Of course, we asked ourselves this question before founding Webinaris and conducted extensive tests on it. Here is a short summary:
There is an essential difference between a video on a website and an automated webinar! Since you can watch videos "anytime and anywhere" - and therefore there is no concrete reason at all to watch them immediately and, above all, completely - the retention rate for a video is significantly worse than for an (automated) webinar.
From our own practice we have a case study for you here:
We did a split test and sent a newsletter to 10,000 people. We divided it into 2 times 5000 e-mails.
One of the 5000 e-mails we provided with a link leading to a 50-minute sales video. The other 5000 e-mails contained a link that led to an entry page for an automated webinar. In both cases a product was sold for 997 Euro at the end of the video as well as the automated webinar. The evaluation ran over a period of 14 days. The email sent was the same.
1. Case: „Videomarketing“
5000 sent e-mails
1570 e-mail opens
801 people clicked the link to the video
537 people started the video
After half of the time 180 people still watch the video, 10 minutes before the end there are still 79 people, and 41 people watch it until the end.
--> 8 people purchased the 997 € product
--> Turnover: 7.976 Euro
2. Case: „Automated Webinar“
5000 sent e-mails
1497 e-mail opens
835 people clicked the link for the webinar registration
462 people signed up for the automated webinar
400 participated in the webinar. After 50%, 398 people were still in the webinarroom. 398 10 minutes before the end and 391 watched the webinar until the end.
--> 58 people purchased the 997 € product
--> Turnover: 57.826 Euro
There are several reasons for these marked differences:
You usually come across a video spontaneously - whether because of an e-mail or while surfing the Internet. This means you start it spontaneously, regardless of how much time you actually have. But very few people "spontaneously" have the time to watch the video in its entirety. They decide to watch the video in peace "when they have time"... but in fact a maximum of 3 percent do that. With automated webinars, on the other hand, people actively register for an appointment at which they have time or take this time. This appointment is firmly scheduled in the calendar.
The attention is higher, since with a Webinar a winding of the video is not possible. If one is inattentive or goes away briefly, it is clear to everyone that he then loses information (and cannot rewind it here). For this reason the willingness to pay attention is a different and higher one. Furthermore, a webinar (even an automated one) cannot be stopped if, for example, the telephone rings. For this reason, the participants exclude all possible sources of interference as far as possible by switching off the telephone, withdrawing to a quiet room, etc. The participants are able to make use of the telephone and the internet.
Since people assume that the speaker is speaking live, he is more appreciated than with a video recording. Even if you say that it is not live, but "only" a recording, the feeling is still as if it were live - simply out of habit (and also because of our technology ;-)