The True Value of Webinars Is the Relationship You Form With Attendees

by ON24


When the bulk of your efforts are focused on the mechanics of delivering webinars (like online registrations and slides and presenters), it's easy to forget that the main purpose of giving online presentations to clients and prospects isn’t to transmit knowledge and information, but to create opportunities that will allow your lawyers to establish and enhance relationships with participants. 

The good news is that it's easier than ever to do that, through targeted follow-up. Here are four ways:

1. Send individualized thanks to all participants 

Your webinar platform should enable you to easily send a follow-up note of thanks to all attendees, add a link to the on-demand version, and link directly to the integrated survey in the webinar console (if it doesn't, we really need to talk!). Take advantage of that with a message that thanks each webinar attendee for participating, and gives them an opportunity to engage with you. Something like this:

Dear Mary,

Thank you again for attending my webinar on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. I hope that I was able to answer all of your questions about how Congress’ tax reform affects your business. Obviously, if you have additional concerns or would like further information about the new law, please let me know at [insert email]. 

In the meantime, I’d encourage you to fill out our online evaluation form, which includes a section on additional topics you’d like us to cover. Thank you again for participating.”

2. Connect with people who ask questions

Anyone who gives online presentations will tell you: questions from the audience are great.

They help you gauge how well you’re presenting the material. They give you ideas for beefing up the webinar the next time you give it. Most importantly, they open the door to new relationships with the people who asked questions. Here’s one way to do that: 

Dear Mark, 

I wanted to follow up on the question you raised during our Minimum Wage webinar. I didn’t have a lot of time to go into detail during the presentation, but would be happy to talk further with you if you still have concerns or would like to discuss any of the related points I made. Please let me know if you’d like to continue the conversation. 

In the meantime, here are two client alerts my colleagues have recently written that address the new minimum wage law that I thought you might find helpful.”

3. Send related materials to all attendees 

Closing each webinar with the suggestion that attendees visit your website or send you an email to get additional insight on the subjects you covered is always a good idea, but it assumes that people will know that they have related questions and that they want to read more on the topic. Further, it assumes that people will take the time to go to your website or send you email. So why not include related insight in a scheduled follow-up?

“Dear Mitch, 

Thank you again for attending my webinar on the EU’s Greater Data Protection Regulation. I hope that we were able to answer your questions, and also communicate the urgency with which US businesses must act to prepare for the new rules.

We’ve had several questions from our clients on the risks of non-compliance with the GDPR, and have written the two attached client alerts to answer them. Naturally, my colleagues and I are available to answer any related questions you might have; you can reach me at [phone number] if you’d like to talk.”

4. Circulate an online survey 

Typical attendee evaluations tell you any number of things about your program – how well the speakers performed, whether the webinar met audience expectations, if the materials and handouts were in line with the advertised subject – but they don’t often generate information that can help you respond directly to specific concerns of your clients and potential clients.

Instead, online surveys give you more freedom to gather the feedback that will allow you both to shape future content based on real issues your audience is facing, and also to show how well you listen by developing a separate webinar to address a subject raised by a participant. 

Develop and circulate online surveys after each webinar with open-ended questions, about the subjects covered in the presentation, about the regulatory regime affecting your client base, about the issues that keep them up at night. Ask participants to rank their concerns in order of importance. And don’t forget to include a place where they can leave their name and email address, so that you can follow up and thank them.

The value of webinars will always be in the relationships you form with participants. Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to do that. How are you doing that? I’d love to hear about it.


[Katie O'Rourke is Director of Strategic Accounts at ON24. Connect with her on LinkedIn; follow for her latest writing on JD Supra.

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