Home > NewsRelease > 6 More Tips to Increase Your B2B Webinar Registrations (Case Study, Part 2 of 2)
6 More Tips to Increase Your B2B Webinar Registrations (Case Study, Part 2 of 2)
Jeanne S. Jennings -- Author - The Email Marketing Kit Jeanne S. Jennings -- Author - The Email Marketing Kit
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Washington, DC
Wednesday, August 9, 2023


Last week I published part 1 of this post, covering the call-to-action button on the website, as well as detail on the form fields. Start there, then come here to get the rest of the story.

Look at your completion/abandon rates on form pages. These are easy to calculate. Just divide the number of form submissions by the number of page visitors. This is your completion rate; it can also be thought of as your form conversion rate. To calculate your abandon rate, just subtract your completion rate by 100%. So a form with a 70% completion rate has a 30% abandon rate.

Once again I asked the prospect what percentage of people who landed here completed the form and submitted it. No idea.

This is an important metric. If your completion/submission rate is low, then means that your abandon rate is high. And if people are interested enough to land there, it’s a shame if they leave without registering because the information asked for was too onerous.

A rule of thumb I’ve used for many years: you can typically ask for 5 to 7 fields of information without significantly increasing your abandon rate. Just be sure it’s not too personal (e.g., household income, business budget) or too salesy (e.g., phone number, role in purchase process, purchasing time frame).

In the old days, an explicit opt-in wasn’t required for email communication in the United States. This was under CAN-SPAM.

But now that many states are enacting their own privacy laws, many are requiring an explicit opt-in. and GDPR, the law of the land in the European Union, requires an explicit opt-in (no pre-checked boxes allowed). So you should include it.

This form had an opt-in; it appears below.

It’s a little generic for my taste, but it’s better than nothing. I’d write something more benefit-oriented here, so that people are excited to check the box. After all, this isn’t just a checkbox – you’re marketing the value of an email relationship with your organization.

Years ago, when GDPR went into effect, Tim Watson from Zettasphere published a lot of research on opt-ins. One of his findings: offering both a ‘yes, email me’ and a ‘no, don’t email me’ box and requiring people to check one or the other drove more opt-ins than a single ‘yes, email me’ box.

The theory is that requiring a response drives more people to read the copy here and make an educated decision. Test it for yourself – this could be an easy way to boost your opt-ins!

There was a button to submit the form at the bottom of the webinar registration page, just below the opt-in. Here’s what it looked like:

Can you read it? It says ‘Register.’ But it’s light grey text on a pink button. The contrast isn’t enough to make it easily readable. White or black text would be much better.

But the plot thickens…

Then I realized… when I checked the opt-in box, which was right above this button, the button changed.

So that’s better. Now I can read it.

But… I’m not going to be able to register for the webinar unless I agree to receive email from the webinar organizer. Now it’s understandable that I would need to receive the webinar invite. But this type of global opt-in requirement is broad. It would be nice to have a separate option to just receive info about the webinar, not everything and anything the webinar host wanted to send me.

Once someone has signed up for your webinar, you’ll want to send them an email to confirm it and provide the link and other information to join.

It wasn’t a bad email, but there are some things they could do to improve it. Here’s what I saw (with information redacted for anonymity):

The friendly from line is the company name. That’s good, it’s recognizable and appropriate.

The subject line is the name of the webinar with ‘Confirmation’ after it – that’s recognizable. Good.

The preheader text mimics the subject line. This is a waste of a piece of prime real estate. I’ve discussed this before, your preheader text should build on your subject line, not mimic it, for maximum impact.

When I opened the email, here’s what I could see before I scrolled (also called the ‘above the fold’ view):

It’s not bad, but as we saw on the webpage, there’s not a lot of value here. A large logo with a lot of white space to the left and right.

The ‘Register Today’ image at the left is a bit odd – I’ve already registered, that’s why I’m receiving this email. It also includes the name of the webinar – which appears again to the right of the image. It seems like they could remove that image without much being lost.

It is good that the date and time of the webinar are here.

In the first sentence they acknowledge that I’ve registered – that’s good. But then it says not to miss it… Hey that sounds familiar…

It sounds familiar because the next section of copy in this email is eerily close to what I just read on the registration page. Some of it paraphrases from the page; in other cases, it mimics it. Here’s the full email:

Toward the end of the letter piece of the email I’m invited to ‘Sign up below!’ – which I don’t need to do because I did that on the website.

The part of this email that is critical, which is what I really need, is the “How to join the webinar’ section. But I must scroll through the webinar description – which I just saw on the landing page – to get to it.

I’m concerned that people receiving this walk away when they start reading the top and it’s the same as what the website said. It is better to deliver the information on joining the webinar early, since that’s what’s new – and that’s the point of the message.

In the first set of event registration tips, under tip number 5, I said “This company is using a detailed lead generation form as a webinar registration form.”

That was very prescient. Because less than 24 hours after receiving my webinar registration confirmation I received an email from a sales representative. Here it is (information redacted):

No mention of the webinar. The salesperson was told that I submitted an inquiry about their product. And she’d like to speak with me today or tomorrow via phone.

It’s not the fault of the sales rep. My information was provided to them as an ‘inquiry;’ as a lead. But I’m not really a lead. I was just interested in their webinar. This is another disconnect. The low commitment way to learn more about this company has turned into a sales call.

I didn’t provide my real phone number or street address on the form. Partially because I’m not a lead, I’m a consultant they reached out to about their email marketing. And even if I was interested in their product, it’s unlikely that I’d want to talk to a sales rep at this point; it’s too early in the relationship for that.

It is nice that there’s an unsubscribe in the email – so if I feel the information isn’t relevant to me, I can remove myself from their list.

But they are doing their webinar registrants and their sales reps a disservice.

As a registrant, I was interested in attending the webinar – not in speaking with a sales rep. For the record, there were many calls-to-action on the website to speak to a sales rep and/or get a demo. But I didn’t choose those – I wanted to start with just a webinar. So this is a disconnect.

And I feel badly for the sales reps. They are reaching out to people who want to attend a webinar, not speak to a sales rep. This is going to depress their conversion rate from outreach to calls.

I get it. This company wants to drive sales. And I’m sure this process does that, but I wonder if they wouldn’t have more long-term success if they worked to build a relationship before they moved to selling.

There are a lot of dating analogies used when talking about digital marketing. If you wanted to meet someone and get married, you wouldn’t ask a new acquaintance to meet you for coffee next week (low commitment), then circle back less than 24 hours later and ask for a call to discuss what they’re looking for in a romantic partner (higher commitment). You’d wait to see how the coffee date goes and grow the relationship from there.

I’ve worked with a number of organizations marketing events and B2B products, and a more measured approach, as I’ve outlined here in my tips, delivers better long-term results.

So use these tips to improve your event registration process – and let me know how it goes.

No time to do it yourself? Contact me and let’s talk about a consulting engagement! I’ve been helping organizations improve their email and digital marketing for more than 20 years.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Jeanne S. Jennings
Title: Author, The Email Marketing Kit
Dateline: Washington, DC United States
Direct Phone: 202-333-3245
Cell Phone: 202-365-0423
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