How to Achieve Incredible Results with LinkedIn’s New Conversation Ads

Since LinkedIn launched its new Conversation Ads service earlier this year, we’ve been fortunate enough to trial this new ad format as part of several different B2B campaigns.

The results were very positive, boasting exceptional CPA (cost per acquisition) and showing signs of a highly effective lead generation tool.

What are LinkedIn Conversation Ads?

Conversation Ads allow advertisers to start conversations with prospects and decision-makers at scale.

Rather than online ad formats in the traditional sense — think banners, newsfeed ads, search ads, etc. — LinkedIn Conversation Ads are a form of native advertising displayed to LinkedIn users through the Messaging app on LinkedIn – both on desktop and mobile.

Messages are sent from an individual or company LinkedIn account, and targeting is based on specific but fully customisable criteria set at the campaign build stage.

Targeting can be applied by job function, job title, seniority, sector, location, or a combination of these.

Are LinkedIn Conversation Ads effective for B2B marketing?

Absolutely! In our experience to date, LinkedIn Conversation Ads are about twice as effective at generating decision-maker-level leads than traditional LinkedIn Newsfeed Ads, and about three times more effective than text-based sidebar ads.

Our CPA benchmark for LinkedIn Conversation Ads is between £40 and £50.

This figure varies of course based on the specific call to action; CPA tends to rise above the benchmark for sales-focused messages, and falls below it for event invitations, webinars and free content.

Our CPA benchmark for LinkedIn Conversation Ads is between £40 and £50.

Why are LinkedIn Conversation Ads so effective?

A successful  campaign is primarily based on three elements:

  • The message
  • The targeting
  • The sender


Getting it right requires previous experience of the ad system and knowledge of how best to construct your campaign around each of these points. When done right, LinkedIn Conversation Ads are a highly effective tool.

#1. The message

Relevance is key. Your message should be timely and enticing.

The most successful way to engage with prospects is by segmenting them into target groups based on industry, job function, and previous level of engagement with your company. Taking this approach means more work, but also ensures that your message doesn’t come across as a blanket mass mailer or blatant push to generate leads at scale.

#2. The targeting

It’s important to keep your targeting broad enough to enable the campaign to deliver, yet specific enough to ensure that you can deliver a relevant and timely message. With the first point in mind, LinkedIn purposely restricts users from receiving more than one Conversation Ads message every 45 days. This helps to avoid spam and, ultimately, provides a better experience for users so that they don’t get overwhelmed by ads. The drawback is that your messages may get throttled if a particular audience segment has been heavily targeted by other advertisers.

In the event that your ad LinkedIn Conversation Ads doesn’t serve messages as quickly as you’d like, loosening the targeting restrictions should help.

 #3. The sender

As with any B2B marketing channel involving a personal communication, sender details make all the difference.

We’ve found that sending messages from a user profile with a higher level of job seniority works best. The results can be improved further by matching the sender’s job function with the recipient’s.

Using LinkedIn Conversation Ads as part of a multi-touch B2B campaign

As a standalone tool, LinkedIn Conversation Ads provide exceptional results and very competitive CPA. As part of a multi-channel multi-touch B2B marketing campaign they are even more effective.

To achieve the best results and returns, I always recommend that clients use a combination of different channels simultaneously. This typically includes email, search, social media, display ads and even good old snail mail.

Find out more about our LinkedIn marketing services.

For more information on how to create an effective LinkedIn Conversation Ads campaign take a look at this guide.

If you fancy a chat about any of this, or are interested in working with us, don’t be shy. Call 01635 800868; we won’t bite!