13 Steps for Choosing a Webinar Software [Our Review Process]
Hosting webinars is one of the most effective strategies you can use to connect with your audience, educate and deliver high quality content.
Creating the webinar content and practicing your delivery are essential for a successful webinar.
But choosing the right webinar software that matches your specific needs is at least as important.
We’ve gone through over 200 hours of testing out every kind of webinar software we’ve got our hands on.
We’ve actually used every single software and rigorously feature-tested it against the 10 most important factors to consider when choosing a webinar software.
Our 13-step process for reviewing webinar software:
Step 1: Purchased the Webinar Software or Used the Trial
For every software review you find on this site, we’ve actually bought the software and used it to host actual webinars. Or used the trial at least.
All the content you find here is original. All the conclusions and evaluations are based on comparisons and real experience.
Step 2: Evaluated the Ease of Setup and Types of Webinars Available
The ease of setting up a webinar cannot be overlooked. It’s important to have an intuitive and smooth user experience when setting up a webinar as a host.
It’s even more important that the registrants and attendees are able to join a webinar with ease. Some webinar platforms pose hurdles for that, like having to download and install software on every attendees’ computer.
Another important aspect to consider is the types of webinars you can host. Can you host live and automated webinars? What about hybrid webinars? Or evergreen and on-demand webinars?
For example, on BigMarker there’s a huge variety of different types of webinars you can host:
Step 3: Tested the Webinar Registration Funnel Flow
The flow of getting the attendee to sign up and join the webinar is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a webinar software.
The registration page is where visitors decide to sign up for your webinar. There’s a question of how well does the webinar platform enable you to present the webinar value proposition.
All these questions influence how much can you design the webinar registration page, how much brand consistency can you create and ultimately – how well does it convert registrations.
After the registration, there’s typically a “Thank-you page”, which confirms the registration and encourages the registrants to add the webinar in their calendar to ensure they don’t miss it.
Having this webinar registration funnel customizable and optimized for highest conversion is extremely important.
Some webinar software go the extra mile and have built-in A/B testing to help you learn what converts registrations better.
Step 4: Scheduled Webinar Email Reminders & Tested the Email Editor
Even though people have signed up for your webinar, it doesn’t automatically mean they’re going to attend.
You have to remind them about the value and what they could learn. And do it in a timely manner.
That’s when email reminders come in.
For each webinar software we’ve evaluated how much can you customize the email reminder message.
Additionally, it’s important to have proper scheduling features. Email reminders have to be sent out exactly at the right time to maximize your webinar attendance rate. Keep that in mind when choosing a webinar software.
Also, it’s important to properly follow-up with your attendees. Having audience segmentation options based on their attendance behavior helps you to customize the right message for each audience segment.
Step 5: Tested the Presentation Tools During a Live Webinar
Great presentation tools determine how well you can deliver your webinar content.
Having all your presentation tools set up and under your fingertips really supercharges your webinar content delivery. The best webinar platforms have these presentation tools:
These presentation tools help you properly set up your webinar content, reduce mess time and make you look professional.
Step 6: Engaged with the Audience Using the Interaction Features
This is where the magic of webinars come in.
Engaging with your audience using the built-in interaction features is where you hook your audience and get them invested.
Webinar audience interaction tools are:
The more your audience is engaging using these interaction tools, the more likely they are to buy the product you’re selling. That’s why it’s one of the most important factors when choosing a webinar software.
These interactions are usually pre-configured before the webinar. This way you can solely focus on the delivery of your webinar contents and launch these interactions at exactly the right time.
Your audience is going to have objections and roadblocks before actually making the purchase. That’s why the Q&A is a great tool to reduce customer friction.
Once the objections are alleviated and the offer looks attractive, they’re going to make the purhcase.
During an automated webinar, these offers are also scheduled to launch at a specific time, without you being in the webinar room at all.
Step 7: Rated the Webinar Video Quality from an Attendee Perspective
Having a crisp video quality without any lag is a technical challenge for every webinar software product team.
This factor greatly depends on the attendee’s device, resolution and their internet connectivity.
However, we still do our best to evaluate if the webinar video quality is stable or pixelated. Does it support HD or not?
Some webinar platforms have even gone the distance to enable webcam filters and backgrounds.
Step 8: Talked to the Customer Support to Measure Their Response Time
In an ideal world, the platform is so intuitive to use, every feature is clear instantly and nothing ever goes wrong.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world.
And for those “short of ideal” situations, you need support. And fast.
For ever webinar software we’ve tested, we’ve also talked to the customer support and measured:
Step 9: Attended the Webinar on a Mobile Device Using Android or iPhone
Not all your attendees will be joining from a desktop PC with hi-speed fiber optic cable.
People are often on the go or just stuck somewhere where they only have their mobile phone.
These attendees still might want to join your webinar and the webinar software better be technologically capable of allowing that.
We’ve tested all the interaction features from the perspective of an attendee on a mobile device.
Step 10: Analyzed the Webinar Replay Recording Playback & Follow-up
The harsh reality is that a significant chunk of your webinar registrants will not attend the webinar. Even though they signed up.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean they lack interest. It might mean they just couldn’t make it.
These attendees want to get a proper webinar follow-up email featuring the webinar replay link.
For the live webinars, we always analyze the webinar follow-up functionality and sending the webinar replay.
For example, an important factor when choosing a webinar software is this: Can the replay attendee ask questions during the webinar replay? Or is it just a video?
WebinarJam has done an excellent job by having the “Replica Replay” option, where every interaction that happened during the live webinar, is mimicked during the webinar replay.
Step 11: Evaluated the Webinar Analytics Dashboard & Data Export Options
Hosting webinars is not a one-time event. Rather, it’s a continuous process of learning and improving.
Learning about what works for your audience.
Improving on your presentation skills and engaging the audience.
For these reasons, the best webinar software usually have an analytics dashboard which gives you the most important webinar insights, for example:
Learning the answers to these questions help you improve upon your future webinars.
Usually, you can also export email lists and interaction data to csv files.
Step 12: Compared the Pricing Packages and Trial Options
Pricing usually is a sensitive subject. It’s also the main aspect people consider when choosing a webinar software.
Considering the quality of all these factors, we evaluate if the pricing is fair or not.
Most webinar software have monthly pricing. Some only have annual pricing.
Some limit the maximum attendes, some limit the available features.
We also check if they have a trial option for testing out the software.
Step 13: Ranked the Webinar Software Accordingly
Considering all these factors, we rank all the webinar software according to their pros and cons.
Some even stand out with their unique features.
We try to be as unbiased, objective and honest as possible when evaluating and ranking these platforms.
We have done the work for you, so you don’t have to go through countless hours of research when choosing a webinar software.
To find out which one is the most suitable webinar platform for you, read our roundup reviews.