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Hannah Cates

Published on

April 8, 2021


paid social, Social Media

Getting potential customers to interact with your business is not easy...

As the competition for ad space increases, the potential for your ad to be seen gets more difficult and expensive. But if you’re looking for a way to engage with your targeted audience in real-time at efficient costs for your marketing strategy, consider using LinkedIn Message Ads. You’ll interact with more potential customers online, grow brand awareness and increase lead generation, all at the same time. Let’s dive in and learn the best practices for creating a successful LinkedIn Message Ad campaign.

Rows of white envelopes

Related: 2021 Social Media Image Guidelines

What is LinkedIn Sponsored Messaging?

Sponsored Message Ads are an advertiser’s best friend. They allow you to reach peoples’ inboxes without having to procure email lists and they display through a member’s LinkedIn inbox on both desktop and mobile. Message Ads only target active users, which increases engagement, and your media spend isn’t lost on an inactive LinkedIn user who would never see the message. These LinkedIn Message Ads are also charged by a cost per send model, which allows you to pay only for ads that are sent successfully.

Select Your Sponsored Messaging Ad Format

Sponsored Messaging comes in two ad formats: Message Ads and Conversation Ads

A Message Ad (formerly known as an Inmail Ad) delivers a targeted message featuring a single call-to-action (CTA) button. You can generate conversions using a Lead Gen Form or drive traffic to a landing page and optimise results with reporting that shows who is taking action on your ad.

A Conversation Ad allows you to deliver up to five CTAs using various types of content in a single message for a highly engaging experience. You can drive prospects to multiple landing pages or Lead Gen Forms and see how many people click on your content. This helps to determine how engaged they are in the conversation. When setting up LinkedIn Conversation Ads, Create a “choose-your-own-path experience” to help potential customers instantly access the content that is most interesting to them.

Now that we have a better idea of what LinkedIn Sponsored Messaging is, let’s take a look at best practices that will deliver a high-performing LinkedIn ad campaign.

Choose the Campaign Objective That Will Best Fit Your Goals

Message and conversation ads are best used for four campaign objectives: brand awareness, website visits, lead generation, and website conversions. They work well for top and mid-funnel objectives like awareness and consideration for promoting product launches or announcements, driving event registrations, content downloads, or increasing blog traffic. Although there are numerous available options, it’s important to understand the primary goal of your ad campaign and then select the appropriate objective. Consider your main KPIs you want to achieve as a starting point.

Customise Your Target Audience and Language

Before determining your target audience, and to prevent audience fatigue, keep in mind a LinkedIn member only receives a message once every 30 days. Be as specific as possible in your targeting and select criteria you think will meet your goal: age, location, education, job title, company, skills, etc.

The sponsored message should contain clear, concise language — giving your prospective customers the information they need in pieces, not in bulk. Consider a teaser approach so the user will be left wanting more. Converse like you’re talking to a friend, but also don’t be too informal or use slang. For conversation ads, set up at least two to three CTAs that users can interact with by asking questions to start that two-way conversation.

Personalisation Is Key to High Engagement

Using a company name in a LinkedIn message ad has proven to boost click-through-rate (CTR) by 21%. Job title personalisation has also seen to increase open rates by 48%. By using LinkedIn macros, you can dynamically create ad content that is personalised for each potential customer. The user’s profile information appears in the ad copy when the message is sent to their inbox. LinkedIn allows for first name, last name, job title, company name, and industry personalisation. Start your message ad or conversation ad with a custom greeting, like Hello %FIRSTNAME%, for a personal introduction that’s more conversational and increases relevancy. But don’t forget to include other macros within the body of the message. Experiment with different macros and message lengths within each of your dynamic ads to determine what resonates the most with your target audience.

Other Top Performing Best Practices

Perfect Your Call-To-Action

Test compelling CTAs that are actionable, like Download Now or Take the Next Step, and consider using top-performing CTAs from other LinkedIn advertising campaigns as a baseline. Be sure to exclude CTAs that will allow the user to opt-out of your offer, like Not Interested or No Thanks. Also, to ensure your message ads are more interactive, add hyperlinks throughout the copy in a bold typeface. Highlight the key points or offers you want to get across to make it easier for the user to consume.

Short and Sweet Copy

For sponsored message ads, use bullet points rather than long-form copy. Keeping ad copy text under 500 characters has proven to increase CTR on average by 46%. Not only is it more digestible, but your potential customers will actually take the time to read through the entire message.

The Right Sender

If possible, choose a sender from a person rather than a company page. Messages from an individual outperform messages from a company page by increasing open rates 16% as CTR and conversion rate increases 10%. Make sure the sender has a high-quality LinkedIn profile photo that is visible to the public. Confirm the member’s settings are set to either “All LinkedIn Members” or “Public” for all recipients to see it. A message without a high-quality profile photo will likely never be opened.

Leverage Visual Elements

If you have a captivating visual, add a banner image to increase engagement. Although this feature is optional and only visible to recipients viewing your ad on desktop, this space is prime real estate for ensuring your brand is top of mind. If you don’t upload a banner image, another company’s ad may show up in this placement.

As you can see, LinkedIn Sponsored Messaging has many benefits. It is an affordable advertising product to reach your target audience with high-performing personalised messaging, especially for B2B marketers. Consider these best practices when creating your next campaign and start improving your brand’s online presence.


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