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How GoToWebinar Compares...
I guess I'm partially biased to GoToWebinar because I always was a long-time GoToMeeting user before I ever considered doing webinars. When it came time to doing webinars, the upgrade was simple and it filled an immediate need.
Since then, I've explored other online webinar tools like Citrix, WebEx, Live Meeting and some of those services Adobe offers. The first thing that really deterred me from "the others" was the price. For GoToWebinar, it was $99/month for up to 1000 attendees. Now, I know I wasn't going to be presenting in front of a 1000 people, but I needed more than the 15 attendees GoToMeeting offers.
(Also, understand that GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar differ in how they are used. GoToMeeting is more interactive communication whereas GoToWebinar is more broadcast communication. Still, with GoToWebinar, people can raise their hands and the moderator can turn on their mic separately. Kind of the same, but kind of different. If you join GoToWebinar, you automatically get a subscription to GoToMeeting which is extremely useful for online meetings.)
Let's get back to price! For $99/month, you get pretty much everything you need. (The other services are either much more expensive for larger groups are quite limited in what you can do). This is, by far, the best value for a robust, scaleable webinar tool.
Using GoToWebinar is simple. Most of it is managed online. You log into your account and create a new webinar within their system. They create all of the registration web pages and manage the sign-ups for you. You can easily customize the pages by writing your own text and uploading your own images and logos. At the end of the webinar creation, they give you the links and template emails which you can send out to your list or prospective clients.
When it is time to start the webinar, you log into your account and hit the START button. Now if this is your first time (or your clients first time) using GoToWebinar, the system may quickly install a program onto your computer. THIS SOUNDS BAD BUT IT IS NO BIG DEAL AND IT IS VERY SAFE! Most people already have this installed already (it requires no re-booting and takes literally seconds to complete). In my experience with this tool, I have not heard of any problems concerning this installation (nor will it deter people from wanting to join your webinar...it is that simple and non-intrusive).
Now are you ready to start broadcasting! Both you and your guests can communicate via the telephone (they give you a phone number to use...it doesn't cost any extra) or VOIP (where you would use your computer microphone and your computer speakers). This gives people choices, especially those with either bad phone lines or bad internet connections.
Now I want to briefly talk about recording the webinar. This has always been my biggest critism of GoToWebinar. First, it has improved quite a bit over time. Its native output format is WMV (which is a windows based format and sometimes even requires an additional plug-in). Yuck! Still, for 95% of those wanting to watch a replay, this still works great. You can also convert it to other file types yourself (but that is kind of a pain). Still, I have found this recorder to be rather robust (especially compared to other systems) and if you really want to get a kick-ass recording, there are methods using Camasia that I have used for years which never fails (if you do get GoTo Webinar and want to know more about this, send me a message at http://www.tru-support.com).
Of the other webinar software options available, I would say that Webex is the next closest. Still they are more expensive and a bit more of a commitment on your end.
Keep it simple, which GoToWebinar does. And the addition of having GoToMeeting really makes it quite a powerful combo. I cannot stress enough how much webinars have increased my sales. There are "fake" ways of simulating a webinar (like AutoPilotWebinars, which I also use), but the power of a live, interactive webinar can NEVER BE BEAT!
GoToWebinar offers a 30-day free trial, so try setting up one with month and see how it goes. I think you'll be amazed at both the software as well of the effectiveness of an online webinar in increasing customer interest and sales.