The Aftermath of NOT Using Marketing Automation for Webinar Promotion

A couple months ago, I wrote about how Pardot and marketing automation have helped to make webinar registration seamless–both for our customers and visitors, and for us on the back end. Everything I said in that blog post is true, and then some, as I found out last week. As a quick refresher, here’s some of what was discussed:

Initially, when promoting a webinar, we sent our customers to our GoToWebinar link, where all the information for the webinar was hosted in order to register. While that plan worked fine, sending prospects away from our page was less than ideal. We wanted to create a more seamless user experience for our customers within our own site—using our branding, our site layout, navigation bar, etc.—and Pardot helped us achieve that.

Keeping a customer’s user experience front of mine is always best practice from a marketing and design perspective. Make sure everything is as seamless and simple as possible for your customers–Marketing 101, right? If you require too many clicks or the viewing of too many screens, you might chase a good prospect or customer away. Keep it simple. Keep it clean. Keep it seamless.

While that’s true for the user experience and interface, the same can be said for the back end, as well. And that’s what I learned more clearly last week. Let me explain:

We were hosting a webinar for a specific group and wanted to keep the webinar registration private. In order to make sure details for registration couldn’t be found through search or clicking throughout our site, we opted out of using any Pardot landing pages, forms, and completion actions, and went back to the old-school format of webinar promotion and registration: sending the interested parties to the GoToWebinar registration page directly. As my boss and I discussed recently, sometimes we’re relics.

What we found in the back-end and follow up from that webinar was where things got interesting. In the blog post a couple months ago, I said this:

There are countless other ways that Pardot and marketing automation can make your job easier, but we especially like being able to offer our customers a more seamless user experience on our website, while making sure the important details–webinar registration, lead source attribution, etc.–still happen in the background.

Frustrated BDR

That’s the wonderful thing about Pardot and marketing automation: you can set up forms so that a whole bunch of different details do happen in the background, providing optimal tracking, lead source attribution, webinar registration, etc. in one seamless experience. But when Pardot and completion actions with forms aren’t used, it’s a very tedious, manual process to set up. In order to make sure everything was properly tracked in our system–for appropriate followup, attendance statistics, etc.–each registrant had to be input into our system individually and manually (we use Campaigns in Salesforce to track ROI for marketing initiatives, sales initiatives, consulting projects, etc.). For a webinar with a handful of registrants, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but this was a well-attended, lively, very interactive webinar with some attendees asking three, four, or five questions.

I mentioned in a post-webinar discussion that we’re using the Pardot landing page and form next time, regardless of any concerns. It makes everything seamless–on both sides. Pardot for the win!