Is Linkedin's Sponsored InMail Worth The Money?
You are probably already using Linkedin for lead generation and for getting some of your content out there. So is Linkedin’s sponsored InMail worth the money in B2B Lead Generation? Or are there more suitable alternatives for your lead generation investment?
Let’s start with what Linkedin tell us a sponsored InMail campaign has to offer;
1) 100% deliverability - it only sends your message when the intended recipient is logged in
2) No cap on how many messages you can send
3) Linked in will give you tips on how to make your content more appealing
Let’s look at "100% deliverability". You know that all of the InMail’s you send will reach their intended recipient. This is because Linkedin knows when the recipient’s InMail account is in use, and only sends them the InMail when they are logged in.
This is important as your recipient cannot action your email if they haven’t received it.
So far, so good, but your message being delivered is not a stand alone measure of success. You need to know if the recipient has actually clicked through and read your mail and then if they have followed through to your website, blog, or downloaded a piece of content.
Sponsored InMail does not currently have a dashboard to help you track your click-through rate, or anything to tell you what your prospect or customer has done from there. This means that all you will know is that the InMail reached its target. You will not find out what the prospect did with it, unless you are fortunate and the prospect contacts you immediately.
There are lots of free email analytics tools available. Many of the free tools offer more information than just whether your email has been delivered. However, these tools do not guarantee delivery in the way that sponsored InMail does, so this is something to consider: Which is more important to you? Guaranteed delivery and no further information? Or managing your own mail list, or using a piece of software to do this for you, in conjunction with using a tool that gives you much more information than just whether the email has been delivered?
No cap on how many messages you can send
This is not a strong selling point. Partly because of the reasons we looked at in "100% Deliverability" and because it is unlikely that you intend to do all of your inbound marketing via Linkedin. Linkedin should normally only form part of your Inbound Marketing lead generation campaign.
Tips on how to make your content more appealing
Linkedin’s third main selling point for a sponsored InMail account is that they will give you tips on how to make your content more appealing. Whilst this may be helpful if you are just starting out, there are lots of on-line resources available to help you with this for free, such as our own 6 Secrets to Powerful Content That Wins Leads.
Rich targeting capabilities and optimised for mobile
Whilst not part of their main selling points, Linkedin also promote their sponsored InMail on the basis that it gives you rich targeting capabilities, and that it can be optimised for mobile.
All of your content should already be optimised for mobile, so this is not really a selling point. And as for "rich targeting capabilities", using your buyer persona’s you should already know who you need to target. You can target your key buyers on Linkedin already, without paying for a sponsored InMail account.
If you are going to do all of your marketing on Linkedin and / or, despite what we have discussed here, 100% deliverability of your message is the most important thing to your business, or there is no limit to your marketing budget, then I would say go for it! Get that sponsored InMail account up and running, because without a sponsored InMail account your business can only send somewhere between 3 and 150 InMails a month. The exact number depends on your Linkedin account type. For example, a Business Plus account, without paying extra for sponsored InMail, allows you to send 15 InMails a month.
If you are not going to do all of your marketing on Linkedin and your marketing budget is not limitless, then there is probably not much value for your business in a sponsored InMail account.
Your business will benefit more from using one of the free analytics tools, combined with email management software for B2B Lead Generation. This will enable you to see what action your prospects have taken once they have your email and you will not be limited on the amount of email’s you can send per month.
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