Excuse me while I violate a prime rule of informational writing (and presenting). I’m going to start this post with a sidetrack instead of the topic I promised in the title. I promise that if you keep reading, you’ll get to the tips about webinar titles. But I’m so bemused by the circumstances that got me thinking about this subject that I want to share them with you.
I just received another email from NeedAWebinarBeAWebinar (or as they call themselves, NAW/BAW). I honestly don’t remember signing up for their mailings, and I don’t think I would have done so through my generic “info” mail account, so I suppose they pulled that email address off of some list or database somewhere.
When I enter their website address in my browser, all I see is a blank page with entry fields for Name and Email and a big orange button saying Sign Up. I’m not sure what I’d be signing up for, and I’m unwilling to submit anything on a completely information-free, unbranded page.
Today’s email alluded to people wondering what NAW/BAW is, and directed us to personal LinkedIn profile pages for the two guys running it. Still no serious information about the company as an independent entity, but we get to see their resumes.
The concept seems to be that webinar hosts have the option to list webinars with this service, and the webinars will be sent in a huge long list to the subscriber base. Which finally brings me back to the point of the post.
The NAW/BAW email presented me with a long vertical text list of 136 webinars (yes, I counted them). Each showed three things: The webinar title, the date, and a shortened encoded hyperlink. As a reader, I have to idly scan through the webinars wondering if there might potentially be something I’d be interested in learning more about.
Think about the amount of work that poor little title is doing! It has to be short enough to take in at a sub-second glance, while simultaneously giving me a strong enough value proposition to make me take a proactive response and click on something without even the benefit of a domain name to know where I’m going. And it has to do it with no supporting help from a subtitle or summary description.
Let’s look at some of the good, the bad, and the ugly:
How to Deliver Marketing Content to Mobile Devices – Fantastic! This is about as good as you can do. It tells me exactly what will be presented, succinctly and clearly. If I care about doing that, I know I can go here to find out how.
Website Optimization Tips. Live review of some submitted sites – Ooohhh… So close. At first glance it seems like the one I just mentioned. Isn’t it telling you what will be covered in the session? Not really. What kind of optimization? For SEO? For browser performance? For sales conversion? And how compelling is “live review of some submitted sites?” I don’t know what those sites contain and whether they are relevant to me and my interests. Pass.
Performance Management – Ugh. What about performance management? Zero value proposition, zero promise, zero information. So zero interest.
How to Plan, Design, and Deliver an Effective Virtual Event – Wow! Did I write this one? Nope, I just clicked on it. I should have known… Roger Courville titled this one, and he is expert at this sort of thing. Tells you exactly what will be contained. Value proposition is included… your event will be more effective. Perfect.
E-Mail Communication: Power, Peril, and Protocol – Somebody got cute. Short, punchy, and packed with alliteration. It tells you that the topic has something to do with email communication, but I don’t know what they are covering. Is this a historical backgrounder? A survey of the state of the industry? Tips and guidelines? We’re missing the essential ingredient… Why I should care. It catches the eye, but fails to provoke a response.
Hey, PR pros: Do you ‘Flip?’ – Oy. Without the support of its descriptive text, I have no idea what this is about. There is no value proposition, no indication of topic content. It looks like they want me to answer a poll question!
You can never tell the context in which your webinar title might show up. Make it strong, make it sell your webinar.