LinkedIn Sponsored InMail is now available to all advertisers through the LinkedIn Ads Campaign Manager. This campaign type, previously only available to managed clients, empowers marketers to directly reach their prospects via tailored email messages in LinkedIn Messenger.
Based on data provided by LinkedIn, over 100 advertisers participated in a pilot program of self-service Sponsored InMail prior to the release, and they saw open rates of around 45 percent and click-through rates between 4 to 7 percent. Those numbers sounded pretty good to us.
In today’s blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about LinkedIn Sponsored InMail, from why you should use it to how to effectively craft a campaign to setting your budget.
Why Sponsored InMail Rocks
Sponsored InMail delivers a relevant and engaging ad experience to the right person, at scale. The email-like experience for the end user allows you to deliver more long-form messages without the burden of having to acquire the user’s email address first. This provides a faster solution to drive engagement through a personalized, direct, and meaningful medium.
Four reasons you should get started:
- Personalize Your Messages: Marketers can be extremely detailed and persuasive with InMail messages, as they have no restrictive character counts.
- Reach Your Audience When They’re Active: With real-time delivery, Sponsored InMail messages are only delivered when members are active on LinkedIn. And strict limits on how often LinkedIn members can receive InMail ensures your message gets maximum mindshare.
- Engage Your Mobile Audience: The call-to-action (CTA) button on mobile and desktop offers a responsive design to ensure the message is readable on any screen, large or small.
- Drive Brand Awareness: You have the option to add a 300x250 branded banner ad to the InMail that will appear on the right rail for desktop users, like the example below.
Getting Started with LinkedIn Sponsored InMail
You can easily start running a Sponsored InMail campaign today by following the steps and best practices below:
- Log into LinkedIn Campaign Manager
- Open your Ad Account, click “Create campaign” and select “Sponsored InMail”
- Select “Sponsored InMail” and start crafting your message
Crafting an Effective Sponsored InMail Campaign
When crafting your Sponsored InMail message content consider the messaging context of the LinkedIn Platform. We have some best practices and suggestions you can use when testing out different InMail variations.
1. Subject Lines
Write subject lines using concise, relevant, and conversation language. Short and impactful subject lines with a clear value exchange tend to perform better.
Here are a few keywords you can consider using:
- Exclusive invitation
- Join us/me
2. Body Text
Sponsored InMail offers up to 100 ad variations, so you can test different combinations of text, image, and CTAs to uncover the most compelling creative for your target audience. Try conducting a simple A/B test with two ad variations at a time. This will allow you more control when tracking performance and making optimizations that will boost clicks and conversions over time.
To humanize your message, it’s best to use conversational language and keeps the copy under 1,000 characters. Here are a few additional tips to catch your prospect’s attention and drive better performance:
- Add a personal touch with a custom salutation by using %FIRSTNAME%, %LASTNAME%. For example: Hi %FIRSTNAME% %LASTNAME%.
- Include a contextual message body hyperlink to boost click performance.
- Use a clear call to action (CTA) such as Try, Register, Reserve, or Join.
- Include a relevant companion banner image to complement your message. If you do not include a banner image, another banner ad could be shown which will drive prospects to another website other than yours.
Similar to LinkedIn Text Ads and Sponsored Content, you will be able to choose a target audience based on 16 different criteria. You can build your target audience offline before you start the campaign creation process for a speedier campaign set-up. Below are the different targeting parameters you can choose from for your Sponsored InMail:
- Location inclusion
- Location exclusion
- Company name
- Company industry
- Company size
- Job title
- Job function
- Job seniority
- Member schools
- Fields of study
- Member skills
- Member groups
- Member gender
- Member age
- Years of experience
Setting Your LinkedIn Sponsored InMail Budget
For Sponsored InMail campaigns, you will have the option to set a cost per send (CPS) bid. The CPS bid is the maximum amount you wish to pay for each Sponsored InMail that is sent to a LinkedIn member's inbox. Then, you can set a daily budget to indicate the most that you're willing to spend each day.
LinkedIn automatically recommends a suggested CPS bid for you, based on your target audience. The more narrow your audience is, the better, especially for your InMail messaging. However, keep in mind that the minimum CPS bid will be higher as the reach will be limited to focus solely on your target audience.
Once you’ve figured out your ideal CPS based on the projected performance, you can set a budget and delivery schedule. Below is a screenshot of the details to consider when you’re figuring out your campaign bids, budget and delivery schedule.
Have you launched your first Sponsored InMail campaign? What kind of success are you having? Do you have any tips or tricks that are working well? Have you experimented with any targeting?
Tell us about the messaging you tried in your campaign and how it performed for you in the comments section below.