As social platforms become increasingly popular, we see marketers continually refine advertising options. We saw it with the originals like Facebook and Twitter, with Instagram months after Facebook acquired the photo sharing platform, we’ve seen it with Google’s Gmail advertising, and we’re seeing it with LinkedIn.
The question is, what is the secret formula for brands to see success when advertising in the digital space?
For new advertisers the options can get confusing – here are some of questions we most commonly hear among our clients:
- Do I promote a page or do I promote a post?
- Should I be advertising in the newsfeed or the sidebar?
- Do sponsored updates work better or is InMail the way to go?
The journey to a definitive ROI seems endless. And though the way you advertise is dependent on your campaign goals (brand awareness, sales, event attendance, feet in the door), some outlets reach target audiences better than others. In this blog post we focus on LinkedIn’s InMail option, now let’s get into the nitty gritty.
What is LinkedIn InMail?
InMail is an advertising option where brands can send a direct message to possible consumers. Consumers are personally told about an event or product that may be of interest, and are directed to a link to the brand’s landing page. Think of it as a personalized stand-alone email; there is only one brand message to be shared and heard.
Through geographical and career-based targeting options, as well as the ability to implement lookalike audiences, brands reach their ideal consumer in a personalized, authentic way.
After very recently using LinkedIn’s InMail for one of our clients, The MBA Tour, and seeing incredible results, we interviewed Toronto’s Education Lead at LinkedIn to gain insider insights into why you might consider the platform for your next campaign.
Q & A with LinkedIn’s Education Lead in Toronto
Q: In your opinion, what makes InMail different from other advertising outlets?
A: Here are a few key attributes:
Mindset: Our members use LinkedIn with a purposeful, intent-driven mindset to create economic opportunity for themselves and their organizations. They are not on LinkedIn to kill time looking at celebrities or cat memes. If you have a message that helps them be more productive and successful, they will respond.
Targeting with first-party data: It can be customized based on the career psychographics that professionals enter in their LinkedIn profile – e.g., if you want only nurses in the Pacific Northwest who are managers and have a bachelor’s degree; or chemical engineers in the global petroleum industry with less than five years work experience. This is confirmed, not inferred information. If you are launching a new luxury car and you want to invite every VP and CEO in Toronto to your launch event, we can get you that.
Uncluttered: This is a piece of sponsored content that opens on it’s own page, on desktop or mobile, and has no competitive ads in view.
Low frequency cap: A LinkedIn member gets only one Sponsored InMail every 60 days.
Dynamic delivery: We serve only to members when they are on the platform live and active. It’s common for traditional email lists to go stale quickly.
Lead generation: It is a fantastic addition to a lead generation campaign.
Q: What are the average conversion rates that you see from InMail?
A: We have benchmark open rates of 15%, and with certain brands open rates that exceed 30%, and 40% is not uncommon.
Q: What brands perform best for InMail?
A: We have a wide variety of brands that use Sponsored InMail – from small universities to national service-industry companies to global CPG brands. The marketers who use it regularly have lead-generation as a primary objective, and often use it to drive registrations for in-person events or webinars – so it’s mostly a B2B or high-consideration B2C campaign. Events, webinars, programs, courses, special offers & demos, reports, ebooks & whitepapers – these are perfect for InMails.
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to a new client setting up InMail, what would it be?
A: Relevant content. Create a message that conveys a sense of value. Our members are not looking for cheap offers. They are looking to be more productive and successful.
Remember, every campaign should have a strong mix of tactics for maximum results.