New LinkedIn Ad Format to send personal online messages

As a new feature of LinkedIn you can deliver short advertisements in the Inbox of your target audience. There are two ways to do this. Via Message Ads, formerly known as LinkedIn sponsored Inmail, or via Conversation Ads. In this column Marketing Coordinator Robin van Tilburg shows you the difference between the two and how to use them to your advantage.

Photo: EagleNobleFoto

Message Ads as an alternative for e-mail marketing?

With sponsored messages LinkedIn offers an alternative for traditional e-mail marketing. In essence you send a message to your target audience directly in their Inbox.

There are big differences in comparison to regular e-mail marketing:

  1. You send a message as a person, not as a company. This makes the message more personal but requires a different “tone of voice”.
  2. The receiver doesn’t know you and that’s a disadvantage.
  3. You haven’t asked permission to the user if you can send him or her a message.

As you can imagine this requires a different approach. The receiver of the message has to have a good reason to open a message from somebody they don’t know.

It is important if you use LinkedIn Message Ad that you give something (as relevant as possible) instead of getting.
An important tip is to keep your Message Ad personal and short. It’s a fact that a message with less than 500 words gets a higher CTR.
Then make sure you have a clear call-to-action (CTA) because a good CTA can make the difference in your campaign.

Conversation Ad: a kind of chatbot but on LinkedIn!

The Conversation Ad is the newest way of sending sponsored messages via LinkedIn. It is meant to engage in a real (although automated) conversation with your prospect, similar to a traditional chatbot. Keep your message personal and keep it short. And keep Conversation Ad not to formal. And try to avoid jargon because you want to have a real conversation.

How does it work?

The user receives a short message with a number of options to choose from. When the choice is made the user automatically receives a follow up message. It almost seems if a real conversation has already started.

What is the purpose?

You can use Conversation Ad when you want to establish contact with your target audience in order to achieve registrations for by instance a webinar, event or online demo. It has also proven to work if your goal is donations for a charity or if you want to conduct a survey.

For all these purposes you can use one of the nine pre-selected templates. These will help you to set up Ads. It is also possible to use your own template. Choose the template that will help you tell your story.

Don’t waste money targeting inactive accounts

When you are setting up your campaign you get an indication of the costs per message. LinkedIn has some clever features for Conversation Ads. For instance that you can only send messages to people that have an active Inbox.

If you use Conversation Ads you pay per send message. LinkedIn makes a distinction between opened and unopened messages. You pay less if your message isn’t opened.

Things to think about when using Conversation Ad

Make sure you have a clear message and a catchy title. You have to be clear and relevant from the get-go. People must be interested enough to read the whole message.

You can add a total of five CTA’s (answers) to your message. Simple and not to pushy CTA’s give the best results. For instance a ‘click here’, ‘download now’ or ‘subscribe’. By using these CTA’s you can influence your reader. Avoid negative CTA’s like ‘no thanks’ or ‘not interested’.

Setting up a Conversation Ad-campaign

The first step is to fill in the basic data. Name of your advertisement, the sender and add an image. This will only be shown on the desktop version at the left side of the message.

Your are not obligated to add an image but if you don’t the space can be filled by the image of another company. An unnecessary distraction of your message.

Then choose your template, the one that fits with your message. Or create your own if none fits.

Then start creating your advertisement. A short message with one or more CTA’s that makes the reader curious enough to engage.

If you want you can add one or several follow-up messages. By doing this you can stay “in the lead” and guide the reader. In theory you can add countless messages but be aware that people are easily distracted. LinkedIn advices a maximum of four messages.

And then you are ready to engage your target audience! Good luck!

Do you want to know more about or need help with Conversation Ad or Message Ad? Or maybe more information about a traditional LinkedIn-campaign on your timeline? Our online specialists are ready to assist you with your campaign.

Author: Robin van Tilburg
Placed on: 26 June 2020
Updated on: 26 June 2020