Podcast Episode

389 – One Click Webinar Registration

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Is there a plugin for that?

With more than 50,000 plugins in the WordPress repository, it’s hard to find the perfect one. Each week, I will highlight an interesting plugin form the repository.

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WPChef is a plugin that uses “Recipes” to build out a website.

A recipe is a predefined set of plugins, settings, content pieces and other WordPress items that can be deployed in minutes. The WPChef plugin provides an easy visual way of creating, installing, and sharing recipes

One Click Webinar Registration

Last week, I held my first webinar in several years.

Current Subscribers

  • Created a new tag in ConvertKit called gutenberg
  • Created a new page on YourWebsiteEngineer.com to be the thank you page
  • Drafted an email newsletter
  • Created a link in the webinar to the thank you page
  • Added automation when the link was clicked to add the gutenberg tag

New Subscribers

  • Created a sign up form in the show notes for episode 388
  • Added automation when registered to add the gutenberg tag

Follow Up

  • Sent out a message a few days later that went to whole list except for accounts with the tag gutenberg
  • Create a Zoom meeting for the webinar
  • Sent a reminder email 30 minutes before the webinar
  • Sent the webinar replay to only those with the gutenberg tag

Thank You!

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Full Transcript

Business Transcription is provided by GMR Transcription.

On today’s episode, we’re gonna talk about how to set up a one-click registration for an upcoming webinar right here on Your Website Engineer Podcast. Episode #389.

Hello and welcome to another episode of Your Website Engineer Podcast. My Name is Dustin Hartzler, and we’ve gotta a great show in store for you today. We’re gonna be talking about something that’s not really Word Press related, but it is one of those systems that goes right along with our Word Press site and our online business and all the thongs that we may be doing online to get people interested in the things that we’re doing. The services, the things that we’re offering to customers.

So, we’re gonna talk about that, but I have two announcements and a plugin to share with you. The first announcement is about how you can transfer your existing domain names into WordPress.com. Now this may or may not work well or be the right solution for you, but if you are kind of fed up with the person or the company that’s hosting your domain names or registering your domain names on your behalf, then this may be a good opportunity to move to all them to one place, so you can access to them everywhere.

This is something that just gave us fits when I was a WordPress.com happiness engineer. People would buy a domain on WordPress.com and then they’d buy another one. Now they have a domain name already, and they want to move it into WordPress.com. And we never had the ability to offer that. And now that is built in. It is the ability to transfer domains in from any registrar into the WordPress.com ecosphere.

Now it just came out on May 14th which was yesterday as I record this, so I haven’t even had a chance to play with it. But I do have a domain name or two I’d be happy with if I could just move it over to WordPress.com. See what that whole experience is like, keep it registered there versus keeping it registered over on Hover, and that is the platform that I currently use. So, that’s something to think about if you want to check it out. There is a link in the show notes for Episode #389, or you can find it on the WodPress.com blog.

The other thing I want to share with you today is about Word Press 4.9.6 release candidate 1. So, we’re getting very, very close to getting the newest version of Word Press, which is going to be Word Press 4.9.6, It’s been available to download. 30 bugs have been fixed the beta release of last week, and it’s really basically focusing on the new privacy tools that help with the GDPR compliance. Some verbiage had been changed. It allows you to make a privacy policy page. It’s been shortened and more user-friendly and some other things like that. It basically is just helping you manage and delete and then remove the customer information once you no longer need it. So that’s what Word Press 4.9.6 is gonna be, and we’ll probably see that in the next couple of weeks coming to a live Word Press website like yours.

Alright, the plugin of the week is called WP Chef, and this was an interesting one. I thought oh, this is another plugin where you could set up a recipe, and you can blog about your recipes and share information about things that you’re cooking and tags and all that kind of stuff. Well, that’s what I thought it was, but it’s nowhere close to that. WP Chef uses “Recipes,” and it’s a new concept of Word Press automation.

So, a “recipe” is a predefined set of plugins, setting and content pieces and other Word Press items that can be deployed in minutes. The WP Chef plugin provides an easy visual way of creating, installing and sharing recipes and those recipes like I said are the predefined set of setting, plugins, etc.

So, just as an example, say that you had a fully configured Word Press site with a number of plugins, themes, menu items, pages, specific configuration all that jazz. Then you want to develop a new site that has the same configuration. And so, using WP Chef, you could create a recipe with the configuration from the first site and apply it to the new site. Once the new site is set up and it’s ready to go in minutes, not hours or days. You don’t have to transfer all those setting over. So, a new site can be set up in minutes instead of hours saving development time and money. You can share your recipes with others and even sell them.

So, that’s kind of like a description. As I was reading this, and I was looking at this as a plugin, I thought back to blueprints, and so Desktop Server has blueprints and Local by Flywheel, the local environment tools, that have what’s called blueprints. And it’s essentially the same thing. You can create a blueprint of things that you use regularly.

Now this one goes a little step further in that usually a blueprint is like oh, I’m gonna have a blueprint that’s gonna have WooCommerce it’s gonna have Word Press, it’s gonna have Storefront as my theme and just some basic settings so if I need to spin up a brand-new test installation to test some sort of support request that comes in. I can do that very, very quickly. Now WP Chef sounds like it a little different in that fact that you can take a current setup and then you can clone that essentially or create a recipe and duplicate that.

So, that’s a plugin that’s out there if you’re interested, if you need help setting up a Word Press site and if you want to clone one or make it very easy to use the same plugins and themes and settings and whatnot. I definitely recommend checking out WP Chef on the Word Press repository.

Alright, moving right along today, I want to talk about last week, I had a webinar. This is the first webinar that I’ve had probably in a year and a half. And as I was trying to figure out how I was gonna run this webinar, I thought back to the painful days of a few years ago when I would do these monthly webinars. And kinda of the process back then was I would setup up a – I was using a tool call Webinar Jam at the time, and that was running off kind of like a front-end interface that worked with Google Hangouts.

So, I was using Webinar Jam, and from there I would create a sign-up form, I had to create a landing page an I would have everybody signup, and then I would get this Excel list of all the people that signed up. I would have to send out all the reminder emails, and everything was setup through Webinar Jam. And it was kind of clunky, and when I wanted to actually put people into my email list, so I could them out information regularly or tag them, sometimes there’s people that are already my list that I wanted to tag and say like oh, well they attended this specific webinar. It was really hard and really painful to do.

And so, I started just kinda thinking through it, and I was like I am I going to do this so its easiest way possible to signup for a webinar and it doesn’t take a lot of – you know I don’t have to sign in and add your email address if I already have it. And what about those new customers or new people that want to sign up? What’s that gonna look like?

So, this was the webinar that I did on Gutenberg last week, and I didn’t really heavily promote it, but I did – because I wanted work through all the pieces of the puzzle to make sure it was working well. And it seems that everything worked really wee and I got right around ten percent, a little bit more than ten percent of the people on my current email list were able to sign up for this webinar.

I just want to talk through how this works and how I ended up doing it. And I’m using Convert Kit specifically, but I think this will work with Mail Chimp, or A Weber or some of those other ones that are out there, And I’ll try to highlight those terms in these areas where I think might be a little bit different in a different email providers.

So, what I did was last week I thought through. I’m like okay, I’m gonna create a webinar am I’m not sure the platform I’m gonna use yet. I don’t know what the delivery mechanism, you know is this gonna be a Google Hangout online? Is it gonna be a Facebook live? What was the technology that I was gonna use? So, I wasn’t really worried about that right now, but I went ahead, and I got the whole process started.

So, I created a brand-new tagging convert kit. And a lot of email providers have just called it Gutenberg because I knew that would be the Gutenberg webinar that I would eventually need these email addresses for. So, I created that first. That was the first step.

The next thing that I did was I created a thank you page. Well, I revamped the ta=hank you page that was YourWebsiteEngineer.com. So, it ended up like taking me to yourwebsiteengineer.com/thankyou or something like that, and I said, thank you for signing up. You’re registered, here’s the date and time for this webinar and go ahead and add that information to your calendar. It ended up I had a video on that page too as a kind of a flashback from the last webinar that I did. I actually did a video thank you, but I had that on that page as well. So, I just basically created a brand-new page on Word Press.

Then I drafted an email newsletter. Just kinda wrote what I was talking about. Gave it some value so people felt interested and would actually read the email. That was kind of the first thing. I wanted to make sure they were reading the email. Then I created a register now or sign up now link that I put in the email itself. I put those in at the top and t the bottom. You know that’s kinda what they say when you’re building a webinar You have a call to action. Put it in a couple of times in the email so people would click on those buttons and get registered for the webinar.

That link? All that link did, the sign up to register, basically just redirected them to the thank you page. That’s all it did. Technically, that’s what the link did. Now I put some automation in the backend of things in within ConvertKit, and this is where some of the email newsletter providers will be a little bit different in they’ll work just a little bit differently, but within ConvertKit, all I had to do was say, if somebody clicks on this link inside this email that goes out, then add the tag “Gutenberg” That’s all I had to do. And then they were tagged as Gutenberg.

And as the day went on, I just refreshed that list. Inside the subscribers, you could see all of my subscribers and then you can see how many were subscribed each tag. I just kept refreshing that list, and that number just kept getting higher and higher. I was getting really excited that there were people that were interested in and they wanted to see this webinar.

So, that’s what I did; I created that link, it just added that tag to their profile inside of ConvertKit. And remember, these are all people that are already on my list. These are people that I’ve already communicated with we’ve already chatted, and we’ve already talked. Now, I had to think through well, what happens if I want ed to have new subscribers. Now, I could have ran this big campaign on Facebook or Twitter, you know tried to get a lot of eyeballs to it and try to build my business and have a lot more people added to my list. That wasn’t the ultimate goal here.

Again, the setup was to try and figure out how is the best way, the most convenient way, to work through these and get people signed up for this webinar so I can email them and just let them know when the webinar is ready. So, I created a signup form in the show notes for episode #388, that’s the only place that I put it. I mentioned it on the show, and so, I basically set up a brand-new form and then what I said there was, if somebody signs up with this form, give them the tag; and this was in the automation section as well; give them the tag “Gutenberg.” That was it.

And so now all of the sudden, I’ve got two different places where people have the ability to signup for this webinar. I’m saying “Sign up” in quotes because they’re not really signing up, they’re just clicking the link, and now they are automatically registered.

So, when it comes to the follow-up time, so that all well and good, but what happens if there were people that didn’t sign up. Maybe they missed the email, or they didn’t see it. So, A few days later, after I sent that initial email, I sent another one that basically went to my entire list, except the people that had the tag “Gutenberg.” And if they have the tag “Gutenberg,” they’re already signed up. I’m not gonna bother them again with signing up for my webinar. And so, I went ahead, and I just sent that message out. And then got another lot of people signing up after that. So, that continued to in my head; it was like okay, this is working. I’m sending it to the right people. I’m not annoying people because I’ve sent it to specific people who haven’t signed up for the webinar and it just worked out perfect.

So, then it was like okay, now I need to figure out which technology I’m gonna use. How am I going to get people to come and visit? How are they are going to be able to see my screen? How am I going to be able to present it? I looked through a few different options, and I ended up settling on a system called Zoom. Zoom is kind of newer technology. We use it a lot at work for just our team chats, and so I know that the free Zoom account could up to 100 people. 100 people could visit at one time or could be as part the webinar at one time. And so, I’m like, oh that’s perfect. I’ll just do a short webinar.

The webinar itself was a very short webinar. There wasn’t a lot to show. I could have done the whole thing in ten minutes and then had some questions, and we’d be done. I spread it out just a little bit and talked, and it worked out well, it was a good platform. So, what I ended up doing with Zoom was, then I created the meeting. I set the time for 1:00 pm which was the time that the webinar was gonna go off. And I created the account, and I created the schedule and the meeting. And then once you create that inside of Zoom, it gives you all the login details. Or how to have somebody login.

So, I did this early on Friday morning, I set up the time, and then I copied and pasted all this information and sent out one more email to my list, and that was set for – I sent it 30 minutes before the webinar. So, at 12:30. The header of the email said 30minutes remaining, Gutenberg webinar or something like that. So, don’t forget, hey in 30 minutes you’ve signed up and you’re interested in this webinar, don’t forget about it. And then I pasted that information in, and I sent that to schedule out and go.

And it all seemed to work without a hitch. I signed in right there at 1:00 and had 30-40-50 people signing in all at one time and just getting ready for the webinar, and it was great. It was a good time. It worked out really well, and I feel like it was the easiest signup process ever. And I didn’t have to go back later to somehow import all of the contacts back in. I remember in the past when I would get that Excel file from Webinar Jam, I would end up having to copy and paste all of the email addresses and then BCC them in just a personalized email with the webinar replay.

Well, I did the webinar replay very similar to that follow-up email that I sent out earlier in the week and I just basically said; anybody that is on my list that has the Gutenberg tag, let’s send them the webinar link. Eventually, I get around to putting it on my website and having it with the archives with all the other webinars that are out there.

But that was the way that I setup within ConvertKit how to specifically let somebody sign up without any fancy automation. I mean it was basically just giving somebody a tag. I think works so much better this way than trying to use some third[party tool, using Webinar Jam or doing a Facebook live was another that kind of crossed my path, How do you – like you can’t really schedule a Facebook live for somebody to register and ne ready for it, but you can have them signed up on your list and tagged as your webinar, and then you can send out a message minutes or an hour before whatever you have set up with a link to the live viewing or replay.

So, there’s lots of options out there, and you don’t have to particularly use whatever comes with your webinar software or whatever software that you may be using. You know maybe it’s just a quick Skype something or whatever this is, this will allow you to be platform agnostic. It will allow you to come up with whatever system may work best and you have the ability to email those people directly on your list.

Now I did gain a few new subscribers that I didn’t have because of the link in the show notes, and so that was very helpful, and that was encouraging to me that I was able to build my list somehow in that way. But overall the whole experience wasn’t hard. It just took a little thought to figure out like here’s the steps, here’s the way that I want to proceed and here’s the best way to make it easy for somebody to sign up without really annoying them. The worst is like sign up for this webinar, and then you have to click on a link, and then it’s like oh, well, put in your name and your email address. Well. I already have that information. There’s no need to add that.

And so that’s what I wanted to share with you this week, just kind of thinking outside the box in what you can do within Word Press itself. So, I use the tool ConvertKit. It made it very, very simple to set things up, it made it very simple to do the automation, I mean it took a little while to figure out, oh how do I do this and that, but after I’ve done it the first time, it was super simple, and I feel like I’m gonna use this a lot in the coming months to do more and more webinars or do these live type events.

Now it is going to be different depending on those newsletter providers that you’re using. But most of them that are out there give the ability to give your customers or the people on your list tags. And so, you just have to figure out how the best way is. How do you give them a tag or how do segment a list? Maybe you just have to go in and figure out what’s the best route and how you can do that best.

So, I know that today wasn’t percent Word Press. Word Press was the tool that I was using, and then I was able to show off Word Press as part of the webinar, but the real tool today was ConvertKit. It was my email newsletter provider, and they did a wonderful job of helping me set up a perfect registration process that was very, very easy for my email list.

That’s all I’ve got for you this week. I will be back next week after WordCamp Dayton. That will be a huge event that’s happening this weekend here in Dayton at the library. I’m excited for that to hang out with Word Press folks all weekend long and then I’ll be back here to bring some more Word Press information next week. Until then, take care, and we’ll talk again soon bye-bye.

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