Pre-recorded webinars scale much better than live webinars, but if you’ve ever watched one, you’ve probably noticed that most are nothing more than static videos. So it’s no surprise that most also drive significantly fewer conversions compared to a live webinar.
This is the exact pain that our founder, Melissa Kwan felt when doing demos for her previous SaaS startup, Spacio.
She tried several pre-recorded webinar platforms and found that:
Most were just glorified static videos with no interactivity.
The user interface was often poorly designed which reflected poorly on her company.
Many included deceitful engagement features, including fake attendees and fake chat and she didn't want to lose her audience's trust
To help you in your search for the best webinar software platform that supports pre-recorded webinars, this post will first discuss our product, eWebinar, which was designed to solve Melissa's pain points. Specifically, it allows companies to deliver pre-recorded webinar experiences that capture the interactivity and engagement of a live webinar.
Then, we’ll introduce you to a few other pre-recorded webinar platforms that might be of interest. Here’s everything we’ll cover:
eWebinar is a webinar platform that lets you deliver a pre-recorded webinar experience with the same engagement and personal touch of a live webinar.
In short, we created eWebinar to eliminate the trade-off of scale versus quality.
To obtain this goal, we built eWebinar to be fundamentally different from traditional pre-recorded webinar tools.
Here are a few of the major differences between an eWebinar experience and a traditional pre-recorded webinar experience:
Your team members receive notifications of chat questions in real time – therefore, they can respond while the customer is still in the webinar or later by email after the webinar, ensuring you never miss a single customer question.
A variety of interactions, including buttons, tips, polls, questions, contact forms, and handouts, keep users engaged and improve comprehension. You can also gather valuable data that shows which moments in the webinar resonate most with your audience.
You can set a recurring schedule or program your webinars to be available on-demand in order to increase attendance.
There are no deceitful engagement features such as fake sales and fake chat that can jeopardize trust with your audience.
The user interface has a modern, beautiful design — customizable to fit your brand.
eWebinar isn’t designed for companies that prioritize sales at any cost – it’s designed for those that want to build long-term customer relationships and deliver stellar attendee experiences.
To demonstrate this, we’ll walk you through what the eWebinar experience looks like from the attendee’s perspective.
You can also experience a pre-recorded webinar hosted using the eWebinar platform for yourself by signing up for our 20-minute demo.
When signing up for a webinar, attendees can select a session time based on the parameters you’ve set, which can be just-in-time (starting within a few minutes), on-demand, or regularly scheduled sessions.
By enabling attendees to choose a session that fits their schedule or joining a session moments after discovering the webinar, our customers' average attendance rate is 65% – significantly higher than the industry average webinar attendance rate of 35%.
Once inside the webinar, attendees may ask questions at any time through the live chat. Your team will receive a notification the instant someone submits a comment, and they can respond immediately while that person is on the webinar or later via email.
Unlike most pre-recorded webinar platforms, we never trick your attendees with fake conversion notifications, chat messages, and attendees.
In addition, if nobody is available to chat at that moment, they will receive an auto-response that nobody is available but that someone will be in touch with them via email.
However, even if nobody is available to chat, the attendee experience is still uniquely interactive – perhaps even more so than a live webinar – as you can add interactions to key moments throughout the presentation. Our library of interactive features/elements includes buttons, tips, polls, questions, and handouts to make the experience engaging and fun.
To view eWebinar from the attendee’s standpoint, sign up for our demo.
To get started with eWebinar, upload a video, paste in a link, or use our Zoom integration to import a Zoom cloud recording.
Once your video is uploaded, you can set specific times users can view the webinar. For example, you can set it to be available:
On-demand or just-in-time (in the next 5, 15, or 30 minutes)
During business hours (so your team can answer chat questions live)
At convenient times in the attendee's timezone
eWebinar makes it easy for you to send email reminders to attendees of an upcoming webinar by scheduling automated email notifications directly inside the eWebinar platform.
You can also schedule automated follow-up emails to send after the webinar. This helps re-engage those that didn’t take action and can really improve your conversion rates.
We make it super easy by offering six different pre-written notification emails that you can send as-is or customize.
Our notifications editor mimics editing a normal email, which may sound obvious, but is not always the industry standard.
Finally, you can send notifications via SMS or WeChat via our integration with Twilio.
We offer 14 different interaction features, including polls, tips, handouts, and questions to hold your attendee's attention. These key features improve lead generation by making pre-recorded webinars feel more like virtual events that are happening in real-time.
For example, let’s say you’re giving a webinar on selling online courses. If you’re discussing how to select a niche audience to market to, you might want to add a pop quiz that asks what a profitable niche looks like. This helps improve attendee comprehension and engagement.
Adding interactions is dead simple – because of our unique video timeline editor you can just drag the playhead to a point on the timeline, and then select the specific interaction you'd like to add.
Our live chat feature is a core differentiator that sets eWebinar apart from the competition as you can receive chat notifications and respond live while users are on the webinar. Or, if you’re not available when the chat message comes through, you can still respond to attendees via email after the webinar.
In the latter instance, attendees will receive an auto-response saying that nobody is available to chat with them at that time, but that someone will follow-up with them over email shortly. This ensures that every question is answered and that attendees are never left hanging wondering why no one responded.
Configuring chat is super easy. First, select one or more chat moderators; add as many as you’d like at no additional cost.
You can then choose to receive notifications through email, browser, or Slack.
Finally, you can tweak the pre-written automated welcome and autoresponder messages to your preference or leave them as is.
We offer a simple page-builder that enables you to create your own landing page with images, videos, testimonials, and your own branding — with zero coding knowledge required. You can also customize the fields in your registration forms.
You can publish your finished webinar and promote it on your website with our embeddable marketing widgets and integrate it with the CRM or marketing automation software of your choice and build your email list. We support many direct integrations and more still (3000+) via Zapier.
You'll also be able to track the success of your pre-recorded webinar in the analytics dashboard, which gives a detailed overview of performance, including:
Webinar registration and attendance rate
Webinar watch time
Conversion rates for transactions resulting from the webinar
How many people engaged with the interactive features and elements
It’s worth noting that eWebinar offers a growing number of webinar templates for sales, marketing, and customer success that you can use as a jumping off point when creating your own pre-recorded webinar.
We've already mentioned a host of engagement features eWebinar offers, though here is a deep dive into three of the key feature sets that really set us apart from other pre-recorded webinar platforms:
Most pre-recorded webinar platforms say they offer live chat, but you really have one of two options that both fall short. Either:
Teams can respond to chat messages ONLY if they actively attend every webinar session (defeating the point of a pre-recorded webinar that can have an infinite number of sessions at all hours of the day).
You can disable chat and answer questions submitted by attendees via email, which is not live chat.
eWebinar takes a different approach to live chat. Here's how our chat works:
During the webinar, attendees can send questions through chat.
The team receives real-time notifications of chat messages through their desired channel (Slack, email, or browser).
If the team is available, they can immediately jump on and answer any questions live while the attendee is on the webinar, increasing conversion rates and building relationships.
If the team is offline while the attendee is on the webinar, the attendee will be notified that the team is away and will respond to their question via email ASAP.
When the team is available, they can easily respond to unanswered chat messages through the webinar platform
This way, you can ensure no question goes unanswered and deliver an experience that matches your brand's standards.
In addition, the attendee can receive answers during the webinar (which is often why they attend webinars in the first place) and their questions never fall on deaf ears as you can respond after the webinar if nobody is available during the live session.
eWebinar is the only solution that offers a chat system that enables your team to receive notifications of messages and:
Respond while the attendee is live on the webinar or
Respond via email after the webinar
This gives you the flexibility to run an unlimited number of automated webinars 24/7 while still having peace of mind that every customer's question will be answered.
To see how this feature works, you can experience the eWebinar platform for yourself by joining our on-demand demo or reading this comprehensive post about how our chat works:
Unlike live events where the host can interact with attendees to hold their attention, most pre-recorded webinars are just static videos.
This is a key reason why most pre-recorded webinars are notorious for significantly lower completion (and, therefore, conversion) rates.
To help you deliver a unique attendee experience with truly interactive features, we offer 14 different interactions from polls and quizzes to handouts and key tips that can be easily programmed to pop up at key moments during your presentation.
We recommend adding one of these interactions every 3-4 minutes to hold your audience's attention, which can cause your engagement rate and watch time to skyrocket.
These interactive features are also quite useful for your team to:
Gather direct feedback about your product or presentation so you can make it better
Send poll answers to a CRM like Salesforce or an email marketing tool like Mailchimp for targeted segmentation in your post-webinar marketing campaigns.
Answer FAQs proactively during the automated webinars (which reduces customer support).
Creating an interaction is super easy – click on the timeline at the bottom of the video and navigate to the moment where you want the interaction to appear. From there, select one of our many different interactions which you can customize with your own text and images, and then click save.
Once the interaction is added, you can always copy, edit, or delete it later on.
As you can see, the user interface is clean and simple, and you can preview interactions as you add them.
Some companies want team members online to answer chat questions for every webinar. In that case, these brands want to only enable participants to register for webinars during business hours in their time zone.
However, other companies are more concerned with higher attendance rates and therefore want visitors to be able to attend on-demand webinars at any time (or during prime times in their own time zones).
With eWebinar, you can customize the webinar schedule to suit your needs.
With these customization options, you'll be able to create a host of different schedules, including:
You'll notice from the screenshot above that you can select the days and times you want your pre-recorded webinars to run on a recurring schedule. For example, if you always want to make sure a team member can jump into the webinar to answer chat questions live, you can set the webinar schedule in your own time zone.
eWebinar also offers a unique feature that enables you to make sessions for your on-demand webinars available in the registrant's time zone.
For example, it might play at 10 AM, 2 PM, and 6 PM CST for viewers in Hong Kong and 10 AM, 2 PM, and 6 PM EST for viewers in New York City. Offering sessions at convenient times of day for all potential attendees will make your attendance rates go up.
Users also love that they can blackout holiday dates to ensure they aren't answering important chat messages during family time.
The average attendance rate across all eWebinar users is 65%, which is 46% higher than the industry average for webinars. This is largely because eWebinar users can allow visitors to sign up and watch on-demand webinars with our just-in-time feature.
The just-in-time feature makes it possible for hosts to select sessions to start immediately or within 5, 15, or 30-minute intervals of someone landing on the registration page.
So, for example, if the host selects 15-minute intervals, and a visitor lands on one of your registration pages at 3:32 PM, they will see an option to sign up for a recorded webinar at 3:45 PM.
By reducing wait times and engaging with visitors when they are most interested, eWebinar users can dramatically increase both attendance and conversion rates.
With a webinar replay, viewers can watch pre-recorded webinars at any time like a regular video — which means they can pause, control the speed, and rewatch certain sections.
eWebinar is the only pre-recorded webinar software that gives replay viewers an interactive experience and also lets them have chat conversations in real time.
One final tip is to select a webinar platform that allows your attendees to register for a webinar replay without ever watching the actual pre-recorded webinars. eWebinar users have this option, though many pre-recorded webinar platforms allow only those that attended the webinar first to watch its replay.
The reason behind giving registrants the option to join a scheduled session, an on-demand session, or to watch a replay is to maximize their choice. Letting people choose when and how they watch your webinar is why eWebinar’s attendance rates are so high.
Virtually anyone regularly running repetitive live webinars could benefit from a solution like eWebinar, though we wanted to highlight a few main use cases. They are:
Customer success teams at SaaS companies love that eWebinar can automate most of the onboarding process while still providing an interactive attendee experience in the webinar room. This makes them more efficient as they can focus on helping customers with advanced questions through chat rather than explaining basic instructions repeatedly. Time saved can be used to create new content or implement new CS strategies that they never had time to execute before.
From the customer's perspective, this is also a better experience as they no longer have to wait for an onboarding webinar that only happens a couple of times a month. They also have a direct line to the CS team when they have questions. This helps reduce churn and creates an excellent first impression.
While most salespeople balk at the idea of a pre-recorded product demo, eWebinar users realize that the platform, complete with live chat and engagement features, retains the interactive experience of a live webinar that drives conversions.
In fact, most salespeople find that it's an effective way to amplify their sales efforts and only talk to the most highly qualified sales leads as:
All prospects the sales team talks to are now educated on the product, have invested time into the purchase process, and are more ready to buy.
The sales team can rely on eWebinar to sell smaller accounts and spend more time on larger, high-value accounts.
In addition, prospects can experience a demo when they are interested and ready to buy rather than waiting for a sales rep (by which point, they may no longer view the issue as a top priority or have gone with a competitor).
You don't have time to constantly run live sales webinars as a solo operator. However, you also don't have a sales team to close leads for you.
Therefore, eWebinar can be that sales team for you. It educates prospects, and then you only need to spend time talking to the most qualified leads. By automating this part of your sales funnel, you gain time to focus on growing your business in new ways, finding new approaches for lead generation, or simply spending more time with family and friends.
If you want to see how eWebinar can free up your time while increasing webinar attendance, completion, and attendance, register for a demo (hosted on the eWebinar platform) now.
Demio is a simple no-download webinar solution designed for marketers. Users like its elegant design and simple user interface.
Pre-recorded webinars can be scheduled to run on-demand or you can host webinars at specific times.
For scheduled sessions, hosts can chat live with any number of attendees if your team attends the sessions (it doesn’t send notifications to team members, so you have to attend live to respond to messages).
For on-demand sessions, there is no chat, but attendees can submit questions and hosts can respond later through the platform.
Unfortunately, there is no option to add an automated follow-up email or send a replay of the webinar with on-demand sessions.
EasyWebinar is another solution that allows users to repurpose old webinars and turn them into automated webinars.
You can stream a pre-recorded video in your viewer's time zone and it is designed to come across as a live webinar to create urgency.
EasyWebinar allows you to play pre-recorded webinars (AKA evergreen webinars) on set recurring dates and times or effectively on demand (within 15 minutes).
It also offers various integrations for notifications, webinar embeds, and more.
WebinarNinja is another platform that lets you create an on-demand webinar.
When creating an automated webinar, you'll have the option to include CTAs, sales offers, and a few different interactive features. WebinarNinja lets you host webinars, registration pages, and email flows through the platform.
Unfortunately, it does not offer a chat function for automated webinars.
GoToWebinar is a platform that lets you host virtual events and use a pre-recorded video as a webinar.
GoToWebinar allows you to schedule pre-recorded webinars to play on-demand or on a set schedule, but you can’t have both at the same time. You can send a webinar replay to those who have attended the webinar, but attendees can't sign up to watch one.
To get started, you upload your video to their library and then move it over to the editor to begin editing and adding interactions.
Unfortunately, it does not offer a chat function for its pre-recorded webinars.
WebinarGeek is a platform for both live and pre-recorded webinars.
WebinarGeek allows users to upload a pre-recorded video, add various interactions, and publish their webinar.
The interactive functionality ranges from CTAs and quizzes to polls and info boxes. It also offers fake chat to give the appearance that many people are engaging in the webinar.
Though team members are notified by email of new messages from attendees, if they are not available to respond, it is difficult to respond to messages later on. (You must download a CSV and individually compose email responses.)
When scheduling your sessions with WebinarGeek, you can set a recurring webinar schedule or offer them on demand, but not do both at the same time. Prospects can not register to watch a webinar replay.
Livestorm is built for people who are already doing live presentations and want to offer a webinar recording as a static video — without interactions or live chat. (Users have to get the link to join the pre-recorded webinar from their email rather than instantly joining after registering.)
It's a great solution for producing live events.
If you host online meetings, are frequently video conferencing, and run summits/virtual conferences then Livestorm might be for you. It can also be used for other online/live events that use live video thanks to its engagement features.
These include screen sharing, whiteboards, and social media streaming to Facebook/YouTube Live.
Livestorm also has a "Handouts" plugin that you can use for file sharing with attendees.
Outside of our top 7 picks for best webinar platforms for pre-recorded webinars, you may also want to consider EverWebinar (AKA WebinarJam), ClickMeeting, BigMarker, GetResponse, GoToMeeting, Zoho Meeting, WebEx, and even Zoom, though these products generally treat pre-recorded webinars simply as a static pre-recorded video.
Consider trying eWebinar if you’re looking for pre-recorded webinar software that lets you:
Flexibly respond to private chat messages live or after the webinar (and receive real-time notifications for those chat messages)
Improve engagement rates by easily adding engaging interactions
Customize your webinar schedule to increase your attendance rates