April 17, 2006
Blog Entry

The Art of Inventing Must-Attend Webinar Topics: Real-life Inspiration

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By Anne Holland, President

Even as little as 18 months ago, business-to-business marketers could offer a webinar in practically any topic and prospects would leap to sign up for it.  That novelty factor has worn pretty thin now (especially in technology marketing).

These days webinars are a lot like white papers -- you can generate loads of leads and educate the marketplace but only if the title you invented sounds utterly fascinating to prospects.

To a huge extent your entire campaign's success is bound up in copywriting as few as 5-7 words.

How do you do that?  Well, here's an inspirational note I just received from Sherpa reader LaSandra Brill, Sr. Manager, Marketing Communications for Mirapoint Inc: 

"Dear Anne,

My marketing organization was tasked with obtaining IT leads (IT Manager, Director or VP) in the education market. We had run a number of customer case study webinars in the past, so many that our pool of available customers was becoming scarce.

We wanted an educational topic and we wanted it to fit a need but we didn't know what that need was.  We went back to our internal sales forum where reps ask each other for advice or information on things. We noticed that there was a common trend of customers who were asking for advice on how to create/write an RFP.

So we made that the topic: The Art of an RFP: A messaging and email security case study.

This proved to be a popular event topic with 668 registrations and 287 attendees. We had so many questions that the event went over the time limit by 20 minutes. The leads are still being qualified but we've already seen a 1% conversion to opportunities!"

LaSandra's story points out the importance of tapping your reps for ideas.  They're on the front line more than marketing is.  I also think the RFP idea is one other marketers could swipe for their own niches.  (Just make sure your niche uses the term "RFP"; some use very different terminology for the same thing.)

Plus, in case you're wondering, her cited attendance rate equals 43%, which is about 9 points higher than I'd expect given many other marketers' experiences I've heard from.  Bravo!

By the way -- got a real-life campaign story of your own to share?  Email me at feedback@marketingsherpa.com!

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