Webinar Connect and the New Traffic Paradigm
With Webinar Connect, I’ve released a new software product that helps anyone who hosts webinars get more registrations and get more traffic. The product is one in a series of releases and while all the products are separate entities, they all fit together with my overall business strategy and the topics I cover on this site.
Read on to find out why Webinar Connect was created and how it fits into the New Traffic Paradigm.
First, a quick introduction, in case you aren’t familiar with Webinar Connect.
I’m assuming you’re familiar with webinars or “online seminars”, as they are sometimes called. Webinars have become a popular marketing tool over the last few years, which is good in some ways and bad in others. Assuming you do them right, webinars can be massively beneficial to your business and your customers. If you’d like an idea of just how profitable webinars can be and some guidance on how to do them the right way, check out this webinar replay.
The fact that webinars are live events hold much of their teaching-, interaction- and selling-power, but it also comes with a set of drawbacks. Webinar Connect is a software app that was created to address two of those drawbacks and add a very nice bonus on top of that.
The first issue concerns webinar registrations. For my webinar events, I use GoToWebinar, the leading solution in this field. It is by far the most reliable and, especially for marketing, most useful webinar service available (trust me, I’ve tried and been disappointed by many alternatives). Of course, when you schedule a new webinar event, the next thing that needs to happen is for people to register for that event.
GoToWebinar creates a registration page, a link to which you can publish anywhere you want. People see the page, read a description of the webinar and get a chance to sign up by filling out a form. This is perfectly fine for most traffic sources. However, if you’re getting email traffic, the registration page is really just an unnecessary obstacle. After all, you can describe what your webinar will be about in the email and everyone who reads said email has already signed up (to your mailing list). So why make them repeat the signup process for every webinar?
This is where Webinar Connect comes in: instead of sending your subscribers to the registration page, Webinar Connect creates a simple one-click signup link for you. Anyone who reads your email and clicks on that link is automatically and instantly signed up for the webinar.
The result: usually double the number of webinar registrations and around 50% more people at the actual live event.
If you’ve ever done a marketing webinar before, this is all you need to know, because you know what getting 50% more attendees on a webinar can mean, in terms of profit.
Another common issue with webinars is time zone confusion. People may be joining from all around the world and with multiple different names for most time zones and the whole daylight savings time issue, it’s not uncommon for attendees (and even hosts) to get the times wrong.
Webinar Connect can (optionally) create a custom confirmation page for you, which shows the time and date of the webinar for each visitor, in their time zone (based on the IP), as well as a countdown timer showing the time left before the beginning of the event. This translates to less confusion and fewer people missing your webinar. In other words: more attendees.
New Traffic Paradigm
This post isn’t so much about what Webinar Connect does as it is about why I created it in the first place.
For a while now, I’ve been talking about The New Traffic Paradigm, which is about re-thinking traffic generation.
Like many marketers and bloggers, I used to make two big mistakes, concerning traffic. The first was that I relied almost exclusively on SEO for my traffic generation. The mistake here was not so much that I was leaning on SEO specifically, but that I was leaning on just one single traffic source. Not diversifying means having a single point of failure and that’s never a good idea.
The second mistake was that I thought about traffic just in terms of numbers. Visitors, unique visitors, impressions, clicks. Those were numbers I wanted to increase.
As Derek from Social Triggers recently put it: you don’t want traffic, you want readers.
If you aren’t a blogger, replace “readers” with “customers” or “active fans”.
So, what does all that have to do with webinars?
It’s simple: looking at my businesses and all the different marketing and traffic generation strategies I’d tried showed me a clear message. In terms of engaged, active readership (or “useful traffic”), emails and webinars stood out. And by that I mean, they aren’t even in the same playing field as most other forms of traffic.
Getting 50 people on a webinar is easily more valuable than getting 1000 random visitors to a website. And that’s no exaggeration.
AdSense Niche Site vs. Webinars
Here’s a practical and real example:
I had a typical niche AdSense site, which was one of the last niche sites I ever built. It got 17.690 visitors before it was obliterated by a Google slap. In that time, it earned $1157. That’s a value of $0.065 per visitor.
In contrast to that, one of the early sales webinars I did had about 120 people attending and made just over $4000. That’s around $33 per person.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: that’s a completely unfair comparison!
And you’re right. The number of attendees on a webinar doesn’t reflect how much traffic was required to get that many registrations in the first place and the earnings from the webinar include those made from publishing a webinar replay video. I’d love to give you exact numbers, but unfortunately, I don’t have them. The “real” value per visitor in the webinar example is definitely lower than $33, but you can bet that it’s way higher than $0.065, too!
And here’s the comparison that matters more than the dollars: the AdSense site was a project I invested about three months of time in. Of course, this wasn’t three months of full-time work. I outsourced most of the work, in fact. But it was a period of three months, where I was planning, managing and link-building for that site on a regular basis.
Invest three months into building traffic for mailing lists and webinars and you’re almost guaranteed to get a better result than from the “passive income” pursuit of an AdSense website.
Traffic is People
Webinars are a perfect example of what The New Traffic Paradigm is about. It’s about interacting with people, instead of chasing pageview numbers. And the reason I advocate interacting with people over chasing pageviews is that I’ve tried and had success with both, but the former was far more profitable and has more long-term potential.
Quite simply, I recommend you add webinars to your marketing arsenal. If you already do webinars, Webinar Connect is a simple way to add a traffic boost to them. If you don’t but would like to learn more, Webinar Eclipse is your complete guide to the topic.
What are your thoughts on webinars? How could you use webinars for your business? Let me know by leaving a comment below!