The Dos and Don’ts of LinkedIn Sponsored InMail

July 25, 2017

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LinkedIn Sponsored InMail sits on top of LinkedIn’s messenger platform.  Using LinkedIn’s demographic data and rich targeting capabilities, brands can deliver real-time messages to relevant professional audiences.

Sponsored InMail’s strength is in its message open rates, which far exceed similar strategies run through email campaigns or other social networks. LinkedIn offers advertisers the tools to quickly build a campaign targeted to your top prospects. And now, you can use conversion tracking to easily measure how many leads, sign-ups, purchases, and other relevant results you’re getting from your Sponsored InMail campaigns.

To steer you toward the behaviors that boost campaign performance, and to help you avoid the behaviors that hinder performance, we’ve put together a list of Sponsored InMail do’s and don’ts.

Sponsored InMail Do’s and Don’ts:

Do: Filter Your Target Audience

With more than 500 million members on LinkedIn, you can afford to narrow the scope of your campaigns to your most relevant prospects. Use a combination of LinkedIn’s rich demographic data, interest-based and member persona targeting, and your own audience data to maximize your targeting.

Don’t: Write Messages in a Formal Tone

It may be tempting to craft communications in a formal tone—especially when you’re contacting someone for the first time. But this is actually counterproductive to the benefits of sending a Sponsored InMail. Messages are much better received, and make a stronger impression on their recipients, when they feature a conversational tone.

Keep it short, sweet, and friendly: Under 1,000 characters to ensure the recipient reads the message, and with a tone that clearly indicates there’s a human behind the InMail.

Do: Include a Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)

A weak or unclear call-to-action won’t get the engagement your campaign needs. Every CTA should be clear and strong, compelling your InMail recipient to act.

According to our in-house data, the top six CTA keywords for InMail are:

  1. Try

  2. Register

  3. Reserve

  4. Join

  5. Confirm

  6. Download

Use these as inspiration for writing a clear, compelling CTA.

Don’t: Have Your Intern Send the Message

You want the name attached to the InMail to have some clout with the recipient. In some cases, that might mean using the LinkedIn account of one of your best-known or most visible executives. In other cases, it could mean choosing a sender whose background is relevant to the subject matter of the message. For example, choosing an IT leader when the subject pertains to technical capabilities. Choose the sender for each campaign based on its content and your goals.

Do: Optimize for Mobile

Sponsored InMails are already optimized for mobile, but there are additional actions you can take to improve mobile performance. For one, keep copy to fewer than 1,000 characters—any more, and mobile readers are likely to drop out. You also need to ensure your landing page is optimized for smaller screens.

Our data shows that more than 80 percent of engagement on LinkedIn comes from mobile, so this optimization is paramount to success.

Do: Constantly Optimize

Overnight results would be great, but this is often an unrealistic expectation. Instead, approach Sponsored InMail with the idea that you’ll need some time to refine your approach. A/B testing of multiple versions can help you pinpoint what works best for your audience. Through repeated testing, you can identify the headlines, photos, ad copy, and CTAs that generate the highest click-through rates.

Sponsored InMail has proven effective because of its ability to deliver hyper-relevant messages to targeted audiences. By following the best practices for this channel, you can capitalize on these benefits for your own organization.

Get started today with your first Sponsored InMail campaign.

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