5 reasons to try LinkedIn Sponsored InMail for B2B

Melissa Hernandez B2B Campaigns, MarTech

We’re massive advocates of LinkedIn. We’ve used it for everything from hard-sell lead gen campaigns to methods of research when identifying target accounts.

With over 260 million users (Jan, 2020), LinkedIn as a platform for targeted messaging is hard to ignore, and LinkedIn’s Sponsored InMail advertising option gives you access to the inbox of almost all of these users.

If you’re a raw materials supplier in Europe for example, there are around 3,000 people on LinkedIn who work in the quality assurance function of a construction, building materials or engineering company that are director level or above.

If you extend that to include the US, you have 5,500 people – a ready-made pool of people to reach and engage with a direct message or proposition.

Or let’s say you might be producing a research report on women’s experiences of gender diversity at board level. To complete your research, you will need to get access to these people. According to LinkedIn, there are 24,000 female CXOs of companies with a headcount over 50 in London. And through Sponsored InMail, you can reach out to ask them to participate in your research.

These are just two examples. If you haven’t already, here’s five reasons to try LinkedIn Sponsored InMail:

  • It’s perfect for B2B… Pretty much any professional you want to reach will have a LinkedIn profile and the platform’s targeting options let you focus in on exactly who you want.
  • It’s got great targeting options… You can upload lists of companies and/or email addresses, OR set parameters around criteria such as industry, seniority, job title, interests, qualifications etc. You can also add a pixel to your website that enables you to send Sponsored InMails to the LinkedIn inboxes of previous website visitors.
  • It gets tangible and immediate results… You can monitor open and click-rates in real-time and even capture leads without diverting people off to a webpage, through the attachable InMail lead gen forms.
  • It gives you lots of useful data… On top of results, you can see lots of demographic data on your campaigns such as the companies that engaged with the message, the job titles and seniorities, or even regions.
  • You’ll never bombard anyone… We care about making marketing not annoying. Although Sponsored InMail is quite a direct approach, people can only receive one sponsored InMail every 60 days.

But before you use InMail, please consider:

It’s very direct… We don’t advocate using sponsored LinkedIn InMail to a totally cold audience. It’s not best practice and it’s unlikely to work as well. The people you’re getting in front of should be at least aware of you. Therefore, the more marketing activity you have going on in the background, the better your message will land. Try “warming” up the audience first through running some LinkedIn Sponsored Content advertising in their feeds first.

You get what you pay for… LinkedIn is more expensive than platforms like Google, Twitter and Facebook, but it’s because its audience targeting is so granular. For our B2B audiences, we expect to pay anywhere between $0.10 and $0.25 to send an InMail to each member of your target audience. InMails only send to a user when they log in, so you can be guaranteed not to waste spend on inactive or infrequent LinkedIn users.

Of course, there’s things you can do to increase the likelihood of a response, mainly around who you’re targeting (if they’re totally new to you it’s a harder landing), what else you have going on (aligning with some of your events could be good) and how focused your message is on your target audience (a strong proposition is key – and keep it short and concise).

Tactics we recommend running in the background include:

Paid search – Sponsored LinkedIn InMail often drives people to do more research so make sure you’re visible on Google when they do.

LinkedIn sponsored content – we always recommend a period of at least two weeks to run sponsored content to the audience you plan to send an InMail to. This will softly familiarise them with you, usually resulting in a better landing.

Paid display remarketing – getting people to your website is one battle but having some light retargeting ads will draw people back and keep your brand and offering front of mind.

Whatever your market, LinkedIn gives you access to the relevant stakeholders within it, and by using Sponsored InMail you can put your message in their inbox. So, next time you’re considering channels for a lead generation campaign, try plugging in parameters to LinkedIn and seeing what audience size you could reach.

Melissa Hernandez

Melissa Hernandez

Account Manager