Lead Gen Forms and Conversion Tracking: When to Use Each

June 21, 2018

Conversion Tracking and Lead Gen Forms

For B2B marketers who lean on LinkedIn, Lead Gen Forms and Conversion Tracking are two of the most helpful and powerful features when it comes to generating actionable data and understanding campaign ROI.

In some ways these sister features are similar, and in other ways they are very different. Each is best suited for specific situations and objectives. To help you decide which tool aligns with what you’re trying to accomplish, let’s take a comparative look at these two sibling, with an eye on when it makes most sense to use one or the other.

Lead Gen Forms or Conversion Tracking? Well that all depends…

When Should I Use LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms?

The exchange of valued content for contact information is a tried-and-true staple of digital marketing. In order to download a whitepaper, register for a webinar, or access some other asset, a user will provide a few details — name, email, job title, etc. — which the company then uses to stay in touch.

Lead Gen Forms, which automatically pre-populate based on a LinkedIn member’s profile data, are designed to make this process painless for both parties.

Here are circumstances that make Lead Gen Forms a sound choice for LinkedIn marketing campaigns:

Your primary goal is generating leads through LinkedIn and delivering it to your CRM

Whereas Conversion Tracking helps you measure a wide variety of conversion types such as X/Y, Lead Gen Forms (as the name suggests) have a narrower scope. This is the product you’ll want to incorporate when you’re strictly interested in creating qualified leads to hand over to sales.

The output from Lead Gen Forms are comprehensive lead records that can include a person’s name and contact info, company name, seniority, job title, location, and more. Lead Gen Forms also directly connects with Marketing Automation and CRMs like Oracle Eloqua, Marketo, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce Sales Cloud. You can also send your leads to marketing automation or CRM of choice through our partners Driftrock and Zapier.

You’re already using Sponsored Content and/or Sponsored InMail as ad formats

Lead Gen Forms are tailored to these particular ad formats. Through Sponsored Content, you can engage members with a catchy call-to-action as they scroll through their feeds. In a matter of seconds, members can click your ad, provide their info, and access your content without needing to leave LinkedIn. Sponsored InMail offers a more direct approach, as you can reach members through the platform’s messaging system.

You’re focused on capturing data from mobile users

Although Lead Gen Forms can be used for both mobile and desktop audiences, they are especially convenient for smartphone and tablet users. Mobile lead generation has proven a vexing challenge for marketers because nobody wants to type a bunch of info into tiny fields with their phone keyboard. Lead Gen Forms solve this problem with a superior experience for on-the-go users.

You want to set up your campaign quickly

Setting up Lead Gen Forms takes very little time. Once you’ve logged into Campaign Manager, select “Lead Generation Forms” from the Account Assets tab to create a reusable template. Fill in a few details, select the fields you want to include, add a CTA, then click save. You can then integrate this form into any Sponsored Content or Sponsored InMail campaign. Bada bing, bada boom.

When Should I Use Conversion Tracking?

Relative to Lead Gen Forms, the Conversion Tracking tool comes with broader utility. It’s designed to give marketers a better grasp of how their LinkedIn campaigns are performing, both on and off the platform. Think of it like the big brother of Lead Gen Forms, where you can track more activity on your website.

Here are some scenarios where Conversion Tracking will be your best bet:

You want to track conversions after a user leaves LinkedIn

The beauty of Lead Gen Forms is that a member can interact with them and never leave the platform. But in many cases your campaign will necessitate that a user navigates elsewhere, even if it’s later. Conversion Tracking can be set up to measure almost any subsequent action tied to your ad — purchases, downloads, sign-ups, etc.

Not only can you keep tabs on how many members are converting on your own website after they click your ad, but even after they view your ad, giving you a deeper understanding of the campaign’s impact.

You’re tapping into LinkedIn’s full ad suite

Whereas Lead Gen Forms are integrated with Sponsored Content and Sponsored InMail, Conversion Tracking can be used with all types of LinkedIn ads. This a universal tool for measuring leads generated by all your advertising on the platform, but it doesn’t actively collect the user data like Lead Gen Forms.

Your campaign is more device-agnostic

Whether desktop or mobile, Conversion Tracking records actions from all users. This data can be used to optimize various aspects of your campaign, be it targeting, content, or a desired conversion type.

You’re cool with adding a little code (or know someone who is)

In order to track user actions after they leave the platform and head to your website, you’ll need to install the LinkedIn Insight Tag, which requires some small tweaking to your site’s code. Don’t worry; it’s easy to do without much technical know-how, and has plenty of long-term value for LinkedIn marketers, who can take advantage of other features like Website Demographics and Website Retargeting once the Insight Tag is in place. You also get access to advanced bidding tools like optimized bidding, which can adjust your bid to lower your conversion costs!

Ready to Take the Lead?

Using these two capabilities, you are prepared to generate and track conversions for your next LinkedIn ad campaign. Our goal is for all marketers to gain a clearer view of how their content is performing, and these features exist to bring you this clarity.

If you’re ready to try Lead Gen Forms or Conversion Tracking on for size, create an ad and take advantage of one or both, based on the parameters laid out above.

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This post was first published on the Global LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog.