3 Key Strategies To Get Cheap Leads from LinkedIn Ads

Is it feasible to acquire cost-effective leads from LinkedIn Ads when aiming for high-profile business targets?

Yes! It is, and this guide will show you how. We’ll break down the process into actionable steps, focusing on optimizing your bidding strategy, improving your ad’s click-through rates, and creating offers that generate leads. This is about smart marketing on LinkedIn—reaching out to the right people in the most cost-efficient way possible.

Quick Table: 3 Key Strategies To Get Cheap Leads with LinkedIn Ads

This table provides a snapshot of the strategies for obtaining cheaper leads through LinkedIn ads. For a comprehensive understanding and step-by-step guidance on implementing these strategies effectively, continue reading the article.

StrategyDescriptionDetailed ApproachImpact
Manual Bidding StrategyManual bidding allows for precise control over ad spend.Start with LinkedIn’s floor bid and adjust until you reach your daily budget. Avoid LinkedIn’s automated suggestions to maintain budget efficiency.High
High Click-Through Rate (CTR)A high CTR indicates effective ad engagement, leading to lower costs per click and per lead.Utilize A/B testing to find the most effective combination of creatives and ad copy. Aim for a CTR (1% or more) that surpasses the LinkedIn average to improve ad efficiency.High
The Lead OfferThe nature of the offer in your ad can significantly influence the cost per lead.Design offers that capture leads, such as gated content or course sign-ups, and convert these leads into actions through remarketing and follow-up sequences off the platform. This approach can yield a lower cost per lead and a higher conversion rate.High

Main Takeaways

  • Strategic Bidding: Navigate LinkedIn’s manual bidding system to optimize your ad spend.
  • Ad Click-Through-Rate: By continuously iterating on your creative and copy, you can drive up your CTR, which in turn can significantly lower your cost per lead (CPL).
  • Converting Offers: Encourage cost-effective lead generation offers that resonate with your target audience, instead of action offers.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    • The Power of LinkedIn Ads: Unpacking the Benefits
    • The Cost Challenge: Balancing Budget and Quality
    • The Solution: This Guide
  2. Bidding Strategy: Your First Lever for Cost-Effective Leads
    • What is Bidding Strategy
    • Choose Manual Bidding: Take Control of Your Ad Spend
    • Summary Table: A Step-by-Step Guide to Manual Bidding and Cost Control
  3. High Click-Through Rates (CTR) – Your Second Lever for Cost-Effective Leads
    • What is CTR
    • The CTR-CPC-CPL Relationship Table
    • A/B Testing: The Path to Higher CTR
    • Summary Table: Step-by-Step Guide for Higher CTR
  4. The Offer: Your Third Lever for Cost-Effective Leads
    • What is Offer 
    • The Offer’s Influence on Cost Per Lead vs. Cost Per Action
    • Crafting Your LinkedIn Offer for Maximum Efficiency
    • Summary Table: Creating Cost-Effective LinkedIn Offer Strategy
  5. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  6. Conclusion: Leveraging LinkedIn for Cost-Effective B2B Marketing


The Power of LinkedIn Ads: Unpacking the Benefits

LinkedIn’s advertising platform is a powerhouse for B2B marketers due to its unique professional context and high-intent audience. Here are some of the key benefits that make LinkedIn Ads a valuable tool for businesses:

Table: Benefits of LinkedIn Advertising
Benefit Description
Targeted Reach Access a network of professionals segmented by job title, industry, and seniority.
High Intent Users on LinkedIn are often in a business mindset, making them more receptive to B2B messaging.
Rich Content Formats Diverse ad formats allow for creative and engaging ways to present your message.
Measurable ROI LinkedIn provides robust analytics to track the performance of your ads and measure return on investment.

The Cost Challenge: Balancing Budget and Quality

Despite the clear advantages, LinkedIn’s reputation for being a high-cost advertising channel can be a deterrent. The key challenge for many businesses is to harness the power of LinkedIn’s precise targeting without depleting their advertising budgets, especially when the goal is to engage with top-tier professionals who command premium engagement costs.

The Solution: This Guide

In this guide, we will dissect three critical factors that influence the cost per lead on LinkedIn:

  • Bidding Strategy: We’ll delve into how to set up your bidding strategy in the most cost-effective manner, ensuring you’re not overpaying for clicks and impressions.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): Understand how a higher CTR can significantly reduce your cost per lead by ensuring more of your ads are clicked without increasing spend.
  • The Offer: What you propose to your audience can dramatically affect your cost per lead. We’ll explore how to craft offers that entice clicks and conversions without escalating costs.

By addressing these three areas, you’ll be equipped to use LinkedIn Ads to generate valuable leads such as billion-dollar companies, sales directors, and VPs of marketing founders in a budget-friendly way.

So, let’s dive in. 

Bidding Strategy: Your First Lever for Cost-Effective Leads

When it comes to LinkedIn Ads, your bidding strategy is the first foundation upon which cost efficiency is built. You need to choose the correct bidding strategy. 

Unlike other platforms where you might be tempted to let the algorithms take the wheel, LinkedIn demands a more hands-on approach to ensure you’re getting the most out of every dollar spent.

What is a Bidding Strategy?

A bidding strategy is the approach you take to set the price you’re willing to pay for each ad interaction, whether it’s a click, an impression, or a video view. It’s a critical component because it determines how often your ads are shown and how competitive they are in the ad auction, which is where ad placements are determined.

Here’s a quick overview of the bidding options available on LinkedIn, aligned with campaign objectives and ad formats:

Table: LinkedIn Bidding Options
Bidding Option Description
Maximum Delivery (Automated) LinkedIn’s automated bidding strategy aims to use your budget efficiently to get the most results, such as clicks, impressions, or conversions.
Cost Cap This strategy allows you to set a maximum average cost per key result, with LinkedIn adjusting bids to stay under this amount while seeking the lowest cost events in the auction.
Manual Bidding You specify the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a key result, giving you full control over your bid amount.

Choose Manual Bidding: Take Control of Your Ad Spend

To ensure you’re not overpaying for ad interactions, you should:

1. Choose Manual Bidding

This option allows you to set your own bids for clicks or impressions, giving you full control over your ad spend.

2. Disable ‘Enable Bid Adjustment for High-Value Clicks’

If you don’t have a large budget, it’s wise to always uncheck this option. This setting is beneficial for larger budgets aiming for more aggressive targeting, but for tighter budgets, ensuring every click counts is crucial. 

3. Ignore LinkedIn’s Suggested Bid

The platform may suggest a bid range, but it’s often higher than necessary. It’s better to start with your own assessment of value per click or impression. 

4. Start with the Floor Bid

First start by entering a low amount such as one euro/dollar or whatever your currency is. LinkedIn then will give you the lowest bid known as the floor bid. Begin your campaign with the lowest bid LinkedIn will accept (the floor bid) to gauge the minimum cost of entering the auction.

5. Monitor and Adjust

After setting your bid to the floor bid, watch your campaign’s performance over the next 24 hours. If you’re not spending your full daily budget, your bid may be too low. If you’re spending it too quickly, your bid may be too high.

6. Align Bids with Your Daily Budget

Your bid amount should be directly correlated with your daily budget. If your budget is $30 a day and you’re bidding $2.05, but only spend $20 in 24 hours, you’re bidding too low. Adjust your bid incrementally until you find the sweet spot where you’re spending close to your daily budget.

By adhering to this structured approach, you can effectively manage your ad spend, ensuring that you’re not paying more than necessary for your LinkedIn ad interactions. This methodical strategy is designed to optimize your cost per lead, particularly when operating with a limited budget.

Summary Table: A Step-by-Step Guide to Manual Bidding and Cost Control

Step Action Description
1 Choose Manual Bidding Opt for setting your own bids to have full control over ad spend.
2 Disable High-Value Clicks Adjustment Uncheck ‘Enable Bid Adjustment for High-Value Clicks’ if operating on a smaller budget to ensure cost-effectiveness.
3 Ignore Suggested Bid Start with your own assessment instead of LinkedIn’s often higher suggested bid range.
4 Start with the Floor Bid Enter a low initial bid to be presented with LinkedIn’s minimum acceptable bid, the floor bid, and start there.
5 Monitor and Adjust Observe campaign performance for 24 hours post-bid setting; adjust if you’re not meeting or exceeding your daily budget.
6 Align Bids with Daily Budget Incrementally adjust your bid to align with your daily budget, aiming to spend the full amount without overbidding.

High Click-Through Rates (CTR) – Your Second Lever for Cost-Effective Leads

What is a CTR?

Click-through rate (CTR) is a metric that measures the number of clicks advertisers receive on their ads per number of impressions. 

Importance of CTR For Cost-Effectiveness

In the pursuit of cost-effective LinkedIn Ads, your click-through rate (CTR) stands out as a pivotal metric. When your budget has hit its threshold, and you’re not inclined to increase your bids, turning your attention to CTR can unlock the door to more affordable leads.

The CTR Benchmark on LinkedIn – Aim for 1% CTR

LinkedIn’s average CTR may seem modest at 0.4-0.5%, especially when compared to platforms like Facebook, where advertisers might expect rates upwards of 1%. However, this industry standard isn’t a ceiling—it’s a benchmark to surpass. 

Aiming for a CTR of 1% or more on LinkedIn should be the goal, as a higher CTR not only demonstrates that your ad resonates with your audience but also directly impacts your ad spend efficiency.

The Financial Impact of a Higher CTR

A robust CTR means more clicks for the same cost, effectively driving down the price you pay for each lead. It’s a simple equation: the more users who click through, the less you pay per individual interaction. This reduction in cost per click (CPC) can lead to a significant decrease in overall cost per lead, making your ad spend work harder and go further.

The CTR-CPC-CPL Relationship Table
CTR (%) Average CPC (Cost Per Click) Estimated CPL (Cost Per Lead) Impact on Ad Spend
0.4 High High Least efficient
0.5 Moderate Moderate More efficient
1.0+ Low Low Most efficient

The Dual Forces: Creative and Copy

So, how to increase your CTR? The two primary factors influencing CTR are the creative elements (visuals) and the ad copy (text). Here’s how they work together:

  1. Creative: The visual component should be compelling enough to make users stop scrolling. It’s the first point of engagement and needs to grab attention.
  2. Ad Copy: Once the creative has caught the viewer’s eye, the ad copy must persuade them to take action, whether it’s to download a resource, visit a website, or schedule a demo.

A/B Testing: The Path to Higher CTR

To optimize for the best CTR, A/B testing is essential. Here’s a structured approach:

Set Up the Initial Campaign

Create your campaign with a chosen creative and copy.

Duplicate and Modify

Duplicate the campaign and change one element—either the creative or the copy—to see which variation performs better.

Structured A/B Testing Strategies

  • Copy Variation: Start with two ads using the same creative but different copy (Copy 1 and Copy 2). This will help you determine which message resonates more with your audience.
  • Creative Variation: Use the winning copy from the previous test and pair it with a different creative (Creative 2). This will tell you if a change in visuals can improve your CTR even further.

Iterate and Refine

Continue this process, keeping the elements that work and discarding those that don’t. Aim to improve the CTR with each iteration.

Evaluate and Scale

Once you’ve identified the winning combination, scale up your efforts on the most effective creative and copy. This iterative process ensures that you’re always leveraging the highest-performing elements in your campaigns.

By following this methodical approach to A/B testing, you can incrementally increase your CTR, which can lead to a lower CPC and ultimately a more cost-effective CPL.

Summary Table: Step-by-Step Guide for Higher CTR

Step Action Description Expected Outcome
1 Set Up Initial Campaign Start with your first creative (Creative 1) and copy (Copy 1). Establish a baseline CTR for comparison.
2 Duplicate and Test Copy Create a duplicate campaign with Creative 1 but change to Copy 2. Determine which copy yields a higher CTR. Higher CTR copy identified.
3 Duplicate and Test Creative Use the winning copy from Step 2 and pair it with a new creative (Creative 2). Assess if a different creative improves CTR. Creative impact on CTR evaluated.
4 Analyze Results Compare the CTR of all variations to identify the most effective combination. Identify the highest-performing ad elements. Optimal creative and copy combination determined.
5 Iterate and Refine Discard the lower-performing elements and introduce new variations for testing. Continuously improve CTR through iteration. Ongoing CTR improvement.
6 Evaluate and Scale Once a winning combination is found, increase the campaign’s scale with the best creative and copy. Maximize efficiency and effectiveness of the ad spend. Expanded campaign with optimal elements.

The Offer: Your Third Lever for Cost-Effective Leads

What is an Offer? 

An offer in the context of LinkedIn advertising is essentially what you’re presenting to your audience as the valuable exchange for their engagement or information. It’s the centerpiece of your ad that compels the user to click through and take action. This could range from downloading a whitepaper, signing up for a webinar, to scheduling a consultation. 

The Offer’s Influence on Cost Per Lead vs. Cost Per Action

Understanding the distinction between a lead and an action is crucial in LinkedIn advertising. 

A lead generally refers to someone who has shown interest in your offer by providing their contact information, while an action is a more direct and immediate response, such as scheduling a call or requesting a demo. 

The offer you choose directly impacts whether you’re optimizing for cost per lead (CPL) or cost per action (CPA), with each pathway having different cost implications.

Table: Understanding CPL and CPA in the Context of LinkedIn Ads
Conversion Type Cost Implications Description
Lead Generation (e.g., Course Sign-up) Lower CPL Encourages a lower-commitment action, like signing up for a course, which typically costs less.
Direct Action (e.g., Schedule a Call) Higher CPA Demands a higher-commitment action, like scheduling a call, which typically costs more.

Crafting Your LinkedIn Offer for Maximum Efficiency

  1. Understand the Value of Your Offer: Recognize that direct actions are more costly and adjust your strategy to first capture leads at a lower cost.
  2. Focus on Lead Generation: Start by creating offers for your ads that are designed to gather leads—such as gated content or course sign-ups—rather than direct actions as these are more cost-effective. 
  3. Convert with Remarketing and Follow-Ups Off The Platform: Once you’ve captured the lead, utilize platforms outside of LinkedIn for remarketing to take action so you can save on costs. This could include email marketing, retargeting ads on other platforms, or direct outreach.
  4. Balance Sales and Marketing in Follow-Ups: Ensure your email sequences are a mix of sales-driven and marketing-led content to effectively guide leads down the funnel.
  5. Test and Optimize Your Offers: Continuously test different offers to see which ones yield the best CPL and then optimize your campaigns accordingly.

By focusing on lead generation and nurturing those leads through cost-effective channels, you can significantly reduce your overall cost per acquisition. It’s a two-step process: first, buy the lead on LinkedIn where your targeted audience is, and then convert that lead into an action off the platform where the cost is in your control.

Summary Table: Creating Cost-Effective LinkedIn Offer Strategy

Step Key Action Goal
1 Assess Offer Value Prioritize lead generation over direct actions to manage costs.
2 Design Lead-Gen Offers Use gated content or courses to attract leads at a lower CPL.
3 Convert Off-Platform Employ email and retargeting off LinkedIn to convert leads into actions.
4 Balance Follow-Ups Mix sales and marketing tactics in follow-up communications.
5 Test Offers Identify offers with the best CPL through continuous testing.
6 Optimize Campaigns Refine based on test results for improved ROI.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: How do I determine the best bidding strategy for my LinkedIn Ads?

A1: The best bidding strategy depends on your campaign goals and budget. Manual bidding gives you the most control, especially if you have a tight budget. Start with the floor bid and adjust based on performance and budget consumption.

Q2: What is a good click-through rate (CTR) on LinkedIn?

A2: While the average CTR on LinkedIn is around 0.4-0.5%, aiming for 1% or higher will make your campaigns more cost-effective. A higher CTR means more clicks for your budget, reducing your cost per lead (CPL).

Q3: How can I improve my ad’s CTR?

A3: Focus on A/B testing different creatives and ad copies to find the most engaging combination for your target audience. Use compelling visuals to grab attention and clear, persuasive copy to encourage clicks.

Q4: What kind of offers work best for LinkedIn Ads?

A4: Offers that capture leads, like gated content or sign-ups for a course, tend to be more cost-effective. Direct actions like scheduling a call are more expensive, so it’s better to convert leads into actions off-platform.

Q5: How can I convert leads without increasing my ad spend?

A5: Once you’ve captured leads on LinkedIn, use email sequences and retargeting ads on other platforms to convert these leads into actions. This approach helps you save on costs while effectively nurturing leads.

Q6: How often should I test and optimize my LinkedIn Ads?

A6: Continuously. The digital ad space is dynamic, and what works today may not work tomorrow. Regular testing and optimization are key to maintaining and improving your ad performance.

Q7: Is it worth using LinkedIn Ads for small businesses?

A7: Absolutely. LinkedIn Ads can be highly effective for B2B marketing, even for small businesses. The key is to manage your budget wisely and focus on strategies that maximize ROI.

Q8: Can I use LinkedIn Ads for brand awareness?

A8: Yes, LinkedIn Ads can be an excellent tool for increasing brand awareness among a professional audience. Tailor your content and bidding strategy to focus on impressions and reach to maximize visibility.

Q9: How do I know if my LinkedIn Ad campaign is successful?

A9: Measure your success based on the goals you set for the campaign. This could be lead generation, website visits, or direct conversions. Use LinkedIn’s analytics to track performance against these goals.

Q10: What should I do if my ads are not performing well?

A10: Revisit your campaign’s targeting, offer, and creative elements. Make sure your messaging aligns with your audience’s interests and needs. Test different approaches and consult LinkedIn’s resources or a marketing professional for further insights.

Conclusion: Leveraging LinkedIn for Cost-Effective B2B Marketing

As we wrap up this comprehensive guide, it’s clear that LinkedIn stands as a formidable platform for B2B marketers aiming to connect with their target audience. The strategies outlined here are designed to help you navigate the complexities of LinkedIn ads without inflating your budget. By mastering the art of bidding, optimizing for a higher click-through rate (CTR), and crafting an irresistible offer, you’re setting the stage for a campaign that not only reaches but resonates with your prospective clients.

  • Bidding Strategy: Remember, control is key. Manual bidding puts you in the driver’s seat, allowing you to adjust and refine your approach based on real-time results.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): A/B testing is your best friend here. By continuously iterating on your creative and copy, you can drive up your CTR, which in turn can significantly lower your cost per lead (CPL).
  • The Offer: It’s the cornerstone of your campaign. A well-structured offer can be the difference between a lead and a sale. Focus on capturing leads with high-value content and then nurture those leads off-platform to convert them into actions.

In essence, the journey to cost-effective LinkedIn leads doesn’t end with a single campaign. It’s an ongoing process of testing, learning, and refining. The digital marketing landscape is ever-evolving, and staying adaptable is crucial. Use the insights and strategies from this guide as your foundation, but don’t shy away from innovating and trying new approaches.

As you continue to leverage LinkedIn for your B2B marketing needs, keep these principles in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to optimizing your campaigns for both cost and performance. Remember, the goal is not just to generate leads but to do so in a way that aligns with your budget and business objectives. With the right strategy, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool in your B2B marketing arsenal.

FAQs Recap: For any lingering questions, refer back to the FAQs section. It’s there to help ensure that you have all the information you need to move forward confidently with your LinkedIn advertising efforts.

Now, it’s time to put these strategies into action. Test, measure, and refine. Your next cost-effective LinkedIn campaign awaits. Good luck, and may your leads be both plentiful and profitable!

Further Reading

Boost your LinkedIn game with insights on essential A/B tests for ads, 2023’s human-centric advertising strategies, building a strong personal brand, and leveraging video for branding. Plus, explore top traffic-driving methods for B2B businesses. Dive in now for impactful LinkedIn strategies!

Check Out: 

  1. The Top 5 Essential A/B Tests for High-Performing LinkedIn Ads
  2. LinkedIn Advertising Strategy in 2023: Shifting from Demand Capture to Human-Centric Demand Creation
  3. 7 Steps to Build an Unbeatable Personal Brand on LinkedIn
  4. Video Strategy for Personal Branding on LinkedIn
  5. 3 Ways to Drive Traffic for Your B2B Business (Demand Generation 2023)
Philip Ilic

Philip Ilic

B2B Growth Specialist

Phil helps B2B SaaS companies with growth marketing and is a deep specialist in Linkedin advertising and paid social more generally (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). He runs a paid social agency called Superlumen.co and is the founder of B2Bhero.co.


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