Quick take: Building and online businesses is a lot less intimidating when you have the right game plan. Shortcut your online businesses learning curve in today’s conversation with Online Marketing Trainer, Amy Porterfield.
Each week I sit down with incredible entrepreneurs and marketing minds to bring you inspiring and actionable lessons you can use to start and grow your coaching, consulting, or service-based business. Be sure to subscribe above so you don’t miss an episode.
Amy Porterfield teaches entrepreneurs how to build their online businesses by focusing on list building strategies, creating online courses, and webinars. She helps those just starting out as well as people that feel they have hit a plateau in their business.
Transcripts, resources, and top-takeaways are below.
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If you’re short on time, here are a few golden nuggets from our conversation and the resources mentioned.
- How to create an email sequence to get cold traffic to take action
- The strategy and copy Amy uses to influence attendance without sounding sales-y
- The 6 building blocks of Amy’s email sequence
Note: The Step-By-Step Email Marketing Strategy Amy Used To Increase Webinar Attendance Is Available For Download. Click Here To Download
If you’ve ever done a webinar, you know that typically a really small percentage exactly of the people who register for the webinar will actually show up live. In fact most people I’ve talked to have gotten around the 25% show rate for their better webinars. But just because that’s how it usually is doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.
Getting to know Amy Porterfield
My good friend Amy Porterfield from AmyPorterfield.com is our guest today because she’s had massive success with her webinars. One of her big focuses was ensuring that more of the people who registered ended up attending. Using the strategy she discusses today she was able to boost her show-up rate by an astonishing 66%. I’m thrilled about the strategy because not only does it get more people on life but it ensures that those people are attentive and really excited about your presentation.
I’m Tim Paige, the conversion educator here at Leadpages and this is ConversionCast.
Hello Amy. Welcome to ConversionCast. Thanks for coming on the show.
Amy: I am so thrilled to finally be here. Thanks for having me.
Tim: Yes, this has been a long time in the making. We’ve been friends now for a few years trying to get this to happen and just things happened and we finally got you here. I’m really excited about it and we have something that you know I am extremely excited to talk about. So why don’t you spill the beans and tell us the results that you were able to get from this tactic?
Amy: So we were seeing a really low show-up rate for our webinars and I wanted people on life because I knew when they get on life, that’s where I could really help them make a change in their business. So what we did is we put together a strategy to get more people to show up live for our webinars and we saw a 66% increase of those actually showing up live which made a huge difference for everything we were doing.
Tim: That is no joke. I do want to say you know, we talked about the numbers a little bit and it’s not like you weren’t underperforming before but you are the kind of person that loves to do the best you can to make things better and get better results so you can have more people get results for their business.
So I just wanted to put that out there. That being said, you know, for the two or three people out there in the world that don’t yet know who you are, can you tell people a little bit who you are and what you do?
Teaching her craft
Amy: Yes. So I teach entrepreneurs how to build their business online focusing on list building and creating online courses and webinars. So I usually help people that are either just getting started or they’ve been at it for a while and they feel stuck and they want to see bigger things in their business so that’s my area of focus.
Tim: I love it and we’ve done a bunch of webinars together and now I’ve been on your show. You’re coming on our show. We’re so excited about this. So let’s talk a little bit about this tactic. I would just love to hear exactly how you did this and what you did to get this amazing boost in the show-up rate?
Amy: Well the reason I’m so excited about this is you know me and I’m not a real big metrics girls and I don’t love to talk about stats because I’m terrible at math. However, we did this huge increase and it really all came down to content and that’s my thing. I love creating content and it has so much to do with email marketing which is my jam as well. So I thought okay, this is somewhere where I could really add value to anybody that’s struggling to get people live on their webinars. So this is what we did.
We created what we call a pre-webinar onboarding sequence. It’s six emails that get sent out before the webinar goes live. Now I will say that if you sign up for one of our webinars about six days in advance you’ll get all six emails. If you sign up let’s say three or four days in advance, you might not get the entire sequence but it’s still incredibly powerful. So it just depends on when people are signing up.
Typically we try not to get people to sign up more than five or six days in advance anyway. I think when you give them too much of a time period between when they sign up and when your webinar goes live, you lose a lot of people. I don’t know about you guys but for us, it’s usually like four or five days is a sweet spot to get them to sign up before we go live. How about you?
Tim: Yeah we found the same exact thing to be the case. Usually, more than a week and most of those people don’t even show up.
Amy: Yeah, exactly. So that was one thing that you want to think about if you’re really struggling with attendance is your live webinar. You might be promoting it way too much in advance. So another thing is that a lot of the emails that get sent for webinars before they go live typically come from a platform like GoToWebinar. So you know GoToWebinar will send out the unique link and then they’ll send out reminders.
We don’t like to go that route meaning we don’t want to just let GoToWebinar manage the whole process. They need to send out their emails because those are unique links. But we go above and beyond what GoToWebinar is sending out. So right away when someone joins one of our, or signs up for one of our webinars, they get that GoToWebinar email. Good to go, it’s important, it’s got the link. But then we instantly send an email that says okay you’re locked in, everything is confirmed.
We tell them right now go into your calendar, put down the date and the time and also remember that we’re going to cover a lot and we have a special workbook. So that’s another thing that helps us with live attendance is we have a workbook for every single one of our webinars and it’s a fill in the blank workbook. So if they do open up the PDF, you’ll start to see kind of we’re teasing the content a little bit and we’re leaving out some of the most important information. So if they do open that workbook, they’re like oh my gosh this is so good but I need these answers.
So right away we make sure they know we’ve got some good stuff planned for you. So we mention the workbook, we link to it in the first email and we tell them to go check your calendar and go mark this into your calendar. Really, really important right from the get-go.
Tim: So everybody who registers the first email regardless of how close to the webinar the first email reminds them to put it in their calendar. It comes directly from you and not from GoToWebinar and it sends them the link to the workbook.
Build a connection
Amy: So that part is really important. And then from there what we do is we start building the relationship right away. There are a few things we need to think about in a webinar onboarding sequence. You’re building the relationship that connections that you have with them. It’s so very important if you’re running ads and it’s a cold audience even more important then. But of course, you always want to be building that relationship. Also in the webinar sequence, we are already tackling some of the objections that they might have to whatever it is we plan to teach and sell in the webinar. So I’ll talk about that and how we do that. We also get them to take action in these emails. We want them to do something every single time we send them an email. So taking action is really important and then of course staying top of mind. So they’re hearing from us a lot before the webinar so that helps with the show-up rate as well.
One of the things to get them to take action right away is the workbook of course download it. I tell them to print it, save it, get ready to write a bunch of notes in it. But then in addition to that, I like to ask them questions. So you don’t have to do this sequence in perfect order. You can decide what content you want to put in each email but the next email I send I ask them a few questions and I’m going to give you the exact wording I use. I say something like to help you get prepped and ready to receive the ultimate value from this master class, I have these short questions for you to ponder. Don’t worry. It’s not a test. Just a little brain warm-up for our deep dive into all things and then you fill in the blank whatever you’re going to talk about.
I’ll say things like on a scale of 1 to 10 how satisfied are you with this or yes or no, do you think this or that. These questions relate directly to the content I’m going to teach them. So and usually I know where they’re at the more you know your audience the better you are at email marketing I know how they’re going to answer these questions. It kind of gets them thinking like oh I really need this webinar because I’m not answering really high on these questions she’s asking. And that’s a strategy I want to let them know. I know where you’re at and we’re going to address this on the webinar. So the questions really important so I do usually three questions and I say jot the answers down and then remember these questions when we jump on life. So right away they’re doing a little bit of homework.
I also in these emails use a little testimonial. So just little ones like let me tell you what so and so said about this topic or that topic as it relates to what they’re going to learn. So testimonials in the pre-webinar sequence when you do them in a way that doesn’t seem super salesy are really valuable and then stories. Stories are great too so I’m going to give you a quick example.
The power of customer testimonials
Tim: I’m sorry. Before you get into the story, can you share with us an example of how you can use a testimonial that is effective and doesn’t seem salesy?
Amy: Yes. So what I do is I typically make the testimonials more about learning from me and how valuable that’s been. So I have a lot of testimonials that I’ve collected like when I got on a webinar with Amy I feel like I’m in school again but in a really good way and I have six pages of notes that I take action with right away.
Amy: Those kinds of testimonials so I had to go out and get them and ask people what did you think about that webinar. Did you learn a lot? So they’re more about the training because I haven’t yet sold them anything.
Amy: I’m glad you asked that because that’s actually a really important piece of a testimonial in terms of a pre-webinar sequence.
Tim: I love it okay and then you were talking about stories.
Amy: Stories. So what I do is I try to find a story, of course, related to the topic. So an example I recently did a webinar sequence for webinars about webinars. That’s weird. And one of my students made this huge mistake of showing up to her own webinar an hour early. She couldn’t understand why no one was there —
Tim: oh my gosh.
Amy: -but she wanted to be a good student so she did it anyway and in the middle of her webinar all these people start showing up.
Amy: She realized wait for a second, I think I got my times wrong. But I tell this story because a lot of people have apprehension about doing live webinars. I’m going to mess up, what about the technology, what about if I do this or that. I tell the story of she still made sales, she still did a good job and you’re going to make mistakes but that’s okay. Because I know that they have this apprehension I address it even before we get on live. So if you can find a few stories that relate to some of the fears or concerns they might have before they even jump on that makes a really good onboarding sequence as well or it adds to the value of your onboarding sequence.
Tim: I love it. So we’ve got these emails and are there any other emails that you include in that sequence or is it a good combination of those four things?
Amy: It’s a good combination but I will say on the day of the webinar is where I get pretty aggressive and I send three. One first thing in the morning before they even wake up it will be waiting for them and then I send one an hour before and then I send one 15 minutes before. To me, that feels aggressive because I don’t love to email tons or tons or too much but holy cow it totally changed the game. It’s kind of like when the cart is closing you’re sending the series of emails that very day. Same thing with a webinar.
But one more thing I forgot to mention and that is throughout these emails, I always make mention of the importance of showing up live and I talk about how when you show up live, you’ve got skin in the game. You’re there. You’re blocking out your calendar. You’re more focused. You’re more likely to take action. The people in or my students get amazing results when they’re actually showing up in they’re present. So I do always make a mention of the importance of showing up live and what it could do for their business.
I think everybody should include that type of story inside one of their pre-webinar emails.
Tim: Yeah that’s great. I love it because this is something that is you are providing value. You know that your webinar is going to rock and you know that people are going to get a ton of value out of it. So you’re at this point putting the majority of your effort into really selling people ongoing and being there on the live webinar. Sure, you’re doing some things to overcome their objections and that kind of stuff but it sounds like the majority of your focus is literally on saying you need to be on this webinar because you’re going to learn so much. Be on the webinar, be on the webinar and then once they’re on the webinar, then you can provide all the value and of course, lead them to whatever it is that you’re selling.
But it’s a lot of the same thing where if somebody writes a subject line for an email well the subject line of the email is not designed to get somebody to buy something right? It’s designed to get somebody to open the email.
Tim: And then the copy of the email is designed to get somebody to click the link right? SO we always want to know the goal of what we’re doing and the goal of all of that content leading up to the webinar is to get people to actually show up to the darn webinar.
Amy: It’s so true because you and I both know if they show up live they’re more likely to buy and we have seen significant revenue boost from this because lets we’re converting at 10% on our webinar, well now we’ve just got 100, 200 more people that actually show up for it. so we’re always making more money you know, it just is simple math in that respect. So there’s definitely a correlation with the revenue we’re producing with this pre-webinar sequence.
One more thing I got to tell you just real quick. I literally did this yesterday and so it made a huge difference and I wanted to add to it.
Try new things
Amy: we recently did something in the pre-webinar sequence where the very final email that says jump on in 15 minutes I said the minute you jump on the first thing I want you to do is tell me what your big goal is for 2016. Because I did a goal-setting webinar.
Amy: So I said the second you jump on that it’s the first thing I want you to do. I forgot I had done that and I just wanted to kind of test it out. so I jumped on and I had a flood of comments already —
Amy: – of people sharing with me. Now as a marketer, holy cow, that’s great information for me to learn where my audience is right now. But they felt like oh wait I’ve got to get on and do something. She’s waiting for me and it totally surprised me. So that’s something else you can kind of think about doing in your final email.
Tim: Yeah that’s great I love it and I think the only remaining question just in case anybody isn’t sure is you’ve got all this stuff set up, are you just using InfusionSoft to do this for you?
What makes it work?
Amy: I am.
Amy: So I set it all up through InfusionSoft.
Tim: You know, you mentioned that if somebody signed up say two or three days before the webinar they’re not going to get those extra emails. How do you set it up so that they don’t get those extra emails?
Amy: So what we do is we’ll say okay if you signed up five days in advance, you’re going to get this sequence. If you signed up four days in advance, you’re going to get this sequence. So we basically do special sequences depending on when you’re going to sign up. So the way it looks in InfusionSoft is if you’re past a certain date, you’re just not going to get those emails.
Tim: Right. Got it. Oh, that’s awesome. Okay. So and this is something that you could really do in pretty much any tool that’s just the tool that you use but keep in mind that that’ something you’re going to want to do. you don’t want people getting more lead up emails once the webinar is done. It’s like make sure you’re on the webinar and it was yesterday.
Amy: Yes. Okay, so that’s really important and you always program it that instantly that first confirmation from you goes to everybody.
Amy: And then it depends on where they are in the sequence to get the rest of them. Each email can stand alone. So they don’t have to build on each other. They don’t have to be elaborate. They’re just as you said a reminder to get on life, I’ll see you there and I will be looking for your kind of thing.
Tim: I love it. Well, I got to say this is you know, if you’ve been on the webinar with me that didn’t have Amy on it, you know that this is something that we are not doing well at Lead Pages. So literally as we speak in the process of implementing something just like this and if somebody wants to maybe get a chance to see what your sequence looks like where can they register for a webinar that you’re doing so they can really see it and implement it for themselves?
Amy: Well thanks for asking. I really appreciate that. If you go to AmyPorterfield.com at the top of my website you can sign up for one of my webinars about webinars and you’ll see this entire sequence in play.
Tim: Perfect. I love it. Amy this has been way too much value. Thank you so much for coming on ConversionCast and being here and sharing this with our audience.
Amy: Thanks for having me Tim, I appreciate it.
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