S: In this episode, number 122, we are going to deep dive on webinars. How to do them right – both live and automated or Evergreen. Our guest today is Jon Schumacher. Jon is an expert at marketing and selling through webinars. Jon is the founder of Marketing Mastery Media Inc., a digital marketing agency focused on building webinar funnels. He’s also the host of the Webinar Mastery Summit, the largest online webinar conference. Jon has hosted over 300 webinars in the past four years. He’s been mentioned in the Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, FOX news and The Good Men Project. Jon, it’s great to have you on the show.
J: Hey, thanks for having me, Stephan. I appreciate you thinking of me. I’m excited to talk a little bit about webinars and other things.
S: Yup, funnels and how they all connect up, all that sort of good stuff. Let’s actually start with webinars because they’re powerful. They’re a great way to get people into buying a product or signing-up for a strategy session, or what have you. But yet, there’s talk that they don’t work as well anymore. Should we be focusing still on webinars? Are they still a secret weapon for the online marketer?
J: I don’t know if they’re a secret weapon but they’re certainly still effective and sure that the environment has shifted. As far as getting people live on a webinar and things like that, there has definitely been a drop in overall show-up rates and stuff like that, especially if you don’t have a close relationship with the list like cold traffic and things like that. Live webinars definitely have a lower show-up rate than they used to but it’s still the number one vehicle for booking calls one to many or selling a product one to many. It’s still very much valid these days. At the end of the live video kind of revolution, it’s kind of merging a little bit with the live webinar of the past but it’s still very valid. There’s still a lot of people having good success, partnering doing webinars together, hosting webinars for their audiences. It’s definitely not dead. I know all the new wave kind of strategies always like to say that the old ones are dead but it’s definitely still alive and well.
S: Yeah. Like you keep hearing, “SEO is dead. Facebook advertising is the new thing,” or whatever. They’re just trying to be confrontational and provocative to try and get you onto their program. SEO isn’t going anywhere. It’s an essential part of your online marketing mix and so are webinars. They still work, they’re still effective like you say. Let’s talk about the drop in show-up rates though because it used to be that you can get 50% show-up rate. Let’s say 100 people registered, you get 50 people showing up. 1000 people register, you get 500 people showing up. Not so much anymore these days though.
J: For a live webinar, it certainly dropped. The attendance rate has certainly dropped. For an evergreen webinar which I know we will probably touch on some of the difference there, you’re still seeing good show-up rates and things like that. I think it’s shifting more into the on-demand sort of version a little bit more. Not to say that live webinars are not still a great strategy especially if you have a list of people that love you and trust you they’re gonna show up or if it’s a compelling topic. It really has to be extra compelling these days to get people to show up live. You need to do an even better job of picking a strong topic, of using strong copy, and strong benefit bullets, and of course, having a strong reputation where people actually know they’ll show up, and you’ll actually give them some good value, interact with them and have a good time together. It used to be you just pick a topic and people show up to it. Now you have to be a lot better at getting people there. There’s some other strategies for helping people show up too. I have a client right now. He’s using Messenger bots. I know that’s kind of a flashy new tactic but he is having some good success in increasing his show up rates using that strategy as well. There’s ways to do it, it’s just not as easy as it once was a few years ago when we were doing or tend a live webinars. But it’s still very much possible to get a strong show up and to have some success even on a live webinar. You can still get people to come.
S: You’re actually finding more success with evergreen webinars, the pre-recorded webinars, than live ones?
J: I don’t know about more success but it’s just where we’ve gone. There was a period of time where I was doing a live webinar every week for over a year. You just kind of get burned out with that. It’s a great strategy, you can build your audience, get visible, build your list. I’m not saying it’s a bad strategy at all. In fact, a client right now who’s using that strategy, the live weekly webinar very, very well. She’s doing very, very well straight from Facebook and Instagram. I’m not saying it’s a bad strategy. I just think for me, I got kind of burned out on doing the whole constant live, live, live webinar, and partner webinars and things like that. I’ve shifted more towards the kind of the book-a-call type of funnel more so than kind of the selling of products and things like that. Because of that, we’ve shifted away from the live pitch webinar to more of a softer call to action to get on the phone with me. We’ve been using automated webinars for that on our websites, through paid traffic, with partners, and things like that. It’s worked really well. Another cool thing about the evergreen version, I know we talked about this some, you can constantly improve it, you sort of building this evergreen customer journey that you can improve upon instead of having to constantly be in launch mode, and promotion mode all the time. That’s where my mind’s at right now with what we’re doing and so far so good.
S: Let’s talk about some of these different best practices for live webinars versus evergreen. First of all, there’s technology involved when doing either a live or an evergreen webinar. For example, I’m using GoToWebinar for doing my webinars, the live ones. I’m using EasyWebinar for my evergreen. What are some of the options for live webinars and for the evergreen ones. Feel free to mix in live videos too because like you said, that’s kind of merging with live webinars quite a bit, like Zoom and so forth.
J: That’s a good question. For a lot of beginners who might be listening to this, the first question is always “What software tools do I use?” so we can touch on that. For live webinars we’ll start with that. There are a number of factors that go into picking your software tool. It does depend, I know, which is a terrible answer, I’ll try to expound upon that a little bit more. Let’s say that you’re a non-techy kind of person who maybe you have a medium budget and you just wanna get something up quickly to host for your audience and things like that. I still think Zoom is a great option for that. It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s clean, it’s stable, it’s very easy to get up in just a few minutes. Literally a few minutes you can have your first webinar up and a link ready to get people live with you. That’s one of the easiest. Usually for most people, and most people seem to be non-techy, it’s an easy choice. GoToWebinar as you said that you’re still using as still a preferred platform for live webinars. It’s a little more pricey but it’s also fairly stable. It’s a little outdated in some of the interface and stuff like that. But hey, it comes down to your skills as a presenter more than the tool when it comes to selling and getting people to stay on a webinar with you. Zoom, GoToWebinar are a couple of ones that are still pretty solid and stable. EasyWebinar, I know that you’re using that for evergreen webinars. Now they have a new live platform that they’re using as well that is having some good success. The good thing about EasyWebinar is that you can do both live and automated under the same price. That’s one of its advantages. WebinarJam is another out there for live webinars. I’ve used that for a number of years. It’s had up and down results. They just recently re-coded that software. I’ve been playing with that and it’s working so that’s another option, has really good analytics, and integrations, and things like that. There’s a number of them out there and there’s a whole lot more I haven’t mentioned. I actually have a guide on my blog. I can have you linked up in the show notes called the Ultimate Guide to Webinar Software. I also have another review on ClickFunnels versus Leadpages because as far evergreen goes those are some options there. We can link this up in the show notes. But as far as live, I would say if you’re a non-techy and you just need something something that’s a click, click, ready, Zoom is a great option. GoToWebinar is still a great option if you have a little more of a budget. EasyWebinar is another one I would keep an eye on, kind of up and coming as far in the live webinar space.
S: Awesome. What about for doing live video and trying the platform to get more visibility. Like for example, doing a Facebook live and then using something like Wirecast, or even just using the Facebook app on your phone, or using YouTube live as your platform and doing a live stream as your “webinar”.
J: I think these tools, and I’ve said this a couple years ago on interviews and stuff that I think live webinars and live video are merging, and you’re certainly seeing that now. A few years ago, instead of using Facebook live, you would have seen someone fire up their GoToWebinar or something like that. Now, it’s just so easy to just go over to Facebook, in your Facebook group, or on your page, hit go live, or promote that. You can even promote a link for people to come and visit that broadcast as well. Here’s the thing with them, I think they’re great for creating content. You can always obviously do them on your page, you can create an ad out of them, there’s all kinds of benefits to doing live video. But the con of it, and this is why a lot of people aren’t using them, and they’re still using the traditional webinar software is one, you’re not really building your email list when you’re doing it that way. Let’s say we’re gonna partner with somebody and do a co-webinar together on Facebook live, there’s no way for you to really collect information. You can mention something or go here or that kind of thing but from what I’ve experimented with, it’s not just a great list builder, and I’m still a big kind of advocate of building your audience, building your email list, not just building on a platform like Facebook, because Facebook can, and will change the rules constantly. I think that’s a con of just using that as a webinar. I have tons of friends who do JV webinars. I used to do a ton of JV, kind of joint venture partnership webinars, they don’t use Facebook live for that, they use more traditional software so they can collect the contact, then get more information, and continue to build their email list. That’s a big negative and I also think it’s more of a distraction. When people actually schedule a time on your GoToWebinar, or EasyWebinar, or whatever you’re using, your Zoom, they’re making a bigger commitment, it goes on their calendar. It’s actually more of a focused environment than Facebook. Facebook’s the king of destruction. Notifications going off left and right. “Oh, look, squirrel.” You turn your head and you’re off somewhere else on Facebook. I definitely wouldn’t recommend if you’re doing a launch or if you’re doing a product where your focus is selling. I personally wouldn’t use Facebook live or even YouTube live. I would use a more traditional software where you can get more focused attention away from the social network platforms, keep building your email list so you can have an easy way to follow up and integrate with your CRMs, and things like that. The pluses are they’re easy to use. If you’re just looking to do kind of a content only broadcast and teaching a session for your tribe, I think it’s great. Some more people are gravitating towards that. I just don’t think it completely replaces these other platforms as far as list building, as far as sales conversion, and things like that.
S: Yeah, that makes sense. Easy Webinar you mentioned, that’s Casey Zeman’s platform, I use it. Also, I think there’s EverWebinar. I haven’t used that one, that’s a competitor. Any experience with that one?
J: Yeah, I’ve used it a lot. EverWebinar is good as well, very similar functionality to EasyWebinar, allows deep integrations with a lot of CRMs like Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign. You get a lot of data, you get a lot of connections with it. I would say it’s similar in functionality to EasyWebinar. StealthSeminar, if we’re talking evergreen webinars, another one by Geoff Ronning. It’s been around a long time, it has a lot of good data and integrations, and really strong customer support and things like that. These are the three main ones for evergreen, it’s EasyWebinar, EverWebinar, and StealthSeminar. Those are the three ones I would look at once you’re ready to evergreen your webinar, so to speak.
S: WebinarJam, is that more of a live one or is that more evergreen, what is that one?
J: WebinarJam is just for live webinars. Its sister software so to speak is EverWebinar. Those are both under the same company, WebinarJam and EverWebinar. You do need to pay separately for those whereas in EasyWebinar, for example, they have a live option as well as an evergreen under one price point. That’s kind of one of its advantages.
S: Got it. Let’s talk about the setup for an evergreen webinar. Do you let people basically watch within the next minute or two of signing-up, like they have some option for when they’re gonna watch it, or do you make them wait for tomorrow to watch an archive or to watch this previously recorded webinar? Do you try and fool them into thinking that it’s live, it’s prerecorded? Let’s talk a bit about that.
J: The scheduling and the philosophy behind an evergreen webinar. Let’s start with the philosophy. I don’t try to fool people into thinking it’s live. There’s a direct response, and then there’s brand, and those can conflict sometimes. I definitely would favor the long term branding approach. I don’t wanna bring in new people and try to fool them and stuff like that even if I get half a percentage, better click rate because I made it look a certain way or told them it was live, I don’t care. That’s sort of my philosophy there. I don’t think you should be deceiving people in doing that kind of thing on an evergreen webinar. That’s the philosophy piece. People hate evergreen webinars. There’s a lot of people do that. You don’t have to do that. You don’t have to use the tools that way. You can do it how you like to do it. Will your conversion rate suffer? Maybe a little tiny bit but you know what, Mike, it’s about the long game too. That’s the philosophy piece. As far as the scheduling piece goes, as far as when to schedule, and how long before they sign-up until they actually come to the webinar, this is under much study. For evergreen, we usually just do what’s called Just-in-Time where we’ll actually allow them to book a time and be able to watch it within the next 15 minutes. We’ve also just done instant webinars where people come right in and actually watch it instantly. We were just using ClickFunnels natively for that. People would opt-in, they would go right in to watch basically a video, like a VSL, and then at the end, at any point, they could book a call with that person. We’ve built those for clients too. Some of those have actually done pretty well, just a simple opt-in, short form VSL with a button below it, of course, we’ve created a webinar type of presentation for that VSL. I would say, for booking call type webinars, I don’t have any hard data from this but this is just from kind of experience over the last year or so doing these kind of funnels, I think it’s fine for people who, if they wanna book a call with you, if the goal is to have them book a call, just have them either watch it instantly or watch within 15 minutes. But if you’re trying to sell a course where your goal is to make the sale evergreen without any conversations or anything, the funnel actually sells the item itself without you doing basically any interaction, or your sales team doing any interaction. There is some credence to delaying it a little bit so maybe having them sign-up for the next day and doing a little bit of what’s called authority building or preceding before the webinar with a few emails, and a few pieces of content so that they are a little more warmed up to you and the topic before they come live. But I’ve also seen people do the other way too. Geoff Ronning who’s of StealthSeminar, I’ll just share what he shared with me. His schedule for selling a course was Just-in-Time, meaning within the next 15 minutes, the following day, I believe in the morning, and then the day after that in the evening. He did offer a few different times for that. It’s gonna be a little bit of testing but I’m a fan of just kind of letting people watch it when they wanna watch it except I would potentially make them schedule though I think, especially if it’s a course or something like that because we do want them to be able to commit to sitting down and watching it even if it’s evergreen.
S: Would you position it as the Just-in-Time as yesterday’s recording or choose, let’s say, tomorrow morning whatever the time is, or the following day in that evening.
J: Yeah, you could do that. Yesterday’s replay should let them in instantly into the webinar. That would be an instant webinar like watch it right now, and there’s like no delays. The cons of that is that people can watch it whenever they want, they don’t commit to a time, there’s some power in actually having them commit to a time even if it’s 15 minutes from now to actually sit down and consume it. You’re sort of forcing them to watch it or consume some of that message. I don’t intend to favor that although we’ve had funnels that have done really well just having people go right in and watch it. If the webinar is good and people book a call, that’s great. Those are the funnels we’ve been building more, is kind of the book a call type of funnels. The seller course funnels, they’re a lot more work, and a lot more tweaking to usually get it right, and to get them to get a strong return on investment if you’re advertising, and things like that.
S: Tell me more about that. Why is it so much more work and what sort of extra work is involved in the sell a course funnel versus book a call?
J: Book a call is really, and we can go kind of deep on this, so I’ll try not to go too crazy. Book a call is a lot simpler. All it is basically a registration, a webinar, an application in a schedule page, that’s basically it. You can get more sophisticated as far as pre-call follow-ups and homework pages, and things like that. Basically, it’s just a lot simpler. It’s a lot simpler and that you only need those pages. You’re really only selling the call so you’re not really selling anything on the webinar. It’s an easier sell to sell a call and to give a strong reason to get on the phone with you versus convincing someone to buy $1000 on the spot from never heard of you or those types of things. Also, with course funnel, there’s always a follow-up after the webinar. You’ll need usually, you have some kind of a deadline incentive so you need a software like deadline funnel or something like that, and making sure that integrates, and the timer is synced correctly. If you’re gonna do any sort of behavior based tagging in the backend of your webinar, that adds more copywriting and complication. There’s more complication on the backend of the webinar particularly when it comes to course funnel because, I’m sure you’re aware, a lot of the sales do happen in the follow-up before a deadline after a webinar. It just adds a little more complication. Usually, the offer section of the seller course type of webinars a little longer, there’s more convincing you have to do in order to make that sale. From my experience, there are more work involved. A lot of times when you launch them they don’t always hit it out of the park right away. It takes some work. The mindset around these automated funnels is people think they’ll just throw it together and it’s gonna hit a homerun right away, some do, and most don’t. Most of them take some time to tweak. You gotta look at the data come through it. It’s just a lot simpler and cleaner just to say, “You know what, we’re gonna sell something higher-ticket. We’re gonna get people on a call with our team and then do the selling there versus trying to sell directly through the webinar itself.” People can do it but it’s just, from my experience, it’s more challenging, and it can take more tweaking and improvements. Sometimes it flops altogether, maybe the offer just sucks. If the offer sucks, it doesn’t matter what happens.
S: Is your experience that over $1000 you really need to get a person on a call and so the book a call funnel is really the only solution there?
J: Yeah. It’s sort of the grey area. Generally, people think if $2000 and up, you should try to get them on the phone with you. It depends a little bit on the industry if your target audience, if you’re able to fill your webinar with rich financial planners or something, then they might just drop $3000 or $5000 on the spot. But most cases, for consumer markets, yes, definitely. I wouldn’t go any higher than $2000. I would say $2000 is a stretch. Some people can do it but obviously, the sweet spot for a course is gonna be between $200 and $500 as far as people will actually drop that money on an impulse more, $2000 you’re starting to get up there. In a lot of industries, that’s what we would recommend.
S: Right. Under $1000 but sweet spot would be $200 – $500 for an online course if you’re gonna sell it completely automated without human interaction or intervention.
J: Yeah. The other trick is getting the ad spend to work. With a lower ticket product, you don’t have as much wiggle room for making a return on your ad spend. It keeps getting more challenging to sell those kind of offers especially in the US and Canada where cost-per-clicks are rising, especially in a competitive industry. It very much depends on the industry. I have a client in Hong Kong who gets $1.50 webinar opt-ins all day long and he’s selling a $400 course, and making a 7X return on his spend. But he’s also in a very limited market in Mandarin. He can only work with so many people but he’s got this market cornered a little bit. It’s very much market-dependent from what I’ve seen.
S: Wow. That’s pretty good. $1.50 per webinar registration with a 30%, 40%, or maybe 50% show-up rate, that’s pretty good per lead.
J: Yeah, it’s pretty good per lead but again, it’s his market as well. It’s not nearly as competitive. It just depends on the market. I don’t know how much you wanna go into this but there’s certain industries, there’s not a lot of competition. It’s easy to target on Facebook for example, and you can just break in low-cost but still decently qualified leads. Other industries, you’re gonna pay $7, $8, $10 in opt-ins sometimes, it depends.
S: What would be, on both ends of that spectrum, what would be some examples of markets or topics basis?
J: It depends on the country you’re in. If you’re in Brazil or Hong Kong, like this example, you can get really low-cost leads. If you’re in certain industries, like for example I worked with a company that is in the soil restoration space. They help farmers improve their yields, and stuff using natural means, so landowners, get better yields from their lands. Kind of a unique niche but they kind of have this cornered. They have an expert on staff, they have a go-to list. We were running Facebook ads for them. We were able to get $2 registrations all day long and really high relevance scores in their ads and things like that. That is just an example of there’s not a lot of competition in that space. If you have a good ad, good creative, with a good strong image and headline, people stop to scroll. If you target people right, they’ll look at that, and they’ll interact with it a lot more than the internet marketing make money online, not sure, something like that in the US or things like that, where there’s just everybody and their dog has ads running for that.
S: Yeah. In the SEO space, it’s very expensive to get good quality leads from Facebook ads. Then there’s different strategies for whether you drive them directly to the webinar registration page from a Facebook ad or you drive them first to a blogpost and then you Facebook pixel them, and then you do a retargeting campaign afterwards, warm them up a bit. They’ve been to your website, gotten some value in the form of really great informational blogpost, and then you hit them up with the offer for the webinar. Or you could do a challenge like I did a five-day SEO challenge and then I got people to a webinar who’d gone through the five-day challenge. That actually worked out worse even though it was much more expensive and delivering way more value to just warm them up with all this amazing stuff, content, everyday for five days. They were getting some really great results and so forth. But the show up rate, getting those people from the end of the five-day challenge to the webinar was really not very good. I’ve learned a lot about these different permutations and what works and what doesn’t work. It’s something you definitely have to dial in.
J: It’s true. There’s different philosophies on that. I’m kind of a believer in getting the minimal part of the funnel up first and testing that, and of course, if it’s not working, let’s try a blog post on the frontend and build a customer audience and retarget that custom audience and stuff like one of your best post and stuff like that. Like you said, it’s sexy to do that, and I think it’s smart, and I think as far as the optimization of a funnel, that’s definitely something to consider doing. But there’s also breakage like you had said with your five-day challenge. I mean, yes, you can get decent leads there but what percentage of them go all the way through the whole challenge, and then get to a webinar. The breakage there is probably pretty heavy. A far as people dropping out of the process throughout the journey, people get distracted easily constantly. The percentage of people finish something like that all the way through the end is lower in some cases. I’m a big fan of just getting the core up and done, and then testing that. If that doesn’t work then, “What can we do to optimize?” Sometimes the core funnel just works fine. Sometimes you can just send traffic or whatever rate to a webinar, and then they book a call or whatever or they buy, and it just works. Then you can look to improve it from there. I think you should keep it simple first and then you can try to optimize with all the bells and whistles, and those types of things.
S: Yup, fail fast. Iterate then improve. You mentioned deadline funnel software, you mentioned having some sort of limiter or motivation for people to make a decision. The different types of limiters; there is time limiters like setting the deadline, there’s also quantity limiters, the first x number get all these bonuses and if you’re late to the game then you don’t get any of them, or you can do a combination of both, like special prices only until the end of today or the end of this webinar. As far as the quantity limiters, the first x number of people who buy now are gonna get x number of bonuses. That seems to work, I think, better or makes sense, and correct me if I’m wrong, for a live webinar, because you feel like you’re competing with the other people on the webinar to get in quick and get that cool thing.
J: I think the urgency is certainly one of the biggest points of influence that affects people’s behavior. We’re all ingrained with these triggers, so to speak, in our DNA about not wanting to miss something. I think as long as you’re authentic and it’s true then, yeah. If you only have so many people in your group training program, great. Let’s just leverage that. If you’re only offering a price for a certain length of time, that’s fine. As long as you honor that and you actually do the thing you said you were gonna do, not to just manipulate people but actually use some true urgency there to get them to buy, or get them to make a decision quickly, because humans are just terrible at making decisions. They often wait until the end to do so. There needs to be some kind of push there whether on live webinar, could be a live incentive to join now, could be a price, could be a bonus session with you. Usually the bonus session works well or if it’s something really valuable, if you’ve structured your offer well, you can usually use bonuses and things like that as real leverage points throughout your follow up and even on the webinar itself. I think that’s fine, as long as you don’t overuse those. I think a lot of people kind of are sick of some of that stuff as well. I know I’ve kind of faded on some of that stuff like you said, I’m not really on live webinars pitching courses or anything like that. I haven’t really done that much this last year. There should be some reason to book a call with you or to buy your course. There should be a reason. One of the questions is why should I do this now, we need to give them a reason for why they need to do that now.
S: Okay. What will be an example of why would I want to book a call with you in your funnel, in your webinar now versus later?
J: That’s a good question. There’s another couple of strategies there that you could do. One is to make a very, very compelling call. In the SEO space, for example, it could be an audit, could be something like that that they’re gonna want. As far as when to do it and why, we have had some clients try to give them a discount on their program, like if they book a call now, or they book a call within the next 48 hours or 24 hours, it’d be preferable. They would get an opportunity to talk with your team and potentially get a discount or some kind of a fast caller kind of bonus or discount, or could be a bonus. You can incentivize a call as well. I think one of the best ways is just to make it really compelling why should they talk to you. I think that’s big but as far as timing, you can do some things like price, or giving them some kind of bonus if they book in the next 24 hours or in the next few hours, or something like that, and kind of incentivize that as well.
S: What does that sales pitch or that offer presentation look like? You’re teaching for x number of minutes, let’s say that the ideal length is how many minutes, and then x percent of the way through then you switch into selling your product to where your free strategy call. What does the ideal webinar look like, lengthwise, and flow. Like do you teach, and then sell, teach, sell, teach, sell or you just teach and then sell at the end?
J: We’re always tweaking and experimenting but I’ll share what my thoughts are right now on that stuff. We’ll start with the live version of the webinar. Usually, those can be longer but I would try to still keep the main teaching points within the hour. People usually book an hour on their calendar according to the ON24 Benchmark Report which pools data on a number of webinars in their platform. The average live view time is about 57 minutes, so on average, people will give you about 57 minutes of their live attention, some will drop off, some will stay longer, but on average according to their data. That’s been about the same from when I’ve had live webinars as well. It’s usually around 57 minutes of average view time. I would keep the whole presentation under an hour for live. The statistics show that’s true in experience as well. I usually, as far as what the flow looks like, I would keep the introduction shorter. These days, I know the old days people will talk for 30 minutes about themselves, people have less attention to that kind of stuff or less tolerance in a lot of industries. It’s a general practice, I would keep your introduction to under 10 minutes. I would reiterate the big benefit of why they’re here, get them excited, maybe give them an incentive to stay until the end, a little bit of mystery, a free gift or something like that. Explain the benefit of the gift. Share a little bit about yourself in the sense as to why you’re hosting this webinar. Before you start doing what you’re teaching today, you were struggling, you started doing what you’re teaching today, you’re having these kind of results. You do wanna create a little bit of empathy upfront. It just can’t be 30 minutes or 20 minutes. It should be fairly brief. But empathy and connection with the presenter is important so I wouldn’t completely cut that out. But keep it shorter. As far as content like what to teach, I would make that around no more than 30 minutes, so 10 for the introduction, 30 minutes or so for the content section. The key with content isn’t just to over teach. I know I tend to over teach and talk really fast and that’s been Achilles’ heel of me. Sometimes when I’m teaching or presenting is I tend to speak fast and go deep, and often, we can overwhelm people. But I think one of the biggest mistake people make in their content is they teach too much depth. They teach an A, B, C process and they close the entire loop, and people are like, “Oh, thanks. That was great.” And then they leave and they don’t take you up on whatever your incentive is in the next section which is your offer. We wanna teach content but we wanna teach stuff that gets them excited. It’s simple to understand but primes them for your offer. I know that’s maybe not completely clear, we can maybe follow-up on that part if you want after I’ve kind of explained the rest of it. The content should be easy to understand but exciting. People who are excited tend to take action emotionally. For example, maybe I’m teaching beginners about webinars, and one of the biggest hang-ups is the software’s too difficult. So what I’m gonna do in this maybe in my first teaching point is show the, “Hey, here’s the simple way for you in five clicks to have a webinar setup.” And then I can either show them on screen or I can show them screenshots or whatever so that they can see themselves doing it, and they’re excited, it’s easy to understand. It sets them up for my offer at the end which could be buy my course or get on a call with me or whatever that might be. The content needs to be strategic. It’s one of the biggest areas that we optimize on webinars is that because usually it’s overly complex, or too much, or not exciting, and boring. There’s some key mistakes that happen in that area but I’d keep it to about 30 minutes. The offer section when we’re talking about a live webinar, I would say 50 minutes or so. Definitely you want to show the big picture benefits of your program. You don’t wanna teach too much depth. You don’t wanna go into all six modules and all the PDFs you’re giving them. You wanna share that briefly at a certain point but I think one of the mistakes that I’ve made, and I know a lot of people make is they tend to talk about features too much, and not really paint an after image of what that program would do for that person. If we can paint a compelling, exciting after image, meaning the results they’re gonna get and then really make sure to address any objections they have during the offer. Your uptake rate will be much higher. Of course, risk reversal, all the classic marketing stuff applies, like can you remove risk for them, can you incentivize them to purchase fairly quickly if not on the webinar. All those things are in play. Then the Q&A section, this is something some people forget. I’ll often extend an extra hour for Q&A. I know that up to this point maybe we’re an hour in, for those that are still with me, those are gonna be your best buyers. People that are gonna give you more than an hour of their time are much more likely to buy from you. I’ll actually stay on and incentivize people that ask questions. I’ll have a few canned questions to start the conversation. I’ll go back to the offer multiple times. Q&As, in my experience on a live webinar is where the after party happens, and all the cool kids hang out in the after party, that’s where the action is, in the conference, same thing with the webinars. Stay on. If you’re just starting out, maybe you don’t have a lot of people on, it might be kinda dead, but if you got a couple hundred people, a hundred or something like that, it can really be a lot of fun. That’s where a lot of sales happen is after the presentation’s over, people have questions, and they want answered. Those are the key parts for a live webinar. I can pause for a second. If you want me to go to the evergreen, I can do that too.
S: Yeah, let’s do that. But before we go into the evergreen, let’s just kind of delve a little bit deeper into a few of these points. In the content portion of the live webinar, the 30 or so minutes. One of the key to success is to see the offer, not just teach anything, “Oh, I did a great presentation at PubCon,” and I did, and to take that and turn that into a webinar would be a huge mistake because it’s not strategic. It’s not like I’m trying to sell them on a very relevant information product or online course that’s a perfect solution for that particular show. I got approval to speak on x topic at PubCon or some other conference. I need to completely gut that and start over with a webinar deck that is seeding the offer in a not so blatant way throughout the content portion, right?
J: Yeah, that’s right. What you’re doing is pre-suading people to buy, pre-suading people, not persuading but pre-suading. I’m sure you’re familiar with the book Pre-Suasion, Robert Cialdini I think is the author, the author of Influence as well. Two books that everybody who’s in marketing should read. We’re pre-suading them. We’re teeing things up, so to speak. This pre-suasion effect is massive for increasing your influence and conversion, and things like that. You’re right, there’s teaching content, and there’s conversion content. Those are two different things. Not that you’re trying to scam people or not teach them anything but you need to teach them the right pieces. Again, they should be simple and easy to understand in their own language. They should be excitable meaning it should be kind of awe-inspiring or a lightbulb type of teaching moment that really teaches the big picture benefit of what that is. It should line up well with your offer. It should set it up. It should be opening their minds to pieces of your offer or pieces of what you’re gonna teach them at a deeper level in your program or as a consultant or coach with them. That’s kind of an opaque or ambiguous concept and I think it’s hard to grasp a little bit. That’s why working with a webinar coach or consultant can help you kind of fish that stuff out because it does vary a little bit by your industry. You gotta know your customers, you gotta know your industry well, you gotta know how to frame that. But yeah, you’re right, it has to be the right kind of content. I think, Russell Branson does this well when he does his Clickfunnels webinars whether you like his style or not, he does a good job of basically showing you big picture, easy to understand but very excitable ideas. “How would you like to see how to tap into your customer’s existing traffic sources? Great.” He’ll open similar web and show them examples of, “Here’s the ads. Here’s everything.” Whether you agree with that philosophy or not, I’m not saying you should, it’s an example of an easy, simple, but excitable thing. People are like, “Oh my god, are you kidding me? I can do this?” Then at the end he’s like, “Well, you need a funnel and you can try to piece it together yourself or you can buy my software.” That’s how it kind of goes.
S: Another great example, in addition to Russell Brunson, is Lisa Sasevich. When she gives webinars or during her signature talk at a conference, she’ll do what she calls the ‘deep dish’. The content piece will be, let’s say, one module of her six-module online course. Let’s say that her six-module system is on how to speak to sell and actually, I went through her program. One of the module is creating the irresistible offer. She’ll deep dish, she’ll do the content for 30 minutes or whatever, it ends up being on the irresistible offer. Then the other components that make for successful selling from stages is something she’ll sample platter, that’s what she calls it, so she won’t go deep on any of these other but she will walk you through the whole system in the offer section. She goes into six components that will get you to become a very successful speaker from stage selling, not just teaching people, but actually selling your products and services. And we went deep into the irresistible offer but there’s all these other things that you need to master as well. A little sample thing on some bullet points on what you need in this piece, and then in this piece, and then in this piece, and really what’s your appetite to want the whole system. She’s very, very successful selling that way through webinars, and through in-person presentations.
J: I think that’s a good strategy as well especially because she strategically teaches you the offer part so you’re excited about what you could potentially sell, and then she’ll say, “Okay, that’s one part that you have one now, or at least you’ve started. But here,” as you say, “are the other pieces to get to success. I’ll help you teach that.” That’s a key concept in sales persuasion is there needs to be stretching of the gap. There needs to be some kind of tension there, reason. I think one of the biggest mistake that people make in a sales webinar is they teach the whole system, or they close the loop where they completely kind of teach everything, and then there’s no incentive, there’s no tension, there’s no stretching the gap to take that next action.
S: Yeah. The coaches do this a lot. They’ll do a complimentary coaching session for free and then they’ll treat it like it’s a regular session instead of stretching the gap, as you say, and making the pain very obvious of where they are now is not where they would like to be. Poke those pain points. That’s the whole point of that complimentary coaching session and yet, they’re teaching all sorts of cool stuff, and they’re assuming that this is a regular coaching call, and it’s not.
J: I usually do like an audit. I’ve made some good sales on the phone and stuff like that but I wouldn’t say I’m a top sales guy. Some of the tactics I don’t necessarily care for. I think in the business niche at least or in a lot of industries, having some kind of audits. So really digging through their funnels, for me at least, it seems to work, to really let them know that I know what I’m doing. Asking good questions is I think one of the biggest authority building pieces. For example, when people want me to help with their webinar funnel or something, I’ll go through all of the stack points that they might need and really kind of dig through, and then find what the problems are, and suggest those problems, present them to them, and then ask if they want help solving their problems. Again, there’s a little a stretching of the gap there.
S: Yeah. In fact, speaking of stretching the gap, Loral Langemeier, in her big table program, she’s a guest on my other show, on the Optimized Geek. She has an initial call that her sales team makes called a ‘gap analysis’. Which is basically as a many audit of, “Okay, where are you now? Where would you like to be?” Wow, that’s a big gap between where you are and where you’d like to be. “How’d you like to close that gap by working together?”
J: Right. Yup. Yup.
S: Another example, this is a very old school kind of example, but I remember the days when they sold encyclopedias door-to-door or you’d mail order and get let’s say 1-volume. Let’s say it’s a 26-volume set and you get 1-volume for free, you get the letter A for free, and you’re like, “Okay, I don’t just want that. It gives me a taste for it but it feels pretty incomplete to me if I have that 1-volume on the shelf, and not the rest of it.” That was a very effective way to create the desire for the rest of the puzzle.
J: I think it’s a great way and for me, it feels good. I’m glad you brought up what Lisa did and this example because for a lot of us, I think teaching on webinars, we don’t know what to teach or how much to teach, we get nervous because we don’t want it to be all fluff. I think that’s one of my biggest fears. I’ve had some fluffy webinars because I have experimented and people are asses, wasn’t worth my time You go back and look and go, “Okay, that person was right. This is too fluffy.” But like you say, for Lisa for example, she teaches some depth to one of the parts, and then stretches the gap saying these are the other components. I think that feels like a good way to do it because you can teach some depth, and you feel like people got something out of it whether they buy or not but they’re still a strong incentive for them to work with you.
S: Yeah, I agree. Let’s dive into what are the components of an evergreen webinar. What’s the flow? What are the components for an evergreen webinar.
J: Yeah. I guess we’ll talk about the presentation and time kind of like we did a moment ago for the evergreen. I would shorten it up a little bit for the evergreen version according ON24 Benchmark Report. I think it’s around 34 minutes I believe is the average viewing time of a relay type video. People especially if you’re not trying to fake live it or things like that. They know it’s a recording. They know it’s not live. There’s a tendency for a bit of drop off there. I would shorten it up a little bit. Again, I would keep similar structure as the live webinar although I would shorten it a little bit more. The introduction, you need to do a really good job of trying to hook people towards the end and give them that power punch right in the beginning in your introduction. Really hit it had the benefits of what you’re teaching them, the big benefits, a little bit of authority seeding, and then a strong hook to the end, like give them a reason to stick around. People will drop off a recording anyway but that does help with the stick rates. Again, a little bit of authority seeding. Your story, again just like the live webinar, we do wanna build a little bit of rapport but we gotta get to the content pretty quick. I will shorten up the content a little bit more again, either sharing let’s say, kind of eye-opening pieces of content or as we’ve talked about, share some depth to one key component, and then stretch the gap towards the offer again. Similar flow, it’s just shorter, and depending on if you’re pitching a product or booking a call or pitching a call, the call section of the offer will be shorter and a little softer but still giving them an incentive. Something compelling, don’t just call it a free call. Call it something else. But it’s similar. It’s similar, I would just shorten it up and keep it to the point even more. There’s obviously no Q&A and things like that, like a live Q&A unless you’re doing a hybrid webinar which we’re not talking about here. If you have any other questions on that, let me know.
S: Okay, so let’s say that risk reversal, that’s a piece of the offer section in a live webinar, are you doing the risk reversal in the evergreen webinar as well? I would assume so.
J: If you’re pitching a course or something like that. If you’re selling something. The same core components matter. Social proof, risk reversal, some kind of urgency, all these things are marketing…
S: Preemptive objections…
J: Right, exactly.
S: Offer the big picture benefits, and paint that after image, really get them to experience that in their mind. In their mind’s eye they can actually see what the result state is after going through your program or working with you, a one-to-one if it’s a coaching type situation.
J: Yeah, exactly. I think that those still apply. I think those are kind of marketing 101 fundamentals of being aware of those influence points and using them in a way that is truthful but also effective. Obviously there’s some core things to get them to take an action and we still wanna use those whether it’s live or automated. We wanna be able to, like you say, answer the objections in their head. It comes down to knowing your audience. Those still apply.
S: Now, with a live webinar, it’s easier to get somebody to stick all the way through the the end by providing some sort of care, like I would provide a free digital copy of the Art of SEO. It’s nearly 1000-page book and it really is like a textbook, the bible on SEO, and that would be a very strong incentive for them to stick it out to the end. But if I do that on an evergreen webinar, can’t they just jump to the end without getting through the meat of it and look for that section where that one slide where I’m offering the URL or the instructions on how to get the free book?
J: What you could do in this case is there’s a couple of things. You could either make it not scrollable and have them consume it as it comes, or if you’re gonna make it scrollable, you can have a time button come in. Let’s say you’re selling a product and you have checkout page come in, you can put a link to that free item at the bottom of the checkout page or something like that. You can still use that as an incentive saying, “We’re gonna be making an offer at the end. Stay until the end and I’ll show where you can get a copy of my SEO book.” You can actually link it to a page that pops in, you can link it outside of the webinar, so that there’s an incentive for them to stay on. That’s an option. You’re a little bit more limited on that. I mean if you’re gonna do, let’s say a call, and you’re pitching a call and you’re not using a timer button or anything like that, then they could go through if they really wanted to and find it. Let’s say if you’re pitching a call, you’re using something like EasyWebinar where people still have to watch your webinar message, and then at a certain point in the webinar, a timed button comes in and gives them access to your calendar page, you could link that free item at the bottom of the calendar page or something like that.
S: Let’s say that you have an appointment funnel and somebody is either going to fill out the short questionnaire first, and then do the booking on your calendar or the other option is they book the time on the calendar first and then they fill-out the short questionnaire to get a time. Which one is better?
J: I recommend that you lead with your calendar first. That way you at least get their phone information, their basic information versus leading with an application right up front. The reason for that is because they could be busy, they might just be, for whatever reason, they could still be potentially qualified, but they just are triggered to not fill it out or to not feel like they have the time to fill it out. Those types of things, We’ve actually tested both of these. We do prefer the phone call. You lead with your schedule page. We’re using ScheduleOnce for that. It looks good on mobile and it has an automatic redirect function. It’ll actually redirect automatically. They book a time, they can be redirected to an application after that. We still want them to fill out an application. If they don’t fill out an application, we’ll follow-up with them or have someone follow-up with them because we do wanna know if they’re qualified or not. But I recommend you lead with the phone page first, the book a call page first, and then redirect them to an application.
S: Right. Because if they come across as application form, they potentially just gonna bail at that point, and then you don’t have a time booked. You don’t really have much.
J: You can always cancel the call if they’re not cooperating or they don’t let you know more about them or you feel like you don’t wanna take that call. We cancel calls all the time.
S: Yeah. One really quick to ask question, what are you using for messenger bots to help the show-up rates for your webinars because I know we were talking about that earlier on in this episode that you have some clients that are using some Messenger bots.
J: Yeah, I do. I’m not currently using them but they are and some of my clients are much smarter than me I think, in certain tech areas. I’ve seen that work well. We have one client right now who is actually having people sign up for the webinar through Messenger and they are then leading with an email collection right away in that. They are looking to get the email address as well. He said that his percentage of people who opt-in through Messenger actually do give their email address. And the he’s using Zapier which is kind of a connector, an online tool that connects software via API together to send some kind of contact follow-up and email as well, or something like that. It’s a little bit techy. It’s more techy than I’m probably with.
S: I’m guessing he’s probably using ManyChat for the Messenger bot.
J: Yeah. ManyChat is kind of the popular service for that. There is some incentive to get the email. The show up rates are significantly higher and it’s increased his revenue. It has made a significant difference in his funnel by doing that. That is something to look at. Again, it can be pretty techy and for a lot of people on here, I wouldn’t worry about it, but if you’re looking at really optimizing an existing webinar that’s working, it could be something to consider. It’s something I’ll consider to look at with clients too.
S: Awesome. Basically, the bottomline recommendation from you is to just start with something, and not try and make it perfect right away, and just fill fast, iterate, and improve from there, right?
J: Yeah. that’s kind of what I’ve done my whole life, I guess. I think it’s a good strategy and I think people tend to over complicate things. I’m sure everyone here is aware of the Pareto principle, the 80/20 rule, and it’s probably more like 90/10. But there are just some core elements that really give you the success. When you’re starting out, let’s say your consultant or coach, your first step doesn’t need to be a funnel. It’s just literally creating a compelling high-tech offer, getting people on the phone, selling that thing, validating it, and then after you’ve got some revenue coming then you can look to build ut funnels, and ads, and things like that. As far as a webinar funnel goes, your offer is huge. Having a strong offer that you know will sell to the right person. Being able to sell that offer effectively if you’ve booked in calls, having a strong webinar message, and copy on the webinar, having a strong presentation. Those are the things that really matter. There’s a few core elements, like if you’re looking at the 80/20 rule matter most. I try to focus myself and people on those first. Unless they’re coming to me like, “Hey, I already have a webinar that’s working. What can we do to optimize?” Then of course, you’re looking at the other percentage of tactics that you can use to improve it. I think a lot of people would start with this massive, and I’ve done this, created ridiculous backend behavior-based segmentation for a live webinar. I tested it versus just doing a simple stream without any segmentation and they did about the same. Now, is that always the case? No. I’m sure you can improve it with some segmentation but I think people worry about the small piece of the pie versus the most important piece of the pie especially when you’re getting stated or testing things. That’s my philosophy.
S: That’s a great one. Alright, awesome. Thank you so much, Jon. If somebody wanted to work with you, let’s say you could build out their funnel, you can set up their Facebook ads, help them optimize their webinar, make their webinar an evergreen webinar, what would be a way to reach out and get in touch with you, would that be get coaching from you or to get the whole system built for them.
J: jonschumacher.com is my website. That’s where people can contact me. There’s contacts forms on there and things like that. I’m sure you’ll link that up in the show notes as well.
J: We do everything from building full, what we call Automated Profit Center. I have a partner who we work together on and we’ll build everything from your entire funnel, your entire webinar, your ads, your email copy. We have a full team that can actually put this stuff together from start to finish. It’s not cheap but for people listening who are, maybe you’re making six-figures or more, and you wanna pour gas in the fire, building a system like that could be a really good investment for you over time. We do that. We build webinar decks for people. I also do consulting, coaching on optimizing and improving existing webinars, and things like that. It’s mainly right now, I do have courses, a lot of free content. People can browse through on my website as well. But I’m pretty much focused this year on coaching, consulting, and services. I’m not really selling info products. I’m not really focused on that, I guess, so to speak, as my main offer.
S: Awesome. Thank you, thank you so much, Jon. Thank you listeners. Now, it’s time to take action from all of these. There’s a checklist of all sorts of actions you can take from the content of this episode on marketingspeak.com. The show notes with all the links to all the great tools that we’ve discussed in this episode, tools like EasyWebinar, EverWebinar, StealthSeminar, WebinarJam, ScheduleOnce, etcetera, etcetera, it’s all on the show notes at marketingspeak.com, as well as a whole transcript. Everything from what was spoken in this episode is in the transcript. It’s a wonderful repository for inspiration there at marketingspeak.com so take advantage of it. This is Stephan Spencer, catch you on the next episode of Marketing Speak. Have a great week.