Webcasting Blog

The Devil’s in the Data

Understanding your Webinar Metrics

Following on from last week’s Form vs. Function blog post, where we chatted about the importance of collating, reporting, and analysing your webinar’s data and interaction metrics, we received a couple of emails (always great to hear from you guys!) asking for a little more detail around what you should be looking for, and what the numbers mean in real-world performance.

So, we had an idea, we thought there’s far too much data to cover off in one post, so we’d break it down into 3 sections, and over the next three weeks will talk about: 

  1. In-Webinar Metrics (the bread and butter of Webinar data)
  2. Webinar Influenced Metrics (the data that happens following your Webinar)
  3. Webinar Benchmark Metrics (how your performance numbers stack-up against your competitors)

Now, we know that you guys probably aren’t the sort of number-nerds who love to read about metrics in their spare time ... we are, but you’re probably not ... so if you have a look at this and think ‘TL:DR’ (Too Long Didn’t Read) then we won’t be offended, we’ll even wrap all of this up into a lovely whitepaper in a few weeks for you! But for those of you chomping at the bit to interrogate your webinar numbers, here we go:

 (All listed metrics are fully recorded and reported on the 247 Webcasting platform) 

Part 1: In-Webinar Metrics

  1. Number of Registrants

A very simple but very important metric, this shows the number of registrants for any given webinar, and includes registrants prior to the live webinar and registrants for the on-demand webinar.

This shows the number of individuals who decided the information provided up-front was compelling and timely enough to submit their info and sign-up. It provides a guide on the overall relevance of the topic to your target audience, and forms the basis for the interpretation of other metrics.


  1. Number of Attendees

This is the number of registrants who actually attended the webinar. With webinars, not everyone who registers also ends up attending, so the attendance number is arguably the more important metric of the two.

Not only does it further qualify the quality and relevance of the webinar topic to registrants, by measuring returning attendees, you can gauge your attendees’ intent to further engage or purchase.


  1. Number of Live Attendees

This metric is a sub-section of the total number of attendees, and indicates how many registrants attended the live part of the webinar.

Not all registrants will plan to attend your live webinar, instead they might be waiting for the on-demand version, have a calendar clash, or possibly have just lost interest. Measuring the number of registrants that attended live is important to gauge the level of active interest amongst your registrants.

The live attendee contact details are very useful for lead qualification, and recording this metric allows for future webinar comparisons and benchmarking.


  1. Number of On-Demand Attendees

This metric is the second sub-section of the total number of attendees, and indicates how many registrants watched the webinar on-demand.

This metric is a great indicator of how many registrants didn’t attend the live broadcast due to calendar clashes etc, and gives a more complete picture of the level of interest in your webinar. On the flip-side, it also allows you to deduce the percentage of registrants whose interest was not strong enough to warrant attendance.


  1. Attendance Conversion (Registrant to Attendee Ratio)

By calculating the conversion rate from registrant to attendee, we can see what percentage of registrants ended up also attending the webinar.

This metric helps to gauge your success in converting sign-ups into actual audience members. Many factors can impact this metric including; reminder emails, use of calendar invites within confirmation and reminder emails, follow-up emails to registrants who did not attend live etc. So through the monitoring of this ratio you can gauge your campaign success, and fine-tune your promotional activity.


  1. Registration Conversion (Registration Page visits to actual Sign-Up Ratio)

This measures the conversion from unique visitors to your registration page to those who go on to actually sign-up to attend.

This metric indicates how well your landing page performs in converting page visits to actual registrations. A low conversion rate may indicate under-performing landing pages (e.g. design, layout, length etc) or a discrepancy between promotional copy (e.g. email, social, banners etc) and the promotional copy on the landing page.


  1. Total Number of Unique Attendees (across a complete Webinar Series)

This metric applies if your webinar programme consists of multiple webinars, and while ‘Number of Attendees’ is important on a per-webinar basis, it is equally important to measure how many unique attendees your campaign attracts overall across all webinars.

Returning contacts are the goal here, as they are the most qualified of leads, but this is also an important gauge of the success of your webinar programme and supporting promotion.


  1. Attendance Duration - Individual and Webinar Average

Attendance duration indicates how long an attendee remained logged into the webinar. This metric is available on an individual attendee level, as well as an overall webinar average across all attendees.

Understanding how long an individual attended your webinar (e.g. 58 of 60 minutes) is an important factor in determining interest in your webinar’s topic, and serves as a guide to the quality and delivery of your content.

It can help to identify any parts of your presentation that require a re-vamp, as you can see if a number of attendees leave the webinar at the same time. On a webinar average level; you can use this data for benchmarking, and adjustments can be made to replicate webinars that engaged attendees for longer.


  1. Number of Questions Asked

This metric shows the number of questions submitted via the Q&A interface during the webinar. Most questions will be submitted during the live webinar broadcast, while good webinar platforms will also allow for additional questions to be submitted during the on-demand version.

Put simply; questions equal engagement.

 A low number of questions could indicate the need for the webinar host or speaker to proactively encourage the submission of questions by the audience throughout the webinar and, on an individual level, questions will indicate the asker’s area of specific interest, allowing for increased targeting of both content and sales.


  1. Poll results

We actively encourage our clients to include Polls in their webinars, as not only do they drive engagement, they provide a deeper insight into the attendees’ preferences and opinions.

Poll results are a great way of gaining insight into both individual views and requirements, and for identifying trends on an audience-wide level. This allows you to tailor future content, or gain direct feedback on products, services, and propositions.


  1. Survey answers

Although the gathered data provides similar value to that of Polls, the key difference between the two is that Surveys consist of several questions, while each Poll asks a single question. While webinar organisers will typically share poll results with the audience, via live screenshare, survey results are only seen by the organisers.

Surveys can not only be used to gather topic-specific data, but also to gain more general feedback around the webinar programme, performance, speakers etc. Surveys also allow for qualitative feedback from attendees by adding commentary and feedback in written form.


  1. Registration Source ID Breakdown (Promotional channel)

The registration source ID is basically a tracking code which is appended to promotional URLs. These are unique identifiers that allow you to track from where your registrants and attendees originate, i.e. which promotional link they clicked before they registered.

This breakdown is vital for future promo campaign planning, as by seeing where the majority of your registrants are coming from allows you to focus your time, money, and effort on these sources. Conversely; if one channel appears to be completely underperforming, then maybe it’s time to change the way you utilise that channel.

After all ... it all comes down to your ROI!


  1. Registration Source ID Breakdown (Actual source)

This takes the above metric to a deeper level, where not only do you see the originating channel, but you can actually delve into the specific email, post, or link.

This allows you to really get your marketing geek on!  

For example, does the first link in an email return more registrations than the second or third link in the same email? Does a hyperlinked webinar title result in more registrations than a hyperlinked word?

This metric will tell you.


  1. Number of Content Downloads

If you are using a platform with a downloadable Resources Section, you can make supporting documentation (including whitepapers, guides, brochures, data sheets, case studies etc) available to the audience and this metric displays every individual download of those resources.

Offering supporting documentation for download within webinars allows you to further gauge specific interests or readiness-to-buy. For example, downloading of topic-specific documentation may indicate an interest in only that topic, while the download of a demo video may indicate the desire to engage with the topic at a deeper level.


  1. Number of Registrants within Seven Days of each Email Promotion

This metric can be generated manually from the webinar platform, or via a suitable CRM or Marketing Automation tool. Assuming you’ve been performing weekly promotional drives in the run up to the live webinar (we can advise you on that!); this metric shows the number of registrants for each of those promotional drives.

By recording and measuring these numbers over time, you can track registration numbers and predict future attendance numbers. This also allows for comparison of promotional activity, topic popularity and overall performance ahead of the live webinar. When combined with your average conversion rate data, you can begin to forecast the likely expected number of attendees after the first promotional cycle.


So ... that’s Part 1 of 247 Webcasting’s comprehensive guide to Webinar Metrics! If you’ve made it to the end then either you’re a number-nerd like us, or you would really like to know more about how you can make your data work for you. Either way, we’ll be back posting next week with Part 2, click below and we'll be ready to answer any questions you may have!

I'm sure you'll want to get the best from your webinars, so view our very own Webinar Presenter Checklist as a best practice guide.

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