Learn how ungated replay links work and how to use them in your marketing, especially in retargeting ad campaigns
Here’s what’s in this article, if you would like to skip ahead:
- What are ungated replays meant to be used for?
- How do I use ungated replays in my marketing?
- How are interaction responses and analytics captured in ungated replays?
- How does chat work in an ungated replay?
- Why are ungated replays so effective in retargeting ad campaigns?
- How can ungated replays throw off my analytics?
- What should I watch out for when testing an ungated replay?
- What’s the difference between a regular replay and an ungated replay?
- What's the difference between a scheduled session and a replay?
What are ungated replays meant to be used for?
Ungated replays are for when you want attendees to be able to watch a replay of your eWebinar without having to register for it first. They are meant to be used in email marketing, ad campaigns, social posts, and anywhere else you want to market them online. People can just click the link and start watching your webinar replay right away!
NOTE: Regular replay links are tied to individual registrants, so they can’t be shared or used for marketing in the same way.
Ungated replays are especially effective in retargeting ad campaigns because the system is able to recognize who someone is when they click on your ad if they previously registered for your webinar on the same device.
How do I use ungated replays in my marketing?
Each eWebinar has its own unique ungated replay link. You can enable it when editing an eWebinar on the Settings tab under Replay room.
Once enabled, you can either copy the link from right there or you can:
- Go to your eWebinar homepage and click Links for the eWebinar you want to market
- Select Ungated replay link and copy the link
- Paste the link into your email campaign, social post, or use it in the CTA of an ad. It’s that easy!
How are interaction responses and analytics captured in ungated replays?
Even though people don’t have to register for an ungated replay, you still get to collect their responses to your interactions and track their behavior for your analytics.
When someone clicks to watch an ungated replay, an anonymous attendee (i.e. Attendee 12345) gets created automatically and added to the list of registrants for that eWebinar. (There is one exception, typically related to retargeting, but we’ll talk about that later.) That’s how and where their responses to your polls, questions, and other interactions get recorded. The same goes for tracking how long they watch the replay, when they click the thumbs up, or any other behavior captured for your analytics.
How does chat work in an ungated replay?
When an anonymous attendee sends you a chat message in an ungated replay, they get an automatic reply from the Moderator asking, “What’s your email? So I can get back to you.”
If they respond with their email address, two things happen. First, their email address gets added to their registrant record so they are no longer anonymous and, second, they get another automated message saying, “Thanks! What’s your name?”. If they then share their name, it also gets added to their record. It’s like magic!
If, on the other hand, the person responds to the first automated message with something other than a valid email address, they get a different automated reply saying, “Please share a valid email address so I have a way to reach and respond to you. Thanks!” In fact, they will continue to get this same response to any other chat messages they send until they share their email with you.
It’s done this way otherwise you’d have no way of getting back to them unless you were able to jump into chat live and respond to them before they closed the replay page. It’s also a great way to capture a lead you can feed into your CRM or email marketing software (using one of our integrations) for ongoing nurture.
NOTE: We won't send registrants as contacts to your CRM or to any other products you've integrated with eWebinar if they don't have an email address since, in these types of tools, email is almost always a required field. (Besides, what can you do with a contact without a name or email address.) We will send them, however, if they have no first or last name since those fields tend to be optional.
Why are ungated replays so effective in retargeting ad campaigns?
Links to ungated replays are extremely powerful when used in retargeting ad campaigns because the system can recognize people who already registered for your webinar (whether they attended it or not) when they click on your ad.
Here’s a typical scenario for how this would work. Let’s say you wanted to run a retargeting ad on Facebook for one of your webinars. When you targeted the audience for the ad, you would do so by email address using the emails collected from those who registered for that webinar (which you can download from the Registrants page).
NOTE: Be sure to comply with Facebook’s policies and local laws when doing this. If you needed to obtain the necessary consent from registrants first, you could set that up when building your registration form.
When you went to actually build the ad in Facebook, you would simply add the ungated replay link from your eWebinar to the ad’s CTA, which might be something like, “Watch the webinar now!”
Here’s where the magic happens...
When someone who registered for your webinar sees the ad on Facebook and clicks on it, as long as they are on the same device they were using when they registered (and have cookies enabled), the system will automatically recognize who they are and even pull in their previous chat messages and interaction responses if there are any. (I told you it was magic.)
Think about that for a second. If someone really wanted to attend your webinar, registered for it, but then weren’t able to come for whatever reason, think how powerful it would be if they then saw an ad on Facebook for the same webinar and were able to start watching it with a single click. Meanwhile, you already know who they are and have captured their contact information. It’s a great way to keep people moving down your sales funnel!
How can ungated replays throw off my analytics?
If you use ungated replays in retargeting ads or to market your webinars to the same audience over and over, they can sometimes throw off your analytics.
Let’s go back to our Facebook retargeting ad scenario from above to explain how this might happen.
Let’s say someone who had previously registered for your webinar on their desktop saw your Facebook retargeting ad on their phone. When they clicked the ad, the system wouldn’t be able to recognize who they were and would create an anonymous attendee record instead. Even if they shared their email address with you later in chat and it got added to the anonymous record, the new record wouldn’t merge with the old record from when they originally registered, even though the emails match. In other words, you would end up with two attendee records for the same person.
You can probably already see how duplicate attendee records would throw off your analytics. For example, it would throw off your attendance by showing one more registrant than you actually had. Or if the first time the person had watched the whole webinar, but the second time they didn’t watch much of it, your % watch time would show as less than it actually was. You get the idea.
Something else to be aware of is the duplication of records may also require you to merge them later in your CRM or to dedupe your email list.
Though the benefits of ungated replays may easily outweigh the impact they have on your analytics, these are things you should remain aware of.
What should I watch out for when testing an ungated replay?
Because of this, if you make changes to your webinar, publish those changes, and then test the ungated replay link, you may not see your changes reflected unless you wipe out your cookies or open the link in a new incognito window. Please note that you need to close and open a new incognito window in order to see the new changes.