Do You Need a Podcast Outro?
Do you need a podcast outro? Not really. But let's talk about why you might want one.
I spend a lot of my time creating podcast intros and outros. So, I get a lot of questions about them. One of the more common questions I get is, "Do I need an outro?" Since I charge extra for outros, what I want to say is, "Yes! Of course!" However, it is not that simple. There are very few questions that I can't answer with another question. So, when someone asks, "Do I need an outro?" I usually respond with, "What are you trying to do?"
Is Anybody Listening to Your Podcast Outro?
According to some of the latest research, 52% of podcast listeners stick around until the end of the podcast. So, one way to look at the outro is that 48% of listeners are never going to hear it. That may be higher because even some who stick around until the end will shut it off once the outro starts.
So, Why Bother?
Well, because 52% of listeners may actually still be around by the outro. And, those that are listened to your whole show. They may be interested in what you have to say. In fact, research shows that podcast listeners put a lot of trust in podcast hosts. For 18-34-year-olds, over half say that they trust podcasts host more than traditional voices like TV hosts or radio presenters.
Now That You Have their Attention...
So, if you have a group of people who enjoy your podcast enough to listen to the end and, there is a good chance they already trust you, you may want to take advantage of this time. The question becomes, not whether or not you need an outro, but rather, what would you want to happen if people listened to it?
"What Are You Trying to Do With Your Podcast Outro?"
This is the question some people dread when asking for my help. If my 14-year-old comes to me and asks to borrow a power tool, he knows he will get the question, "What are you trying to do?" It will be challenging to have an effective outro if you don't know what you are trying to do. In that case, maybe you don't need one. But many podcasters can answer that question. Perhaps their podcast is about finding new customers or getting more social media followers. Or, maybe the podcast is supported by advertising, so the point is to get as many listeners as possible. It may even be that the purpose of the podcast is just about getting the word out about something or offering help on a particular topic. Once you are clear on this, you can start thinking about your outro.
What Do You Want Your Listener to Do Right Now?
Let's say I am listening to your podcast. It's possible, I listen to a lot of podcasts Now let's say I have listened all the way through and I am really into what you are talking about. If you were sitting next to me and I said, "Hey, I really enjoyed that. What should I do next?" What would you say?
Here are a couple of ideas. Yours will depend on what you are trying to do, but here are some possible answers.
Subscribe, so you get a notification when the next episode comes out.
If you haven't, go back to the beginning and listen to all the episodes.
Leave a rating, review, or comment because those really help new listeners connect to the show.
Tell someone else about the show because I love more listeners.
Go to my website.
Buy my product.
Sign up for my mailing list.
These are just some examples. I hope you get the idea. It's pretty simple. If someone is still listening at the end of the show, think about what you might want them to do, and then ask them to do it. Writing a script for this is pretty straightforward. For my podcast, I want people to consider taking advantage of one of the podcasting services I offer. So, my outro might go:
"Thanks for listening to the Pro Voice Guy Podcast. If you need help with your podcast, see what I have to offer at ProVoiceGuy.net."
What if Nobody Listens to the Outro?
Even your most faithful listeners may move on as soon as they hear the outro start. That is perfectly okay. You haven't lost anything. However, I do know some shows that add bonus content after the outro, which is a pretty cool way to get people to listen.
Does it Need to Be Professional Produced?
As someone who makes a living mainly by producing podcast intro and outros, I would say, "Yes! It definitely needs to be professionally produced." But that is not really true. Some of the best outros I hear are simply in the way the host wraps up the show. Everything I listed above can also be done by the host. Some people do it that way and still have a produced outro, sometimes to drive home the most essential point - the thing they most want people to do.
So What Should I Do?
If you were looking for a firm answer on whether or not to have a podcast outro, well, sorry. But I hope I have laid out how to make that decision for yourself. The short version of how you decide is based on this question: If someone listens all the way to the end of your podcast, what would you hope they would do next? If you can answer that, use your outro, either voiced each time by you or produced, to ask. Then see what happens.
If you are looking for a podcast intro or outro, I would love to help. Check out my packages here.