Q&A: Can you overdo webinar reminders?

In a recent webinar, Simon D. asked, “Can you overdo reminders?”

Hmmm… as you’ve heard me say before, “It depends.”

And I think the question is “What is your market’s tolerance for email?”

The good thing about a webinar reminder email is that nearly everyone realizes that it’s event-based.  In other words, it’s not going to come in ad infinitum.

Here are three things to do:

It’s pretty simple to add a query to a registration page or end-of-event survey.  Questions that have low intrusiveness (e.g., how many reminders do you like, when do you want them, what’s you’re preferred day/time for webinars) have a good chance of getting honest, useful feedback.

Test and observe
Does your webinar solution have an opt-out feature?  Ironically, many don’t (and DUH, they registered for the event, but nothing surprises me these days).  But many do, and you might test and observe.  If you increase the frequency of reminders does your ‘unsub rate’ go up too much?  Obviously you’ll have to make a judgement of what ‘too much’ is, and that should be relative to improvements (if any) in attendance rates.

Determine the value of a live attendee
If you can’t test/observe, I’d probably make a guess at how valuable it is for your organization to have registrants actually show up.

The reality is that for some organizations they don’t care.  They’ll give lip service to wanting people to attend, but the way they act is that if they get a name and contact info for follow up, they’ve done their job.

If it’s important to have registrants become attendees, I’d err on the side of more (versus fewer) reminders.  Here’s why:

1.  They’ve already opted in
2.  As mentioned, it’s a finite project.
3.  If you do too much, people will let you know.
4.  We get more email than ever.  Even the most interested folks in your webinar find that their good intentions slip down to the bottom of their email pile.  Frequency improves your chance of cutting through the noise.

Rule #1:  know your audience.  Rule #2:  Don’t assume an email cut will through the noise.  They’ve opted in.  Have integrity, but don’t be shy.

4 thoughts on “Q&A: Can you overdo webinar reminders?

  1. Kent Johnson

    We have quite a few customers using http://www.sendgm.com to send webinar reminders via email, SMS, and voice phone. Do you find that SMS or voice phone reminders are more effective than email reminders?

    1. TheVP

      Kent, I always hate to say “it depends,” but I think it depends on 1) the nature of the audience and 2) the nature of the webinar. If you’ve got any research, shoot it my way…happy to blog about it. 😉

  2. David

    I have been asked by my Marketing colleagues to send a seminar invite every week for 6 weeks. That would mean 6 weeks leading up to the event the customers would get an email reminding them of the event and hoping to gain more registrants. I manage and am gatekeeper of our database. I am the final point of call on all of our email marketing and I tend to have the best visibility of the number of emails sent to our customers. The majority of our audience receive an email every week, without any seminar or event invites. It is my opinion that 6, one a week for 6 weeks, is too many. I would be interested in your thoughts and opinion?

    1. TheVP

      David, thanks for reaching out. Based on what you shared, I lean in your direction, but there are a lot of variables.

      Since your query comes in response to a post about webinar reminders and your asking about invitations, I’m going to tackle this in a new blog post.

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