LinkedIn Matched Audiences for EDU

New Opportunities for Education Marketers with LinkedIn Matched Audiences

LinkedIn matched audiences for education

In a move that levels the retargeting playing field, LinkedIn has enabled website visitor, account and contact retargeting. This gives the 500-million-member professional network audience matching capabilities to rival their peer set of Facebook, Google, Twitter and Pinterest.


So what’s in it for EDU?

Saied Amiry, LinkedIn’s head of vertical marketing, shared his perspective on the update and its impact for education marketers with us:

“For a prospective student, selecting the right university is a big deal. It’s a complex decision, and aside from purchasing a home, is likely the largest financial investment that an individual will ever make in their lifetime. Website Retargeting, Account Targeting and Contact Targeting will allow universities, and their partners, to address the relevant concern of the student at the right time.”

Here are three huge opportunities for EDU marketers to consider with the update:

  1. Capitalize on website traffic.
    Enhance user experience (UX) with customized communication touchpoints based on the pages that prospective students have visited on your site. Use the right content to effectively nurture highly-engaged prospects based on what’s most important to them. This will help reduce waste of messaging and increase lead, application and enrollment yield.
  2. Speak to your prospects on the professional network, in a professional context.
    Build a customized audience by securely uploading your student lead email lists or connecting with your contact management platform. Big advantage here: LinkedIn owns the professional networking space and will have access to both personal and work email addresses. This gives EDU marketers and recruiters better success with business address match rate.
  3. Target feeder companies and schools.
    Run account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns, powered by LinkedIn data. Securely upload a list of target companies and/or schools to match against over eight million Company Pages on LinkedIn. For EDU, this will be effective to reach industries that align with your programs, alumni and stakeholders.


Expected Results

Over the past six months, LinkedIn conducted a successful pilot program for Matched Audiences with over 370 participating advertisers and 2,000+ active campaigns. The extensive pilot program delivered high-ROI and lowered costs. On average, customers using Matched Audiences saw:

  • 30% increase in click-through rate (CTR) and a 14% drop in post-click cost-per-conversion with Website Retargeting
  • 32% increase in post-click conversion rates and 4.7% drop in post-click cost-per-conversion with Account Targeting
  • 37% increase in click-through rate (CTR) with Contact Targeting


Getting Started

Go into the campaign in your Campaign Manager that you’d like to apply the email targeting list to. Click on the “Audiences” tab to see this screen following at the top of the list of targeting facets.

LinkedIn matched audiences for education

Click on “Create an audience” under “Target a list of accounts,” and you’ll be greeted by the following dialogue box where you can name your email list. Select the option, “Match based on a list of email addresses,” then upload your CSV.
LinkedIn matched audiences for education

Also, should you want to apply a negative (exclusion) list, simply select “Include” and change it to “Exclude” on the list targeting option, which will ensure that no email address in that list will be allowed into your targeting.

LinkedIn matched audiences for education

CSV requirements

For the sheet to work, it needs to meet the following requirements:

  • Format must be .csv.
  • First column must be labeled as “email” with one email address per row underneath.
  • Once you hit “Next,” you’ll be greeted by the Account Lists screen. Navigate back to your campaign targeting, and find the “Target a list of accounts” option like in the screen shot below. Your list is now created, so click the “See full list” option to find a list of the audiences you’ve created. Select the one you want to use, save the campaign, and the targeting will be applied.
  • Notice that it can take up to 48 hours to process your list, so don’t be worried if the list shows a size of <300.


Ready to test out Matched Audiences?

Check out this article from LinkedIn for more tactical insights on account targeting. We’re interested in hearing how this new functionality is working for you. Send me a note with questions or comment below to keep the conversation going.

Brian Connelly
Brian Connelly
May 17, 2017