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2020 Growth Tactics: Use LinkedIn InMail to Drive Down-Funnel Actions

Published: January 27, 2020

Author: Sara Nicoletti

So you’ve been running acquisition campaigns and generating leads for your business – great! Your marketing efforts shouldn’t stop there, though. Help support your sales team by running lead nurturing initiatives to try to move leads down the funnel. 
When talking about lead nurturing, you may think of platforms like GDN or Facebook first. I’m here to make a case for why you should use LinkedIn to nurture your leads. LinkedIn InMail campaigns allow you to send messages directly to your prospects’ InMail box on the LinkedIn platform. 

An InMail message allows you to customize the sender so that it appears the message is coming from a real person, rather than a generic brand, making the message feel more personal than a standard ad you may see on a feed. LinkedIn InMail also allows you to dynamically pull in the user’s name, allowing for more personalized content than you would typically be able to deliver in a news feed. InMail messages are only sent to users who are active on LinkedIn’s platform, and each person can only receive one Sponsored InMail message every 45 days. This means that you aren’t competing for their inbox, and that you’re only reaching users who are likely to engage with the message. 
It also means that volume may be lower than some of your other channels – but engagement on InMail campaigns is high. Due to the nature of InMail campaigns, there are some different metrics that should be used to evaluate performance:

  • Sends (sends = impressions) – this is the number of InMail messages actually sent to LinkedIn members 
  • Cost Per Send – Cost Per InMail delivered 
  • Opens – this is the number of people who have received and opened your InMail 
  • Open Rate – Opens/Sends 
  • Click Through Rate – Clicks/Opens 

Engagement is where InMail campaigns really stand out. In a recent campaign for a client who is nurturing prospective students, we saw a 68% open rate. Of the 5,700 messages that we sent, almost 4,000 of them were opened by the recipient. This is an extremely high engagement rate – but it’s not surprising. Since this is a nurturing campaign, we know that the prospect is already familiar with our brand, and that they have to be active and engaged LinkedIn users to be eligible to receive the message. We also see much higher CTR on our LinkedIn InMail campaigns than we do for similar campaigns on other channels, at almost a 9% CTR! 
This all comes at a relatively low cost. Our cost per InMail sent was only 23 cents! While this will vary due to a number of factors such as competition, LinkedIn InMail provided an efficient platform for our client to provide an additional touchpoint for prospects and help drive them down the funnel. 
Of course, having a strong Open Rate and CVR indicates that your InMail content is resonating with the audience, but you should also consider where you are driving users from your InMail, and what the desired action is. To generate strong post-click engagement, drive users to landing pages that make it clear and easy for them to take the next step. Try not to include more than one URL in your InMail campaign, so that there is no chance of them dropping off before getting to the desired page or action. Open rate and CTR are only as valuable as the content that they drive to, so if you’re not seeing good post-click engagement, consider testing new content or page destinations. 

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