LinkedIn sponsored messaging allows you to directly engage with LinkedIn members by sending them personalized messages. It enables you to reach your target audience in their LinkedIn inbox. Sponsored messaging can be an effective way to generate leads, increase brand awareness, and drive traffic to your website. But how much does it cost to use LinkedIn sponsored messaging?
How LinkedIn Sponsored Messaging Works
With LinkedIn sponsored messaging, you create customized messages that will be delivered to the LinkedIn inboxes of your target audience. You choose the recipients based on criteria such as location, industry, job title, skills, groups, and more. LinkedIn charges you for each message sent, regardless of whether the recipient opens or clicks on it.
There are two types of sponsored messages on LinkedIn:
- InMail messages – These appear in the recipient’s inbox as individual messages sent directly from you or your company.
- Conversation ads – These appear in the recipient’s inbox as part of a conversation thread under the label “Promoted by [Your Company].”
Both are delivered directly to the recipient’s personal LinkedIn inbox. The main difference is InMail messages look like one-to-one personalized messages, while conversation ads transparently identify themselves as ads upfront.
LinkedIn Sponsored Messaging Pricing
The cost of LinkedIn sponsored messaging depends on the type of message you want to send.
InMail messages allow you to directly contact LinkedIn members outside of your network. Here are the current LinkedIn InMail pricing options:
- 1-99 messages: $10 per message
- 100-499 messages: $8 per message
- 500+ messages: Custom pricing
So if you want to send 50 InMail messages, it would cost you $10 x 50 = $500. The more messages you buy upfront, the lower the per message cost.
Conversation ads are a lower-cost alternative to InMail for sponsored messaging. Here are the current pricing options:
- Pay per click: $7 per click
- Pay per impression: $2 per 1,000 impressions
With pay per click pricing, you are only charged when the recipient clicks on your ad message. With pay per impression, you are charged each time your ad message is displayed, regardless of clicks.
Most advertisers opt for pay per click pricing, which averages around $7 per click. However, the actual cost varies based on factors like your target audience and time of year.
Factors That Impact Cost
There are several factors that impact the cost of LinkedIn sponsored messaging beyond just the base per-message or per-click rates.
The more narrowly you target your messages, the more it will generally cost you. For example, targeting C-level executives in specific industries usually costs more than targeting a broad professional audience.
If you are targeting an in-demand audience that is getting a lot of competing sponsored messages, the cost will be higher. Less competitive targeting options will be cheaper.
Time of Year
Sponsored messaging costs fluctuate based on the time of year. The best rates are usually available in Q1 after the holiday spending peak.
Advanced Targeting Options
Using more advanced LinkedIn targeting options like job roles, skills, or interests will increase your costs compared to just targeting by location and industry.
Using sponsored messaging as part of broader LinkedIn ad campaigns with customized audiences and integrations with marketing automation platforms will have additional costs.
Tips for Lowering Your Costs
Here are some tips to help lower your LinkedIn sponsored messaging costs:
- Buy in bulk packages of 100+ messages to get volume discounts
- Test different targeting options and see which deliver the best results at the lowest cost
- Avoid overly competitive industries and titles that drive up bid prices
- Adjust your targeting to reach a slightly less specific audience
- Create customized audiences from your contacts and website visitors to message
- Send messages in less competitive times of year like Q1 and Q4
- Set a maximum bid threshold to control how much you’ll pay
When evaluating your LinkedIn sponsored messaging costs, be sure to also measure the results you are getting. Important metrics to track include:
- Open rates – What % of your messages are being opened?
- Click-through rates – Of those who see your message, how many click?
- Conversions – How many conversions or leads result from your messages?
- Cost per conversion – How much does each conversion end up costing you?
- Conversion rates – What % of recipients turn into conversions?
By tracking these metrics, you can determine if your spending is generating a worthwhile return on investment.
The Value of LinkedIn Sponsored Messaging
While LinkedIn sponsored messaging does come at a cost, for many businesses the expense is well worth it. Some of the benefits of sponsored messaging include:
- Direct access to your target audience in a non-intrusive environment
- Much higher open and response rates compared to email
- Customized, one-to-one conversations at scale
- More trust and credibility over anonymous ads
- Detailed targeting options to reach your ideal prospects
Used strategically as part of a multi-channel campaign, LinkedIn sponsored messaging can deliver significant results and ROI for your business. The cost is low compared to other tactics when you factor in the value of the leads generated.
LinkedIn sponsored messaging allows you to engage directly with your ideal prospects to generate leads and awareness. While the cost varies based on factors like message volume and targeting, the investment is usually money well spent given LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities and engaged professional user base. By tracking performance and optimizing your campaigns, you can keep LinkedIn messaging costs under control while benefiting from this unique marketing channel.