It is time for ON24's annual webinar discussing their "webinar benchmark figures" for calendar 2014. This is one of the few opportunities we have as webinar hosts and producers to compare our own performance figures to a wider population. I look forward to this event every year.
The webinar takes place on Wednesday, April 8 at 11am California / 2pm New York. You can register at http://communications.on24.com/webinar-benchmarks-report-2015
While we are here, I am going to piggy-back a few comments on the way ON24 set up their registration. There is much to learn (click on pictures to expand):
1) The landing page for the registration link is nicely laid out. A graphic catches the eye, has the topic and a teaser of exclusivity ("Be the first to see the results") and the date/time. It gives you a human connection with a picture of the presenter. Bullet points make specific promises of content to be delivered. And you don't have to click to a second form page to fill in your info. I also like the fact that they advertise duration as "45 minutes plus live Q&A" -- That gives them a little more flexibility on extending the question time if warranted, but lets busy people know they can get all the presentation facts in just 45 minutes.
Would I change anything? Yes. The starting time is abbreviated to fit in the small information block and is not clear enough for a global audience. PT/ET are not universal terms, no matter what Americans believe. It would be better with city names and a link to a universal time zone converter. 19 GMT is a strange way to write 1900 or 19:00, which is the standard 24-hour GMT style.
I would also experiment with a bolder "Register Now" button. Bigger text or a color that stands out from the rest of the page's palette might be more of an action incitement (admittedly, this is less critical when the form fields are already present… The user knows they need to fill and click.)
2) I have registered for previous ON24 webinars, and my browser held a cookie so I didn't have to re-enter my info. That is convenient. But ON24 adds a quick "one-click confirmation" popup letting me review and select my record from their database. That is a nice way to make sure I meant to register under the same data fields as last time. I haven't seen this before, and I like it.
3) The confirmation page allows me to share the event on social media and/or add it to my electronic calendar. That is commonplace now, but important. There is actually a mis-designed layout issue here. An email icon is presented in the "Add to calendar" line instead of in the "Share with colleagues" line. When a page just presents unlabeled icons to users, grouping for purpose becomes critical.
4) I used their screen button to add a calendar appointment to my Outlook calendar. It worked fine, but the generated calendar appointment could be fine tuned for greater effectiveness. In the Location field, they had "Your desk!" -- Cute, but unhelpful. That field should hold the access link for a quick-click on the day without needing to open the appointment and search to the middle of the text.
In the body text of the appointment, it started with "Thanks for registering for the upcoming ON24 webinar:" That is good in a confirmation email, but unnecessary and unhelpful in a calendar appointment. Instead, it should contain a quick reminder of the key value proposition to remind me why I signed up and wanted to attend. I have none of that, so when I look at the appointment (potentially weeks after registering), there is nothing to give it priority in my mind. There should be a sentence about "Attend to learn industry benchmarks and best practices for delivering successful webinars." That was a good value proposition sentence on the landing page, and it deserves a repeat in the appointment. But the attend link is the single most important item and should be the first line in the appointment. Everything else is supporting information.
Nitpicking aside, ON24 knows webinars and I love the fact that they share their usage data every year. This is a great resource and if you are involved in creating, promoting, or delivering webinars you should attend.