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Daniel is a professional webinar wrangler and crafty B2B marketer. In multiple marketing rodeos, Daniel has put on more than 500 webinars and analyzed over half a million more.

Now Daniel is on a mad mission to end all dull webinars. To that end, he’s constantly experimenting with the cheeky goal of creating no less than the world’s best webinar program. You’ll find the best of what he’s learned in his epic 10,000-word webinar tips post

Outside work, Daniel is a geek at heart who loves LEGO, sci-fi and the occasional video game if time permits. Despite these severe dating handicaps, he was lucky enough to get married and even luckier to have a son & daughter. 

Some thought starters for questions you might want to throw at Daniel:

- How to promote your webinars to get a full house;

- How to grow your audience & business with webinars;

- How to unsuck your webinars and engage your audience;

- How to reliably turn webinars into leads & sales;

- How to hack together a webinar funnel.

  • PV

    Philip Verghese Ariel

    3 months ago #

    Hi Daniel,
    Happy to join you on November 19,
    Looking forward to meet you on that D Day.
    All good wishes.
    ~ Philip Ariel

    • DW

      Daniel Waas

      3 months ago #

      Hey Philip, thanks for going first & kicking things off 🙌🥳
      Look forward to whatever you'll throw at me 🥋🙂

  • ML

    Merily Leis

    3 months ago #

    What are some good tips/best practices for gathering a good audience for the webinar?

    • DW

      Daniel Waas

      about 2 months ago #

      Hi Merily,

      there are two key factors that determine your webinar's appeal before you even start promoting:

      1. Content / audience fit. Webinars are a good deal of work, so spend extra time making sure the topic will resonate. Find your best-performing blog & social content. Turn that into webinars. Pick evergreen topics to maximize on-demand shelf life.
      2. Timing: Calendar conflicts are the #1 reason for people not signing up. Best days are Tue/Wed/Thu. Best generic time windows to schedule are 10am to noon PST / 1pm to 3pm EST in the US. For local single time zones 10am/11am local time tend to work best as a starting point. Consider offering the same content at two different days/times as an easy way to maximize your audience.

      Get the two above right and you've got a good shot at success. The rest is promotion.

      #1 promo tactic is email, so grow an engaged email list first. Email on average contributes >70% of sign-ups.

      #2 promo tactic is co-marketing. Partner with someone adjacent but not competitive to you. Both sides invite their email list and share the results.

      #3 If you have budget available, Facebook ads are your best bet for a low cost per sign-up. try retargeting, then lookalikes, then a tight interests-based targeting. You should be able to get under $20/signup.

      2 Share
  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    3 months ago #

    Hi Daniel, awesome to see you on for an AMA. How are you guys structured for growth and marketing? For example, I assume you guys optimize referral loops for webinar attendees. If so, who manages those experiments? Thanks!

    3 Share
    • DW

      Daniel Waas

      about 2 months ago #

      Hey Sean, great question.

      Across three relevant roles, I haven't seen much success with referrals for webinars. Feel the format with its point-in-time nature doesn't spark large-scale sharing. My team and I have tried various incentives but not seen anything promising.

      I shared this questions with the Webinar Wranglers Facebook Group and folks there had a similar experience.

    • DW

      Daniel Waas

      about 2 months ago #

      That said, we have done a ton of webinar experiments over the past 10 years. I've tried various team setups:

      - Single webinar program manager
      - Small webinar team (1 manager, 2 contributors)
      - No owner, all shared

      My take: you want an owner, but you don't necessarily need a team. Here's a workable model:

      - 1 full-time webinar program manager (content planning, project management, speaker relationships, moderation)
      - Speakers sourced from exec team, product marketing/evangelists, customer success, sales engineers (the latter for bottom-of-the-funnel deminars)
      - Live event support provided by someone in support or customer success (rotating, helps do Q&A and tech troubleshooting during the webinar)
      - tie-in with demand gen or marketing automation team for doing email/landing page experiments

      2 Share
  • DE

    Daniel Eis

    2 months ago #

    Hi Daniel Waas,

    My name is Daniel Eis, I'm Head of Growth at Shawee - A platform to Organizers of Hackathons.

    I have 2 questions for you:

    #1 What is the most important metric on the webinar? The number of Visualization, Engagement, Live Participants?
    #2 Speaking about engagement, how can I measure it on the live webinar?

    Thanks for your time.

    • DW

      Daniel Waas

      about 2 months ago #

      Hi Daniel,

      I think you'll want to go beyond just the immediate webinar metrics and look at how the webinar affects your ultimate outcome. That ultimate goal might be more sales, higher learner retention, etc. depending on your use case.

      Let's say it's sales. You'll want to integrate your webinar tool with your markeitng automation and CRM systems and track webinar impact on things like MQLs, pipeline, trials/demos generated, and even direct sales. Have a dedicated campaign per webinar that you can track all the way through to the CRM.

      A good early indicator for whether a webinar will have an impact is in-session engagement. Most tools have an after-the-fact "interest score". During the webinar itself I like to get a feel based on questions asked and poll interaction.

      A few neat tricks to increase the bottom-line impact:
      1. Use a poll about two thirds into the webinar to prompt for hand-raisers. Like what we taught you today? Want to speak to us 1:1? Then give poll answer options like "Yes, I'm a prospect and would like a demo", "Yes, I'm a customer and want to see what's new" etc. I've seen between 12-20% of attendees answer in the positive. these are the hot leads you route to sales for immediate follow-up
      2. Plan your content to run a little short and use the last 10-15 minutes (or even go over) for a demo of your product or service. If you've had engaging content you'll see many people stay on. These are your higher interest prospects.

      1 Share
  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    about 2 months ago #

    Daniel - so cool to finally have you on!

    1. I was wondering if there is an application of webinars (or something like it) in a B2C context - and specifically for DTC brands?
    If yes, can you talk more about how this works in such a context and any examples of brands doing this well?

    2. What is the best webinar you've ever attended? What made it so unique and memorable?

    3. Its common practice to send recordings of webinars to signups - so what is it that convinces people to still attend live? I've never understood this!

    • DW

      Daniel Waas

      about 2 months ago #

      Re your last question: Yes, it is common practice and I recommend you do it. We've done polls that show 26% of registrants only sign up for the recording. They have no intention of ever showing up live. They want to watch on-demand. Give them what they want!

      As for why people still attend live:
      1. There's an opposite group that really digs the live nature. They want the event character.
      2. The main other reason is that people get their questions answered. I've seen people ask 15+ questions on a single webinar. If you did a Clarity.fm call you might have to pay $5/minute for a similar level expert. On the webinar, you sometimes get the founder or top expert in the field to answer all your burning questions for free. sort of like this AMA ;-)

      3 Share
    • DW

      Daniel Waas

      about 2 months ago #

      Glad it worked out & excited to be here :-D

      The 80/20 rule applies here. 80% of webinar organizers are in B2B. The B2C use case is mainly centered on training and internal comms. Haven't seen many examples of B2C brands using the format in a public-facing / brand awareness type play.

      Love the "best webinar" question. The single best webinar I ever attended (and what turned me on to the format years ago) was hosted by Marketo when they were a startup. The entire webinar was basically one of the founders showing you how Marketo was using Marketo, incl. all their acutal metrics. He was basically live-streaming the Marketo operation. It was like watching a gamer on Twitch, only for B2B nerds 😂

      • DW

        Daniel Waas

        about 2 months ago #

        With the other questions answered, wanted to go a little deeper on what makes a great webinar. To me, the key is a pattern break. I've shared this in one of the other answers but 90% of all webinars follow the same pattern: 45 minute presneter read + 15 minute Q&A

        The best webinars break that pattern by doing something unexpected. I've collected some of the best webinar examples I could find in this post. They're great inspiration.

  • HS

    Hale Schneider

    about 2 months ago #

    Hi Daniel. Thanks for joining us today.

    I'm interested to know: what are some successful webinar strategies you've seen for B2B SaaS companies. How did those strategies differ for B2C SaaS companies?

    • DW

      Daniel Waas

      about 2 months ago #

      Hi Hale, B2B makes up the bulk of webinars and Software/Tech is by far the industry with the highest adoption. Anybody that can demo what they sell sees real value.

      Most companies use the standard/tried-and-true approach. Educational presentation plus Q&A. Companies that stand out to me are the ones that break the pattern. People have a pre-conceived notion of what a webinar is and when you break that expectation you have a chance to really build a connection/fan.

      A good example is Intercom. Their webinars at times have an informal studio feel of two guys behind a desk. Breaks the pattern and works well.

      To me the best B2B companies see webinars as part of how they're approachable and build connection at scale. More personality. Less standard. Ideally tied-in with other live formats like live streaming and podcasting.

      1 Share
  • RC

    Ricardo Corezola

    about 2 months ago #

    Hello Daniel,
    I was wondering if you could tell us what do you do when you have some sort of connection problems?
    (E.g.: freeze camera and/or voice, delays and etc).
    Regards, Corezola.

    • DW

      Daniel Waas

      about 2 months ago #

      Ah, yes, the bane of every webinar host.

      1. Be prepared with a backup. Have a laptop ready that is connected to the Internet through your phone/LTE
      2. Have a co-host who can save your bacon if you go offline. Make sure you both have the latest version of your deck/demo/whatever it is you're sharing on a shared drive
      3. Own up to any SNAFUs. Be transparent when things don't work. Make light of it. Nobody expects you to be perfect. Some of the best audience connection happens when you mess up and things get real ;-)

      For freezing/dealy/choppy voice
      1. Get a better internet connection ;-)
      2. Kill your camera feed
      3. Get a better webinar software for next time

      1 Share
  • MK

    Mariana Klober

    2 months ago #

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for doing this!

    I have a pretty general question: when it comes to webinars, what are things you've tried in your career that didn't work?
    I.e.: strategies you've used with your audience that weren't the best choice and made you learn from it?

    Thank you again!

    • DW

      Daniel Waas

      about 2 months ago #

      Hi Mariana,

      There hasn't been much on the strategy-side that I felt went wrong. Most of my webinar strategy decisions have been around mixing things up and that has always ended up being a good thing. At times not on the first try, but once you have it dialed in.

      I've made plenty of more tactical mistakes that I learned from, though. Here are a few:
      - Thought I could skip the dry-run because the presenter was a >1m followers influencer with massive speaking experience. The webinar was a disaster. The influencer was completely unprepared, talked 20 minutes about themselves (we lost 40% of the audience during those 20 minutes), then gave a lackluster version of his standard speech. NEVER skip the dry-run.
      - Not following the advice I just gave to Ricardo above and not having a backup. Power turned off in the room I was in. Webinar ended. Oops.
      - Winging it. Ok, sometimes you have to cut people some slack. You have lots going on and the webinar was planned a while back. It can still be a decent webinar if you wing it will never be near as good as a webinar you have rehearsed well.

      1 Share
  • CS

    Cecilia Schmitz

    about 2 months ago #

    Daniel,

    It's such a pleasure to have you on! Thank you again :)

    I have a question about feeling comfortable on camera!

    Watching your webinars, I would say you are one of those naturally photogenic people who never had a problem being recorded (please let me know if I'm wrong, haha!)

    On the other hand, I have met so many people in my life who would rather do anything to avoid being recorded. What to do in that situation? Are there any hacks to look better on camera (or, at least, a little bit more comfortable)?

    Thanks,
    Cecilia.

    • DW

      Daniel Waas

      about 2 months ago #

      Hi Cecilia,

      This comes up a lot as an audience question. I'm not camera shy and I did like doing theater as a kid. But I also had massive public speaking anxiety at one point in school. I had these blackout moments that got so embarrassing that I avoided any type of public speaking until I was in my mid-thirties. Then I realized I would have to get comfortable because of the job. So I challenged myself to do the spider thing and face my fears. And it worked. I am 100% confident this is a skill that can be learned with practice. And that isn't only true for public speaking but also for just appearing/being on camera.

      If you're really uncomfortable or have a speaker that's uncomfortable, try this:

      1. Turn on your camera when meeting people you know well. I.e. get your entire team to always turn their cameras on for online meetings. It'll just turn into a habit.

      2. If you don't have time for that, start by just coming on for the intro. Just a quick wave and smile, you're done.

      3. For tech experts that are uncomfortable speaking in general, try pre-recording their segment and playing it back as a video. They get unlimited takes. No pressure from a live audience. You can edit out any bloopers.

      4. As you mentioned, make them look good. The key things to looking good on camera:
      - a great camera (duh ;-). An HD webcam will do but a DLSR camera will make you look really great
      - good lighting. even facing a window will help, but getting a dimmable lighting panel can do wonders
      - a great backdrop. A low-cost way to do this is to get a photo background stand (ca. $30) and a roll of endless paper (Savage, ca. $90). then have a light pointing at that

      1 Share
  • FC

    Felicia Campos

    about 2 months ago #

    Hi, Daniel!!
    What are the real basics and essentials to keep your audience engaged and interested in your webinar - avoiding at all costs the 'yawning effect'?

    I'm a complete newbie to the business and want to engage my upcoming audience - there is a ton of important content I have to share with them - and want them to understand how important they are, making them relate to it.

    What are your golden tips?

    Thank you enormously! <3

    • DW

      Daniel Waas

      about 2 months ago #

      This is one of my favorite aspects of webinars. There are a bunch of things you can do to stand out and wow people.

      1. Play with the format. Instead of a single speaker slide presentation, try a panel, an interview/fireside-chat-style webinar, a mini-summit

      2. Have an icebreaker ready. Something that is easy for everyone to answer right as you start the webinar. My favorite example is a webinar I did on video marketing. My icebreaker was an image of David Hasselhoff in bathing shorts and the question "What TV show did you binge the most on when you were a kid?". Easy for everyone to answer. Instantly creates a fun vibe. Easy to tie back to video marketing.

      3. Pre-plan a couple of polls. Good polls to try: Ask for their maturity level related to your topic (Beginner/Intermediate/Pro), ask for their use case, ask a yes/no question you can turn into an instant chart to share on social

      4. Do something a little out there. Use props (I've worn a viking helmet), use SnapChat filters (I did a unicorn one), have crazy slides. Just generally try and go for a pattern break / something unexpected

      5. Play some music. You can get an ASCAP license for around $250/year and play some music on your webinars (you'll need a sound mixer)

      Some more ideas on engaging webinars here.

      2 Share
  • BB

    Barbara Bonfim

    about 2 months ago #

    Hey Daniel, thanks for sharing!

    What's the biggest mistake one should avoid having a successful webinar?

    • DW

      Daniel Waas

      about 2 months ago #

      Hi Barbara, here's my (unordered) list of big mistakes:

      - Have a boring topic there are so many webinars out there, your content must be A-level valuable and wrapped in a magnetic title

      - Do a script read. Nothing is more boring than listening to a presenter read their slide deck. Instead, minimize the actual copy and use big bold images. They serve is your mental crutches for staying on track. Ditch your script. Instead go and rehearse well.

      - Not interacting with your audience. You need to pre-plan for interaction. Have an icebreaker ready, have 2-3 polls pre-planned, encourage Q&A all throughout and pick up and answer questions as you go along, for small auidneces consider unmuting the audience for Q&A

      - Not getting on camera. 83% of attendees polled say presenters on cam are engaging or very engaging. Get over yourself and get on camera!

      3 Share
  • DW

    Daniel Waas

    about 2 months ago #

    Thanks for all the webinar questions today. Think I answered them all 🎉.
    Hopefully to your satisfaction.

    Have something you forgot to ask? Or have just been late to the party?
    No worries. I've got you!

    I'll keep checking this page every now and then and will answer any new questions coming in over the next few weeks.
    And I'm definitely happy to hear your questions directly. Just contact me or hit me up on LinkedIn.

    Thanks!

    Daniel

    • FC

      Felicia Campos

      about 2 months ago #

      Thanks a lot for all the content shared!

      Amazing :)

      I feel more confident in trying out and having my first go! Yay! \o/

      all the best,
      Felícia

  • AC

    Alessandra Colaci

    about 2 months ago #

    Hey Daniel,

    Looking forward to your AMA.

    A few questions.

    1. Do you see a correlation between engagement (answering polls, posting in chat) and a higher conversion to purchase the offer?
    2. What is the ideal webinar length for B2B? What point during the ideal length webinar do you make a sales pitch/offer?
    3. Have you found an optimal # of reminder emails before the webinar to increase attendance rate?

    Thanks!
    -Alessandra

    1 Share
    • DW

      Daniel Waas

      about 2 months ago #

      Hi Alessandra,

      Yes! Thanks for asking :-)

      1. When I was still at GoToWebinar we did an in-depth analysis and yes, attendees that lean-in convert to MQLs/pipeline at a higher rate. Actively prompting interaction (with the tips mentioned in the answers above) will help drive engagement and in turn, lead to better bottom-line results. A simple way to increase conversions from your webinar is to actively get them to raise their hand for a follow-up conversation with your sales team through an in-session poll (see more details on this tip in one of the answers above)

      2. The typical length is 60 minutes, largely because that is the standard setting of most webinar platforms. Keeping engagement high for sessions longer than 60 minutes is really tough. 30 minutes can have a slightly positive impact on attendance. No matter what length you pick, you won't please everyone. In 30-minute webinars parts of the audience will say they wanted more in-depth content. In 60-minute webinars some will say they would have preferred a more concise version. Go as long as you have amazing content for ;-)

      3. The team at WildApricot has tested this and found three reminders to be ideal. 1 week, 1 day, and 1 hour before. You can also consider text message reminders. Zapier has integrations for several SMS tools like CallLoop and you can hook those up to your webinar tool. Also a great reason to ask for your registrants' mobile phone numbers. Play around with your reminder emails. Make the reminders personal, for example by recording a video of the presenter sharing how excited they are and that they hope you can make it. Sort of like the one I made for this AMA.

      1 Share

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