linkedin retargeting

LinkedIn Retargeting: The Complete Guide

Retargeting is a great way to increase your impact on users who have already shown interest in your business. However, the way you set it up and use it can slightly differ across digital channels. Today, we will see a step-by-step guide to LinkedIn Retargeting, including:

  • What exactly is it;
  • What are the different types of retargeting on LinkedIn;
  • How can you set each one up;
  • When and what are the best ways to use it;
  • And most importantly, does it work? 

linkedin retargeting

So, let’s waste no more time, because we have a lot of things to cover!

What is LinkedIn Retargeting?

Retargeting is a form of online advertising that allows you to make a second impact on users who have already shown interest in your business. This could mean that they have previously downloaded a form, signed up for your newsletter, or just visited your website.

This form of advertising uses cookie-based technology to anonymously “track” your audience all over the web. Usually, it works by placing a small and non-intrusive code on your website. Later on, this code will gather a browser cookie each time someone visits your web. 

On LinkedIn, the concept of retargeting is no different than the one of any other digital channels. It looks something like that:

linkedin retargeting scheme

However, there are some ways to retarget your users that not all channels offer. Let’s see them:

Types of Retargeting on LinkedIn

There are various ways to use retargeting on LinkedIn:

1. Matched Audiences – Retargeting Web Visitors

You can configure matched audiences to impact users who clicked on your LinkedIn ad and landed on your website, but didn’t convert. However, it is important to keep in mind that you can only target visitors coming from LinkedIn.

With Google Ads, you can connect your account to Google Analytics and target all website visitors, independently of the channel they came from. However, with LinkedIn, this is not possible.

2. Matched Audiences – Retargeting Leads & Customers

You can also retarget leads who have converted from a LinkedIn campaign. Those are the people who clicked on your ad, went to your website, and performed an action that you consider key for your business.

Usually, this action is filling out a form on your website, although it’s not necessarily the case.

lead retargeting on linkedin

This type of retargeting configuration is only for leads and customers coming from your LinkedIn campaigns. However, as opposed to website visitors, there is a way to target leads and customers from other sources:

3. List Uploads

This set up allows you to upload lists of leads and customers from other sources, such as your CRM.

After you’ve uploaded the list of emails that you want to target, LinkedIn matches them with the emails in their database. This way, they are able to find your leads and customers that also have a profile on LinkedIn. 

linkedin retargeting crm

Of course, not all people of your email list will have a LinkedIn profile. Usually, your campaign manager will only be able to match between 40% and 60% of your list. In other cases, it can be even less, or maybe a bit more.

Also, there will only be a match if the email that the person used to register on your website is the same that he used to register on LinkedIn. If this is not the case, the platform has no way of knowing if it’s the same person, so there will not be a match either.

Furthermore, before you upload any email lists, always make sure to comply with the GDPR if you are from a country in the European Union. If you aren’t, check what data protection regulations apply to your country. It is really important that we are doing our retargeting ethically and correctly. 🙂

Setting up Your Retargeting

Now that we’ve explained the different types of LinkedIn retargeting, it is time to see how to set up each one of them.

The Insight Tag

Before you do any campaigns on LinkedIn, it is of key importance to have your conversion tracking up and running. It requires installing a lightweight Javascript tag on your website to enable its communication and exchange of data with LinkedIn.

Without it, you will not be able to measure your visits and website conversions.

If you don’t have it installed yet, just visit the link that I’ve provided above. But make sure that it is the first thing you do before running any campaigns!

linkedin insight tag javascript

1. Matched Audiences – Retargeting Web Visitors

Now, we are ready to start configuring our LinkedIn Retargeting! And we will start with website visitors.

To configure this form of retargeting, go to your Campaign Manager, and click on Account AssetsMatched Audiences:

linkedin matched audiences

Next, click on Create Audience, and choose Website:

matched audiences

At this step, you will have to give your audience a name. Make sure to include enough information to make it easily distinguishable from any other future audiences that you might create!

Otherwise, it could be difficult to know which one to select when creating a campaign.

matched audiences - web visitors

After that, select your URL match type, and paste the URL that you want to track visitors to.

I highly recommend that you do multiple matched audiences, some more generic, and some more specific. For example, you could create:

  • A different matched audience for each of your key home pages – such as Services, Pricing, Features, etc. This way, you can later retarget users in a more personalized way according to what they were interested in learning about.
  • Specific audiences for each product or service that you are going to promote in a LinkedIn campaign.
  • Audiences that group different products with things in common. For example, if you have a clothes ecommerce, you could create one audience with all URLs that have to do with summer dresses. Or just dresses. Maybe another one for sports shoes. You get the idea!
URL tips

internal backlinks seo

The general rule is to create audiences with URLs that you are going to use in your campaigns. If you are using different URLs, your audiences is never going to build enough volume.

After all, the idea is to use your LinkedIn campaign traffic for retargeting. So, if the URLs that you are using in your matched audiences aren’t getting traffic from LinkedIn, you are not taking the opportunity there.

In this type of retargeting, we will use regular landing pages (not thank-you ones).

For audiences that group multiple URLs, you can add as many links as you want. As far as I am aware, there isn’t a limit on how many URLs you can add to a single matched audience. LinkedIn doesn’t say anything specific either. 

linkedin matched audiences - multiple URLs

You can also choose the URL match type, selecting between the following options:

url match type linkedin

Exact Match Type

The exact one is not always recommended because you might miss an opportunity to gather traffic from possible sub pages within the same category. On the other hand, it can be a good way to restrict unwanted traffic in certain cases.

For example, entering “www.example.com/home” with this match type will not include “www.example.com/home/features“. Or “www.example.com/home/pricing“.

Start with the URL

This option is typically the most used and recommended one. The reason why is because it’s not as restrictive as the exact match type.

The rule is that it will include any page that begins with the URL that you enter. So, if you type in “www.example.com/home/”, it will include all of its subcategories, such as “www.example.com/home/pricing”. 

Specified text

This match type allows you to build patterns that automatically group multiple URLs.

For example, if you type in the keyword “product“, it will include all of your pages that include the word “product“. The keyword “blog” will include all of your blog posts (if they have the word in their URL), and so on.

Match type tip: there is no need to paste your URL with the https:// or the www pre-fix. It should start with example.com, instead of www.example.com

2. Matched Audiences – Retargeting Leads & Customers

The second retargeting option is to impact people who have converted on your website from your LinkedIn campaign. Depending on how you have configured your conversion, it could be a lead, a customer, and so on.

It is quite simple, and the first steps are exactly the same as in our first option.

Go to Account Assets -> Matched Audiences -> Create an Audience -> Website.

The difference is that now, instead of using regular URLs, you will use your Thank You Pages. 

linkedin retargeting thank you page

If you are not familiar with the term, a thank you page is the page that appears once a user has completed a specific action on your website. For example, let’s say that he has just downloaded your ebook by filling out a form. In this case, he will be sent to a thank you page once the form has been submitted.

It is important that all of your thank you pages have your Insight Tag installed. This way, when the thank you page loads after the user has submitted the form, the LinkedIn pixel will receive information that the person has completed the action.

Depending on your case, this action can be a purchase, downloading a resource, requesting more information, and so on.

thank you page

Second impact with a personalized message

By creating matched audiences with thank you pages, you can later do retargeting on a deeper level. Having a person complete a specific action on your website means that he is more interested in your business than users who are just visiting.

Later on, you can use this information to target users with a personalized message, depending on the action that they completed on your website.

For example, if they made a purchase, you can make a retargeting campaign to offer a complementary product. Or a specific offer that is only for current clients. On another hand, if they only submitted a form without purchasing, your impact could be more focused on achieving the purchase.

3. List Uploads

linkedin retargeting list upload

As we already mentioned, you can also do LinkedIn retargeting with a list upload.

This means uploading a list of emails from your current database, either leads or customers, usually from your CRM tool. Although not necessarily, of course. The idea is to use an already available database of users who have shown interest in your business, and take your advertising impact to LinkedIn.

Always make sure that your list is in compliance with the GDPR! 

And most importantly, that people have consented the use of their data for advertising purposes.

Uploading a list

To upload a list, go to your Campaign Manager, and then Account Assets -> Matched Audiences. However, this time, you will click on List Upload instead of Create Audience:

After this, give your audience a name. As we already explained, it is important to use an easily distinguishable name to make it different from other future list uploads.

Now, click on Download the contact list template, and then paste the emails that you want to target. The template is very simple, and it will look something like this:

contact list template

The important thing is to include only one email per row. And, a tip from me – avoid having empty rows because the platform might lag when trying to process them.

LinkedIn recommends that you upload a minimum of 10,000 emails, and you can reach up to 300,000 contacts at once. The reason why the minimum is so high is because of what we explained earlier. LinkedIn will only make a match with 40-60% of all emails. 

However, if you have less than 10,000 contacts, it doesn’t mean that you can’t upload your list. I have uploaded lists of 1,500 emails and I can still get a tiny audience of 700-800 members. Although I don’t recommend to upload if you have less than 1,000 unless you are completely sure that the majority of them will make a match.

If your end-result audience is less than 300 members, LinkedIn will not let you use it in a campaign.

Once you’ve uploaded your list, it can take up to 24 hours to process all the emails, especially if the volume is high. After that, it can take up to 24 additional hours to start delivery.

Using Retargeting Audiences in a Campaign

Now that you have configured your retargeting audiences, it is time to use them in a campaign.


Go to your Campaign Manager and click on Create campaign. If it’s your first campaign ever, and you need more information on how to make it efficient for lead generation, you might want to check these articles:

But for now, we only want to know how to insert retargeting audiences into the campaign.

Once you’ve selected your objective, target location, and profile language, scroll down to Matched Audiences:

website audiences linkedin

For the first and the second option of our retargeting audiences, select Website audiences. For the third one, select Uploaded lists.

If your list hasn’t been processed yet, you will not be able to use it in a campaign. If it’s processed but doesn’t have a minimum volume of 300 users, you cannot use it either.

You can play with other targeting criteria to adjust your list to your goals. I would recommend to have an audience of at least 500 LinkedIn members. You can also select various retargeting audiences at a time. 

Conclusion

Well, this is all, folks! I hope you enjoyed my article on LinkedIn Retargeting, a very powerful tool to make a second impact on people who are showing interest in your business.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my content. And of course, if you have any questions or suggestions, do not hesitate to let me know in the comments below!

I will see you in the next article!


Written by
animitevabg
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