PODCAST EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
How To Set Up An Evergreen Recurring Webinar
In this episode, we get into specifics on how to set up an evergreen webinar. This one is chocked full of tips and advice on how to properly set up an evergreen recurring webinar.
Episode #153 | Episode Date: March 17, 2016
Okay, so today we are continuing on our series here about doing webinars. At the last two episodes here, we talked about various aspects of webinars. In the last one, I talked about doing a live webinar versus doing a pre-recorded or Evergreen Webinar.
Setting Up An Evergreen Recurring Webinar
So on this episode, I am actually going to talk more specifically about how to actually set up an Evergreen Recurring Webinar. So we are not going to talk at this point about the benefits of the thing or anything like that; we have already gone there. We are just going to talk about how to actually do one. 🙂
So the first thing that comes up here, is of course what platform you are going to use to do an Evergreen Webinar. And there’s a bunch of these things out there. Basically, there’s an old one out there called Stealth Seminar, that if you do some searching around, you are definitely going to find this one. Stealth Seminar has been around a really long time and it is dependable. It is basically rock solid.
Now, the thing about Stealth Seminar is that it hasn’t been modernized all that much. So it is a great platform but some of the templates are kind of janky looking, blah-blah-blah. Also in many cases, you’ll find that you are having to work directly with their support people to enable you to do certain things because it is just the way it is. So it is a little bit more personal service involved, I guess you could say, but it is a platform that works great; it is just that you are going to need their help to make it look right and whatever, and their templates are a little old school. That is Stealth Seminar and they are one of the originals, really.
Now, the thing about it is that when Google came out with Google Hangouts that opened up a lot of different options for webinar platforms that were Evergreen. And so, after Google Hangouts became much more official, you saw the whole wave of various Evergreen Webinar systems popping up, they all used Google Hangouts as its underlying foundation.
And so, there are several of these things out there. There is EverWebinar which is actually from Mike Filsaime and Andy Jenkins; this one is kind of a new one. They have Webinar Jam as well, so these are kind of related products; EverWebinar and Webinar Jam because Webinar Jam is from the same people. Now before Andy and Michael partnered up, Mike Filsaime partnered with somebody else and created an older system called Evergreen Business System. I actually bought Evergreen Business System back in the day, ultimately didn’t end up using it that much. It was a little old school as well on how it works, but there is still people out there using it. But nowadays, Mike Filsaime has moved on to Webinar Jam and now they are working on this EverWebinar. Basically Mike Filsaime is all over this thing, I guess. There’s another one out there called Webinar Ignition; quite frankly I’m not very familiar with that option but I did see it out there.
And then there is the one that I am using which is EasyWebinar. Now, I am not going to sit here and get into a big comparison between EverWebinar, Webinar Jam, EasyWebinar, blah-blah-blah. At the end of the day, each one is going to be sold to you on their website as the best thing ever; that’s to be expected, but in the end they all kind of pretty much do the same thing with a few strands of the features along the edges. The core functionality of these things is pretty much the same. And they are pretty much using Google Hangouts as the foundation for the actual streaming video.
Now, this is for the live part… you’re generally speaking the video for pre-recording, it is going to go up on Amazon S3; all these systems work with that, we’ll talk about that a little bit more here in just a bit.
So I am using EasyWebinar and that one currently as of this recording runs at $397 annually. So you’ll pay $397 and it will be renewed each year. It might seem expensive to some of you but it is actually not. That is a really good deal. And honestly, the amount of money that can be made with an Evergreen Webinar, it blows the snot out of a $397 purchase price. Let’s just call it what it is. So it is a great system.
So let’s move right now into the presentation itself, for the webinar. Now in the last episode I talked a little bit about creating the presentation and things like that… and we are going to talk about that more in the future episodes, by the way; but I want to mention a few things specifically applicable to the Evergreen Webinar because in the last episode, I said how it is best to do any webinar that you are going to do live, several times before you take it to Evergreen. And what you do is that every time you do it live, you record it. And then later, as you perfect it, you take one of your best version of it and you turn that in to the recording for your Evergreen Webinar. But here is the secret here… When you are actually doing it, you need to be thinking ahead in terms of the possibility that it might be an Evergreen Webinar.
And for that reason you want to try to keep the dates specific things out of your webinar. Do not mention something that is very day specific. Don’t say “Hey, happy Tuesday” or something, because maybe down the road when somebody is watching that and they are watching it on a Friday, it is going to be a big disconnect. So you want to keep specific dates out, anything that would locate the presentation in time because you want this to be a “live” webinar for the people who might be attending it later, even though it is on automatic. So do not mention specific dates.
The other thing that is great when you are doing these webinars that I rarely recommend that you do is that when you mention attendees’ names or things like that or you answer their question because you are doing this on a live environment, it is okay to leave that in there. It adds to the whole live feeling of the webinar later down the road even if it is pre-recorded. So it is okay to include people’s names and things like that.
Third thing is that when it comes to the Q&A portion of the webinar, I want you to think ahead. You need to think ahead here and be strategic about Q&A. If you get to the Q&A portion of a webinar and you don’t have a lot of questions and it is basically kind of dead air. It is kind of dead air or you are going to be sitting there going “Do you have any questions?” It sounds weak and it doesn’t sound good. So what I recommend that you do especially if you are creating a presentation that is going to be used for Evergreen Webinar purposes is you want to have some questions pre-selected and pre-written even if you got to write them yourself. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. Because you want to make sure that when you have Q&A that it is actually useful. Obviously, people are not going to be able actually ask you Q&A questions when they are on an Evergreen Webinar. At least it will not be answered in a live setting because it is recorded. But you want to make that Q&A portion useful.
So pre-select the questions based on questions that you think most people are going to ask, but also that, specifically, when you are making an offer, come up with whatever objections are going to be very normal for people to have; things that would keep them from buying from you. And you specifically put in questions related to that. So that when you answer them, you handle those sales objections. And you build that in to the Q&A so that when the Q&A is there on the Evergreen Webinar, that Q&A is actually part of the overall strategy. See how that works? And quite frankly, it will be okay to assign people’s names to those questions. I don’t think there will be anything wrong with that. If you are not comfortable doing that then just say “Okay, well, one of the questions I have here is…” And then you read off the question. You wrote the question, let’s be clear about that. But it is totally fine. You can even say “One of the questions I get commonly asked is… “And then you say it, and then you answer it. So that is a great way that you can approach Q&A and not be depend it on what people actually have asked you.
Let’s move on in to setting up the actual Evergreen Webinar; the setting up of these basic options. Now, some of these are going to be specific to EasyWebinar, but the thing, is they are very generalized, that is I why I chose this because pretty much all the platforms are going to have this.
First off… You are going to be looking at the one-time webinar versus the recurring. EasyWebinar will allow you to pre-record a webinar and they actually have it run on a schedule, like as if it is a live. So let’s say that you want to have a one-time event or you only want to let it run twice; you can totally do that with EasyWebinar. The word specifically referring here to the recurring ones, so obviously you will choose the “recurring” option in the webinar system.
Now, when it comes to your schedule, my current webinar; and I might change this up a little bit, my current webinar is running every single day at 10am, 2pm and 8pm. So the idea behind these times is simply to give them flexibility… morning, afternoon and evening which totally works best for them. And of course my system will present these times in their time zone, not my time zone so it can be convenient and it works fairly well that way. Now one of the options you are going to have when you select the schedule is how many days you want to display to the person when they RSVP. How many options do you want to present to them?
In my particular case right now, I am presenting to them 3 different days. Because, see… when they get that form to register, they are going to first select a date and then after that they are going to select a time. So I select to present to them 3 different dates. And it starts off the next day; that would be tomorrow, and then 2 days out and then 3 days out. I might actually change this so that they have the option of doing it same day. It is actually been on my to-do list and I haven’t done it yet. But I would recommend that you test that as well. Because one of the options that you are going to have in EasyWebinar, they call it “block days” where it is basically how many days you want to block out. And I have set to one which means that any time that somebody is on my registration form it is going to block out one day and the earliest day that they could pick would be one day out. I am actually going to reduce that and I am going to allow them to select “same day”. It will not be completely on demand but I want to give them a little bit more instant gratification and test that out on the attendance rate here.
So that is the basic thing… Now, just because I am doing it a particular way doesn’t mean that you have to do it. I am giving them 3 different days, maybe you want to choose less, maybe you want to choose more. Maybe you don’t want to run it 3 times per day, maybe you want to run it more than 3 times per day. The beautiful thing here is that it is very, very flexible and you just let the numbers speak for themselves. Track your registration rates, track your attendance rates and then start working the schedules around until you find that sweet spot that maximizes your numbers.
The Registration Page
Let’s move on to the registration page itself… This is the nice pretty landing page that people are going to come to where it is going to have the title of the webinar and then some copy that entices them to get on to the webinar and then of course it is going to have the form itself where they enter their name and their email address and the date and the time that they want to attend. Now, any webinar system out there is going to have built-in templates that you can use. So you don’t need to reinvent the wheel here, you can simply use one of them. Now, whether you like them or not is a different matter. It is completely a matter of opinion. Quite frankly, you can just forget about the look and feel, use one of them, move on with your life and it will work just fine. 🙂
Me, I am a little bit more picky about what it looks like and I kind of wanted my registration page to be more consistent with my brand and so I use Optimize Press for a lot of my landing pages, pretty much all of them actually. And I use Optimize Press for my webinar registration page as well. Now the way that I do that is that EasyWebinar has a widget built-in to it that is basically displaying the form… Name, email… and then based on the options that I pick it will display the date and the time selections for them. And it is a little widget and it displays it right there. So what I have done is I created a nice landing page with Optimize Press and then in Optimize Press it has an option to put custom html and inside that custom html, I just copy and paste the code that EasyWebinar gives me and it will display the EasyWebinar form inside of an Optimize Press squeeze page. And that is the way that I do it and it allows me to have a lot more flexibility. You could do the same thing if you are using Lead Pages or something like that, it would work just fine. It just allows you to create a landing page that you like, rather than feeling like you are limited by the ones that are built-in to your webinar system.
So regardless of all that, you are going to have to create the Title of your webinar, you are going to need to write some Copy that is going to sell people on the idea of attending that webinar; you are going to fill-in your presenter information, probably a little photo of yourself, stuff like that… It is all part of the game.
The Thank You Page
Now, the Thank You Page is very much the same kind of a deal as the registration… You are going to have to enter some basic info, what you wanted to say… It could be as simple as “Hey, thanks for registering, I’ll see you then!” You could do something a little bit more strategic with the Thank You Page. EasyWebinar has an option to have a viral Thank You Page so that people can actually tweet out or share on Facebook your webinar and you can incentivize them to do so by delivering a bonus to them if they do it. That is a really good idea, actually. So, think about what is best to do. I mean, I have seen some people even offer a small front-end product sale on their Thank You Page. You could do it.
Another thing you might do is that if you want to give them some kind of a downloadable thing that they can reference while they are attending your webinar. You can give them the download link to that right on the Thank You Page. A lot of things that you can do with that thank you page. In my case, I built the Thank You page with Optimize Press as well. And quite frankly, you don’t even need to integrate anything into your webinar system because it is just a page. I mean, who cares, right?
The Event Page
This is the page where people are going to go to when they actually attend your webinar. And when you set this up, you are going to have to do a few things and one of which is to actually upload the recording of your webinar.
Now, being that this is an Evergreen Webinar, it will be pre-recorded, you probably are going to have; and you actually should, have your webinar video be an MP4 format. MP4 format is the format that you want to use because it works well on the internet and it works on mobile, things like that. Now, what you want to do is you probably are going to upload this to Amazon S3 but specifically, you need to go and look at the Help Documentation for your webinar system because it is going to have specific instructions… EasyWebinar does as well, as to how to actually do that. Because there is a particular protocol; a particular way that you want to set this up with Amazon. And it is called the RTMP protocol. Now, obviously that is a little nerdy; I understand that. But basically what this is, is a particular way of pulling the file off of Amazon that is going to enable your video to truly be a live playback.
In the last episode of Coffee Break I talked about you either have the embedded video where they just hit “play” and then they “pause” and it is basically like YouTube or you have the version of it that actually starts at the proper time and if they show up late, it starts where it should be at that time. It is just like going to the movies. If you are late to the move and you are 10 minutes late, well guess what, you just missed the first 10 minutes to the movie. Sucks to be you, right? Well, it is the same thing with this. And this is by far the way that I prefer it to be with an Evergreen Webinar because I want them to show up at the time they say, not just show up whenever they feel like and they get to hit play.
By using the RTMP protocol, you have the ability to do this; your webinar system will be able to do it. It is truly a streaming video, not just hitting play. Rather than me getting super geeky here about all that, your webinar system is very likely going to have a full thing on how to set that up because that is something that everybody has to do. So once you have that, you are going to have this RTMP link to your video that is going to probably sitting on Amazon and you would simply copy and paste that in, and boom… your video will be ready to go.
Now another thing that you are going to need to do is you are going to need to enter the exact link of your video. And I am talking about down to the second on how long that video is. And you are going to have to tell the webinar system how long it is. And the reason that is important is because if you are going to set up any timed events it needs to know when to do it. So for example, maybe you want to have an “add to cart” button show up right at that part of that webinar when you present the price in the offer, itself. But you don’t want it to appear beforehand. Now the only way that your system can get the timing right is if it knows exactly how long your webinar is. Because then, you can make it so that right when you say “Here’s the Add to Cart button” and even though it is pre-recorded, right when you say that, the “Add to Cart” button will actually show up right underneath the video; that is the way you want it to be. So what I usually do is I just take the video into like Quick Time or something; I mean, I am on a Mac, any video player… and you just simply go over and find out exactly how many, down to the minute and the second of how long the video is and you enter it.
The other thing that you are going to want to do is probably define a page that people are going to be redirected to when the event is over. Makes the most sense at this point to send them to your offer page, and that is what I do. You know, if they are still sitting on that page and the webinar is over and I say “Okay, buh-bye” well, the recording is basically over at that point, I redirect them automatically to the page which contains the offer that I presented.
The last thing that I want to mention here about the Event Page is the social feature; the chat and the attendee list. All these webinar systems that do Evergreen have the ability to put in an attendee list. And what they basically will do is allow you to put in a fake attendee list. And it allows you to make the thing seem live but you are basically plugging-in people’s names and it is going to show up in this list as if they are actually attending that thing live but, let’s face it, they are really not because this is a pre-recorded webinar. And basically, I don’t use these things. EasyWebinar has the ability to do it but I don’t because it just seems shady to me. You know… I am not going to sit here and openly tell everybody I pre-recorded this for you… But I am also not going to fake it and try to make it act like it is when it is not. I am just going to let people assume what they want and I am going to present good content and if they want to ask me if it is pre-recorded I will tell them the truth. But I am definitely not going to put in a pre-populated list of attendees. I would rather display no list of attendees than sit there and fake it like that. That just doesn’t seem cool.
Now, in terms of the social features, you have the option of putting in social things like a Facebook comment box or Twitter chat… You can use third party chat system such as Chat Roll, a really good system actually. I don’t use it anymore, but I used it. It is a very cool system or you can simply rely on the good ‘ol email system where they submit a question and it is basically like asking you a question on the webinar, it is just that is behind the scenes, it is emailing you the question then you can reply to them via email. And that is what I do on my webinar right now, it just emails in the questions so I can still get them.
Email List Integration
This is definitely very important. You need to make sure that everybody that registers for your webinar gets put on to your email list in whatever system you use; this needs to go on your email list.
Many of these systems will work with your email list host provider via API which basically, it will just add them to the list behind the scenes. Some of them work by you taking the actual html code of your opt-in form and you paste it into a little thing and the system is basically smart enough to figure it out. Right now, EasyWebinar works this way with Ontraport which is the system that I use and I just plug in the opt-in form html and the system is smart enough to submit the data correctly. And then of course all the after event processing and all that stuff I set up on the Ontraport side of things, that’s not really EasyWebinar’s problem. But one way or the other you need to make sure that you get people on to the list of webinar registrants.
Now related to email, you also have the email notifications that you are going to need to set up. So basically your webinar system is going to have the ability to send out emails, both before the event and after the event. Before the event is easy because it really is preferable that you send them with your webinar system because the webinar system knows the exact date and the exact time that they RSVP’d for. And you want those emails to be relevant to that. You might even remind them and have custom things in the email that dynamically fill in the date that they are supposed to be there. And the only way to do that is by sending the emails directly from the webinar system itself. If you try to send them from Aweber or something like that, Aweber is not going to know when the person registered. It is for the webinar, so it is not going to be able to direct them that stuff. So I would recommend that you send it with the webinar system itself. EasyWebinar totally does all that. You can also tap in to a third party system such as Send Grid and they will send the emails that way.
The Welcome Email
Now you are going to want to set up a Welcome Email which is the email that they are going to get immediately after they RSVP. You are going to want to set up probably a few pre-event emails… We will go up more into that in the future episode about what you can do pre-event to increase the likelihood that they actually show up, but just know at this point that you are going to write a few and generally speaking, it is about reminding them to show up but you want to also kind of tease them with some of the stuff to expect, maybe you want to give them some content that leads them up to the webinar, things like that. And those are all pre-event emails that you want to deliver via your webinar system because all of these will be based around when they register.
After Event Email
Now, the after event emails takes place after their scheduled date and time has gone by. And you can either send that with Aweber or whatever email list host you provide or you could send them with your webinar system. It really depends on what the best set up is. Typically, I like to do it with my email list provider because then I can be a lot more targeted about it. Which brings in the next topic here, which will go through quickly, which is the…
After Event Processing
Which basically means you need to treat the people a little bit differently depending on what they did. You are going to have 3 groups of people. You are going to have the people who registered and never showed up, you are going to have the people who registered showed up but didn’t buy and then you are going to have the people who registered, showed up and then bought. You’ll have 3 different groups. You might even have a fourth if you want as with people who actually showed up to the webinar but they bolted and left early. It will be best if your system could treat these people differently. So this is all part of the after event processing.
Now in order to really do anything cool and Ninja here, you are going to need a marketing automation platform like InfusionSoft or Ontraport or Active Campaign. Otherwise, it is going to be really tough to do. EasyWebinar right now works with InfusionSoft, they are about to release their Ontraport integration and quite frankly, I can’t freaking wait for it; I need it badly. It is coming any day now, so I have been told. But this is all stuff that is important because you have got things like sending out a replay. When your system can automate that, it wouldn’t make sense to attend the entire thing already or who bought from you. So you need to be kind of targeted about what you do here.
Few Notes On Setting Up The Offer
This is going to apply both to live or recurring.
The first thing is that you should send them to a special webinar specific offer page. So if you have a sales page for your product, I wouldn’t send them to the same one that everybody else sees. I would send them to one that is specifically created for webinar attendees only. And also, I think you should have some kind of webinar specific bonuses or a discount or however you want to play that from a marketing perspective but give them a reason why buying on that webinar is better than buying on your website in the normal capacity. And do that on the special sales page that is only for people who are attending your webinar.
Now, like any offer, I recommend that you use some scarcity and urgency to get them to make their move. They need to make a yes or no decision regardless of what it is and you need to basically, sometimes push them to make that decision. And that is what urgency and scarcity is all about. Some of the stuff that I have done in the past are bonuses that only are for the first 5 or first 3 or whatever like that. Now, obviously on an Evergreen Webinar, that is a little odd sometimes but it can still work because, you know… First 5 and it just keeps rotating… A little weird, I understand.
Another way that you can do it is to have a countdown timer, really simple stuff. There is a system that I use called Deadline Funnel , really great system. It is a recurring billing platform but you can add so much revenue to your bottomline with this that it definitely pays for itself multiple times over. The good thing about Deadline Funnel is that it truly is real deadlines. Like, it is enforced. I mean, if you tell somebody they got to act within 15 minutes, they are going to have to do it. So, this is a great way to enforce scarcity on your webinar even though it is on a recurring basis, they can totally still work.
Now, after you set all these stuff up, of course you are going to want to go through your own funnel as an attendee of your own funnel, actually sit back and receive your own pre-event emails and attend the webinar and just make sure everything works before you ever let it go out to the public. And then fix anything as needed. And then of course, when you are ready, well you release it to the world and you begin to drive traffic to your Evergreen Webinar. And you do this to all the traditional means… Social Media, your blog, blog posts, having calls to action underneath your blog post that point to your registration page to your webinar.
You can use paid traffic on social sites… All of the things that you would do to drive traffic, you would do all that. You might even like; if you are a regular podcaster, go out and buy yourself your own domain name specific to your webinar and redirect it right to your RSVP page for that webinar. So that way, when you do things like what I do and say go to blogmonetizationwebinar.com; that actually redirects to the page for my Evergreen Webinar. And you could do the same thing.
So I gave you a lot of information here; I am going to go and end this thing off right here and I am going to say once again, if you have not downloaded the 60-Minute Webinar Plan, you might want to do that. A lot of times when it comes to creating a presentation for a webinar you have that blank-slate syndrome where you really do not know where to start. And so what this 60-Minute Webinar Plan is, is a graphical, simple flowchart on how to do a basic structure for a 60-Minute Webinar. And there are some tips there, too on things that you can build in to increase conversion and things like that. So that is the 60-Minute Webinar Plan and you can download that at blogmarketingacademy.com/webinarplan.
If you are finding these episodes valuable, I would highly appreciate it if you pop on over into iTunes and let me know. Let me know; give me an honest review and a star rating… Just search out coffeebreakblogging.com on iTunes or you can actually just go to coffeebreakblogging.com and there will be a link right there, right into iTunes and I would highly appreciate that review. It will float my boat highly! 🙂
With that being said, I will see you next time where we are going to continue talking about this topic of webinars. 😉
See you then!