With such an extensive selection of products available for paid social campaigns, we shine the light on LinkedIn's Sponsored InMail and how this ad format can be used to improve your MBA recruitment campaigns.

So, what exactly is LinkedIn's Sponsored InMail?

Sponsored InMail uses LinkedIn's messenger platform to deliver real-time, content-driven messages to a select and targeted audience - making use of the platform's wealth of demographic and audience data, as well as its targeting capabilities.

There's loads you can do with LinkedIn's InMail ads, from delivering personal invites and driving conversions with product and service promotion, through to promoting content and encouraging downloads. But, how can you utilise this relatively new ad format to boost your MBA recruitment efforts?

How can you use LinkedIn InMail ads to promote your MBA courses?

Addressed to them personally, Sponsored InMail provides a unique opportunity to showcase your university's MBA programmes within a member's inbox, adding a personalised touch to your content-driven messages. Not only are the ads more personalised, but if you're using them alongside LinkedIn's Sponsored Posts, they give you the option to use more characters and therefore include more in-depth information about your courses - delivered in a less cluttered environment.

So, they're targeted and personalised. And delivered in a clear and less-distracting environment. But, what else have we found?

They're mobile-responsive. So, whether your prospective MBA students are opening their LinkedIn messages on desktop or mobile, your call to action is always visible, driving conversions on any sized screen.

These types of ads reach your prospective students when they're most engaged. InMail messages are only delivered when your target audience is active on the platform, and along with LinkedIn's own delivery frequency caps, it's even harder for your message to be overlooked.

Working with various universities looking to promote their MBA courses, we've found that using LinkedIn's Sponsored InMail alongside LinkedIn's Sponsored Posts has proved positive returns for universities. In one example, results showed that the conversion rate for on-site interactions was higher than Sponsored Posts which had been run previously. Over several campaigns, we found that the conversion rate for all interactions was 3 times that of Sponsored Posts.

Key takeaways

So, if you're thinking of incorporating InMail ads in your MBA recruitment strategy, it'll be worth taking a look at these key takeaways?

Get your audience right - LinkedIn's not short on prospective MBA students, but this doesn't mean you should be targeting every single one with your InMail ads. Look at narrowing down your target audience using the platform's wealth of data and incorporating this with your own audience data and persona profiling to maximise the chance of receiving quality leads and conversions.

Clear CTAs - make sure your copy and call to actions are clear and reflective of your strategy and overall goals. What do you want students who receive these personalised messages to do? At what stage of the student journey are they on? Having a clear understanding of these will play a massive part in the direction of your CTA and copy. And don't be too formal - you want your recipients to feel like there's a human behind the message - make them feel something.

Test, test, test - as with every paid social campaign, continually optimising is key. Run A/B tests to gain the best results. You could A/B test copy, audience segmentation or time of day to understand what works best for your unique audience and marketing goals.

If you want to learn more about how we can help create the best student recruitment strategy for your institution, get in touch.

Article by


Megan Dillon

Content Marketing Executive