Does Offering a Free iPad Increase Webinar Registration?

It’s a measure of just how saturated the Webinar landscape has become when most every email invitation includes a drawing for a free iPad or Kindle Fire or whatever else is the “gadget du jour.” We’ve heard it said that such incentives “can’t hurt,” but that’s not exactly true. iPad drawings are a dime a dozen, they don’t make your event stand out (in fact, they do exactly the opposite), and worst case they can cheapen your brand, reduce lead quality, or devalue your event. (If you have to entice me with an iPad, how good can your event really be?)

That’s not to say you should avoid incentives altogether. Used appropriately, incentives can complement the business value of an event by providing the reader a compelling personal incentive for registering. Here are some ideas to consider:

1. Offer an information kit or ebook, but only for attending the event, not just for registering.

2. Introduce the incentive only at the registration page, not in the e mail itself. In theory, this means you’ll attract fewer unqualified leads who may only be interested in the free gadget.

3. Consider an A/B test of the e mail or landing page – one version with the incentive, one without – to gauge the precise effect the incentive has on registration. This is of particular value if you present Webinars regularly, because the test results can have long-term impact on your program.

4. In place of a drawing, offer an instant gift (say, a gift card) to the first 50 or 100 people who register for the event. Generally, people respond better if they feel they have better odds at receiving what it is you’re offering, plus by doing so you’ll introduce a note of urgency to the invitation and encourage people to register immediately.

[Adapted from the white paper: “Top 10 Tips for Webinar Invitation Success”. To download a free copy, click here.]

One thought on “Does Offering a Free iPad Increase Webinar Registration?

  1. Jason S.

    The subject matter and/or presentor should be what sells the webinar, not the free gift. Webinars that offer iPads tend to come off as spamy and probably lowers the quality of the attendees.

    Another great post, thanks Howard.

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