Do LinkedIn Lead Gen forms work? Whether you are just starting with LinkedIn advertising, or just haven’t really tried Lead Gen yet, this is a question that you are probably going to ask yourself before you start using this feature.
After all, we all want to use things that work and make our life easier, right? (preferably without having to waste an unnecessary amount of time to find out).
According to LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog, “Our internal data shows that LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Form campaigns increase conversions by 2-3x when compared to standard Sponsored Content campaigns.” Today, we are going to see if this statement is true.
I am going to share with you my very own, non-biased opinion on whether LinkedIn Lead Gen forms work. And of course, how to get the best out of them. But first, let me introduce them briefly:
What are LinkedIn Lead Gen forms?
Lead Gen Forms are pre-filled forms that help you collect high-quality leads while providing a seamless user experience.
In a regular landing page, the user usually has to fill a long form with numerous fields manually. With Lead Gen, the platform extracts the requested data from the users’ public LinkedIn profiles. As a result, the conversion process becomes faster and significantly less annoying.
This profile data is filled in automatically, reducing the manual fields to no more than 1 or 2 – unless you ask for very specific information from the user that can´t be found on his LinkedIn profile.
Lead Gen forms can be created quite easily from your LinkedIn Campaign Manager. However, their configuration is a whole different topic, which I´ll leave for one of my next articles. Otherwise, I might take forever to finish this post 🙂 . Today, we are going straight to the point!
Do LinkedIn Lead Gen forms work?
Before I give the so-anticipated answer to this question, it is crucial to define what it means for something “to work”. After all, every company is different and what works for one might not work for the other.
Despite all the differences, there is one thing we all have in common when it comes to Advertising: results.
Getting people to buy our products, register for our events, download our ebooks, or just listen to what we have to say. Reaching the highest amount of people in our target audience for the least amount of money. And of course, obtaining the best return on investment possible.
Because nobody pays for an ad without expecting to achieve something with it, right?
Back to the context of our Lead Gen forms, how will we know if they “work”? We will know it when they:
- Help us impact our target audience with the right message;
- Make our goal possible to achieve;
- Generate high-quality leads at scale;
- Integrate seamlessly with our Marketing automation or CRM tools;
- …and all this for consistenly lower Cost per lead than using a regular landing.
First of all, a little disclaimer: I am obviously not saying that my experience will be the same for everyone else as well. Everything that I say below comes from my own results and observations. It doesn´t mean that it will work the same way for you! Results will probably differ across countries, industries, target audiences, etc.
The key to discovering whether Lead Gen forms will work for you is consistent A/B Testing. The best way to do that is to launch two equal campaigns, with equal budgets: one with Lead Gen and one with your regular landing.
The key twist will be that the only element that changes is precisely that – the way you collect leads. This way, you will be able to see which campaign converts the most considering that all other things are being equal.
If you make changes to your segmentation or budget, you will not know if it was the change in the segmentation that worked, or the fact that you used lead gen (or didn´t).
For this reason, it is better to change only one element at a time. You can launch both campaigns at the same time, or one after the other – it´s up to you. I usually launch them together to watch the competition in real time.
In the next graphics, you will see my actual campaign results for some of the products that we are selling. I have obviously removed the names of the products because the goal of this article is to be simply informational. Besides, I want to respect the privacy of the company.
As you can see in this graphic, the pink column is significantly higher for all 4 products. This means that for all of these products, the cost per lead was two times lower for Lead Gen when compared to a regular landing.
If you take a look at Product 1, the difference is even higher – the CPL was 3 times lower with Lead Gen! Which means that you are able to generate more leads for the same budget.
In the second example, we continue to see that leads generated with LinkedIn Lead Gen forms are two times cheaper for 3 out of 4 products. When it comes to Product 4, even though the difference is not as significant as in the rest of campaigns, we can still that Lead Gen is slightly cheaper.
In the last example, we continue to see that Lead Gen generates cheaper leads than a normal landing page. Obviously, the difference being significantly higher for Product 9 and not that obvious for Product 10.
Now, going back to LinkedIn´s statement on achieving 2x-3x more conversion with Lead Gen, I can definitely confirm that it was true for me!
Obviously, there were some exceptions. However, what you need to remember is that A/B Testing and campaign optimization are ongoing processes. So CPLs are constantly going to change, going up and down, and evolving as we work towards improving our campaign performance.
Why do Lead Gen forms work?
Now that we´ve answered the initial question and confirmed that Lead Gen forms indeed work, I think it´s also important to explain why. What exactly makes them so effective? Here are my top 3 reasons:
Reason 1: User Experience
Obviously, the first and most important reason why Lead Gen works (and exists in the first place) is its ability to auto-fill data from the LinkedIn profiles of the users who clicked on your ad.
The amount of auto-filled fields and the ones that will have to be filled in manually by the user depend on how you created your Lead Gen form. These forms are highly customizable so you can adapt them to your goals and needs by selecting fields from the list:
Or requesting specific information that is not found publicly on a person´s LinkedIn profile. You can add up to 3 custom questions and up to 5 custom checkboxes:
Even if you choose to not add custom questions or checklists, there will be some fields that users will have to fill in manually always – such as their phone number or/and email address:
Because LinkedIn considers this as a private information and will not share it publicly without the user´s content.
Information is key to getting to know your audience. So a lot of times, companies are tempted to ask for too much data when creating a lead generation form on their landing page.
This usually creates a very frustrating experience for the user who just wants to get the content that you promised him in exchange for signing up. In fact, many people might leave your landing page if you ask for too much data. According to Hubspot, the convertion rate decreases as the number of form fields increases:
Compared to a regular landing, LinkedIn Lead Gen forms make it significantly easier for the user to sign up for your content or download your ebook.
Because it fills in a lot of data automatically, you will be able to ask for more information from the user. All while reducing significantly the negative experience of filling out numerous fields. So, it´s a win-win!
Reason 2: Straight to the point
One of my favourite things about Lead Gen forms is that they go straight to the point with a clear and concise message. There are no endless paragraphs, overwhelming testimonials, videos, and other sorts of distracting content.
But don´t get me wrong! As a Marketer and a blogger myself, I absolutely know the importance of content on a landing page.
However, besides from an advertiser, I am also an ad and content consumer. And from a consumer´s perspective, I think that sometimes companies tend to overcomplicate their message. When in fact, simple is usually better.
If your ad was compelling enough and managed to convince me to click on it, it will probably not take me that many arguments on your landing to get me to convert. Of course, it could be completely different depending on your product niche and service. However, it is definitely something that is worth the try.
Reason 3: No leaks
A lot of landing pages tend to have leaks. To put it simple, a leak is any element that takes your user off the page and on to another place on the Internet.
It might be a YouTube video on your page that once over, will show a compilation of other recommended videos. This is risky because your user might click on another video, leaving your landing without converting.
Another dangerous leak point could be a link to a less relevant or a third-party page. Or even your company logo which takes the user to the home page and off the landing page. And although he is technically still on your website, he might not end up converting on that specific landing.
Lead Gen, on another hand, doesn´t interrupt the conversion process with distractions and leak points. It takes you off your LinkedIn feed for a minute and you either fill out the form and click Submit, or don´t. Without any distracting elements.
Well, this was my personal experience with LinkedIn Lead Gen forms.
Is Lead Gen compatible with all ad formats?
Unfortunately, Lead Gen forms aren’t available for all 6 LinkedIn ad formats.
However, they are available for the most popular ones:
- Single image ad, also known as Sponsored Content
- Carousel image ads
- Message ads, also known as Sponsored InMail
- Video ads
So I highly recommend you to try them!
That was all from me for today. I hope you enjoyed the content. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below! Thank you for your time!
Featured image credit: business.linkedin.com