Our paid media experts are always sharing best practices with other internal teams and keeping up on the latest ad platform developments. A good example of this best practice is our work with Code42.
Every quarter we review our clients’ business goals and update our paid media strategy accordingly. To match Code42’s goals, we saw that a (then-new) LinkedIn form option looked like a great match for Code42’s lead-gen campaigns centered on gated offers.
Hunches are great, but we always like to test and measure extensively to confirm our hypotheses. Happily, the data showed performance improvements in the areas we wanted—so high and so consistent that we transitioned all Code42’s lead-generation campaigns to LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms over the course of 2018.
The path to higher-quality, lower-cost leads
In Q1 of 2018, Code42 began to focus on driving qualified inquiries defined by leads from companies of a specific size in three target segments—commercial, strategic, and enterprise. They had chosen target personas too, defined by lead seniority, role, job title, etc.
LinkedIn was one of a handful of channels we recommended using to meet these goals, in part because of its precise B2B targeting capabilities. It’s also a business-oriented platform where users are in the right mindset to be interested in the educational content, like e-books, webinars, and white papers, that our client had been promoting. (Thanks to our work with LinkedIn over the years, joining alpha and beta testing programs for its new offerings, Yesler had recently been invited to beta test Lead Gen Forms.)
To mitigate risk, we did ongoing testing and analysis of the original user experience (which sent prospects from LinkedIn ads to a Code42 landing page with a contact form) and the new one. We were especially interested in seeing how the auto-populated functionality of the Lead Gen Forms would affect performance.
Standard practice was to have leads manually fill in contact forms, which could result in missing or inaccurate information. People are often in a hurry and, especially on smaller screens, can feel that typing in each field is inconvenient. With Lead Gen Forms, we could capture information about a particular lead entirely within the LinkedIn mobile environment (a desktop option was offered later). When leads click on an ad, a form appears autofilled with data from their LinkedIn profile. That information is highly accurate and reduces the friction on the mobile experience.
Results of the campaign and testing
Lead Gen Forms captured more accurate information than Code42’s forms, for higher lead quality at a lower cost. By partnering with Yesler’s martech team, we could do downstream lead analysis on how Lead Gen Form leads progressed through the funnel. Our hypothesis was that since they didn’t go to Code42’s site via the paid media campaign, they might not be as engaged as if they’d had a chance to click through the client-branded environment to explore. Surprisingly, more of these leads progressed farther than those from the original campaign.
The improvements were so consistent throughout the year that by the end of 2018 we had systematically moved all Code42 lead-generation campaigns over to Lead Gen Forms. Overall, the LinkedIn Lead Gen Form campaigns converted 98% better than campaigns that drove prospects to Code42 landing pages. We also saw a 28% improvement in lead quality. This resulted in a 47% reduction in the cost per qualified lead.
We’re always glad to have our hypotheses proven wrong if the end results are favorable to our clients. Part of what I love about paid media is that you can test and measure virtually any aspect of a campaign, constantly adjusting the elements to get peak performance.