Generate sales-ready webinar leads

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Ed Thompson, director of demand generation, The Pedowitz Group
Ed Thompson, director of demand generation, The Pedowitz Group

Webinars are a good source of leads for many marketers, especially in B2B—but they also have their fair share of challenges regarding registration, attendance, and follow-up. Here are three ways to get more sales-ready leads that just might save you time, money, or both.

1. Registration. Improving the conversion of your registration page often means reducing the number of form fields you have. Ask only minimal information and append your data later—it will be cheaper.

2. Attendance. In general, only about one third of those who register for a live webinar will attend. Research shows it's not because they aren't interested, but because it became inconvenient or something else came up. What's more, people multitask while on webinars. They eat lunch, catch up on email, or do their expense reports. If you forgo the live date and time and offer the content instantly on-demand, you can radically change the numbers. Creating content in advance also helps you reduce the chance of something terrible happening live.

3. Follow-up. The faster you follow up, the better the success. Research proves that if you follow up with a lead within five minutes, you are 21 times more likely to qualify that lead. Making your content available immediately after registration changes the dynamics and success of follow-up. First, you can avoid the waiting period and provide leads to sales faster. Second, you increase your odds of someone hearing your message at the time they were interested. Third, it enables you to respond to interactions as they happen, instead of taking a feast-or-famine approach.

With a live webinar, this may be impossible. You are asking someone to register for an event weeks in the future. You can't follow up before a message is heard. After the event, if you are successful, you will have a large call list. That's a challenge to get through in a timely manner, and the sales cycle has already been delayed for weeks after the prospect had expressed interest.

Ed Thompson is director of demand generation at The Pedowitz Group.

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