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A Case for LinkedIn InMail: Why it Should Be Part of Your Strategy

September 19th, 2017 Posted by SEM and Digital Advertising, Social Media No Comment yet

LinkedIn InMail campaigns aren’t exactly new, but recent updates to the self-service platform have made them a lot more accessible to organizations regardless of budget. As long as your audience is on the LinkedIn platform, their InMail ad format is a real contender when it comes to getting your message across and garnering conversions.

What is LinkedIn InMail?

Simply put, LinkedIn InMail is an ad format similar to an email, that is delivered to a LinkedIn user’s personal message inbox on the platform. The InMails are sent on a pay-per-send basis, and cost anywhere from $0.30 to $1 per send depending on your target audience. The self-service platform allows for flexibility between the number of creative executions you can have, as well as the budget you allocate. Previously, InMail campaigns had $5,000 minimums, longer lead times, and needed to be launched by LinkedIn representatives. Now, you can launch a campaign with nearly any budget in a matter of minutes.

LinkedIn InMail Example


Potential Pitfalls

While you can launch them quickly, these campaigns can take some time to deploy. The InMails are delivered when the user signs in, which doesn’t happen as often as on other social media platforms. The smaller—or less active—the audience, the longer the campaign may take to deploy. For example, a campaign with a 3,000 user audience spent its $1,000 budget in about two months. Ones with target audiences upwards of 10,000 will often reach more users in a shorter period of time. This also should be kept in mind with last-minute pushes, like registration deadlines or events. While they’re a great medium to get right to your target audience, sometimes it’s too late by the time it arrives.

 
Examples of InMail Success

A recent campaign helps demonstrate the type of success and conversion metrics we tend to see using this medium. In this particular campaign, we targeted decision makers in the higher education space with a very modest budget. The best part? We still experienced great results.

With InMails, you can target users based on a number of factors, including job title, industry, education level and more. With a budget of only $500, we were able to reach 786 users in the target audience, in just under a month; a cost per send of only $0.64.

Of those 786, nearly 500 opened the message—over 61%. Even more promising are the click-through rates. Generally speaking, click-through rates (CTR) hover around 1-3% on email and other pay-per-click advertising mediums. CTRs on LinkedIn InMail are traditionally much higher and in this particular case, we garnered a CTR of 8%. The real icing on the cake was the conversion rate. For this particular campaign, we were measuring form submissions from survey responses. Not only did the LinkedIn InMails account for 40% of overall conversions, but had a conversion rate of 2.5%! Staggering and very cost effective at $25 per conversion.


This example is not an outlier. Across industries, we see similar results on behalf of our clients who use this medium. With strong messaging, accurate targeting and something worth clicking for (it’s all about that value, right?) LinkedIn InMail is one of the strongest converting digital ad products.

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Sarah Johnson is the Director of Digital Marketing Services with Incentric. She's a recreational sports enthusiast and is driven by the opportunity to connect people through truly impactful digital strategies. You'll know it's her by her "irresistible" fake British accent and steady stream of quips.

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