GoToWebinar Review: Is it Still the Best Webinar Software in 2019?

GoToWebinar Review: Is it Still the Best Webinar Software in 2019?


If you want to do live webinars
to build your audience online to engage
an online audience and as a powerful marketing and selling tool
GoToWebinar has been around for ever. It is perhaps the OG. The original player in the
webinar space. Years ago it seemed like
basically any webinar you
could find was hosted on GoToWebinar and
I myself have been a user of
GoToWebinar for a long time and have done easily over 100 GoToWebinar events. But the question is: in 2019
and beyond is it still relevant?
Especially now that so many other players are in the
market? That’s what I’m here to find
out. Hello I’m Shane Melaugh from
activegrowth.com and like I mentioned I’ve been
a GoToWebinar user for a long time and I have personally experienced the powerful tool
that is webinars. It really is an amazing
marketing and sales tool and there is one particular reason why I’ve
been a GoToWebinar user for so long and I’ll get back
to that in a moment. But right now I’m on a mission
to find out if GoToWebinar really is still relevant and
if it is the best platform to use or if one of
the many competitors has overtaken it
in terms of features, pricing, value
and so on over the next few weeks
I’ll be testing every webinar platform and software
I can get my hands on. I’ll be reviewing them and I’ll
do a big round up comparison in the end and I
want to start with GoToWebinar because
like I said it’s been around forever and
let’s get right into why it’s been
around for so long and what’s good about it. The number one thing that I
think made go to webinar as successful as
it is is just reliability and
stability. You see, the last time I looked
for alternatives to go to webinar many years ago I tried a few alternatives and
basically all of them had huge
issues. They would crash they would
just freeze in the middle of
stuff. They would just stop working or
they did have like a two minute lag or something or
just the video or audio quality be so bad that you know your chat or your
questions in the webinar were just full of people
saying “this doesn’t work”, “I
can’t hear you”, “I can’t see what’s going on”
and GoToWebinar I was just the only platform
where you could reliably do a webinar to 500 people
, 700 people, 1000 people even and,
you know, while it would slow
down a bit (there’d be lag and
so on) it would keep going, it would keep working. And of course if you’re using
webinars as a marketing tool,
if you’re doing a sales webinar, that is just
priceless. You just cannot afford to be
doing a sales webinar to hundreds of
people , and then the thing just stops
working. That isn’t to say GoToWebinar
has a perfect track record. I’ve had occasional issues with
it as well. But again, out of, you know,
hundreds of webinars done it has basically almost
never let me down whereas there are several
other platforms that I’ve
tried a single time and they just
immediately failed
. GoToWebinar also still covers all the
basics that you’d want from a webinar
which means that it’s not just for presenting. You can also do polls,
interactive polls where people can click on answers and then
you can show the results which
is I think a great way to engage
the audience and also to collect some insights about
your audience. You can have surveys and
handouts and people can ask questions and
so on so there’s various ways to interact and the thing I
like about go to webinar is that you can use it for kind
of group coaching so you can unmute people and have them actually ask a
question you know rather than
just typing. And that’s something that I
think can add a lot of value
to something like group coaching or even
just a regular webinar where
you’re adding kind of more real
deeper interaction with your audience. So it has all of these basics
it has basically everything that you
would expect from a webinar platform go to webinar also is
pretty solid reporting and analytics tools
so it gives you good reports about like
the attention and retention rates of your
audience it gives your report of all the questions that were
asked and so on. And I’ve found that often very
useful even after the webinar and
just go through that data and learn a bit more about my
audience. Now having said that there’s
also quite a lot that I
dislike about GoToWebinar. So for example it does feel a
little ancient at times. Now, they’ve made various
attempts at modernizing it and especially recently, they
really have modernized the UI but it still feels lagging
in some regards. So for one thing you can do a
web event – a webcast or a regular
webinar. The webcast is basically more
convenient for your visitors they don’t need to
download anything they can
just visit the webinar on the
browser the regular webinar where people do have to
download a thing and run an installer and so on
before they can access your webinar that does have
some advantages though. So for example the thing I
mentioned before about being
able to unmoved someone in your audience and
have a conversation with them. This is only possible using the
regular webinar and not the webcast
webinar. Also the user interface while you’re hosting webinar… well it takes a bit of getting used
to. It’s not the prettiest user
interface you know it’s
functional. The questions feature and chat
features are just not very great so
typically in GoToWebinar I will end up with a huge list
of questions from people and it’s very difficult to
navigate it’s difficult to kind of pick out what
should I answer and it’s you can’t like you
can’t even copy and paste to questions who can’t like
paste the important ones into a notepad or you can’t
display the questions on
screen. Really the way the questions
and answer thing works is just not very user friendly. Another thing is that it’s
mainly made for audio and screen sharing. You can share your webcam as
well but it’s a bit awkward. Basically so in the live event people will see the screen and
your webcam at the same time if that’s
what you’re sharing. But in the replay the webcam
will just not show up and even if you record
separately. So if you don’t use the built
in recording feature it’s quite difficult to make that
work with your webcam and screen sharing basically I
haven’t found a satisfying way to do that
and to make that work. Speaking of recordings and
replays there is an automatic recording
feature but after the webinar
event you have to convert the
recording file from one format into another
before it’s usable and the quality is not that
great. It has gotten better. The audio tends to be a bit
tinny and there’s a delay and stuff. So it’s generally better if you
record your screen locally you record your
screen and audio while you’re doing the presentation
on the webinar than how to
clean a recording. But then if you have guest
hosts and things that makes
things more complicated. So again it’s just it’s not
terrible but it’s just not very convenient. So that’s what I mean when I
say that yes it has been
modernized but you can kind of feel the
legacy of this thing it feels like kind of an
old piece of software in many
ways. And finally and this is one of
the main reasons I’ve started looking at alternatives the
pricing of GoToWebinar is pretty steep. Like, you have to get… you have to pay 200 dollars or more to get what I would
consider all the basic
features. There’s higher price tiers
which have additional features that I think most
people won’t need. But you have to pay something
like 200 dollars a month before you get really, you
know, all the stuff you’ll
probably want to use for doing
webinars. That’s a pretty steep price
tag. And that puts me in a position
where I feel like I can’t
really recommend this to the typical startup
entrepreneur or, you know, trying to keep your
budget under control you’re
not going to just spend another 200 dollars a
month to do a couple of webinars and this has me
searching for better alternatives. In this video, I’m not going to
go into greater detail about
all the specific features in
GoToWebinar. Like I said it has its pros and
cons and I think that the cons clearly outweigh the pros
especially considering the price tag and
that’s why I can’t really recommend
GoToWebinar. But I do want to be able to
recommend something so that even if you are on a smaller
budget you can make use of the
audience building and marketing power of live
webinars. And so over the last weeks and
still as I’m recording this I’ve
been doing a lot of webinars on many different platforms
and I’ll be releasing reviews of each of these platforms as
I get them done. So stay tuned for more reviews of basically every
GoToWebinarcompetitor that I
can find. And if there’s any one that you
like in particular or that you’re curious about
that you think I should review leave a comment below and let
me know what it is. Also if you have specific
questions about webinar
software or if there are specific
features and things that you think I should look out for in
my reviews just leave your questions and
comments below.
All right. I look forward to hearing from
you and more webinar software use are coming soon.

17 thoughts to “GoToWebinar Review: Is it Still the Best Webinar Software in 2019?”

  1. First video in a series! It's been a lot of work doing all the webinars to test the platforms. Hopefully worth it. Do you have any favorite platforms? Any you particularly dislike?

  2. Looking forward to seeing those reviews and what budget friendly option you can recommend 🙂
    Thaniks a lot for all the work you do Shane keep it up!

  3. Thank you very much for your video . How about Bigmarker vs Webinarjam? I have tested Easy webinar , it just doesnt work

  4. Please review Webinaris at www.webinaris.com. It's a german product and fully GDPR complaint. It also supports automated webinars. / Regarding GoToWebinar: It's really expensive per month, especially if you want to have the automated webinar function.

  5. I would be interested in a solution like OBS + Hangouts, Youtube or something like that. A budget alternative. In my experience it's usually an ok alternative.

  6. Hey man, just wanted to drop some lines here and thank you for doing all these reviews. Very helpful! by the way, I think WebinarJam is the worst of all!

  7. What do you use to ensure the best audio quality out there? I'm speaking in terms of clarity and the least amount of lag time?

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