Webinars are immensely popular, thanks to their ability to engage large audiences and drive leads. So naturally, marketers put a great deal of effort into their planning and promotion strategy. Many factors contribute your webinar’s success, but timing is absolutely crucial.
So what do the numbers say about the best time to promote and host your webinar? Here are five proven scheduling best practices, according to statistics gathered from 350,000 webinars last year.
Promote on Tuesdays
When promoting a webinar, Tuesdays are your best friend. In fact, twenty-four percent of all webinar registrations happen on Tuesdays. Among the rest of the business week, there are no particularly bad days to promote – Monday is the second most popular day, accounting for 17 percent of registrations, while Thursday is next at 16 percent, followed by Wednesday at 15 percent and Friday at 14 percent. Forget the weekends, however, as registration rates plummet.
Promote early in the day
Nearly half of all webinar registrants sign up between the hours of 8 and 11 in the morning. While optimal timing may vary by channel, there is a clear spike in registrants at 8 a.m. Send your emails out early so they’ll be at the top of your targets’ inboxes when they arrive to work in the morning.
On the flip side, there is a steep drop in registration in the late afternoon when people are more likely to be worn down by their everyday responsibilities and less willing to add something to their schedule.
Start promoting well in advance, and again last minute
It’s important to begin raising awareness for your webinar early. More than 30 percent of total registrations occur two to four weeks ahead of the event. That number skyrockets again in the final week, when 69 percent of registrations occur, with almost half of those happening day-of.
Social media provides a highly-visible platform for both early and last-minute promotion. Also remember to send reminder email invitations to invitees who didn’t register or open the initial email.
Hold the webinar on a Thursday
Or Wednesday, or Tuesday! 25 percent of webinar attendees prefer Thursdays, but that number only dips slightly to 24 and 22 percent respectively for Wednesday and Tuesday. Mondays and Fridays, however, are the days to avoid as attendee preference drops off noticeably. Of course, no one wants to sit down for a webinar on their weekend, so Saturdays and Sundays are nonstarters.
Hold the webinar late in the morning or early afternoon
11 a.m. is the best time for maximizing the number of registrants – this is slightly more important than optimizing for attendance, since all registrants can be potential leads even if they don’t attend the webinar. Webinars at this time, held right before lunch, attract more registrants than at any other time of day, followed closely by 2 p.m.
With that said, it’s fine to experiment and try different times of day for your audience – sessions held at 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. have also been shown to generate strong registration rates. And, if you have attendees joining from across the country, the best time to optimize attendance is actually right at noon, Pacific Time.
Timing can make or break your webinar. No matter how interesting the topic or valuable the information, poor timing around the promotion and date of the event will result in a steep decline in both registrations and attendance – and without an audience, why hold the webinar at all? Instead, start promoting early, aim for the middle of the week, and plan the webinar around your target attendee’s business day. With the right timing, your webinar will be off to a great start before it even begins.