LinkedIn ads costs: Why Lead Gen Forms are usually the best choice & have high conversion rates
LinkedIn Ads Lead Gen Forms are essential in lead generation as their conversion rate is on average five to ten times higher than landing pages. This is crucial due to the click costs of €7 – €8.
LinkedIn has developed strongly in recent years: the social media portal for business networks is showing a dynamism that Facebook once had at its peak. People share their diverse insights from their professional careers, thoughts, projects and mostly knowledge from their special fields – often highly specialized knowledge.
In the area of ad placement, LinkedIn Ads offer very accurate control options, which is why the delivery in the B2B area to certain decision-makers is valid and reliable. As with other advertising systems, LinkedIn measures bids for impressions through real-time auctions where competitors bid on possible impressions in order to reach a specific audience. Therefore, your advertising spend may vary depending on your goals and your target audience. Also due to the high budgetary commitment to placement in coveted positions in the target audience’s feeds, the average CPCs are higher than, for example, Facebook.
What is a Lead Gen Form in LinkedIn Ads?
Lead Gen Forms are an important milestone in the development of successful online marketing technologies. At their core, they are classic contact forms that are characterized by the fact that most of the data is filled out by the system via auto-fill. With LinkedIn Ads, the user only has to enter the email address and the form can be sent. Each click on the ad on LinkedIn always calls up the lead gen form – the user never gets to a landing page.
By auto-filling in various custom information, such as company name and job title, we can import important data into our CRM. Above all, however, the auto-fill-in is easy to reach in decision-making and thus increases the willingness of users to get in touch with us at all. That’s why the conversion rate is so high. Lead Gen Forms can be used for direct inquiries, webinar registrations, incentive downloads or job postings.
Above-average costs, but also above-average conversion rates
A normal, average CPC for a single single image ad can be around €7 to €8 in German-speaking countries in 2022. That depends entirely on the degree of optimization and user interest. If a topic meets with a very high level of interest and the design of the ad is particularly exciting and low-threshold, the click-through rate can be higher, causing the click price to fall. A normal CPM, i.e. the purchase price for 1,000 impressions, is around €50 – €60. A normal CTR, i.e. the click-through rate, can in good cases be 0.6% – 1.5%, which means: 6 – 15 clicks on 1,000 impressions would cost around €4 – €10 per impression with a CPM of €60 click.
Usual CPC (cost-per-click) for LinkedIn Ads. They are significantly higher than the normal CPCs that are available with Google Ads. These are often €1 – €2, in the middle range €3 – €8, and in the most popular keywords €8 – €30 and sometimes even over €100. With LinkedIn, the normal CPC is already a good €8, with a little optimization a CPC of €4 can perhaps be achieved, but CPCs of €20 are often also achieved, which, as mentioned, with Google Ads otherwise only occur in the most expensive areas would – but at LinkedIn are quite normal.
Usual CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) for LinkedIn Ads. With a CPM of around €60, LinkedIn is one of the most expensive advertising networks. The difference to Google Ads is: LinkedIn Single Image Ads are part of push marketing and therefore have much lower CTR (click-through rates) than Google Ads, which is why the CPC is so much higher.
Usual CTRs (click-through rates) for LinkedIn Ads. While Google Ads users have a search intent and thus achieve a good CTR of 5% to 15% on average, LinkedIn Ads CTRs are often between 0.3% and 1.5%. On average, and especially with direct inquiry campaigns, you get a CTR of a good 0.6% .
Landing pages have often a lower conversion-rate
Now the question is: What do we get out of it – and what do we gain from it? Therefore, let’s take a look at the LinkedIn Ads conversion rates. A conversion rate indicates what percentage of users have been converted to a target action. In the B2B area, this would usually be a completed contact form, a registration, an inquiry or an appointment booking.
The benchmark for an average conversion rate when redirected to a landing page was officially given by LinkedIn in 2019 as 2.50%. So this is quite a typical conversion rate on a B2B landing page, which we would also find in the Google Ads area, where it is often around 1% – 3%. The only difference is that with Google Ads, the click price can be as little as €2 in many areas of the search network, and less than €1 in performance max mode, because many clicks are generated from the display network and YouTube, which often come from a Click price of less than €0.50. This means: A conversion with LinkedIn Ads with the redirection to a landing page costs significantly more in most cases than with Google Ads.
Lead Gen Forms can achieve conversion rates of 20%
However, the Lead Gen Forms are quite a trump card of LinkedIn Ads: According to official LinkedIn benchmarks from 2019, these have an average conversion rate of around 10.26% internationally. With sufficient optimization and cuts in ads targeting, a conversion rate of a good 20% is absolutely realistic. Means: Every fifth click becomes a lead. Also means: With a CPC of €8, the conversion, in this case the lead through the registration, would cost €40 and €320. A CPC of €7 would result in a €35 conversion. There are even campaigns that can generate a lead for less than €10 if a particularly exciting and popular incentive is used for registration, such as a highly popular downloadable guide on a topic.
Example of direct request campaign conversion rates. Here the conversion rates are slightly lower than with webinar, white paper or e-book registrations. The rate of completed lead forms describes the percentage of completed LinkedIn Ads Lead Gen Forms to the total number of clicks. For comparison: A B2B landing page usually has a conversion rate of 1% – 3%. In the end, however, as always, you should see what deals really came in from the leads and which cost point per deal is better (i.e. deals from landing pages or deals from LinkedIn Ads Lead Gen Forms).
Single image ad converts usually best
In my experience, the Single Image Ad in combination with Lead Gen Forms is the most effective advertising format. With a single image ad, there is an introductory text with a maximum of 600 characters, an image and a title for the image including a call-to-action button. The introductory text should contain functional elements and explain what the offer is about, give a taste of the topic and generate interest. An exciting question at the beginning of the introductory text can often be very successful in generating leads. The picture should arouse interest and, if possible, match the subject matter. Any number of variations of text can also be used in the image, because unlike Facebook Ads, there are no percentage restrictions on the space taken up by text elements on LinkedIn.
Do other advertising formats work in lead generation?
In my experience, other formats, such as videos, have consistently shown that they can even generate good CTRs, i.e. click-through rates – but the conversion rate is significantly lower than with single image ads. Overall, in my experience in lead generation, single image ads have always been more productive than video ads with lead gen forms. So it may well be that with every frame of the video, users get more opportunities to change their mind. A confused mind always says no, it is said for decision-making of any kind. It is just that with videos, due to the many different tonalities, sentences and movements, it is very difficult to find out which of these things was decisive for the user not converting. With a single image ad, the effectiveness of one element can be tested against the other using an A/B test. Above all, however, the single image ad is low-threshold and appropriate for the push-based appearance in the user’s news feed: It does not overload the user’s capacity and willingness to accept an offer from an everyday situation.
LinkedIn Ads costs
Which LinkedIn Ads campaign type would be best for your business goals? If you have any questions regarding this blog article, feel free to ask:
Is your cost per lead on LinkedIn acceptable?
Properly managed LinkedIn Ads Lead Gen Forms can drive qualified leads at a profitable cost per lead:
- Cost per lead: For leads from lead forms with incentives, such as information events, webinars, e-books and white papers, a cost point per lead of €20 – €40 is realistic and reasonable with LinkedIn Ads.
- For direct inquiries for a product, a service or an offer, a cost per lead of around €50 – €100 is realistic. However, you should up-qualify your Lead Gen Forms to increase commitment.
FAQ - LinkedIn Ads costs with Lead Gen Forms
Here you will find a summary of important and frequently asked questions about LinkedIn Ads Costs & Lead Gen Forms.
Lead Gen Forms (also: lead forms) are contact forms within LinkedIn Ads that a user accesses after clicking on an ad. They are characterized by the auto-fill-in, in which the bulk of the data (such as e-mail address, telephone number, company name and job title) is automatically taken from the user profile. This results in very high conversion rates because it is very easy for users to submit the lead form. Each click on the LinkedIn ad will always bring up the Lead Gen Form – users will never get to a landing page if you select a Lead Gen Form as an ad destination.
According to official LinkedIn benchmarks from 2019, LinkedIn Ads Lead Gen Forms have an average conversion rate of around 10.26% internationally. With sufficient optimization and cuts in ads targeting, a conversion rate of a good 20% is absolutely realistic.
A normal, average CPC for a single single image ad can be around €7 to €8 in German-speaking countries in 2022. That depends entirely on the degree of optimization and user interest. If a topic meets with a very high level of interest and the design of the ad is particularly exciting and low-threshold, the click-through rate can be higher, causing the click price to fall. A particularly low possible click price is around €3.
According to official LinkedIn Ads benchmarks in 2019, landing pages with LinkedIn Ads can have a realistic conversion rate of 2.50%. This equates to a perfectly normal conversion from a B2B landing page, often between 1% and 3%, and it would receive traffic from other popular ad networks. In contrast, LinkedIn Ads Lead Gen Forms often have a conversion rate of 10% – 20%.
Summary: That's the cost of LinkedIn Ads Lead Gen Forms
The cost of LinkedIn Ads depends on various factors, such as the goal of the advertising campaign, the target group and the advertising budget. In general, however, LinkedIn Ads are more expensive than other online advertising channels such as Facebook or Google Ads. This is because LinkedIn Ads is one of many decision-makers in companies used as a social platform, and the competition from advertisers for the impressions in the feeds is very high. Reaching these highly qualified target groups costs accordingly.
Furthermore, the costs of LinkedIn Ads also depend on the very specific target group: LinkedIn offers various options for defining the target group, such as industries, product interests, job titles and company names. A particularly targeted career level or industry will correspondingly have a higher CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) than broader targeting.
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