LinkedIn’s network of over 500M professionals globally now offers Sponsored InMail to all marketers through its self-serve Campaign Manager. This unique ad format is designed to help B2B companies reach target audiences directly and efficiently. There are no other engagement solutions similar to LinkedIn Sponsored InMail, which, by delivering your message directly to your audience’s inbox, eliminates the uncertainty that comes with manually sending outbound messages.
Given the opportunity available for advertisers who take advantage of this new tool, we wanted to be sure that those of you who are ready to hit the ground running know what it takes to create a successful Sponsored InMail campaign. If you already know your target audience on LinkedIn, and are looking to drive the most engagement and responses from your creatives from LinkedIn Sponsored InMails, this post is for you!
LinkedIn campaigns are served on both desktop and mobile, and there is not an option for desktop-only or mobile-only Linkedin Sponsored InMails. Because of this, it’s important to make sure your mobile experience is sound. Ensure your landing page is mobile optimized with a responsive design, and limit your message to 1,000 characters so it reads well on mobile devices.
Choose a Relevant Sender
Pick a sender your audience would find relevant, given your message. For example, if you’re sending a technical message, the sender can be a Director of IT or Chief Technology Officer, rather than a Sales Director or VP of Marketing.
Unlike regular InMail messages, users will not be able to reply to the sender, so it is not necessary to use a sender who is a sales rep for your organization. Once you’ve chosen your sender, be sure to do the following:
- Ensure the sender has a profile photo. This is a LinkedIn requirement for all senders.
- Add the sender as a first-degree connection on LinkedIn.
- Manage the senders from your Campaign Manager and they will receive a notification to approve or deny the request as shown below.
The Optional Must-Have Option
If the reader is using LinkedIn on a desktop environment, the right rail will show a 300x250 banner ad above the fold, like the image below. This Sponsored InMail feature offers an option to take advantage of more visual real estate in your ad campaign, a unique opportunity to increase brand exposure.
It’s important to know that in the event you choose not to use the banner option, the ad slot will be filled by another 300x250 banner ad and...what if that ad happened to be from a competitor? Because of this, we recommend that you treat this optional feature as a required one.
Don’t have the time or resources to get that new banner ad content prepped? While it’s best practice to have the CTA in the banner match the CTA in your Sponsored InMail, it’s definitely better to have some content of yours in this space, rather than putting your message alongside a competitor’s ad. If you don’t have a 300x250 banner ad on hand with a matching CTA, consider using a stock photo or a screenshot of your product to fill the ad unit. This will ensure that any engagement with the banner will still direct your audience to your desired landing page.
Personalization For the Win
It’s no secret that the more relevant the message, the higher the likelihood of conversion. LinkedIn makes it easy for you to personalize your Sponsored InMail message in a variety of ways. Here are a few pro-tips:
Customize the greeting with the person’s name (These are the shortcuts to use in your message in the LinkedIn Campaign Manager: %FIRSTNAME% %LASTNAME%)
Refer to the skills or job titles that you’re targeting (Note: I used “content marketing” in the example below)
Try using the word “you” in the message so it sounds like you’re talking to the prospect
Here is an example of a message using these best practices:
I am hosting a webinar on copywriting to capture awareness with your target audience this Wednesday. As you’re ramping up your content marketing efforts, I thought you might find this topic interesting. Let me know if you’re able to join with an RSVP here.
Head of Marketing at AdStage
With these tips, we hope you can being to construct LinkedIn Sponsored InMails that are on target to drive maximum engagement. Next week, we’ll cover some tips on the actual content of those campaigns. In the meantime, though, if you tried Sponsored InMail campaigns and have any pro-tips to share, please comment below!