How to Improve the Webinar Registrant-Attendee Ratio

By Sharat Sharan, John Carucci

Approximately 42 percent of people who register for your webinar actually show up for the presentation, according to the ON24 webinar Benchmarks report. That’s like inviting 10 people to a party and having only 4.2 of them show up. (To say nothing of how disturbing it would be if two-tenths of a person showed up at a party.)

It’s nice to have more people in attendance. After all, that’s why you invited them in the first place. An internal webcast for employees of a large corporation naturally will have a much higher turnout mainly because attendance is usually mandatory. Fee-based webinars also have a high attendance rate for obvious reasons. People tend to take commitments more seriously when they’ve paid for them.

But when you’re reaching out to the public, you’re going to have far more registrants than attendees. Some have the best intentions of making it, and then something comes up.

Other times, it simply slips their mind. So although achieving a 100 percent attendance rate at your next webinar is about as likely as you winning the lottery, you still want to increase the attendance rate as much as you can.

E-mail remains the main mechanism for getting the word out on your upcoming webinar, and also for reminding registrants. Try experimenting with modifying your reminders.

It is common practice to send a reminder one week before the event, and another on the day it takes place. Interestingly enough, that last e-mail reminder can raise attendance by 20 percent or more. This begs the question: If you send more reminders, will that optimize attendance?

It’s the kind of thing you have to experiment with based on your particular audience. There’s a fine line between reminding registrants of your upcoming event and annoying them with countless e-mails. You want to experiment with exactly how many reminder e-mails you can send without being disruptive.

Consider whether you are getting results from your e-mail blasts. If they are not working, ease up on the reminders. Otherwise, they typically produce a curve that has a diminishing return.