If your organization wants to host a webinar, you first need to consider your webinar plan. The planning stage of your webinar strategy could make the difference between a successful webinar or one that falls flat.
Planning helps you identify your goals and key performance indicators (KPIs), and, if done right, it’ll result in a webinar that’s a resounding success.
Carve out some time during the planning stage of your webinar strategy to set webinar goals, align on objectives, and confirm KPIs. This will guide the rest of your decisions, from the topics that will make the most impact, to the webinar format you choose.
Why webinar goal setting is important
Understanding your webinar goals is vital, because they show you what success should look like. You can then create a strategic action plan around them that guides you along that path to webinar success.
Setting goals and getting everyone on the same page promotes uniform efforts, and cohesive messaging across different channels and partners. So, you need to be clear about your goals to make sure everyone involved in the webinar project fully grasps the webinar expectations and requirements.
When you set your webinar goals beforehand, they drive all your tactical decisions down the road. Make your goals realistic to avoid setting your sights so high as to be demoralizing for your team, or so low that you miss out on opportunities.
For example, if you know that reengaging inactive customers is one of the primary goals of your webinar, you can allocate more resources to customer communication, and set up rewards and prizes relevant to them.
Most importantly, establishing webinar goals determines the ROI of your webinar. This can then help you attain buy-in from key stakeholders and decision-makers for future webinars.
Tip: Set a few stretch goals in the event you do surpass your initial ones.
9 Webinar KPIs
Now that we understand why it’s important to lay out webinar goals, how can you measure your webinar’s performance against them?
Your webinar KPIs should relate to the goals you establish at the start of your webinar planning. You can then analyze these KPIs to determine the success (or lack thereof) of your webinar — what went well, and what you could do differently to make future webinars more successful.
These KPIs provide quantitative data that shows whether or not you reached your webinar goals.
Some common webinar KPIs to pay attention to include:
- Email open and click rates
- Referral sources to your landing page
- Pageview-to-registration conversion rate
- Number of total registrants
- Registrant-to-attendee ratio
- In-event interactions
- Comparative results
- Post-event engagement
- CTA conversion rate
We’ll break down each of these metrics in more detail below so you can measure the performance of your next webinar with confidence.
1) Email open and click rates
Emails are one of the most effective ways to promote a webinar. That includes your internal mailing lists, partner newsletters, and sponsored emails.
When emailing your internal mailing list you activate a group of people who are already invested in what your business has to offer. This highly engaged audience is more likely to convert, with one study showing that every $1 spent on email marketing generates $38 in ROI.
Measuring the open and click rates of your webinar email marketing campaigns can be a key indicator of your webinar’s performance.
Pay close attention to which emails do best in terms of opens and clicks. Test out different messaging, subject lines, and CTAs in your email to figure out what your audience is most interested in concerning your webinar topic, and tailor your promotional materials accordingly.
You can leverage these findings across channels as well. For example, if an email promotion got a 30% click rate to the landing page, you can use the same messaging on social media.
Tip: Look at the number of emails you sent versus registrations to see how well your email campaigns performed and if your lists are segmented well for relevance and interest.
2) Referral sources to your webinar landing page
Do you know where your landing page visitors come from?
The channels that send traffic to your webinar landing page indicate which generate the most interest in your topic and which efforts need tweaking.
Break down which channels get eyeballs on your webinar landing page. If you have Google Analytics connected to your site, you can use this to see which channels resulted in landing page views for your webinar.
Referral sources that could be sending traffic to your webinar landing page include:
- Direct traffic – people who directly visit your landing page (e.g., by typing in the URL)
- Organic traffic – people who visit your landing page from a search engine
- Paid traffic – people who visit your landing page from paid advertising (e.g., Google Ads)
- Email – people who visit your landing page from an email campaign
- Social media – people who visit your landing page from social media
- Referral – people who visit your landing page from other websites
You can then dive deeper into these referral channels to determine exactly where your landing page visitors come from. For example, under “Referral channel,” you might find the majority of website visitors came from a guest post that your marketing team shared in an industry publication about the upcoming webinar.
These insights will show you which partners and marketing channels captured enough interest to push people to click through to your landing page and consider registering.
Depending on how well you can track your webinar promotional efforts, you can also analyze the timing that’s most effective for marketing your event. For example, does social media generate more traffic on the weekends, with partner email referrals performing better on weekdays?
3) Pageview-to-registration conversion rate
You can invest thousands of dollars to drive people to your landing page, but if no one converts to a registrant, you’re wasting all that traffic.
According to a study by Unbounce, the average landing page conversion rate is 4.02%. However, it’s worth noting that average conversion rates can vary depending on your industry. For this reason, it’s best to compare the conversion rate of your webinar landing page to your average conversion rate as a business.
If you’re seeing a low pageview-to-registration rate, it could be a sign you need to work on your targeting, messaging, and conversion optimization.
Improve your targeting
One reason your landing page visitors don’t convert could be because the people you reach aren’t the right audience. So, when they click to your landing page, they don’t find anything relevant to them, and leave soon after.
To resolve this problem, analyze who you’re currently targeting with your webinar marketing. For example, if your webinar is aimed at graduates aged 21 to 25 years old, but your landing page is visited mainly by people 40 years and over, this could indicate your targeting is off.
Improve your targeting by clearly defining your ideal audience for the webinar. You can then use that definition to target the same group with any future webinar marketing.
Adjust your messaging
Your landing page should display the relevance and value of your event at a glance. If your messaging is confusing, vague, or misleading, your conversion rate will suffer.
Steer clear of unnecessary buzz words in your landing page copy. They might sound great to you, but they don’t do much for your audience.
Instead, focus your messaging on why your event is a must-attend for your audience. Talk about what people will gain from joining the webinar, and how they can sign up.
Keep your messaging simple, and run A/B tests with different copy or designs to see which versions result in the most conversions.
Optimize for conversion
How easy is it to find the sign-up form and register for your event?
Your landing page should be easy to use, without a high barrier to entry. If you ask too many questions on your sign-up form, or hide the CTA, you won’t convert as well.
Conversion rate optimization is a skill. The key to understanding how to improve your conversion rate is to think about how you can improve your user experience.
Some quick tips for improving your landing page conversions include removing distractions, deleting unnecessary form fields, adding live chat, and providing testimonials from previous webinars.
This will make it easier for website visitors to get the information they’re looking for, speed up the registration process, and build trust with interested visitors.
4) Number of total registrants
Pay close attention to your total number of registrants at every stage of your webinar planning. Determine where those registrants come from so you can see if a specific partner or channel drives more targeted traffic than others.
Apply this information to future events. For example, if most of your registrants for one webinar came from social media, you can test out social media ads on your next event.
You can also inspect the channels that didn’t drive as many registrations and optimize those further, or drop them.
Your total number of registrants will also provide a good indication of whether or not the topic you chose was relevant and interesting, and if your landing page was compelling.
5) Registrant-to-attendee ratio
A webinar can’t be measured only on how many people signed up. You should also look at how many of your registrants attended live.
Your registrant-to-attendee ratio reveals your audience’s interest in your topic. This provides insight into how well you chose the title, framed the description, timed your reminders, and selected your partners.
This ratio can also highlight any problems with your post-registration/pre-event marketing. I’ve seen an average of 40%-50% of registrants attend live, but I’ve also heard from other partners that 20% is a solid attendance rate. It’ll fluctuate as your list grows.
The more webinars you run, the more familiar you’ll become with what a good registrant-to-attendee ratio looks like for your business.
6) In-event interactions
Your webinar should keep your audience captivated. In-event interactions are a great way to measure how engaged your webinar audience was during the event.
Take a look at how many attendees asked a question, responded to a poll, or dropped a message into the chat box. You can also look at how many attendees stayed throughout the full event, or dropped off early (and when).
These metrics identify how relevant the content was and how much your audience paid attention throughout the webinar. If you do notice a drop-off in interaction towards the end of your event, it could be an indication it was too long, or the audience disengaged with the topic being discussed at that point.
You can also use engagement tools for additional insights. For example, you could send out a question before the webinar asking what attendees are most excited to learn about in the event.
7) Comparative results
It’s never a good idea to analyze the performance of your webinar in silos. To fully understand how well a particular webinar did, you need to look at the results of that webinar benchmarked against your other events.
It’s particularly important to look at your attendee-to-registrant ratio in comparison to your other webinars. As you expand your webinar “bank,” you’ll be able to see which do better than others in terms of registrants, turnout, and engagement.
By comparing the results from your previous webinars and events, you may also begin to recognize some recurring trends. For example, you may find that webinars hosted at 7 p.m. always have more attendees than mid-day webinars, or you might notice a particular topic always has the highest level of in-event interactions.
8) Post-event engagement
Examine how much traction your webinar materials get after the event. For example, you could upload your webinar recordings to YouTube, or turn it into an on-demand webinar.
This will give you an idea of how well your topic will do as evergreen content, and whether you should invest more time repurposing your webinar recording into different types of content.
Isabella Jiao on FanFood’s content repurposing and distribution strategy
You can also review social media sentiment for your webinar post-event. If you encourage webinar attendees to use a hashtag during the event or to tag you in social media posts, this can be a great way to see what people thought of your event.
Doing so also helps to keep the conversation alive afterward, so plan some post-event social media initiatives in advance.
9) CTA conversion rate
Finally, look at how many attendees or registrants followed the call to action (CTA) or goal you set for the webinar. For example, if you wanted to increase demos, track how many registrants or attendees went on to book a demo.
Note that depending on your webinar marketing and email reminders, you can introduce your CTA before the event starts. You can also highlight your CTA during and after the event through your post-event sales and marketing activities.
How to track your webinar metrics
In most cases, your email and webinar platforms will have internal reporting systems that can display metrics like open rate, click rate, number of attendees, and pageview-to-registrant conversion rate.
If you want a more holistic tracking system, here are a few things I’ve implemented and seen done well.
Provide each webinar partner a custom landing page
Give your webinar partners individual landing pages. For example: website.com/landing-page-partner-name.
You can then separate the traffic by partner, and gain a more granular view of successful channels and lead quality.
You may find one partner drives plenty of registrants, but another drives more attendees, and yet another sends more qualified leads who follow the CTA.
These custom landing pages enable you to determine which partners deliver results for your webinar, and what these results look like in more detail.
Build your registration page on your website
By creating a landing page on your own website, you can rely on your existing tracking tools.
For example, you might have Google Analytics and heat mapping tools, such as HotJar, installed on your website. You can then set up goals in Google Analytics to track registration conversion rates by source and medium. You can also check your heatmap to see which points are most interesting to visitors, and which CTAs are most popular.
A bonus is that registrants will remain on your website even after signing up. This introduces your brand even before the event, and gives registrants a chance to learn more about your business.
You could also use this data to serve landing page visitors with retargeting ads for future webinars.
Use a CRM to track leads throughout the funnel
When someone registers for a webinar, there’s a good chance they’re already connected to your brand in some way. They may be on your email list, or registered from a pop-up on your website. They might even be an existing customer or a previous webinar attendee.
It’s important to see how attending your webinar affects their movement throughout your funnel.
For example, do attendees who’ve never heard of your brand convert slower than someone who finds you through your blog?
You can find these insights using tools like HubSpot, which track customers and leads with powerful source recording and tagging features. You can then use them to make informed decisions about how to move your audience along the buyer’s journey.
Wrapping up – Webinar goals and KPIs
Establishing goals should be the foundation of your webinar planning. Pay attention to your webinar goals and KPIs to gauge the success of your events, and learn how to improve each time.
Set SMART goals and be sure to keep the rest of your webinar team informed of them.
Once you have your goals in place, you need to make sure you measure the webinar performance with KPIs. The insights from your webinar metrics will guide future efforts and continuously boost ROI with every event.