You’re likely very familiar with LinkedIn, but you may not know much about InMail. InMail is LinkedIn’s system for direct messages.
Even if you are familiar with LinkedIn InMail, you might not have considered using InMail for lead generation. In this blog, we highlight why LinkedIn is useful and certain things to do as a marketer to get the most out of the tool.
Why LinkedIn Is Such A Useful Tool For B2B Lead Generation
Before we get into LinkedIn InMail, it’s worth exploring why LinkedIn should be a part of your B2B lead generation mix.
We’ve all used other types of contact data gathering tools. The challenge with those tools is that they are sometimes years old. People move jobs and locations often and it is challenging for those tools to keep up. LinkedIn is different.
People who use LinkedIn are more likely to keep their profiles up to date because they are on the lookout for potential clients, exploring current job trends, or seeking to expand their networking contacts.
Targeting Specific Skills
Using profiles from LinkedIn as opposed to other platforms has another distinct advantage. You won’t just be able to target people with certain titles indicating their level of decision-making in the company, but you’ll also be able to further qualify your prospects by using insights gleaned from specific skills they’ve listed on their profiles.
Because LinkedIn is considered the gold standard for business networking, you can be confident that the information someone places on their profile is correct and current. The benefit to B2B lead gen is that you have a better chance of connecting with the right decision-maker or a person in your target organization who can help to influence the sales conversation.
Accessibility Even Outside Of Working Hours
LinkedIn members are more likely to engage with B2B content during working hours because it is, well, business-oriented. But LinkedIn members also engage with the platform outside of normal working hours.
For B2B marketers, this is great news. Not only do you have your lead’s attention during working hours, but also during the off times when there is time to read articles and answer messages.
Success Using Sponsored Inmail
LinkedIn has two types of direct messages and each can be used for B2B lead generation. The first is the free InMail that is used to send direct messages to existing LinkedIn connections.
The second is Sponsored InMail, which is a hybrid of email and paid advertising. Sponsored InMail allows you to send marketing messages directly to audiences you create. Your audience may be made up of a target account list, target certain job titles, or certain skill sets. If you’re familiar with running ads on LinkedIn already, you create these audiences in the same way you do for LinkedIn Sponsored Content.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind when using this highly-targeted messaging platform.
Keep The Recipient In Mind
Whether it’s a Sponsored InMail message, an email, or an ad, there is one universal truth: You want someone to take an action. And you can’t influence someone to take an action you’d like them to take if you don’t think about the person on the receiving end of your message.
Personalized, friendly (but not contrived) messages are the ones getting the most attention. A short, friendly message – with the relevant information – is more likely to get opened and read. What does the recipient want to hear? What problems are they facing?
It’s also more likely that someone takes action. Give the person who’s receiving your message a reason to act on it – and they will.
Use High-Value Offers
You’re paying for Sponsored InMail, and you want the audience to convert. And the best way to do that is to give them an offer they want. Don’t waste this direct communication on an offer you think is just OK. You should reserve InMail for your best content.
LinkedIn InMail is particularly good at driving registrations for conferences and webinars. This is also a good opportunity to retarget recent website visitors to opt into a demo or a free trial.
The offer needs to be high value, and it needs to match where they are in the buyer’s journey.
Test everything. Try aggressive messaging, test out a joke, test out different senders, or try different subject lines. You might not do a hard-and-fast A/B test, but you have to be willing to adapt.
You Can’t Run Programs Forever
While LinkedIn doesn’t send your message to one user more than once, your content will still fatigue. Your audience is only so big, and once they’ve seen the message, they’ve gotten the message. If you want to keep this audience engaged with what’s happening with your company, create a queue of content for them to receive.
You can also (and should!) create down time between new content so that you don’t burn out your audience. After all, you also need to look at how this fits into your overall strategy. If some of these leads are also in your current database and are receiving regular emails, calls, texts, and being served other ads, they might start to tune you out or become annoyed. There’s a balance you have to create where you’re everywhere they turn. You don’t want to beat them over the head with your messaging.
LinkedIn InMail offers real opportunities for B2B lead generation. Using this hybrid form of email and advertising, you can use the power of LinkedIn to get to the right people with highly targeted and personalized messages. This gives you the opportunity to send meaningful content to qualified leads and moving them through the sales qualification cycle faster.
Let’s talk about how DemandZEN can help you realize the potential of LinkedIn InMail. Give us a call. We’re waiting for you.