Webcasting Blog

Ignore this webinar metric at your own peril


One of the most valuable aspects of running webinars is the metrics marketers get in return. Webinars produce more insightful metrics than any other marketing asset, making them a core consideration and tactic for any modern marketer. Amongst the array of metrics webinars produce, one vital metric is often overlooked. But ignoring this metric can have a significant and negative impact on webinar profitability and output.

Webinars produce more metrics than other marketing assets, which makes them one of the most valuable tactics available to marketers. Much like other gated assets, such as whitepapers and guides, webinars produce the standard registration-form insight including name, job titles, email address etc. These are important core demographics that marketers should always aim to collect first, but webinar metrics go further than that.

Behavioural Data

The best webinar platforms also produce a layer of behavioural data, and the core metric we’re talking about is part of this set of data. But what is behavioural data and what does it consist of?

As the term suggests, this set of data is based on webinar attendees’ activity during the webinar. Long gone are the days when webinar attendees just sat and watched the webinar. Instead, modern webinar platforms offer a variety of interactivity features, such as live polls, content downloads, Q&A, surveys and others. Each of these aspects engages attendees in an activity that can be measured in real-time. Cumulatively, this insight forms the layer of behavioural data that makes webinars so different from other marketing assets.

However, if marketers were satisfied with only this insight, they would not be doing their job properly. Because which insight is missing?

An Example

Imagine you were running a shop. Every day you get your regular customers buying the newspaper or a pint of milk. Then, one day, you get 100 new people come into your shop. They are all asking you questions about your shop and the items you are selling. You have never seen these people before, but you know one thing: your shop is about to sell a whole lot more than usual. A good shop keeper would not just take the new customers’ cash as quickly as he could and get them out of the shop again. No. A good shop keeper would ask every new customer where they heard about the shop, so that he could attract even more people in the same way.

Now, let’s go back to the webinar metrics. So far, we have demographic and behavioural data. These tell you who your attendees are and what they were doing while they were in your webinar. But they won’t tell you where your webinar attendees came from and how they heard about it.

The commonly ignored core metric

Identifying where your webinar registrants and attendees are coming from and how they heard about the webinar is vitally important, because this insight helps you focus your marketing and promotional activity on these areas. As a result you will see increased webinar registrations and attendance.

It’s a logical process. If you have five sources which your registrants originate from and three of these sources only produce 10% of your registrants, you will want to focus more efforts on the other two sources that produce 90% of your registrants.

This insight, however, is too important to be left to inaccurate ways of obtaining it. We’ve all filled in forms (online or offline) where we are asked “How did you hear about us?”. Sometimes we answer correctly, sometimes the right option is not available in the pull-down menu, sometimes we simply don’t remember, and yet other times we just pick the first thing on the list because we want to get on with our lives.

Even less accurate and reliable is to pose the question after your attendees have joined the webinar, for example as part of a poll or a survey. Some attendees wouldn’t answer the question at all, and – to make things worse – by this point you’ll have also missed out the group of people who registered but didn’t attend the webinar itself.

How to reliably measure this core metric

The good news is that it’s super easy to measure where your prospects first heard about your webinar accurately and comprehensively. However, there are two main requirements that need to be met:

  1. This metric has to be tracked from the start
  2. This metric has to be tracked automatically

At 24/7 webcasting we offer this functionality free of charge, as part of a feature called Partner Referral Codes. It is a simple extension of the webinar registration page URL which can contain any tracking code you wish (e.g. “email” or “twitter” or “website”). These codes don’t have to be pre-registered on the platform, which makes them extremely flexible, fast and easy to use.

This code is tracked against the registrant’s name and is included, in real-time, in your webinar reporting.

This simple piece of code is so powerful, because it opens up an entirely new view of where your webinar registrants are coming from. As long as you include a code in all webinar URLs you post or promote, you will always have a comprehensive view of how your audience is reaching the webinar.

It also opens up the opportunity of detailed and sophisticated analysis. Here are some examples of how you could track and analyse your audience origination in great detail:

Multiple codes for the same channel

Instead of only using the code “email” for all email promotions, consider extending it by creating a different code for each email send, e.g. “email1” or “email-31-09-2017”. This will provide insight about which email performed best in delivering registrations.

Take this principle a step further and allow the code to show which link within the email the registrants originated from. For example, let’s assume you featured three “Register Now” links throughout your email. Your tracking codes could now look like this:




While your email automation tool will show you which links have performed best for clicks, this metric will actually show you which generated the most converted registrations.

Unique codes for each promoter

Depending on your campaign, you may be using a variety of promoters – internally or externally – to promote

A/B testing

These tracking codex also allow you to run A/B testing. Thanks to the longer promotional cycle webinars typically adhere to, you are able to run A/B tests over several weeks. Alternatively, you can run A/B tests from one webinar to the next, although these may be less accurate due to the difference in webinar topic.

A/B tests can be done between or within promo channels. The flexibility of the partner reference codes allows a granular set of testing criteria.

Analyse code performance

The main reason this metric is so powerful is the ability to analyse and draw conclusions from a variety of conversion rates, including:

  • Code performance for registration page visits
  • Code performance for “registration page visits” to “registrations” conversion
  • Code performance for “registrations” to “attendance” conversion
  • Code performance for “registration page visits” to “attendance” conversion, including
    • Code performance for promo channel “A” to attendance
    • Code performance for promo channel “B” to attendance

This is just a small selection of insight you can gain, but the principle is the same for other metrics as well. The insight you gain from this type of analysis allows you to directly connect your promotional channels to output. That can refer to simple tactical metrics, or indeed extend all the way to pipeline and revenue generation.


It’s simple and small factor, but the impact is significant. By extending your analytics to include a view of activity that happened prior to webinar registration, you gain additional insight which your competitors are probably ignoring.

In a data-driven marketing world, it’s these small differences that provide you with a competitive edge. 24/7 webcasting provides this function as standard and free of charge. You’ll no longer be restricted to looking only at what happened within the webinar. Instead you are now able to see what motivated prospects to become registrants and which budget spend yielded the most return on your marketing investment.

To find out more about Partner Reference Codes and webinar analytics, get in touch today on 0207 1939 748.

Get in touch today for a free demo of the webinar platform hailed as “The best webinar platform for marketers” by Forrester Research. Call us on UK 0207 1939 748 / US 302-261-5178 or sign up here for a 14-day free webinar trial.

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