How Far in Advance Should I Promote our Webinar?

A client asks:

“How far in advance should we email invitations to our Webinars? We’ve always aimed for 2-3 weeks but management is saying that may be too much. Plus we don’t always have all the details in hand that far out. What’s the optimal notice for a typical Webinar?”
2013 ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report
My response:

“We recommend sending Webinar invitations a minimum of seven days prior to the event, and preferably two weeks if possible. You might consider a two-part email strategy, sending the primary email invitation two weeks in advance, followed by a reminder email a week later. The second email could simply be a “last chance” reminder to non-registrants, or you could mix things up by incorporating additional information, such as a more detailed agenda or perhaps speaker information.”

By way of reference, in their “2013 ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report,” Webinar and virtual event platform company ON24 reported findings based on a study of more than 2,300 Webinar events, and claim that starting email promotions more than seven days prior to an event increases the size of the audience by up to 36%.

You can download a copy of the ON24 report here. Other key findings include:

• Only 36% of Webinar registrants register more than one week prior to the event
• Sending an email within 1 day of the event can increase registration up to 37%
• More people register for Webinars on Tuesday (24%), with Wednesday (22%) and Thursday (20%) close behind
• Most popular time to hold Webinars for a US audience: 11 AM PST (22%)
• Average “no-show” rate for marketing-type Webinars: 58% (42% attendance)
• 25% of Webinar registrants view the archived (on-demand) event

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