I love webinars and, increasingly, our clients are learning to love them too! In this post I’ll share some of our experiences with webinars over the last 7 months and show you why we’re so enthusiastic about them.

The results

In a previous post, I told you how we build our list (generate new relationships).  And I shared how our overall lead-generation machine is self-liquidating (the revenue from Solution Design Workshops  is more than the total costs associated with the generation of the sales opportunities for these workshops) – meaning that it costs us (less than) nothing to generate sales opportunities for our Outsourced Sales Operations engagements.

What I didn’t tell you is how we convert new relationships (people who have requested an extract from The Machine) into sales of Solution Design Workshops.

The key to that is webinars.

I’ll explain the why and how of webinars shortly. First let me share the results.


Since March this year, we have run 9 events.  Roughly half have been run in the morning (LA time), to suit our US subscribers and the other half in the evening, to suit our Aussie audience.

Across those nine events, 797 bookings have yielded 380 attendees and 116 requests for Best Practice Briefings. A Best Practice Briefings is the intermediate step before a Solution Design Workshop.

That means our conversion rates from booking-to-attendee and attendee-to-briefing are 48% and 31% respectively.  Actually, in recent times, we’ve pushed both conversion rates up to almost 50% which is much better than standard rules of thumb.

In the spirit of full disclosure, the following chart shows our numbers across all nine events.


And, in case you’re wondering, here’s the breakdown across each event type.  These numbers are of limited value because we have promoted the Death of Field Sales event more heavily than the other two. (We did this because the Death of Field Sales headline outperformed the others in tests we ran with pay-per-click advertising.)


Why webinars?

I hear two criticisms of webinars – generally from executives who don’t run them!

  1. I don’t attend them
  2. They are not as effective as physical events

It’s easy to ridicule the first criticism (um, that’s a sample of one, isn’t it?), but there’s a grain of truth here.  Most people don’t attend webinars – and that’s quite okay.  We’re happy if 20 people attend one of our webinars every couple of weeks.  Our expectation is that our house list is large enough to yield those kind of numbers indefinitely (especially considering that we’re continually growing that list).

It’s also true that webinars aren’t as effective as physical events – and that’s okay too. What you lose in intimacy you gain in:

  1. Lower costs: the marginal cost of our events is exactly zero! (We already subscribe to the necessary email and web-conferencing services.)
  2. Flexibility: I can conduct events for delegates in any part of the world from my home office, here in LA

How do we run them?

We conduct webinars using a service called ClickWebinar. I prefer this to GoToWebinar (the obvious contender) for one simple reason – it allows you to broadcast video from your webcam (in addition to audio and slides).  I really do believe this is a valuable feature because it makes the event feel more live – particularly as some organizations are taking the easy-way-out and broadcasting pre-recorded events (we will never do this).

Here’s picture of a webinar in full flight.


Recently, I’ve put some effort into improving the webcam image quality.  I’ve been able to make big strides here by:

  1. Mounting the webcam on the wall, between my two monitors
  2. Suspending a backdrop behind me
  3. Placing two tripod-mounted LED lights (with diffusers) on either side of my desk

We promote these webinars with two emails to our house list (the second is a reminder).  I’m sure you’ve seen these emails already but, in case you haven’t, here’s an example.


We use Eventbrite to handle bookings for our webinars. Because there’s no charge for tickets, this service costs us nothing. And we’ve written our own little application that merges data from Eventbrite and ClickWebinar for import back into CRM.

If you’d like to know more details about any of the above, you’re welcome to use the comment section below to ask questions. A better idea, however, would be simply to attend our next event.  If you’re not on our house list currently, you can remedy that by clicking the SUBSCRIBE tab at the top of my blog.