November 18, 2021
By Ross Lancaster, Content Specialist
B2B professionals who once relied on in-person sales and marketing were forced to go fully digital for long periods when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in early 2020. One effect of that digital shift that continues in 2021 despite the return of some in-person events and meetings is the growth of webinars.
Virtual event platform ON24 reported some staggering webinar statistics in its 2021 Webinar Benchmarks Report. From 2020 to 2021:
It would be easy to write those numbers off as wholly driven by the COVID work-from-home shift of 2020, but the same report found that 99% of marketers have webinars in their future plans, with almost three-quarters saying webinars have a direct impact on their sales pipelines and revenue.
Webinars are a great substitute for in-person events and meetings because they don’t take long or involve travel but can still put a brand in front of some of its best audiences by speaking about important topics. But the biggest feather in the cap for increased webinar use is that they produce high-quality, qualified leads. The ON24 report found that 66% of sales teams prioritize leads from webinars and that webinars are the top digital channel for sales qualified leads among 89% of the surveyed respondents.
But in the B2B sales cycle, SQLs don’t often grow on trees. It usually takes additional touchpoints by marketers and engagement by the lead before a deal can be made. One great way marketers can touch base with webinar attendees is through a thank you email.
While a thank you email can be very simple if you want it to be, it’s an engagement opportunity that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Here, we’ll cover some best practices for a great webinar thank you email.
One of the great advantages of automated email marketing workflows like those available in HubSpot is that you can personalize emails based on any number of factors related to the lead’s actions. And the fact of the matter is that not all sign-ups are going to attend the webinar live. The average webinar has a 40-50% attendance rate.
So, don’t thank that other 50-60% for attending the webinar if they didn’t. Instead, you can send them a very similar email with language such as, “Sorry you missed our webinar. But not to worry: here is the recording of [webinar name].”
The subject line is by far the most important factor in deciding whether an email gets read or not. However, the subject line shouldn’t be more than 50 characters, meaning you need to make each word matter so your lead will open the thank you (or sorry we missed you) email.
And remember that your potential buyers are getting lots of emails, so a formulaic, “Thank you for attending the Ironpaper webinar!” probably won’t deliver great results. Instead, you may want to try including a value proposition for your business in the subject if there’s space to spare with the thank you messaging.
Per a session on subject lines and email opens at HubSpot’s INBOUND 2021 virtual conference, some traditional no-no’s in B2B email subject lines have fallen by the wayside. For example, instead of coming off as spammy, emojis in the subjects of B2B emails actually increase opens. Similar results were observed with the use of parentheses, asterisks, and brackets to highlight a component of the subject line. In other words, don’t discount a subject line just because it’s not the way you would have done it five or 10 years ago.
Building a great webinar thank you email that’s going to help move prospects down the funnel and qualify leads isn’t totally unlike the little things to remember when learning how to drive. Perhaps that makes the “from name” and the preview text of your email like setting a parking brake and signaling to change lanes.
On the email’s “from name,” while you want to be clear about who the email is coming from, a standard “from name” of the company the email is coming from may be easier for your lead to ignore. Instead, a better hook would be a personal element such as “Ross from Ironpaper'' or a specific category like “Ironpaper Webinars.”
The preview text is roughly analogous to a webpage meta description and gives the lead another possible reason to read the email. In Gmail, this preview text shows up right after the subject line in the Inbox view. A limited number of characters in the preview text will show up for the user, so try to connect immediately or create a sense of urgency on this piece of copy.
The webinar thank you email doesn’t have only to offer your thanks and an on-demand link to the viewer. This is your chance to engage the lead more and possibly hand them off to sales. So, include some additional resources. These can go beyond summarizing what was discussed in the webinar, the pain points addressed, and the value it provided to the lead.
Did you recently publish content offers that relate to the webinar topic? Link to them in the thank you email. Even if you don’t have new content to link to, you can link to something evergreen and create a landing page outlining specific pain points this audience experiences that are addressed in the long-lasting content offer.
A further link to talk to a sales rep or set up a call would fill out a complete webinar thank you email, followed by a pleasant goodbye greeting.
ActiveCampaign, 8 Emails to Include in a Webinar Email Sequence (Plus Free Templates!), March 18, 2020.
Business Wire/ON24, Global Report Shows Use of Webinars Triples, Driving Digital-First Engagement Across Industries, June 2, 2021.
Eventbrite, Tips for Writing the Perfect Post-Event Thank You Email, July 7, 2021.
Findstack, The Ultimate List of Webinar Statistics for 2021, Aug. 6, 2021.
HubSpot INBOUND 2021, Email Myths Busted! What’s REALLY Working Now, Oct. 12, 2021.
Indeed, How To Write a Thank You Email After a Successful Event, April 15, 2021.
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