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LinkedIn to let advertisers contact members through unsolicited InMails

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Social Media platforms are finally flexing their revenue generating muscles. After years and years of ensuring that you get quality content while they do all the hard lifting, social media platforms appear to be caught up in a rush to make all their hard work pay off. A day after Facebook announced that it is allowing advertisers to directly contact people on messenger, LinkedIn has opened the floodgates as well.

The company is activating a brand new feature called Sponsored InMail. InMail, in case you are unaware of it is a feature that lets users send unsolicited messages to anyone on LinkedIn. Up until now, the feature was available solely to premium or paying members of the LinkedKin community. However, it is now being opened up to advertisers as well.

We’re excited to announce that Sponsored InMail is joining the growing suite of self-serve LinkedIn products available through LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager. With Sponsored InMail you can engage your target audiences in a personalized, direct and meaningful way.

The feature was actually being piloted since August with around 100 marketers. However, the company is now ready to offer it to everyone who wants to reach potential customers  directly in their inboxes through LinkedIn. While it was available as a managed services to enterprises in its pilot program, marketers and advertisers can now use sponsored InMails on their own.

LinkedIn is probably aware of the potential for destruction possessed by Sponsored InMail. After all, there was a reason why not everyone is able to drop unsolicited messages to any stranger on LinkedIn — It is a professional community after all and the company didn’t want to turn the LinkedIn inbox into something similar to e-mail inbox — that is, full of spam and  random, unsolicited messages.

So, although advertisers and marketers can now pay to have the privilege of sending InMails to anyone on LinkedIn, there are a few restrictions. For one, they can only be received by members once every 60 days. Next, users can completely opt out of seeing InMails from a particular company or person. And yes, you can also turn the feature completely off as well.

Even with all these restrictions, Sponsored InMails has a lot of potential. The messages sent by advertisers using the Sponsored Inmails feature will be delivered to the inboxes of their target audiences only when he/she is online. Not only that, these messages will be featured near the top of the list and instead of requiring the target user to type reply, will prompt him/her to perform a call to action — such as make a purchase or visit a website,

Meanwhile, if you are an advertiser, here is how you can call upon the feature to aid you in your marketing campaigns.

  • Log into yourLinkedIn Campaign Manager.
  • Open your Ad Account, click “Create campaign” and select “Sponsored InMail”.
  • Select “Sponsored InMail” and start crafting your message.
  • Choose your target audiences (from 16 different criteria).
  • Set your campaign budget goals and launch!

You can read more about the topic by visiting LinkedIn’s official blog post on the topic.

A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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