Once upon a time, peddlers wandered into town with a wagon filled with elixirs to cure what ailed folks. Low and behold, snake oil didn’t cure everything. Have webinars become the digital snake oil, touting promises for programs across the board?

Webinars are everywhere online touting to give you the secrets to making a fortune, finding lasting love or unlocking boundless energy.

These and many others are topics that draw a lot of attention and have flooded the internet with volumes of webinars. Smart marketers set the right expectations and deliver consistent results to avoid being labeled as snake oil salesmen.

Respect the Target Audience

Businesses produce webinars for two primary reasons: tease a product or service that leads to a sale and capture leads. Of course, the business model needs sales and a future funnel. Those signing up for a webinar understand this. But the business that isn’t focused on giving the audience value for attending misses the mark.

Respect the target audience’s time by clearly teaching something in the webinar. A 30-minute webinar can’t be a pure sales pitch. Customers will leave after a few minutes unless they are only being pitched. Smart marketers use a webinar to offer insights and useful information that leads to the product or service being promoted. Control your bounce rate.

Develop Urgency

It’s human nature for people to want to be included, become part of the cool crowd and avoid being left behind. By now, target audiences understand that a webinar is usually going to be replayed and isn’t really limited to 100 attendees. Sure there are exclusive situations where this is the case, but unless you really are limiting the offer, don’t lie to the audience.

Instead, build urgency for desired inclusion rather than exclusivity. So instead of saying there are only 100 spots available, say how many have attended the webinar followed by successful testimonials. In getting the webinar registration, sell the idea that Q & A will be part of the webinar’s last minutes.

This creates a specific reason for attendees to mark their calendars and attend the live event rather than wait for a replay.

Hard or Soft Sell?

Remember there are two goals to the webinar: sales and lead generation. Smart marketers have a specific call-to-action and go for a sale in the webinar but understand the webinar is truly about having a conversation with the audience. Albeit a one-sided conversation in many ways, it is building a brand through thought-leadership concepts.

For example, a webinar for a payroll services company wants to sell payroll services. The webinar might be on properly onboarding new employees to reduce audit or penalty risks.

There can be more than one call-to-action. The first is for a trial offer of services or a discounted price. The second could be for another webinar. The third is to opt into a discussion group or business mastermind.

This method allows tiers of leads: the hot sale prospect who needs what is being sold immediately, the researchers who are evaluating options and need several touches, and finally the freebie seekers who rarely become buyers but might bring other prospects with the promise of free information.