You can quickly build up your email list without doing something shady, like buying contacts.
Just use a webinar!
Wait, you may be saying, Webinars grow your email list? I thought it was the other way around; email is higher up the funnel, so growing your list gets you more registrations and sales...right?
Right. But that’s not the whole story.
That’s the problem with thinking strictly in terms of a linear “funnel.” You don’t have to stack your marketing channels from top to bottom; assets like email and webinars can mutually support each other all up and down the stages of the buyer’s journey.
Some emails are for the top, and some webinars are for the bottom. And vice versa.
In fact, a good webinar can net you hundreds of new email subscribers, just as a strong email list can keep the seats packed at your webinars.
Why You Should Focus on Email List Growth (If You Don’t Know Already)
One of the few consistent and unchanging (so far) rules of digital marketing is that “The money’s in the list.” Your email list is the bedrock of your digital marketing efforts. Ignore everyone who’s smugly declared “the death of email” in order to sound edgy; the stats prove otherwise.
It’s a commonly accepted pseudo-statistic that on average, every address in your contact list is worth about $1 per month of reoccuring revenue. Obviously a whole bunch of variables can move that number up or down, but it’s a useful illustration of the importance of your list that no one can afford to ignore.
I admit this freely, as someone who sells webinar software for a living: no matter what other channels come out — including webinars — email is irreplaceable.
Webinars and Email List Growth
Webinars might be one of the best ways to grow your email list — especially now that your average ’net-browsing consumer is besieged by requests for their email address from every homepage and piece of content they come across. Marketers are thirsty for those addresses, and consumers are becoming more careful about sharing them.
That’s where webinars can make a massive difference.
You need to offer more than just blog updates or a PDF to get a good email address (more on “bad” email addresses in a minute). You need to offer something more valuable, something worthy of an invitation into someone’s inbox.
Webinars are more valuable.
We want content because we want to learn. And ideally, we prefer to learn from a person, not a resource. It’s why human teachers still exist in the Internet Age. It’s why we press “0” to talk to a person instead of climbing the phone tree. It’s why we hate it when a Support chat turns out to be a $#%&! bot.
As valuable and awesome as your blog, video, book, or course can be, there’s just no substitute for the value of an in-person lesson.
This is where those aforementioned “good” email addresses come in. When you get an email address via webinar registration, it’s probably a more qualified lead. Think of the 1,000 True Fans principle: you don’t just want contacts; you want fans. You need followers, not “followers.”
The “Real” Email Address
You want addresses you can actually engage with. Have you ever used a…”special” email address to access gated content or “find out more,” knowing you never check that email? I have. Somewhere, my old Hotmail account is a mile-wide graveyard of unopened emails from marketers who thought I was really interested.
That’s not the email address you want.
To make it even tougher, the good folks at Google had to go and invent that “Promotions” tab, aka the thing that protects people’s inboxes by giving marketing messages a bottomless pit to die in. So even “good” addresses are only as “good” as your visitor’s actual interest.
But when someone signs up for a webinar, they aren’t ending a conversation. They intend to keep it going.
They actually, literally want to “learn more.” That means they’re going to read your next emails, even move them from “Promotions” to the honest-to-goodness inbox. The door is never more wide open than it is in the moment after someone registers for a webinar — except maybe the moment after you deliver an incredibly valuable lesson.
Webinar-Based Email List Growth Ninja Moves
You understand the necessity of a strong email contact list. You understand the list has to be full of valid, “good” email addresses. You get that email addresses submitted on a webinar registration form are from people who actually want to hear from you again.
But they need to find your webinar first.
There’s a few good moves you can make to get the word out on your webinar, and score those sweet, sweet email contacts.
First, create a genuinely valuable webinar. It’s not a sales webinar, it’s a lead generator. Can it include an offer? Sure. But the bulk of it had better be a gift to your attendees. Give them a real lesson, a way to address their problem. Give them a “win.”
For the love of all things webinar, don’t trick them into a surprise sales pitch. Teach, don’t sell.
We’ve got lots of resources on how to come up with your webinar topic, but here’s the short version: figure out what your target audience pain point is, and craft a lesson that helps them overcome some aspect of it. Offer to empower people, and deliver on that promise.
Consider an automated webinar. Automated webinars can be huge for lead generation. If you create a lesson that attendees can enjoy whenever is convenient for them, it can really extend your reach (which is kinda the point here).
No, it won’t be as intimate or personal as a live webinar, but that’s why live webinars are better for the bottom of the funnel. A great automated lesson can offer a certain degree of that personal touch, while also being conveniently time-and-location-independent. They can even sign up to watch your lesson that very second, while the iron is hot, so to speak.
That means more registrations — i.e., more email contacts.
Direct traffic. Leverage your existing highest-traffic content to promote your webinar. Whatever your best asset is, be it a strong blog, a popular YouTube channel, or a hefty social media following, an opportunity to sign up for a webinar is the best way to move some of those folks down the funnel.
It’s not hard to include webinar registration tools in your content.
- Put a banner across the top of your Home and About pages that links to your webinar landing page.
- Create a pop-up using Intercom.
- Write blog posts related to the content of your webinar, and link to the landing page in the text. Embed a registration form at the bottom of the posts.
- Add CTA (Calls to Action) to all your off-site content, like YouTube videos and social media posts.
- Consider using paid Facebook ads to drive even more traffic to the registration page.
And remember: none of this is about selling your product. It’s about offering a great lesson, so promote that.
Team up. Find a company to partner up with, one with similar or greater brand recognition. Make sure it’s not a competitor (obvi), but someone who makes a relevant adjacent product. For example, a fitness coach can find a nutritionist, a business coach can find a web designer. You get the idea.
Just make sure that whoever you partner with has good brand alignment, and is someone your audience can benefit from. Some ways to turn these partnerships into webinar-based email list boosting:
- Guest post on their website. Write something that will really help their audience, and include an invitation to a free workshop where they can learn even more from you.
- Go on their podcast. Podcast hosts are notoriously guest-thirsty (trust me, I’m always looking for someone with authority and value for our $100 MBA Show listeners).
Promote your webinar on the podcast — just make sure the URL you give is simple and memorable, since it’s not a link.
- Offer a free webinar for their audience. Give a great lesson directly to your new partner’s crowd. Your partner will be adding value for their audience, which makes them look great. You’ll get more email contacts. Which feels great.
To sum up: the right webinar — an informative, helpful lesson or workshop aimed less at selling products and more at giving value — can be a monster lead magnet. And unlike other kinds of email-capturing content, webinars promise so much value that the contact you get is primed for real engagement, nurturing, and eventual sales conversion.
Start planning your contact-list-expanding webinar now. To see how our software makes it fun and easy, feel free to swing by our next free live workshop.
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