Return On Digital’s Webinar Promotion Strategy, Featuring Video and Email

Jamie Sellars

Founder, Sellars Inc.

Promoting a webinar can be both rewarding and stressful. Blogs, email campaigns, and press releases were the cornerstones of how we used to spread the word …  until we discovered video. For our most recent webinar, we started by making a video and building a goal-oriented campaign around the content.

The Video

First, we grabbed our Canon 5D and made this short, no-thrills video:

What we used to create the video:

That was easy! Now all we have to do is market the video (not so easy).

Marketing the Video: Landing Page

First, we made the landing page for the webinar. We used Wistia’s SEO embed type that gave us some cool advantages in organic search results.

Once embedded and live on our website, we used a video sitemap (through Wistia) to properly mark up the video. This told Google, “hey, there is a video on this page,” and we got the rich snippet in search results (seen below) pointing to the URL of our landing page. This increased our clickthrough rate to the page and got more eyeballs on our sign-up form.

Top tip: If you encourage +1 shares of the video via Google+, your thumbnail can appear in the SERPS within 24 hours.

We also uploaded a transcript via a .srt file, which helped to broaden our keyword reach and bring in long-tail traffic to the landing page.

Marketing the Video: Email

Intelligent embed code with selective autoplay

Since the thumbnail image in the email has a play button, we wanted the media to autoplay for users who clicked from email. This made for a smoother user journey, and the smoother the ride, the higher the conversion rate.

To enable selective autoplay using MailChimp, all you have to do is paste the code below your Wistia embed code on the landing page and the browser does the rest!

// Put this somewhere after your embed.
if (/[\?&]foreign_data=mailchimp_campaign(?:$|&)/.test( {;

Split testing two emails

We sent two emails to our mailing list, 50% of the list received one email and 50% received the alternative email.

Our first mailing was our monthly newsletter, where we promoted four pieces of content. Our video thumbnail dominated the clicks in the email.

Our main banner usually gets between 50%-60% of our clicks: that’s a 36% increase. Our overall conversion rate from this email (all content) was 2.7%.

Our second email solely included the email thumbnail and was sent out to the same list as the first email. You can see the difference in click-through rate between the two emails below.


By checking our stats to see the users’ video habits (with the email ID), we could check the emails against our webinar sign-up list and see who converted and who didn’t. For the users who didn’t convert, we sent a follow up email three days later, and 23% of the list converted to a sign up. Nice!

Repurposing the video: collecting emails for the next webinar

When the big day for the webinar came, we used screen capture software to record our webcast. We then uploaded the recording to Wistia and embedded the media on our blog. After this, we repeated steps 1 to 4 to squeeze all the marketing juice we could out of the webinar.

We also added an email Turnstile just after the intro to the webinar, which gave the viewers the option to join a mailing list that will update them when we are doing another webinar.

We already had sign-ups to our next webinar before we’d even thought of a title!


By creating a short video to promote our webinar, we found ourselves naturally able to create a fluid marketing campaign using Wistia’s video SEO, email thumbnails, and in-depth analytics.

Are webinars a part of your marketing strategy? How do you promote them? Do you record and post your webinars?

Jamie Sellars

Founder, Sellars Inc.

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