When advertising on LinkedIn, two of the main ad formats to consider are message ads and conversation ads. Both allow for targeted outreach to LinkedIn users, but they work in different ways. This article examines the key differences between LinkedIn message ads and conversation ads to help you determine which ad type may be better suited for your goals.
What are LinkedIn Message Ads?
LinkedIn message ads (also known as sponsored InMail) allow you to directly engage with LinkedIn members by sending them personalized messages that appear in the LinkedIn messaging inbox, instead of the main inbox where regular emails go. Some key things to know about LinkedIn message ads:
- Messages are sent directly to the member’s LinkedIn inbox.
- You can target message ads based on member profile data such as job title, company, industry, skills, etc.
- Messages have high open and response rates compared to regular emails.
- There are limits on the number of message ads you can send to each recipient.
- Message ads are best for personalized outreach to your ideal customers.
What are LinkedIn Conversation Ads?
LinkedIn conversation ads allow you to start conversations with LinkedIn members through automated chat sequences. Here’s an overview:
- Users can respond to conversation ads via text messages.
- You create scripts to automate messaging and drive conversations.
- Conversations happen within the LinkedIn platform.
- Targeting is based on member profile data just like message ads.
- Automated nurturing and lead gen at scale.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s compare the key differences between LinkedIn message ads and conversation ads:
1. Message Delivery
LinkedIn message ads are sent to the member’s LinkedIn inbox, while conversation ads are delivered via automated chat sequences within LinkedIn Messaging.
Message ads allow for personal customization in each individual message. Conversation ads have pre-defined messaging sequences that are automated.
3. Recipient Limits
For message ads, you can only send one message per month to each recipient with a few annual exceptions. With conversation ads, there are no sending limits per member.
4. User Experience
Message ads provide a more personalized user experience with each customized message. Conversation ads have a bot-like automated chat experience.
5. Response Automation
There is no automated follow up capability with message ads. Conversation ads allow for automatic follow up based on user responses.
6. Cost Structure
Message ads are pay per send. Conversation ads are pay per engagement based on responses, clicks, etc.
7. Use Cases
Message ads work well for one-off networking and personalized outreach. Conversation ads are better for automated lead nurturing at scale.
Which Should You Use?
So which type of LinkedIn ad is right for your goals? Here are some best practices:
- Use message ads when you want to send individual customized messages to build relationships.
- Leverage conversation ads for high volume lead generation and sales conversations.
- Combine both ad types as part of a comprehensive LinkedIn marketing strategy.
Evaluate your priorities, target audience, and campaign objectives to determine if message ads, conversation ads, or both together make the most sense for your business.
Tips for Success
To get the most out of LinkedIn message and conversation ads, keep these tips in mind:
- Target your ads using LinkedIn profile data for greater relevancy.
- Personalize your message ads with custom content for each recipient.
- Use conversation ad scripts to mimic natural conversations.
- A/B test different targeting and messaging approaches.
- Follow up new leads generated quickly.
- Track ROI closely to optimize performance.
LinkedIn message ads and conversation ads both provide excellent opportunities to connect with professional audiences. Assess your specific goals, budget, resources, and target market to decide if one or both ad formats could be beneficial as part of your overall LinkedIn advertising and social media marketing strategies.