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B2B businesses in various industries attach lead gen forms to their LinkedIn ads to generate relevant leads. The forms offer a quick, simple way for leads to provide their information and for companies and individual sellers to collect and sort it. In this article, we’ll cover key details regarding LinkedIn lead gen forms and how to create an effective LinkedIn ad and form, including quality examples.
LinkedIn lead gen forms are customizable form fields you can include as part of sponsored content ads and sponsored InMail to capture lead contact information directly on the LinkedIn platform. A lead magnet or value offering is typically given to entice leads to sign up. Some form fields can autopopulate information, reducing friction.
Traditionally, when leads click an ad, they head to a company’s landing page that offers a lead magnet for their contact information. This extra step in the lead funnel often results in lost leads; LinkedIn lead gen forms simplify the process and improve user experience to increase conversions by keeping prospects on the platform.
When creating a LinkedIn ad and associated lead form, LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager instructs advertisers to define their audience, design an ad around a high-value lead magnet, attach a custom lead gen form, and create a thank-you page. Let’s look at each step separately:
While sponsored content and sponsored InMail can work on their own as they have before, advertisers can now take them a step further by adding a LinkedIn lead gen form to new campaigns or existing ones. Next, we’ll identify who those advertisers are.
LinkedIn lead gen forms help businesses grow their sales pipeline through easy opt-ins. Individual LinkedIn users with a free or paid account can send sponsored InMail from their personal profile, but sponsored content must come from a company page. B2B businesses or salespeople using paid strategies should use the forms; if you’re a B2C seller, check out our article on Facebook lead ads.
Here are a few specific examples of who should use them:
If you’re looking for a paid strategy to generate quality paid leads, LinkedIn lead gen forms can serve your business well. If you want a full breakdown of LinkedIn lead generation, both organic and paid, check out our article on LinkedIn lead generation. Otherwise, continue reading for exactly how to create a high-converting paid lead gen form.
Once you’ve identified your ideal customer (your target audience) and what you’re going to offer them (your lead magnet), it’s time to set up your ad and lead gen form. This involves narrowing your audience, setting up a sponsored ad or InMail message, building the form attached to it, and drafting a thank-you message and link.
Here are the steps to set up a LinkedIn lead gen form for a campaign and ensure it converts:
First, visit Campaign Manager, which is LinkedIn’s ad platform. Create an ad account if you don’t already have one. Choose an account name, enter your currency, and associate the account with a LinkedIn page if you’d like. Click Create account.
Then, select the Accounts tab and check the box next to the ad account you’d like to use for the LinkedIn lead gen form.
Select the Campaign tab and then the Campaign Groups tab that appears. Check the box next to the campaign group you want to use for the form.
Click back to the Campaigns tab and click Create Campaign. This will allow you to start creating the ad that you’ll attach a lead gen form to.
Change “Untitled Campaign” at the top to a title that matches your ad (for example, XYZ Ebook Promotion). Click Next.
Because you’re going to use this campaign to generate leads, look under the Conversions section and choose Lead generation as your objective.
Identify your preferred audience by choosing the cities or countries where your target audience lives and works under Locations. To prevent people in certain areas from seeing your ad, click Exclude and choose those locations.
Next, select the primary language your target audience speaks in the dropdown.
In the “Who is your target audience?” section, click Narrow to choose a more specific audience. A panel will open that has two main categories: Audiences and Audience attributes.
To use your existing database of contacts, click Audiences, then choose the options that are right for your business and advertising goals. To target users you haven’t discovered yet, click Audience attributes, then search the ones that are right for you and narrow down your target audience. To learn more about the options and how to use them, see this LinkedIn Help article.
Click Exclude, and a similar panel will appear. This time, go through the same process but enter anyone who you do not want to receive your ad.
If you’d like to use job titles, companies, skills, or similar attributes to help you reach people that closely resemble your target audience, check the Enable Audience Expansion box.
Select your ad format from the options listed; lead gen forms are compatible with single image, carousel image, video, message, and conversation ads. The first three are in the sponsored content family, while message and conversation ads are sponsored InMail. In this guide, we’ll look at a single image ad and a message ad to cover both categories.
Select the duration of your ad and a daily and/or lifetime budget (how much you want to pay per day and/or for the entirety of your campaign). The schedule you set will determine when your ad starts and ends. You can automate your bidding through maximum delivery and use your full budget, or you can do it yourself through manual bidding.
If you choose a message ad format instead of an image ad format, the Budget & Schedule section will be the same until the Bidding portion, which will only include one strategy option: manual bidding. Type in the amount you’d like to bid per ad sent.
Click Next and then Save.
Near the top of the next page, you’ll see Create new ad (and Browse existing content if you’re creating a single image ad). Let’s assume this is the first ad you’re creating; click Create new ad.
If you’re creating a message ad, skip the next section and head straight to “Create a Message Ad” below.
Start with 1. Ad and enter the ad’s introductory text (the text that will appear above the ad image), URL, image, headline (the text below the image), and/or description. Your ad image should be visually appealing so LinkedIn users stop scrolling, simple to keep their attention, and to the point so they understand your offering and engage. Similarly, your headline and description should be compelling and concise.
Click 3. Lead details & custom questions and enter the information you want to gather from leads through your lead gen form. Choose from the suggested fields and/or create up to three custom fields. LinkedIn allows for 12 total fields but recommends using 3–4, so ask for the key information that will help you qualify and follow up with leads. If you need explicit consent from leads, set up custom checkboxes at the bottom.
Click 4. Confirmation and then build your thank-you message and include your link. Be clear about how and when the lead can expect to hear from you, as well as instructions to click your link to head to a landing page and receive the lead magnet.
When you’re happy with the ad, click Create in the lower right-hand corner.
Name the ad, then start with 1. Sender. Select yourself or click Add sender to include another LinkedIn member and send them an approval request. The sender should be relevant to your message; their job title should be closely related to the topic.
Click 2. Message and enter your InMail message’s subject, text, call-to-action (CTA) verbiage, and landing page URL. Select or deselect the checkbox to add a custom footer for terms and conditions or disclaimers. If you’d like to send a more visually appealing message, click Upload under Banner Creative to add a banner to your ad.
As you’re writing your subject line, CTA, and message, be clear and conversational. Write enough in the body to pique the recipient’s interest, but be brief so they’ll seek more information; to optimize for mobile, stick to 1,000 characters. If you’re sending a lead magnet or inviting them to an event, communicate the relevance to the recipient. Above all, be genuine and avoid being pushy.
Click 4. Lead details & custom questions, then choose the information you want from leads. Select a few suggested fields and/or write up to three custom questions. Although you can add up to 12 total fields, LinkedIn recommends using 3–4; request key details that will allow you to qualify leads and follow up with them. Set up custom checkboxes if you need explicit consent from the people who complete your form.
Click 5. Confirmation, then write your thank-you message and enter your link. Tell the lead how and when they can expect to hear from you, and instruct them to click your link so they can receive the lead magnet on your landing page.
When you feel the ad is ready, click Create in the bottom corner.
You’ll see your ad under Ads in this campaign. When you’re ready to allow it to go live on its scheduled start date, click Launch Campaign in the bottom right, and you’re all set.
To see all the lead gen forms you’ve created, head back to your account, then click Account Assets and choose Lead Gen Forms in the dropdown.
Here, you can create lead gen forms and save them for later if you don’t have an ad to attach them to yet. Click Create form to go through the same process as above while skipping the ad-related sections.
You can also download all the leads you’ve generated through your forms. Check the boxes next to the forms you’d like to download from, then click Download Leads. Or, if your CRM is compatible with LinkedIn, you may be able to integrate your generated leads that way; LinkedIn Help lists the CRMs that can do this, as well as how to set it up for each, in this article.
You can view and filter the performance metrics on the Campaigns tab’s main dashboard; hover your cursor over each metric for a definition. Click Performance Chart to visualize them and Export for a CSV data report.
If many leads open your forms but few complete them, reduce your fields or modify your ad verbiage. Using these forms, especially if you’re new to LinkedIn advertising, will take trial and error, so monitor these metrics and polish your strategy.
Let’s look at some examples that pair eye-catching sponsored content with an effective lead gen form. We’ve also included an example of sponsored InMail that will inspire recipients to read the entire message and then follow the CTA and provide their information. Review these for takeaways that you can apply to your own campaigns.
This video ad is simple and appealing, and it offers a lead magnet that will be useful to many people. The “download” verbiage and button communicate what the lead magnet is and that the user will get it immediately after providing their information.
The form attached to the ad is short. It requests the user’s first and last name, job title, and company name, which will likely autopopulate. Chorus.ai’s form also requests a business email, which might autofill using the email address associated with users’ account but can be changed.
The headline that appears directly above the simple CTA in Vendasta’s ad encourages the user to try their service for free. The introductory text explains what they’ll get out of working with Vendasta, which further encourages the reader to sign up for a free trial.
This form requests a first and last name, company name, and company size, which should autofill. It also collects an email address and phone number to ensure that the sales team has the correct information.
The simple design of this ad draws the reader in, then the introductory text, the image, the headline, and the CTA button all work together to pique the user’s interest and make them want to learn more. It does a nice job keeping the ad clean and simple by being selective with the words they use.
This ad’s lead gen form requests basic information such as first and last name, company name, and industry. Similar to Vendasta’s form, this one requests a work email and work phone number to ensure Rolland Papers contacts its generated leads properly.
As soon as the user comes across this video ad, it starts by panning across a cheering audience and induces a feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out) in the viewer, then it promotes Comicpalooza and gives this year’s event details. The introductory text above the clip is fun and casual, and the headline and CTA encourage the user to take action by joining in.
The form asks for standard information (name, job title, company name, work email, and work phone number) and also allows the user to indicate how they might want to get involved. This way, the event sales team can reach out with information on exhibiting, sponsoring, or attending according to their leads’ interest.
LinkedIn considers this InMail ad a best-practice message. The subject line is short and to the point, and the sender’s job title lends him credibility. He establishes himself as a helpful new contact by sharing a relevant report and additional resources. He requests that the recipient take an action in the body of the message, and the reinforcing CTA is clear and directly relates to the message.
The cost to use LinkedIn lead gen forms comes from the ads, not the forms. After you create a LinkedIn campaign, there is no extra cost to incorporate a form. Campaigns can be expensive—paying $5.00 per click or $6.00 per 1,000 impressions is not uncommon. LinkedIn charges for advertising based not on a fixed price, but on an online auction system in which your ads compete with others for a similar target audience.
In this auction system, the factors that affect the price you pay include:
For more specifics on how LinkedIn charges for advertising, see their advertising cost overview page. Each marketer’s cost will be different, so the best way to determine your cost is to set up campaigns and play around with them. LinkedIn recommends allocating at least $100 per day or $5,000 total (generally in a month) to campaign testing so you can experience the benefits.
LinkedIn lead gen forms come with benefits to businesses’ marketing and sales representatives, including small business owners that generate and nurture their own leads. As with most lead generation features, these forms also have a few drawbacks to consider. Luckily, there are enough advantages of LinkedIn lead gen forms to conclude that they’re a good strategy to try.
Advertising on LinkedIn and attaching lead gen forms can boost leads’ awareness of your business, and it can help you reach them in a meaningful way that ultimately results in a sale. Key benefits of LinkedIn lead gen forms include:
Overall, LinkedIn lead gen forms can be a great paid option to reach and capture leads, and the pros tend to outweigh the cons. However, there are cons to consider. Below are some problems you might come across:
LinkedIn lead gen forms are a thoughtful solution to a common problem marketers face: capturing information once a lead clicks an ad. The keys to success with these forms are to have the money to spend on testing and adjusting, create an engaging ad, and ask the right questions in your form. If you don’t already advertise on LinkedIn, you might find that it’s worth the time, effort, and patience to start creating campaigns and incorporating lead gen forms.