action, such as a free trial of your product, talking to a sales representative, or downloading an ebook
Depending on your audience’s email frequency tolerance, you may want to split the follow-ups into three or more emails. The first follow-up might be a quick “thank you for attending!” immediately after the webinar, with a promise that the recording is on its way.
Next, you might send the webinar recording in a separate email the day after the event. You could include a call to action or request for feedback with that email to keep the momentum going.
And finally, you may want to send links to additional resources about a week after the webinar. Tell the recipients that since they attended your event, they’d probably be interested in the attached resources for further learning. This email is also a great place to inform your attendees about what to expect next from your company or organization.
Send Separate Emails to No-Shows
For those who skipped the webinar, you may be able to stay on their radar by sending a quick note saying that you’re sorry they couldn’t make it—but in case they’re interested, here’s the link to the recording of the webinar.
Showing no-shows a bit of attention might help them be more willing to attend future events or eventually start down the path to conversion in other ways.
Webinar Email Marketing Recap
Webinars can be a great content marketing strategy; they’re an excellent way to provide useful information to your target audience, generate leads, and build a foundation of trust that fosters a long-term client relationship.
But no matter how amazing your webinar is, it’s guaranteed to fall short if no one attends. That’s why your webinar email marketing strategy is key. You’ll need to plan an effective rollout for your webinar email series—including announcement, invitation, reminder, and follow-up emails—to boost engagement.
And the emails themselves should be built to convert. Be sure to pay attention to every detail of each email’s structure, including the from field, subject line, pre-header text, mobile responsiveness, and graphics. Keep your target audience in mind, pinpoint your messaging, and optimize your call to action.
We leave you with 5 templates for emails promoting a webinar. Want more tips on how to effectively market your webinar? Download our free guide, The Ultimate Guide to Webinar Promotions.
Contentware us AI and your webinar landing page to create an entire marketing campaign – in minutes. All you do is build the landing page, and Contentware automatically creates the rest. Want to see it in action? Sign up for a demo!
Sample Invitation Emails
Subject: Workshop: [webinar title]
Hey [First name],
Looking to [insert desirable goal] without [undesirable action]?
That’s exactly what I’ll show you in my workshop this [weekday]: [webinar title]
In this intensive course, you will learn how to…
- [amazing benefit]
- [brilliant actionable insight]
- [useful takeaway]
- [super smart advice]
- [you get the idea]
So join me this [weekday],[date], at [start time] for the [duration]-minute live event.
Save your seat now
Hope to see you there,
PS: Got a coworker who could benefit from this workshop? I’d appreciate your help in getting the word out. Here’s a link to share → [link]
Subject: [result from watching the webinar]
Hey [First name],
Join us on [day of the week] [month] [date] to learn how to [goal of the webinar].
Here’s what you can learn:
- [amazing benefit]
- [brilliant actionable insight]
- [useful takeaway]
- [super smart advice]
- [you get the idea]
The free webinar will be held on [day of the week] [month] [date] at [time, including time zone].
If you register today, we’ll send you the recording as an added bonus for free.
Save Your Seat Today!
Subject: Could you use a little [desired result]?
Hi [First Name],
WIth [current event], we want to share the advice our customers most ask us about. Our upcoming webinar will help anyone looking to [desired result] as we [topic of webinar.]
Join us on [day of the week] [month] [date] at [time, including time zone] to hear from [speaker 1] and [speaker 2] on how to [topic of the webinar]. They will be sharing [key topic], plus there will be a live Q&A and one lucky listener will win a [insert reward.]
Subject: Don’t Miss [Speaker’s Name] on [day of the week]
Quick! Book your spot on [day of the week]’s webinar.
[day of the week] [month] [date] at [time, including time zone]
[insert image of speaker]
Featuring [speaker’s name]
Our webinar filled up so fast we had to open up more seats so nobody gets left out. Register now and see [speaker’s name] show you how to [webinar topic].
Register For Free
- [amazing benefit]
- [brilliant actionable insight]
- [useful takeaway]
- [super smart advice]
- [you get the idea]
Register For Free
Subject: Want [desired result with an impressive number]
Want [desired result with an impressive number]
Join me for this week’s workshop and I’ll get you there.
After getting a behind the scenes look at HUNDREDS of customers [projects, sites, files], I’ve found [number] specific strategies that [create desired result with impressive number].
And in this [day of the week]’s workshop starting at [time with time zone], I’m giving you those exact same strategies. Normally, these would be limited to only the top [types of customers] but I’ve leveled the playing field so you can have the same advantage.
Use these tactics in your [type of business/industry], and you’ll reap [desired result with impressive number] too. But this won’t happen unless you join me for this week’s workshop.
[image of speaker]