How to Set Up LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms in 10 Steps

Learn how to supercharge your LinkedIn lead generation efforts with these paid LinkedIn lead gen forms for high-converting B2B leads.

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.

What Are LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms?

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:

  1. Define Your Target Audience: Choose the audience you want to reach, the audience you do not want to reach, and/or the audience you’ve reached before that you want to advertise to again.
  2. Create a Relevant Lead Magnet: Craft a piece of content that your target audience will find valuable enough to opt in on their own. Check out our lead magnet article to learn how to create one that converts.
  3. Design an Ad: Sponsored content is a visual ad that appears on your targets’ feeds and encourages them to click it. Sponsored InMail is a message that is automatically sent from you to users you’re not connected with and prompts them to take a certain action.
  4. Build the Form: LinkedIn provides suggestions, or you can create your own fields. Leads are most likely to submit the forms that are short and autopopulated, so this is where you decide on your priorities (quantity of leads vs. detail of information).
  5. Create a Thank-You Page: After leads submit the form, a thank-you page pops up. When you design the page, give next steps in your message and include a link to your promised lead magnet.

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.

Example ad & lead gen form
Example ad & lead gen form

Who Should Use LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

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:

  • Marketers Searching for Advanced Lead Insights: The fields are customizable and some will autopopulate when live, so it’s a great way to secure key data on each lead.
  • Salespeople Seeking Higher Conversions: When leads can stay on the platform and take fewer steps, the chance for conversions increases.
  • Those Planning to Retarget Engaged Users: Once a lead opens a form, you can target them in future campaigns and continue building their interest by adding them to your next campaign. You can also add the leads you’ve generated outside of LinkedIn.
  • Companies That Produce Valuable Lead Magnets: If content is a significant portion of your sales strategy, you can promote your relevant lead magnets on LinkedIn and attach lead gen forms to attract your target audience and encourage them to sign up.
  • Organizations Communicating Their Expertise: Creating useful content and sharing it to the right audience can help you be seen as an expert in your field.

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.

How to Create a LinkedIn Lead Gen Form That Converts

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:

1. Create Your Ad Account

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.

Example create account
Example 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.

Example choose account
Example choose account

2. Create Your Campaign

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.

Example choose campaign group
Example choose campaign group

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.

Create campaign button
Create campaign button

Change “Untitled Campaign” at the top to a title that matches your ad (for example, XYZ Ebook Promotion). Click Next.

How to name campaign
How to name campaign

3. Choose Your Objective

Because you’re going to use this campaign to generate leads, look under the Conversions section and choose Lead generation as your objective.

Example choose objective
Example choose objective

4. Choose Your Target Audience

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.

How to specify audience
How to specify audience

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.

Audiences categories
Audiences categories
Audience attributes categories
Audience attributes categories

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.

How to exclude users
How to exclude users

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.

Example enable audience expansion
Example enable audience expansion

5. Choose Your Ad Format

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.

Example choose ad format
Example choose ad format

6. Choose Your Budget & Schedule

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.

Budget & schedule fields

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.

Example message ad bidding strategy options
Example message ad bidding strategy options

Click Next and then Save.

How to save objective & ad format
How to save objective & ad format

7. Create Your Lead Gen Form Ad

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.

Create new ad button
Create new ad button

Create a Single Image Ad

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.

Ad specification fields (sponsored content ad)
Ad specification fields (sponsored content ad)

Click the Form dropdown under 2. Form details. Choose Create new. This will reveal more options where you can choose a call-to-action (CTA) and then add a form name (e.g., Ebook Lead Gen Form) plus other details such as the language, offer headline (your CTA verbiage), offer details, and privacy policy URL and supplemental text.

Form details fields (sponsored content ad)
Form details fields (sponsored content ad)

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.

Example choose lead gen form fields (sponsored content ad)

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.

Thank-you message fields (sponsored content ad)
Thank-you message fields (sponsored content ad)

When you’re happy with the ad, click Create in the lower right-hand corner.

Create ad button (sponsored content ad)
Create ad button (sponsored content ad)

Create a Message Ad

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.

How to name ad & choose sender (sponsored InMail ad)
How to name ad & choose sender (sponsored InMail ad)

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.

Message fields (sponsored InMail ad)
Message fields (sponsored InMail ad)

Click the Form dropdown under 3. Form details. Choose Create new, and you’ll see additional options where you can select a CTA and name the form (e.g., Ebook Lead Gen Form). Next, add the language, your offer headline (your CTA verbiage) and details, and your privacy policy URL and text.

Form details fields (sponsored InMail ad)
Form details fields (sponsored InMail ad)

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.

Example choose lead gen form fields (sponsored InMail ad)
Example choose lead gen form fields (sponsored InMail ad)

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.

Thank-you message fields (sponsored InMail ad)
Thank-you message fields (sponsored InMail ad)

When you feel the ad is ready, click Create in the bottom corner.

Create ad button (sponsored InMail ad)
Create ad button (sponsored InMail ad)

8. Launch Your Campaign

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.

Example campaign ads to launch
Example campaign ads to launch

9. Review Your Lead Gen Forms

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.

Example choose account asset
Example choose account asset

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.

Create form & download leads buttons
Create form & download leads buttons

10. Measure Your Forms’ Performance

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.

Example measure forms' performance
Example measure forms' performance

LinkedIn Lead Gen Form Examples

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.

Highly Relevant Lead Magnet Ad & Form

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.

Example highly relevant lead magnet ad & form
Example highly relevant lead magnet ad & form

Well-Crafted Headline Ad & Form

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.

Example well-crafted headline ad & form
Example well-crafted headline ad & form

Intriguing Ad & Form

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.

Example intriguing ad & form
Example intriguing ad & form

FOMO Ad & Form

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.

Example FOMO ad & form
Example FOMO ad & form

InMail Message

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.

Example InMail message
Example InMail message

LinkedIn Lead Gen Form Cost

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:

  • Target Audience: More desirable audiences come at a higher price since others will also be bidding for their attention.
  • Bidding Strategy: Maximum delivery automates your bidding with your full budget. Target cost automates with your desired cost per result. Manual bidding lets you control your bids and budget.
  • Objective: The lead generation objective charges by impressions, clicks, or message sends.
  • Ad Relevance Score: Pertinent, high-quality ads pay off. The engagement your ads receive communicates a relevance score to LinkedIn. More relevant ads cost less.

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.

Benefits & Drawbacks of LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

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.

Benefits

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:

  • Effective Lead Generation: These forms help businesses generate many quality leads. LinkedIn advertisers often collect more leads with forms than with campaigns alone.
  • Compatibility With Desktop and Mobile: The forms are designed to look great on whichever screen your leads are submitting them.
  • Appropriate Platform: LinkedIn is a social media site specifically used for business and content marketing. You can reach decision makers and influencers directly.
  • Reduction in Drop-offs: Leads will understand what to expect when submitting a lead gen form, whereas every landing page is new, different, and potentially frustrating.
  • Simplicity: The forms provide a simple way for businesses to collect and organize the information they want and for leads to give it to them.
  • Less Time Spent on Campaign Pages: Since leads submit the form on LinkedIn, you don’t have to spend the time creating a landing page for each new campaign.
  • Potential for Double Conversions: After leads submit, the thank-you message can link to your website, where you can provide a promised lead magnet and/or another offer.
  • Impact Reporting: You can track ROI through the cost per lead, form fill rate, and total leads coming from your chosen audience segments. You can also review data on who filled out forms attached to InMail campaigns and adjust your messaging accordingly.

Drawbacks

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:

  • Costly Advertising & Difficult Budgeting: If you’re not already using LinkedIn campaigns, you might find that they’re too costly. Because so many factors affect the price of ads, it’s difficult to predict what you’ll pay for good results until you try it out.
  • Customizability Limitations: You can choose what you want to ask your leads, but only three of the form fields can be custom fields, and customizing means fewer fields will be autofilled for users. You must be selective about what will benefit your business most.
  • Forgotten Form Submissions: Leads sometimes forget that they filled out a form and then wonder why a business contacts them. Try to avoid this by reaching out ASAP and having your thank-you page direct them to a memorable landing page.

Bottom Line

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.

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