If you're looking for webinar software with a marketing and lead generation focus, Webinar Ninja looks like a very promising solution. As a long time GoToWebinar user, the features and screenshots shown on the Webinar Ninja website definitely got my hopes up.
So, how does Webinar Ninja measure up in practice? Does it deliver on its promises and is it a better solution than GoToWebinar?
Let's find out.
Note: Reviews + Final Roundup
You're reading one of my may reviews of webinar tools. Here's a list of all the other tools I've published reviews on:
- GoToWebinar Review
- Webinar Ninja review
- Crowdcast review
- Demio review
- ClickMeeting review
- EasyWebinar review
- Zoom Review
- WebinarJam Review
- BigMarker Review
After publishing all of these, I also created one massive roundup review, pitching them all against each other! Check it out here.
Key Features Overview
Screen + Webcam (PiP)
Multi User / Assistant
Clickable Button / CTA
Time Limited Offer
Polls, Questions Visible in Replay
Simulated Live Replay
The Webinar Ninja Dashboard
When you log in to your Webinar Ninja account, you're greeted with a pleasant, modern user interface:
There's an overview of current stats and your last and next webinar, with convenient links for editing.
In the side panel on the right, you can access all your webinars & recordings, stats, saved landing page templates & images, integrations and other settings.
Speaking of integrations, you can connect Webinar Ninja directly to MailChimp, Aweber, Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, Hubspot and Drip. If you're wondering which one of those to go with, check out my email marketing services review here. In addition, you can connect it to countless further apps via Zapier.
Unfortunately, the email marketing integration is very basic. You can add people who sign up to a Webinar Ninja event to your email marketing service and add one or several tags, but there's no further differentiation. For example, I can't assign different tags depending on which webinar someone signed up for or depending on whether they attended the live event or not.
Creating a Webinar
Creating a webinar is simple and straight forward: you click on the "create webinar" button and are shown the options below.
You have a choice between 4 kinds of webinars:
- Live: live event, taking place at one specific date and time.
- Automated: a pre-recorded webinar that takes place once or on a recurring basis.
- Series: a series of live events, all of which are scheduled in advance.
- Hybrid: a pre-recorded webinar in which a host is present to interact in chat and answer questions.
For automated webinars, you can set the following parameters:
It's a solid set of options which covers any automated/evergreen webinar scenario I can think of.
Webinar Funnel Pages
Webinar Ninja comes with a choice of 4 different templates for your registration page and thank you page. The templates are well designed and you can easily customize them by changing text, colors and images of anything on the page.
Here's an example of a registration page:
When you customized a template, you can save it for future use or set it as the default for all future events.
4 templates is not a huge selection and the customizability is simple, but relatively limited. But it's worth noting that with Webinar Ninja, you get everything you need to create a good, conversion focused signup funnel for your events. It's not like GoToWebinar, where you really have to use your own landing pages to create anything remotely conversion optimized.
The Webinar Experience
The next step in preparing or starting a webinar is to enter the webinar room. Here's an overview of the layout (click to enlarge):
The top part of the layout is clean and intuitive to use. You've got a chat bar on the right side of the screen and a thin panel with options for screen sharing and display on the right. The main view shows a representation of your webcam and/or screen sharing, which mirrors what your audience sees.
This is one of my favorite things in Webinar Ninja: you can easily switch between different layouts to emphasize the screen, your webcam or one of multiple presenters.
You can do this seamlessly, while you're presenting. I like this because it allows you to better direct your viewer's attention and just makes for an overall higher quality experience.
Questions & Answers
In Webinar Ninja, there's a distinction between "chat" and "questions". You can tell your attendees that if they want to ask you a question, they should enter it in the questions tab. This is good for separating the general chatter from messages you should actually pay attention to.
Another clever feature related to questions is that during a webinar, you can click a button to indicate that you're answering a specific question and in the replay, every answered question will have a timestamp corresponding to the part of the video with your answer:
I don't love everything about this feature, though. It's unfortunate that there is no way for attendees to upvote questions. On a busy event, you might be looking at an overwhelmingly long list of questions with no indication for which ones to answer, not much different from trying to pick out relevant messages out of a busy chat.
Also, you can't display or highlight the question you're currently answering on screen.
The Replay Room
Webinar Ninja automatically records your events and makes a replay available in a replay room. The layout of the replay room is almost identical to the live event room. Strangely, all of the chat messages from the live event are displayed in the chat area, from the very beginning. So, it's not a "chat replay" that shows how people reacted to the event in real time. There's also no way to add new chat messages in the replay room and that just makes the entire chat area pretty pointless.
Where Webinar Ninja Disappointed Me
So far, Webinar Ninja has shown a lot of promise. Unfortunately, I don't only have good things to say about it. There are 2 main things that I found to be a letdown:
Major Problem #1: Super Low Video Quality
In the test event I did with around 150 attendees, I noticed that the video quality was very low. When I was sharing a large, simple slide and a small PiP video, it wasn't too noticeable.
Once I switched to full screen video, the problem became much more apparent, though:
In practice, what this means is that the compression on the video is so strong that you can't share anything with great detail or lots of movement. You can expect very poor results if you share:
- Live video
- Slides or images with lots of detail
- Your screen, with movement such as scrolling
This was not an issue on my side, either. On this event, I was connected by wire and my connection speed average 81Mbps for uploading:
According to Boxcast, that should be enough for a video stream in 4K quality, with bandwidth to spare.
This is a pretty serious problem, because video quality this low becomes a distraction. A portion of people's attention will go to "is my connection slow? Should I refresh the page?" instead of to the content you're presenting. And if you're sharing something which requires your viewers to be able to see with any level of detail, it won't work and you'll lose attendees altogether.
You can see from this chat excerpt that the poor quality did become a topic of discussion during my webinar:
Needless to say, this compromises the quality of your webinar event.
Major Problem #2: Poorly Implemented Features
When I was looking through the Webinar Ninja website, I was hopeful that this would be a killer app. They advertise several features that look great... until you get to try them out.
For example, you can have polls, but you can't reveal polls at specific points in your presentation or share them in such a way that everyone in your audience sees them front-and-center. Instead, any polls you've created for a webinar simply live in the "polls" tab, below the video. Attendees have to scroll down and click on the tab to see the polls.
What's worse, the "offers" you can create in Webinar Ninja suffer from a similar problem. While you can reveal an offer at your choosing, the notification that appears on screen to let attendees know about it doesn't seem to work (you can see an example of this in the video review), so attendees have to scroll down and click on the "offers" tab to see it.
Plus, the design of the offer isn't particularly compelling, either. Here's an example:
You also can't display a countdown timer or other scarcity factor along with the offer. The end result of all this is that it's nice to have this "offers" feature, but as a marketing tool, it's not much more useful than just posting a link in chat and telling people to click on it.
The Run Time Limit
Another issue with Webinar Ninja is that your events are limited to a maximum run time of 2 hours. When I asked the support team about this, I was told that recordings were limited to 2 hours, but I was also advised not to do events that last longer than 2 hours.
This is not a good thing. I will create a post that explains this in some more detail in the future, but in short: a time limit on a webinar has no upside for me as the webinar host. It only limits my potential upside, especially in high end sales webinars.
Webinar Ninja Pricing
Now that we have an idea of what's on offer, let's look at the pricing plans for Webinar Ninja:
2 things I like about the plans are:
- At $49/month for a room with 100 seats, there's a fairly affordable entry level option. This compares favorably to GoToWebinar, which is far more expensive across the board.
- There's a plan for a 300 seat room, so that you don't have to jump all the way up to a much more expensive 500 seat room when you outgrow the entry-level plan.
A webinar service with up to 300 attendees for under $100/month is a pretty good deal in general.
What I'm not too thrilled with is the fact that the Hybrid Webinars feature is only available from "plus" plan and upwards. That makes it inaccessible to many small business owners.
Webinar Ninja Review Summary
Here's a quick summary of my test results:
Webinar Ninja is not better than GoToWebinar. It's also not worse and since it comes at a much cheaper price, I can say that you're better off choosing Webinar Ninja over GoToWebinar. Overall, it doesn't get a strong recommendation from me, though. Especially the poor video quality is a deal breaker for me and I don't want to lose my audience's attention because of technical issues during a webinar.
That's my take on Webinar Ninja. Since publishing this article, I've completed my review of a total of 9 different webinar platforms and I've written a comprehensive comparison review of all of them. Click here to check it out!