“Which is the best webinar tool?”
I get asked this question a lot. If you have ever felt overwhelmed by choice, I think this post is going to help you because I’m going to break down the pros and cons to help you figure out which is the best webinar tool and then also declare MY personal winner.
Why is it so hard to choose a webinar tool?
I think it’s because – let’s face it – most webinar tools are kinda spendy. They aren’t free and, if they ARE free, they just don’t seem to cut the mustard in one way or another. Add on top of that the wide variety of features (this one has A but not B, this one has A and B but doesn’t have C) and the whole webinar tool shopping process can make your head spin.
First Off: How Do I Compare Webinar Tools?
With all online techie tools, I am looking for 5 things:
- Relative ease-of-use
- Ability to do what you need it to do, without a bunch of confusing excess
- Reasonable cost for someone who is just getting started as an online entrepreneur
- Good customer support (I like companies that stand behind their products)
- Plays well with others (i.e. easy enough to integrate your tool with other tools in your online biz)
Today I’m talking about Zoom vs. WebinarJam. Both of these tools meets all 5 of these criteria to some extent or they wouldn’t be on the list today at all. Neither of them totally knock it out of the park on all 5 fronts, though I do have a favorite and I’ll talk about that in a sec.
Our First Contender: Zoom
God, I love Zoom. I recently ran a telesummit with 20 speakers and I did almost every single one on Zoom. Very easy to use and – wait for it – free! Can’t beat that.
At the free level, not surprisingly, Zoom does have limitations:
- No integration with other tools
- Limited to 40 minutes when you have more than 2 people on the line (not ideal for webinars)
If you bump up to the $15/month plan (the most affordable paid tool on the docket today), one big issue is taken care of: You can have up to 100 people on the webinar for as long as you want. For a lot of us, 100 seats is more than enough, especially when you’re just getting started.
Unfortunately, this is also where in the Zoom vs. WebinarJam debate, Zoom starts to fall a bit flat for me. It’s still very easy to use but if you want to be able to really run more full-featured webinars that actually integrate with your other tools (e.g. you want to integrate with your email marketing platform), you’re going to have to bump up and grab the Zoom Webinar package, which is $40/month on top of the $15 basic plan. So now we’re at $55/month.
At the $55/month level you also have more control over your users, such as not having their little video thumbnails showing in the webinar room. You also have access to one super badass feature: the ability to stream to Facebook Live. For me this is a biggie: You can stream both into Facebook Groups AND onto Facebook Pages. I love that. If it weren’t for that, I would have a hard time getting behind Zoom Webinar. But that’s a pretty cutting-edge feature.
To Recap: For $15/month you get 100 people and unlimited meeting time but not much else. For an additional $40, you get a full-featured webinar platform that includes Facebook Livestreaming, the ability to hide attendees from public view (this is helpful if you are running small webinars and you don’t want the other attendees to see that you only have a handful of people on the line), plus other elements you’d expect from a webinar platform, like the ability to register and special Q&A sections.
One thing I don’t love about Zoom is that you have to download something to be able to use it. It’s a minor barrier, but it’s worth noting. However, the more prolific Zoom gets, the less of an issue this becomes because there’s a decent chance your webinar attendees will have downloaded Zoom before.
Up Next: WebinarJam
I use WebinarJam a lot. It’s my go-to webinar tool. Recently WebinarJam just overhauled their infrastructure and made some great changes, which I’m pretty excited about.
I’m also a WebinarJam affiliate, full disclosure here, which means that if you decide to buy WebinarJam through a link of mine, I may get a commission from them. As you know, I only recommend tools I use and love myself. If you want to check out a 60-day WebinarJam trial for $1, click here to do that.
So as far as my 5 criteria above:
- Easy to use? Check.
- Does what it needs to without overcomplicating things or making you pay for bells and whistles you don’t need? Check.
- Reasonable cost? Yes – I think so. More on that in a sec.
- Good customer support? Yep. They even have a weekly webinar where you can ask questions live.
- Integrates easily with other tools? Totally. (It does this right out of the box, no need to upgrade or anything.)
WebinarJam’s interface is really intuitive. You go through a 10-step process to set things up, easy-peasy, and now they even have a way where you can set up a basic webinar in just a minute or two.
The current price for WebinarJam is $479/year. Yikes, right? I know that sounds like a hefty price tag. Buuuuut if you do the math, $479 divided by 12 equals about $40 per month, which actually makes it $15 cheaper per month than Zoom. That’s a big factor for me.
(And if $479 all at once is too much to swallow, WebinarJam does also offer a payment plan – 4 payments of $149, which works out to roughly $50/month – still cheaper than Zoom Webinar.)
What about the $15/month Zoom? This is a good question – obviously if you just buy the $15/month Zoom (Zoom Pro), then you’re spending way less than you are on WebinarJam. However, at that point you’re really not even comparing apples and oranges, it’s more like apples and… firetrucks? Apples and Screwdrivers? Something like that. 🙂
Where WebinarJam really shines is in the fact that it was designed for marketing and selling on the Internet. They have gorgeous opt-in templates you can customize easily. They have this amazing little pop-up sales box that you can have appear just at the moment you want it to so people have a buy button to click on. They even have built-in urgency and scarcity tools, as well as real-time sales tracking (so you can show X units sold, right there on your webinar). Here’s what it looks like:
It’s really cool. These features are THE reason I became a WebinarJam customer.
There’s also nothing for your webinar attendees to download and install, which I like a lot.
Aaaand another one of my favorite features is how WebinarJam lets you do “video injections” – so if you do have something prerecorded, such as a testimonials reel you want to put in at the end, or if you want to tweak your webinar offer and not do that part live, you totally can.
Where WebinarJam falls down – at least for now – is with Facebook Livestreaming. Exciting update – read on! If you want to be able to push your live webinars to Facebook via WebinarJam, you can. Up until recently, WebinarJam only could broadcast on Facebook PAGES, not in Facebook GROUPS (which is what I needed).
As I was doing some more research for today’s article, I checked in on WebinarJam because they had told me that at some point in the near future, their developers would release the functionality of streaming into your Facebook Groups. And guess what?!?! Now you can! Oh, I am so excited. I’m upgrading today! I have a livestream coming up tonight (it’s Margarita Monday over in my Facebook Group) so I will be testing it out then.
Here’s my link to get a 60-day trial of WebinarJam for $1 (no need to drop $479 till you’re sure you like it).
Zoom vs. WebinarJam: Which is the Best Webinar Tool for You?
The answer to this question will feel like a bit of a cop-out: it really does depend on your needs and priorities.
I use the free version of Zoom for my one-on-one coaching and when I’m conducting interviews. It is awesome for that.
I use WebinarJam for pretty much everything else. It has cool sales and marketing doo-dads built right into the platform and no one has to download anything to attend your webinars. And now that WebinarJam does livestreaming into Facebook Groups too, there really is no strong case to be made for Zoom Webinar, at least not for me.
So if you’re thinking Zoom Webinar vs. WebinarJam, I can’t think of one reason anymore why you’d choose Zoom.
The only reason I can think of why you’d choose Zoom vs. WebinarJam would be if you wanted to run group webinars and were on a crazy-tight budget. In that case, you’d pick the $15/month Zoom option (called “Zoom Pro”). You’d get 100 attendees and unlimited webinar time, which is what you need.
You wouldn’t get other webinar stuff, like registration pages, marketing tools (I just love WebinarJam’s “buy now” button that pops up at a time of your choosing), the ability to not see everyone’s faces on your webinar, etc.
You also wouldn’t get any livestreaming capability into Facebook, if that matters to you at all.
However, if you just want to run basic webinars, Zoom’s $15/month option should do you just fine until you’re ready to uplevel. It saves you $300 a year, which isn’t a bad thing. But I would definitely take a look at the price point of what you’re selling and WebinarJam’s ability to help you sell that thing vs. Zoom. If WebinarJam can help you sell even ONE extra thing, it’s probably a no-brainer for you to go with WebinarJam.
I really hope you’ve found this post helpful. If you have, please do 2 things for me: (1) leave a comment below and (2) share this post with 1 or 2 people you think would really benefit. Thank you!
I appreciate you,