11 Primal Triggers That’ll Get People Talking About Your Webinar So You Can Increase Attendance and Maximize Your Sales

Author: Geoff Ronning

Would you like to immediately increase your webinar attendance and maximize your sales? If so, read on. 

It’s one virtue, one primal instinct that super-charged them with the power to conquer the world.

Genghis Khan had it, and Alexander the Great.

Napoleon, Cyrus the Great and a small handful of leaders throughout history tapped into this single resource through which they rose to the towering apex of power. 

Let’s think big for a minute.

Your goal is to make a meteor-like impact on the world with your webinar, and you’re going to do it with a single skill – you could even call it a superpower.

It’s an instinct rooted deep in the unseen mind that can only be developed by putting specific knowledge into action, so that’s exactly what we’re about to do.

The psychological triggers below are just the foundation.

The action steps are for building this instinct into an ever-expanding, invincible empire of word-of-mouth marketing, capitalizing on the subconscious triggers so you can have the most powerful, profitable webinar possible.

Trigger #1 and #2 – The Pain and Pleasure Principle

quote: There are two things that motivate you, the fear of pain and the desire for pleasure.

All psychological triggers stem from these.

Think of it this way.

Deep inside your beautiful mind, there’s a primitive monkey-ape instinct mechanism that keeps you alive, sane and maybe even happy. It’s job is to eliminate pain, and commandeer as much pleasure as humanly possible.

Staring contests with the sun, skinny-dipping with jellyfish, chugging hot sauce and peeing on your neighbor’s electric fence are examples of things you won’t do thanks to this instinct.

People don’t generally talk about things that cause them pain (unless their best friend’s a sadist), but things that give them pleasure? You can’t get them to shut up. And when your webinar is the pleasureful topic of the day, that’s a very, very good thing.

To get people chattering non-stop about your webinar, you need to either relieve them of pain or give them pleasure. It’s that simple.

Whenever you can, give them both!

Trigger #3 – Their Problems Are Your Targets

angry woman surrounded by frustrations with quote:

Whether you’re throwing darts, tossing horseshoes, or peppering your email list with reasons to sign up for your webinar, this rule rules: Aim small, miss small.

That is, aim for the microscopic center of the bullseye, and you’ll get accurate results. When you know your target audience’s specific psychological triggers, then (and only then) can you aim small. For this trigger, frustration is your bullseye, and trust me, we need to biggie-size whatever frustration you’re thinking of.

Think of a massive problem you’ve had recently – one that held your mind captive and racing deep into the wee hours of the night. The problem that crippled you with wave after crushing wave of angst and sweaty hate.

Maybe it was the last time you lost your job. Maybe it was the first time you reviewed your bastard budget in 9 months, to see that your debt had evolved into an abominable snowball of Kanye-West-worthy financial obligation.

Did you think of a good one? Perfect. Now double that. Once you’ve successfully found a frustration that big, you’ve struck gold, because presenting a solution to people with those kinds of problems is what’s going to fill their hearts with busting gratitude and ultimately, pleasure. Two birds, one clever you.  

People freed from that kind of frustration will cheerfully chat about your webinar non-stop, and that’s what you’re going for right? 

Now, dreaming up that kind of gold mine is great, but we need to find the actual problems your audience has. First, dig up the demographic details. Then connect the dots to the problems common to that group.

The Action Plan

► Think big, aim small – Read and apply 12 Custom Audiences You Need For Precision Marketing

Trigger #4 – Fear and Love?

an artistic visualization of emotions including love and fear

HP Lovecraft said, “the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” The verdict’s still out on whether love or fear is the strongest primal human drive, but it’s safe to assume that both are waaay at the top of the list.

But it’s a bit tricky. I love my wife, but you know what, I love chocolate too. Sometimes words just don’t cut it. Since we don’t have any English words to cover the various types of love like the Greek language and many others, we’ll have to settle for sex and altruism.

Those are the only forms of love you can use to promote your webinar anyway. (If you think of another, let me know!) Here’s how it works. People buy into your webinar based off of their emotional response, then justify the action of purchasing with logic. Where does fear come into play? It doesn’t. At least not from your end of conversation. Scare tactics don’t work, partially because people can’t help but pairing the message with their perception of the person relaying the message. If you try to convince them with a doom and gloom “what if” scenario, they’ll instinctively attach the pain of fear to you. That kind of defeats the purpose.

Let’s go ahead and get to the good stuff.

Trigger #5 – Sex

jonny depp running from crowd of men - caption: Axe body spray. Results may vary.

Sex sells, but only when you do it right. Nobody wants to be be exploited, and that’s what it feels like when advertising blatantly uses sex to sell. There’s two major exceptions, one of them being the Axe brand campaign. They use a practically satirical message, which is “Axe body spray will make herds of beautiful women rabidly attack you. For sex.”

It works because it’s the polar opposite of subtle, and so unrealistic you don’t feel manipulated. The other exception is relevance. Victoria’s Secret gets away with it because how else are they going to show off bras and panties? To get people talking about your webinar, make it sexy. I’m not talking about cleavage and six-packs. It’s aesthetics and beauty that steal the show. If you happen to be hosting a webinar about sex, you’ve got a lot more wiggle room. Otherwise, keep it in your back pocket.

Action Plan

These examples of using sex to sell should put things into perspective:

► Does Sex Sell? (Psychology Today study-backed research)

► Does Sex Really Sell? (Evidence against using sex to sell)

► New Research On Why Sex Doesn’t Sell (The Telegraph)

► For the beauty and aesthetic side of sexifying your webinar, read “How to Create Great Slides for Your Webinar

Trigger #6 – Altruism

quote: no one has become poor by giving, Anne Frank

Altruism is the unselfish concern for the well-being of others; the ultimate form of love. Does it really exist? Who cares. It works on so many levels, it really doesn’t matter whether altruism is truly unselfish, or motivated by some form of self-centered gain. When altruism meets webinar promotion, good things happen. It’s like nuking people with a gooey blast of warm and fuzzy. Your reputation will grow alongside customer loyalty and turbo-charged word of mouth.

Using altruism as a marketing tactic is catching on so well marketers have coined it “cause marketing.” Knowing your target audience is vital as always, but it rarely hurts to support a good cause and give others the chance to do the same… by attending your webinar.

Apparently, when making a decision between two equal products, 90% of US shoppers choose the product that supports a cause.1 Applying cause marketing to your webinar is simple. Choose a cause to support, and make sure your prospective customers know that every time they attend your webinar, a starving child in Malawi eats for a day, or a maybe tiger beetle gets saved. Something like that.

Action Plan

► Peruse the most successful cause marketing campaigns to figure out what can work for you.

Trigger #7 – Circadian Rhythm 

eye with clock in it, and quote: good timing is the art and science of a successful webinar.

Once upon a time, I went shopping for groceries after a 3-day fasting session. Guess who singlehandedly tripled the monthly food budget in that brilliant spending spree? Poor timing is not your friend.

On the bright side of that coin, strategically timing your webinar and marketing campaign will keep your wallet fat and happy. Every biological creature has a pattern, a circadian rhythm that can be taken advantage of with good timing. It’s why fishing by the moon phase, weather, barometric pressure, and spawn cycle works. Good timing can make or break your webinar and the word of mouth surrounding it.

Webinar Promotion Timing
After over 7,000,000 web attendees on StealthSeminar system we sifted through all the data and determined the highest attendee rate and did the same for the conversion rate. Where those points met, became our proprietary “Just in Time” schedule. And while another Automated Webinar Software claims to offer it as well (all these years later) they are missing out on an important aspect of that feature that sadly hurts their clients.  

The Perfect Length of a Webinar
When it comes to anything internet-related, people have the attention span of a coke-snorting squirrel. That said, webinars manage to command the attention of our microwave, instant gratification society in a way that truly defies conventional wisdom. The ideal length of a webinar is 1 hour. An hour and a half is fine if you need the extra half hour, but anything beyond that is pushing it for anyone but the most popular Guru’s who have a rabid following. On average, webinar attendees watch an average of 54 minutes out of a 60-minute webinar, but as webinars increase in duration, the viewing time decreases. 1 hour seems to be the sweet spot.2 

Action Plan

Read and apply: 

► 9 Ways to Keep Webinar Attendees Engaged Until the End

► Webinar Benchmarks Report

Trigger #8 – Oxytocin and Storytelling

book with drawings of the story flowing out of it, and the chemical oxytocin

Dr. Paul Zac, a neuroscientist with knack for marketing, discovered that oxytocin (known as the trust hormone) is released to the brain when people read or listen to a story. Rob Walker is the journalist who decided to capitalize on that discovery. 

He bought $129 worth of useless trinkets (old mugs, piggybanks, and golfballs to name a few) from the thrift store, had his team write a story for each item, and posted them on eBay. By the end of the experiment, he not only sold them all – he made $8,000. That’s a 6,200% profit margin from pure, unadulterated junk. Imagine what you can do with a good webinar!3

You’ll always benefit from using good stories in your webinar promotion, and in the webinar itself, for these simple reasons:

► Oxytocin. This hormone triggers increased generosity, compassion and trust.

► Recollection. Storytelling enhances memory. The more people remember, the more effectively they can spread the word.

► Focus. The human brain tends to lose focus more rapidly than we’d like to admit. In fact, people have approximately 2,000 daydreams per day, and up to half of the brain’s waking time is spent wandering. When the brain is reading or listening to an interesting story, however, daydreaming and mental wandering is completely eliminated, as the brain’s resources are consumed visualizing the story and empathizing with its characters.

Action Plan

Not confident in your storytelling? Read this anatomy of a good story to paint a potent word picture in 7 minutes or less. Remember, facts tell, stories sell.

Trigger #9 – Experts and Authority

doctor with syringe in his hand and caption: why do we trust authority figures?

You’ve heard of Dr. Milgram right, the guy who Charles-Mansoned volunteers into electrocuting patients repeatedly, even when they could hear them screaming and pounding on the wall in front of them?4

Well, people do seem to have a sad tendency to obey authority to the point of torturing their fellow man or woman, but we’re talking about something else.
Compliance to authority may play some part in using marketing authority, but I like to think it has less to do with drone behavior, and more to do with common sense.

As much as we hate bosses breathing down our backs, people who try to control us, and politicians in general, getting advice from experts just makes sense.

What do you do when you’ve been puking bloody chunks for a week with no signs of recovery? You call a doctor. Someone decides to sue the socks off you? You hire a lawyer. Hearing voices? You might phone a therapist or psychiatrist, or I don’t know, a witchdoctor if you happen to live in the rainforest.

The point is, as much as we hate authority, we often listen to them because it’s smart and efficient. Choosing a heart surgeon to dig into your right atrium might be smarter than taking a whack at it yourself. This is how you can harness the power of authority to get people talking about your webinar.

This field guide covers the in’s, out’s and up’s and down’s of promoting your webinar with the psychological trigger of authority.

Action Plan

► Read: The 10 Step Blueprint to Becoming an Authority in Your Niche and apply it!

Trigger #10 – Perceptual Blindness 

Boxer Muhammed Ali following through with a punch

Have you ever bought a new car, and then started noticing other cars like your’s everywhere? When I was 17, I bought a used Monte Carlo. I never noticed them before I bought it, but after – they were everywhere! I saw at least 3 Monte’s every time I drove more than 5 minutes from my house.

Years later, I learned that perceptual blindness is what the brain does to keep itself sane and organized. We’re all bombarded with millions of sights and sounds each day, but the brain only pays attention to the important bits of information, like the attractive women jogging on the sidewalk, or the semi-truck I’m about to hit because I’m staring at the jogger like a dumb cow. The brain literally blinds itself to unimportant pieces of data. 

This is what gives you the ability to prioritize and stay organized in a universe of flashy, swirling bits of irrelevant information that would literally make you insane if you tried to process all of it.

Studies have shown that your brain will take a piece of information out of the blind spot as soon as it becomes important to you.

So what does this have to do with your webinar? A lot. To get people talking about your webinar, you have to earn the priceless real estate in your customer’s minds, by bypassing the gatekeeper of perceptual blindness. This is the formula.

Frequency plus value equals word of mouth.

It starts in the minds of your prospective customers, then spreads like a benevolent virus into the minds of others, as your customers naturally talk about the webinar that they’ve shelved at the top of their priorities. Shooting out one or two quick emails about your webinar won’t do much for you unless you’ve already become a priority. So again, start promoting your webinar 3-6 weeks in advance, with frequent emails that clearly show value (by solving a problem), and use stories and authority to command attention and get your message stuck in your reader’s mind.

Action Plan

Read and apply:

► A Guide for Remarketing and Conversion Tracking

► 10 Unique Ways to Get People to Flock to Your Webinars
 

Trigger #11 – Feeding Frenzy

a school of piranhas in a feeding frenzy

It was a typical Amazon morning, just before the sun was high enough to scorch my skin, but humid enough to make my shirt stick to my back.
I’d made it to the river just in time to watch about a hundred piranha find and rapidly devour a capybara (an unusually large rodent). I only saw one at first, and within a minute the water was swarming with fins and razor mini-Jaws of untimely death.

This same thing happens when people see social proof. Try watching a yard sale sometime. You’ll notice that people buy in feeding frenzies similar to a school of piranhas. When nobody’s browsing, even yard sale enthusiasts will hesitate and drive by. Once one or two people stop and look though, it’s game on – and especially when they start buying. A couple people buy something, and it’s followed by a swarm of buyers who smell a bargain. It’s social proof at it’s best.

Let’s look at a bigger example. RCA records released an album titled “50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t be Wrong” in 1959. They knew that 50 million people had bought Elvis’s records, and figured that harnessing that kind of social proof could result in another million or so. They were right – shortly after its release, the record went platinum.

The Action Plan

Here’s 5 ways you can use social proof to kick your webinar into high gear:

► Have an expert endorse your webinar. or perhaps even answer questions at your webinar. (If you can get a relevant celebrity to help you, this somehow still works too.)

► Gather testimonials and reviews. 88% of consumers say they trust testimonials as much as personal recommendations, 72% say reviews help them trust a business more, and 85% say they read at least 10 reviews before they’re satisfied.5

► Tell personal success stories. They establish you as an expert, and inject a healthy dose of highly relatable, personal social proof into the equation.

► Harness the power of crowd-think and curiosity. For all of floundering attempts to resist the brainwashing of the masses, people just can’t help gathering at a crime scene or an accident, or flocking to a protest to see what all the hubub’s about. The human mind is jam-packed with insatiable curiosity that’ll draw pull a crowd into your webinar – if you’re able to capture their curiosity with a message that excites the imagination, and show them the rest of the people interested in your webinar.

► Slap together a referral program. Sometimes people love your webinar, and want to share your program with their friends, but… they forget. Don’t be scared to ask for referrals, and reward them for it!

A Final Word

…people say knowledge is power.

It’s not.

Taking consistent action, despite obstacles and failures, with time-tested knowledge as your guide – that’s power.

Every great leader in history has failed many, many times. But in every failure they learned, and waded with unstoppable resilience into the next battle.

You may find the action steps listed here difficult, but keep this in mind.

You’re building within yourself the same instinct and persuasive charisma as the people who conquered the known world. Their secret sauce is laid out plainly in this guide, and as long as you never stop taking action, you’ll never stop winning. And with that you will impact more people, sell more products and services and have the life you desire. 
 

Notes

1. Cause marketing statistic source

2. Webinar timing source

3. Ebay storytelling experiment source

4. The Milgram Experiment

5. Testimonials statistics