Create sponsored InMail ads in LinkedIn

1. Identify what you want to accomplish and the metrics you expect to achieve from the InMail campaign.

Popular sponsored InMail ad types include invitations to events, personalized offerings like product demonstrations, and recruitment initiatives. Determine your goals before the campaign begins.

2. Assess your expected ROI and use this to determine your budget.

Depending on the goal of your campaign, you can choose the following pricing models:  Cost-per-Click (CPC): Pay only when a user clicks on your ad. This payment structure helps optimize website traffic. Cost-per-1,000 Impressions (CPM): Pay a specific amount for your ad to be seen 1,000 times. This payment structure helps optimize awareness. Cost-per-Send (CPS): Pay a specific amount for each send. This payment structure helps optimize for high-quality leads. For example, if your campaign goal is to drive event registrations, you might choose the CPS payment structure. If you’ve run a campaign similar in the past, use that conversion rate as an estimate of what this conversion rate will be. If not, you can use an industry benchmark as a rough guide. Then determine the value of each event registration, the ROI of event registrations, and how much you’d want to spend bringing them in. This will vary depending on the goals of your campaign.

3. Determine the target audience and the most valuable viewers of your ad.

If the goal of your ad is for awareness, your target audience will be very broad and cater to those that might be interested in your service or product. If the goal of your campaign is to secure high-value leads, your audience will likely be very specific and much smaller.  InMail ads are good formats to personalize messages to specific potential clients or customers, so more specific targeting is generally the best practice. Select your audience and narrow it down from the following parameters: Company. Demographics. Education. Job Experience. Interest and Traits. Or, if you’re working with a sales team that has identified a group of potential clients that they would like to pursue, you can upload a specific list into LinkedIn and use this to target specific users.

4. Develop the subject line, copy, and CTA for the InMail ad.

Subject line: Should be short and to the point about the purpose of the message. Subject lines are what entice users to open the message. Copy: Should be straightforward and express how what you’re telling them will be valuable. Don’t hide your message behind unnecessary or lengthy paragraphs. Identify what the reader’s pain points are and how you will solve them.  CTA: Tell the user exactly what to do next, whether it is to request a product demo, submit an application, or register for an event.

5. Optimize your performance by creating a personalized, credible, and valuable message.

Personalize the message. Use LinkedIn’s personalization fields to insert an individual’s first name, or use a few jokes and conversational tone to make it sound less like a sales pitch. It’s okay to use a bit of personality when these ads. Choose a credible sender. LinkedIn Sponsored InMail ads are sent by individual users, not by a company account. Tie your message back to a credible individual, such as the CEO of the company or the product marketer giving the demo.  Keep your message simple and to the point. Your audience is likely made up of many busy professionals. To save time for you both, don’t make your message long or difficult to understand. Keep it simple so that the reader can easily identify if this is something they are interested in and how to take the next step.

6. Avoid long-winded, vague, or complicated messages.

Whether it’s the subject line, the copy, or the CTA, the reader should understand exactly what you are pitching to them at every point of the message. Make the CTA easy to understand and execute, or the reader will likely not become a conversion.

7. Analyze and optimize the performance of your InMail messages by testing, monitoring, and adjusting different factors if you are not reaching your performance goals.

Gather information about the success of your ads: Run A/B tests on the ads to determine what drives conversions. Remember to only change one aspect of the ads in each test. Use this information in future tests to hone in on the highest performing combo. Monitor your ads daily. This helps you spot if there is a problem with your ads, such as a broken link, and inform on whether a factor of the ad needs to be adapted. Use LinkedIn’s performance reports. Use the performance export function on LinkedIn to determine how your ad is performing and what areas can be improved upon. For example, if you are receiving a lot of opens, but not many clicks on the CTA, this could indicate you need to adjust your message copy. Alternatively, if you are not receiving many message opens, this could indicate you need to adjust your subject line or the sender. Continue to monitor your performance throughout the campaign, and use these insights when setting up your next campaign.