In order to measure the success of your webinar, you must first have a well defined goal, says Ellie Mirman, head of small and mid-size business marketing at Hubspot Inc., a marketing software company based in Cambridge, Mass.

“You must always be thinking about the purpose of your webinar,” Mirman says. “And that translates into how you do your analysis.”

Mirman offers the following advice to help you make sense of the mounds of data you will acquire from your first webinar:

> Set reasonable goals
When setting objectives for your first webinar, Mirman says, avoid setting the bar too high.

A goal needn’t be elaborate, she says, especially while you get comfortable with the technology and overall flow. It can be as simple as: “I want to complete my first webinar successfully.”

Alternatively, your goal might be to attract a certain number of participants.

> Narrow your focus
Choose only one or two areas to measure as benchmarks to determine the success of your first webinar.

For example, if you sent out an email invitation, you might choose to analyze your email response rate.

Or, because webinars use a landing page to collect registrations, you might measure the conversion rate on that page.

“Keep in mind your goal,” Mirman says. “And figure out what data is relevant to you.”

> Use a process
Unlike a traditional presentation, webinars offer you piles of quantitative information, ranging from how many people attended the event to the level of overall engagement, from which you can draw an array of conclusions.

It is important, Mirman says, to have a process on how you want to sift through these numbers and make sense of them.

You could import the data and view it in a spreadsheet, or you may run a specific metrics report from the webinar platform you used. The choice is yours.

Just be sure to retain records for future reference so you can compare your performance from one webinar to the next.

As a final piece of advice, Mirman says: “Don’t be overwhelmed. There is no value in burying yourself with data and getting discouraged. You will have more data than you know what to do with, so it is important for you to determine what numbers are relevant to you.”

This is the fifth and final installment in our special feature on how to develop your own webinars.