ep 456: Double Your Webinar Show Up & Engagement Rate – 2022 Secret Strategies Series #3

It’s day 3 of my 2022 Secret Strategies series, and if you’re using webinars but struggling with LOW show up rates, this one’s for you. 

When I first began hosting webinars years ago, you could easily get a 35% show up rate, and today that number has dramatically declined.

Even with that shift, it IS possible to increase your show up rate and create strong engagement. In today’s episode, I share valuable strategies (like not offering a replay!) that will help you avoid common mistakes and improve the overall success of your webinars.


Honestly, we’re more than a marketing team — we’re a tactical partner who will care about your business growth just as much as YOU (maybe even more)! We’re here to play the long game and help you create a powerful impact!


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Emily Hirsh:

One of the biggest struggles that you guys have had and people have had over the last couple of years is just the declining show up rate. Getting someone to sit through a webinar to show up live has just gotten more difficult. When I first started seven years ago for webinars, you could easily get a 30%, 35% show up rate.

You are listening to the Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast, episode number 456.

Hello everybody. We’ll go back to the third episode of this series. I hope you guys are enjoying this series. If you are, I always love it when you shoot me a message and tell me your takeaways or you comment on my Instagram, or you just share anything you’re gonna implement or any takeaways you have from these. If this is the first episode you’re tuning into, I’m doing a series of five episodes of basically super to the point, super tactical and easy to implement strategies from this year as I took a step back and I looked at the top strategies that worked for myself and for clients and that I’m recommending in all the strategy calls that I do for clients and all of those things. And so this is the third episode. It’s going to be pretty specific to webinars. I do have a lot of clients, not all of our clients, but probably like 70% are doing a webinar or something similar to that.

It could also be like a vsl, but you can also use these strategies with other things like live challenges or live launches that are video series. Because the ultimate goal with all of those things is you want to get engagement and you wanna get people to show up and actually watch. Because the more people who do that, the more sales you’re likely to get, the higher sales conversion you are likely to get. And so I’ve actually talked a little bit about this strategy, but I combined it into a couple of others just to give you some ideas. And so this’ll probably be a shorter episode, but it’s going to give you maybe one of those ideas of like, Oh my gosh, I’m gonna totally try that. And I have had people go try this and it’s super successful. So with webinars, one of the biggest struggles that you guys have had and people have had over the last couple of years is just the declining show up.

Getting someone to sit through a webinar to show up live, to actually consume, to actually watch it has just gotten more difficult. When I first started seven years ago for webinars, you could easily get a 30%, 35% show up, and now I think it’s more like a 15 to 20%. Now that’s for live. When you do an automated funnel and you have Evergreen, it’s gonna show up way higher because people can go instantly into the video, but that doesn’t always mean that they’re watching the whole thing. Typically with live versus Evergreen webinars on a live webinar, you have a lower show up rate because it’s happening in one day and one time. So that makes total sense, right? Because there’s gonna be people who can’t make it to the live webinar at that time and you usually will have a higher sales conversion because typically people just convert higher live almost across the board.

I have never seen someone convert better sales conversion evergreen compared to live, and it’s usually because there’s a lot of warm traffic. It’s a one time event, it’s got a lot of hype. The energy’s really great, you have people feeding off each other in the chat. Now obviously that’s not something you can repeat every day. So I teach having both…an evergreen strategy combined and the evergreen strategy, you will have a higher show up rate because it’s just easier for people to go right in. Also, the webinar platforms, it’s like what do they count as a show up rate? If someone just goes in and watch one minute, they’re probably applying that to your show up rate. So it’s going to be skewed likely towards a 60% show up rate. So if you heard that and you’re like, Oh, average is 20% and I’m getting 60% on my Evergreen webinar, that’s more normal for Evergreen as I see that high 50, 60%.

Anyways. So the goal is to get people to show up, and that has really declined. So especially for live webinars, if you’re planning a live launch, this almost doubled my show up rate when I tested it. And since then I’ve tested it out on clients and it’s been really successful, which is no replay. And this is a hard thing to do because you will have people who just genuinely can’t make it to the webinar. Time zone differences, other obligations, meetings, jobs, whatever. You’re always gonna have that. And it’s kind of like when you try to plan something with a group of friends and there’s always gonna be someone that it doesn’t work for, and so you just have to set the date, set the time, whoever can make it great, whoever can’t next time kind of thing. It’s kind of like with webinars, it’s like you set the date, you set the time, you try to choose the time that the most people can come to and whoever can’t make it, it’s such a bummer.

But if you do know replay, you’re increasing the urgency massively for all of the people who would maybe be able to make it, but they didn’t prioritize it because especially if you’re teaching something good, which hopefully you are in your webinar and it’s really juicy and enticing and people wanna consume this content, if the option is, well, I’ll just listen to the replay when it comes out, they’re not going to feel the urgency of having to be there live, but if they’re there live, there’s a way higher chance that you’re going to convert them. So being able to have this, yes, it’s gonna exclude some people, but I think the upside of it is higher than some of the people who can’t make it. And so what I do is we talk about how the webinar is going to be extremely valuable teaching XYZ gonna be able to show you this.

The problem is by the end of the training, you’ll know how to do this or you’ll be this, here is the hook, here’s the promise. And then we say there’s no replay. And that pushes people to show up live. So added to your calendar, make sure you’re there is absolutely no replay. And I’ve never gone back on that. So there was actually a time recently when we had an issue with art tech and the were live. Now email did not go out. And so my show up rate was good, but it wasn’t great. And I knew something was wrong in the webinar because I just knew there should be more people on here. And so afterwards we figured out that issue with Ontraport, which was fun, but I had the option of like, Well, should I just send out the replay cuz we messed up and people couldn’t find the link or what should I do?

And so instead of that, because I said no replay, I did an encore webinar instead because I was true to my word. I’m like, if people are gonna prioritize coming and showing up. And I said, No replay. I am not going back on that because that’s how you lose trust with people. You do that one time and they’re like, Well, she said no replay last time. And then she went back on it and she actually sent out a replay. So I don’t really believe her when she says no replay. However, you can do no replay. And then what you do is instead of sending out a replay to your audience and just sending out the recording of that training, you can make a recap video. So let’s say your webinar is 60 minutes long, the entire presentation, you can do a Cliff Notes recap, that’s maybe 20 minutes long, 15 or 20 minutes.

And it’s straight to the point. It’s like a watered down version of the training and your pitch is inside of it. That way you’re still delivering something to the people who genuinely couldn’t come live. You’re fulfilling your promise of no replay. And people who came live, they did get the benefit, they did get the entire presentation, they did get the q and a, they got the benefit. And you’re sending out a recap because of course you wanna give people that cliff notes version, you wanna give them something. And it’s kind of like a win-win because you’re still able to send out a recap where you’re capitalizing on those people who really want the content but genuinely couldn’t make it and you can deliver value for them. But you also push those people who maybe wouldn’t have been there otherwise to make sure that they showed up live.

So that is one thing that I have done to double webinar show up rates and really forces that urgency. The key with it is not just saying there’s no replay because you guys really listen to this. The mistake of sales 1 0 1 for everybody, they focus on the fact that there is no replay or whatever that discount is or whatever the urgency driver is. Having no replay. Doesn’t matter if people don’t want to go to the webinar because what you’re teaching is so good, okay? Really let that sink in. If you just take your webinar and you focus all about like, Oh, there’s no replay, there’s no replay, there’s no replay. And that’s the most important thing that means nothing to somebody if they don’t also feel like your webinar itself and what you are going to teach and what you’re promising in that webinar, if you come to this webinar, you will, I said, you’ll be able to two x your leads and sales in 90 days if you implement what I’m telling you, This is my best strategy.

I’ve done it with all types of things, but I’m very clear what the promise of the webinar is. And so that is combined with the no replay because it’s, Oh, I really want this information. I really wanna be able to accomplish what she’s promising. If I go apply what she’s gonna tell me in the webinar, and the only way for me to get it is to show up live. But no replay doesn’t mean anything if they don’t assign value to what you’re gonna teach. Okay? That’s very important for marketing this. The second thing that I did in my last webinar, which I thought was pretty smart and was kind of cool. So a lot of people have goals where they want to increase their social media following and grow that organic reach. And I think that the best way to do that is to just tie it into different things that you do.

So on this webinar we said, if you show up live that we were gonna give you something too. We had a show up bonus or we said get the chance to win it. And so instead of just giving people a link, I last minute had this idea and I was like, Okay, I am actually gonna say if you take a picture during this training, at any time of the screen of me, of yourself writing notes, of your notes, it doesn’t matter what it is, and you posted on your Instagram stories and you tag me, I will send you something in the dms. And I think we sent them email swipe files or something. It was a really good swipe file. We had something really good, really good bonus, super juicy, and it was our projection and sales calculator, which is a great bonus. I literally charge for that.

So it’s a great bonus, which is gonna be my third point here. But instead of just giving them the link, I made it kind of fun. And I was like, Okay, at any point in the training, if you take a photo and you tag me on Instagram stories, I’m gonna send you this in the dm’s. And you know what that did you guys, Number one, social media engagement. I had people tagging me. I got a ton of new followers overnight from that because I got them who followed me. And then people who saw their stories, who followed me. Number two, I started DM conversations, I was able to send the calculators, I was able to ask what they thought about the training. And in some of those cases, those DM conversations ended up into sales and applications. So I thought that was pretty smart. I came up with it on the fly, but it, it’s just, this is how I think about marketing.

It’s just like it’s an experience and it’s like, okay, if I wanna give something away on the webinar, how could I tie in creating a better relationship with them and creating engagement with them? And how could I do something fun but also strategic? And so that was the first time I’ve done it. I’ll probably do it again cuz it was awesome. And why not do that? And then especially if what you’re giving away is so juicy and people really want it, which for me it was cuz I was giving away our entire projection calculator. Now here’s another thing when I mention this on the webinar and I see this mistake all the time cuz I audit our client webinars all the time, and this is what I see. They have a show up bonus. So they’re like, if you stay till the end of the webinar, you can get this thing and they show it on the beginning side, which is fine.

You wanna do that, You wanna give people a reason to stay on, you wanna hook them. And actually, when I did this, I reminded people two times in the webinar just in case people hopped on late that they could get this and then I did it again at the end. But that show up bonus doesn’t mean anything to anybody unless they know what it’s gonna do for them. And so I took a minute and I actually screenshotted the calculator and I said, If you take a whatever, follow the instructions and and we send this to you, then you get our calculator, which I explained we have a template for all different funnels and I named them off. And I said, And so what you’re able to do is plug in your sales goal and see how much you have to spend on ads and what your key metrics are.

And we have a video that teaches you how to use it. So I explained the outcome, if you get this free bonus, you’ll be able to plan your sales goal with your ad budget and know all your numbers based on industry averages, based on your data. What people do is they say, if you say it to the end, I’m gonna give you this workbook or I’m gonna give you this checklist. And it’s like, well what does that do for me? That doesn’t tell me why I should stay until the end. Right? You’re just stating a what. You’re stating what it is. You need to give me the benefit, the outcome, the desire it fulfills, and the promise of it in one sentence, a very clear sentence. I’m gonna give you this checklist that will help you do or help you be or help you accomplish, right?

Because it doesn’t matter if you just say, I’m gonna give you this sales checklist. Nobody cares about that because they don’t know what it’s gonna do. And so I see this mistake all the time with free giveaways, but also all throughout people’s pitch. So if you are gonna do this, make sure to take a second, it’s 30 seconds and explain why they should care about this. Because you bet that gave people even more incentive to be like, Oh, well I’m totally doing this because that sounds awesome. I want that calculator. But if I was just like, Oh, do this and post on Instagram and you’ll get my sales and projection calculator, next slide. Some people might do it, but some people also would be like, Well, I don’t care. That’s not enough motivation for me. So that’s an idea. Enjoy that idea and tell me if you go implement it.

I’ve never, I’ve actually never seen somebody else do that. So it was a good one. And then the last thing for increasing engagement and show up rate, which this is a kinda age old one, which is giveaway something great in the webinar. Now here’s the mistake people make with this. They give away a workbook or they give away something that, yeah, it’s valuable, but it’s not like, Oh my gosh, I need that. My best show up bonuses have been funnel templates, swipe files, the projection calculator, something that I could literally probably sell as a digital product for $27 or whatever because it’s so valuable. And it’s like a hack, it’s a time saving hack. It’s something that somebody wants instant access to, they don’t wanna have to read through it. They want to get it and it gives them an instant result. It gives them instant progress.

And so the best show up bonuses do that versus I’m gonna give you another video or I’m gonna give you this 15 page PDF workbook. It’s like, yeah, that’s valuable, but not enough for me to really want it and be like, I’m gonna change my schedule around and be there live. And any time you’re trying to increase your show up break and get people to come live, you just have to think, what would you just change your whole schedule around for? What would you actually prioritize an hour out of your day for? I think one of the reasons that I’m so good at marketing is I’m so intentional with my time that it takes me, it better be 10 out of 10 good for me to actually put time into it. And so that’s, that’s the lens that I look at things through. And so I don’t assume that anybody’s gonna give me their time.

I make it well worth their time. And I bring that energy into my trainings, into my podcast. You guys know because I’m so straight to the point and fast. But I look at it through that and I say like, Okay, these people don’t owe me anything. They don’t owe me their time. They have plenty of things that they could be doing. Everybody’s insanely busy with life, with business, whatever. So what can I do to cut through that and provide next level value in the form of something for free to get their attention? And that’s how I come up with my ideas because I look at it through that lens. So, alright you guys, there’s three strategies that you could potentially double your webinar show up rate, increase your engagement, which leads to an increased sales conversion. Let me know if you end up implementing any of these. I wanna hear about it. If you enjoyed this, if you thought this was really valuable, I would love if you would screenshot this episode and share it on social media. Tag me at Emily Hirsh so I can thank you for sharing it. And otherwise, I’ll be back here tomorrow with secret strategy number four.

Thanks for listening to the Not for Lazy Marketers Podcast. If you love this episode and want deeper support with your marketing, head over to helpmystrategy.com to see how Hirsh Marketing can help take your marketing to the next level no matter where you’re at today. We help our clients scale faster than ever, find hidden leaks in their funnel, experiment with new creative marketing strategies, and help their business explode and be more profitable than they ever dreamed possible. Head over to helpmystrategy.com and see if you qualify for a free strategy audit with Team Hirsh.