Webinars: Conversion focused virtual events
In response to the pandemic, the planned suite of in person events had to be transformed to the virtual space.
+Digital transformation from face-to-face to virtual event delivery
+28% YoY increase in applications compared to control group
When deciding which university and course to study, prospective students need access to deep course experts and to hear from current students in order to gather information. During the pandemic, the ability to run traditional events and information sessions was suddenly halted, so a digital transformation to virtual events was needed.
The requirement was to create a streamlined, digital event program to capture registrations, deliver events and nurture attendees to complete a course application.
Leveraging automated technology platforms, marketing CRM and sales teams came together to deliver a course webinar program which focused on directing future students to apply for a course not just register for an event.
To deliver on this metric an integrated operational workflow had to be designed. The customer journey was mapped from event awareness, registration, event attendance, contact with a dedicated case manager and then application submission. In order to deliver this journey, it required selection of a webinar platform, digital promotion campaign assets and creation of automated journeys including online forms, operational emails, reminders and post event emails. These customer statuses must be synced into the CRM which allows case managers to contact webinar attendees in order to hold personalised conversations and support leads to complete their applications.
- The first ingredient of success for this program was the creation of a customer journey to deliver virtual events. This removed friction for attendees to join from further geographical locations. Building an automated program to capture registrations and deliver operational event communications meant the delivery team could focus on content and attendee follow up.
- The second ingredient was the strategic use of outbound sales team efforts. A key decision was made to only deliver follow up calls and emails to webinar attendees (note: webinar absentees still received automated follow up emails, but no dedicated one-on-one activity). This meant that operational efforts were focused on hot leads, leads that had both registered AND attended. By delivering personalised communications to leads with known high intent led to a +28% increase in conversion compared to control group.
The overall value add of this conversion focused webinar program was shifting the program metrics from ‘registration goal’ to ‘application goal’.
Within digital marketing campaigns for a University the aim is to attract, nurture and convert prospective students. This webinar program had the strategic aim to focus on bottom funnel conversions, to facilitate prospective students to complete an application.
© Ellen McKeon 2022