Secret Sauce: How We Use Contact Targeting and Website Retargeting

July 19, 2018

Marketers can take advantage of many tools to refine and engage their audiences through LinkedIn. But your efforts on the platform become all the more effective when you integrate your own data.

Contact Targeting and Website Retargeting, two features available through Matched Audiences, allow you to capitalize on opportunities developed outside the LinkedIn environment.

As part of our Secret Sauce series, which pinpoints best practices based on our own experiences as well as those of our most successful customers, we’ll examine ways you can get the most out of these powerful capabilities.

How We Use Contact Targeting on LinkedIn

Call us old fashioned, but we do still have contact lists containing prospects and their email addresses, collected through various means (such as Lead Gen Forms) over the years. Unfortunately, like most marketers, we’ve seen the impact of email campaigns diminish, especially in the B2B space where messages tend to get lost in crowded inboxes.

With Contact Targeting, you can extract value from your existing lists by uploading them into Campaign Manager and serving ads to members you’ve already established as potential leads. Doing so is easy.

If you have data compiled in a .csv file, you can upload it directly. If your information is housed in a marketing automation or contact management platform such as Marketo, Oracle Eloqua, LiveRamp, Acxiom, or Zapier, you can easily integrate them for LinkedIn Ads. Find links with specific instructions for each platform here.

Once entered into the system, these contacts will be automatically cross-referenced against LinkedIn’s member database, providing a customized and highly targeted list with strong odds of converting.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when using Contact Targeting:

  • Uploading contact lists will be much smoother if you format them to align with LinkedIn’s specifications. Click here to find a template.
  • We recommend lists of at least 10,000 email addresses. But as long as you match at least 300 members, you’ll be able to serve ads to the list.
  • As always, personalization will drive the best results. To whatever extent you are able, we recommend segmenting your list by variables and personas that can direct your content approach (i.e., by industry or funnel stage). You can break your contacts into different lists and upload them separately to keep them neatly compartmentalized.
  • You can also layer in additional member-provided profile information, such as job function or seniority, to further tailor your messaging and improve conversion rates.

“Siloed channels and broad-based campaigns are the tools of the past,” according to Marketo’s Director of Product Marketing, Brian Glover.

We couldn’t agree more. Contact Targeting brings cohesion and precision to your LinkedIn marketing programs. During an extensive pilot with Matched Audiences last year, advertisers saw a 37% increase in click-through rate with this feature.

How We Use Website Retargeting on LinkedIn

Most marketers are familiar by now with the concept of retargeting, which involves serving ads to individuals who have been exposed to your brand in the past. The effectiveness of this tactic has been demonstrated time and time again in a broad sense.

On LinkedIn, we’ve seen results by applying an added level of sophistication.

First, a quick primer on setting up the Website Retargeting feature. For starters, you’ll want to install the Insight Tag on your company website. At this point you’ll be able to track website visitors and market to them on LinkedIn, bolstered by the knowledge that they’ve taken an interest in your company at some point.

Our strategy for getting the most out of this tool involves segmenting based on a visitor’s actions when they access our website. We create different funnel-aligned “buckets” based on areas of the site that they visited and what those behaviors suggest about intent.

So, if a member visited the “About Us” page, they would fall into the top-funnel bucket, as we can deduce they are in more of an exploratory stage. Someone who checked out a product details page would go into the mid- or bottom-funnel categories as they are likely to be deeper into the consideration phase. Then, we customize ad delivery based on their bucket.

You can even get super-specific and serve content that ties to the exact product a visitor clicked into.

We’ve found success with this methodology, but that’s not to say it’ll be the ideal approach for everyone. For example, software company Tableau chose to put all website visitors in the same retargeting bucket, and then applied content customizations based on LinkedIn profile attributes. This approach yielded a 30% reduction in cost-per-lead.

Smart Targeting that Hits the Bullseye

We advise a quality-over-quantity approach in marketing, because evidence continually shows it is the best route to superior ROI. Contact Targeting and Website Retargeting both help strengthen the quality of your prospect pool and assure you’re focusing on your most valuable audiences. The pointers above will help set you up for optimal success with these features.

For plenty more exclusive insider guidance on getting the most out of LinkedIn marketing products, download the Secret Sauce: How LinkedIn Turns Up the Heat On Their Marketing Campaigns.