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LinkedIn Matched Audiences: improve the efficiency of your retargeting campaigns

By Hephzy Asaolu | No Comments | 11th June 2020

LinkedIn is one of the most popular platforms for generating business leads. This is why 80% of B2B leads generated on social media comes from LinkedIn and 58% of B2B advertisers find LinkedIn advertising to be an effective investment of their budget in terms of ROI.

LinkedIn is not resting on its oars. The company is optimizing the platform more for advertising. This is why Matched Audiences was launched on April 24, 2017

In this article, you will learn about LinkedIn Matched audiences and how to use it to improve the efficiency of your campaigns.

Why use LinkedIn retargeting options

LinkedIn retargeting helps businesses to reach people that look like website visitors. It uses a piece of code to track people who have been to your website so you can retarget them with ads as they browse on the internet. A study revealed that click-through rates (CTRs) for retargeting display ads can be as high as 10 times better than non-targeted ads. Also, retargeting ads provides a 1,046% increase in trademark search behavior. Other LinkedIn retargeting benefits are:

  1. It allows you to send more highly relevant and personalized content to your audience based on previous actions taken with your brand. For example, if a user visited a product page on your website, you can target the user with exclusive offers related to the product. This will improve your conversion rates. In fact, the more personalized your content, the higher the conversion rates you will get.
  2. It can accelerate the buyer’s journey from awareness to conversion. Most of the users you are targeting have already interacted with your business which makes them warm leads. All you need is to recapture their interest with a compelling offer and move them down the buyer’s journey in no time.
  3. It helps you retain your customers and make more personalized offers to improve Lifetime value. Customer retention increases profits and reduces expenses. A study carried out by Bain & Company revealed that “A 5% increase in customer retention correlates with at least a 25% increase in profit”. Also, Fundera revealed that “a 2% increase in customer retention can reduce costs by as much as 10%.  

What is LinkedIn Matched Audiences?

Linkedin matched audiences

LinkedIn Matched Audiences enables you not only to retarget website visitors but also to promote your product and services to contacts from your CRM databases and marketing automation platforms and reach decision-makers at target companies with the account-based targeting feature. 

Matched audiences help you to focus your marketing efforts on the audiences and accounts that are likely to convert. With it, you can manage your audiences in one dashboard and grow your business with lookalike audiences.

LinkedIn Matched Audiences is available for Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail and other different ad formats.

LinkedIn Matched Audiences results

LinkedIn created a six-month pilot program that enables 370+ advertisers to create 2000+ campaigns for beta test.

The result?

The customers using account targeting saw:

  • A 32% increase in conversion rates after a click and a 4.7% decrease in cost per click with account targeting.
  • A 37% increase in CTR with contact-based targeting
  • A 30% boost in CTR and a 14% decrease in cost per click from website retargeting ads.

How to use LinkedIn Matched Audiences

With LinkedIn Matched Audiences, you can create three types of targeting to get the best customers for your business. The first is the website retargeting. With website retargeting you can run a consistent campaign. According to a study, the average website gets up to 726% increase in traffic after a month of retargeting. With a tag placed on your website – you can create audiences by matching the visitors data to your site.

Website retargeting

This data can be used to create a continuous marketing campaign for prospects. For example, you can run a campaign for visitors who visit a particular product page with an offer to increase conversions.

The contact targeting option is great for upselling products or services to leads and customers. According to LinkedIn case study, they experienced a 37% increase in click-through rate with contact targeting.

contact targeting

Contact targeting produces a high yield on ad spend because the contacts are in the decision-making phase of the buyer’s journey.

The account targeting option helps businesses to reach out to influencers and key decision makes in companies. In a case study carried out by LinkedIn, they received a 32% increase in post-click conversion rates and a 4.7% drop in post-click cost – per conversion. That is a very high conversion rate for businesses targeting decision makers.

contact targeting

With LinkedIn’s 12 million company pages, you can target your products and services to decision makers and influencers in your industry.

Now that how to use LinkedIn Matched Audiences, below is how to set each one of the targeting options up.

1.   LinkedIn Website Retargeting

The website retargeting feature of the matched audience tool allows you to target LinkedIn users who have been to your website with ads. This is done by defining your target audience and offering them relevant ad content based on the pages they visited, such as the product page, blog pages or content they viewed on your website. 

With website retargeting you can:

  • Segment website visitors based on the website pages they visited
  • Tailor your ad content based on pages visited
  • Convert more prospects to paying customers.

How to create a website retargeting campaign 

  1. Add the LinkedIn Insight Tag to your website.

If you are familiar with the Facebook pixel, you’ll notice that the LinkedIn Insight tag is quite similar. Follow these steps from LinkedIn to add it to your website.

  1. Create an audience to retarget.

On the campaign manager, click on “Create an audience to retarget” and set up the three rules for tracking.

LinkedIn matched audiences

There are three rules as shown in the image above. The start with, Exact and contains.

  • Select Start with to retarget users who have been to your website using the specified URL
  • Select Exact to retarget LinkedIn users who visited the URL you specify
  • Select Contains to retarget visitors to URLs that contain a specific string of characters.

Add the URL of the website you want to retarget the visitors.

LinkedIn Matched Audiences

Once you define your URLs, LinkedIn will display ads to anyone who has been to your website in the past 90 days.

Consider that you need to have an audience size of 300 to see results and that it may take up to 48 hours. 

The second LinkedIn Matched Audiences feature is account-based targeting.

2.  LinkedIn Account targeting

Also known as ABM, LinkedIn account targeting is the second feature you can use in the LinkedIn Matched Audiences. It enables you to target companies against the 12+ million LinkedIn pages on LinkedIn. The best advice is to target professionals who make or influence the buying decisions of your targeted accounts. You can do this by combining your target account list with targeting facets such as Job title, Job Seniority, etc. Ensure you don’t add too many facets to avoid the risk of hyper-targeting.

This feature enables you to target a list of up to 300,000 companies and target demographics at the companies. With LinkedIn account targeting, you can show ads to the influencers and decision-makers at the companies you want.

How to set up the LinkedIn Account targeting

1.  List out your target accounts

You can do this using a spreadsheet. In the first row, write “company name“, then type in the names of the company and save it as a .CSV file. See a sample below.

LinkedIn Matched Audiences

2.  Create your ads for account targeting

Sign in to the campaign manager. Click on “Tools” and select “Matched audiences” from the drop-down menu. 

On the “uploaded audiences” tab, click “Upload list“. Type in a name for the list, select “match based on a list of accounts” and click on “upload file“. Then click on “next” to upload the list.

LinkedIn will match the companies against the companies on LinkedIn. 

The third LinkedIn Matched Audiences is Contact targeting.

3.  LinkedIn Contact Targeting

The contact targeting option of the LinkedIn Matched Audiences is similar to the Facebook custom audiences. It requires that you upload the email addresses you want to target on LinkedIn. With the contact targeting option you can:

  • Upload a list of email contacts to target on LinkedIn
  • Contact potential customers, current customers, and unresponsive customers
  • Get more conversions.

There are two ways to set up your contact retargeting with LinkedIn. The first is to upload your email list manually on LinkedIn, while the second is to import your email list through Leadsbridge.

If you decide to upload your contact list manually,  the first thing you need to do is to Prepare your email list in a spreadsheet. Ensure you format the CSV file with a single column and one email address per row. Use the word “email” as the first row. LinkedIn allows you to upload about 300,000 email addresses. You must have at least 300 email addresses on your list. When you are done with the formatting, follow the steps below.

Go to the “campaign manager”, click “create an audienceand select “Match based on a list of email contacts”, and then upload your file and click on next.

LinkedIn Matched Audiences

Once you upload the file and click on next, the contact list will be uploaded and matched. 

If instead, you decide to upload your list automatically through third-party software such as LeadsBridge, your list will be constantly updated for evergreen campaigns. This option is particularly favorable for large organizations that have to keep high volume CRM segments automatically synced.  

LinkedIn Matched Audiences

Through Leadsbridge integration, you can create audience segments and use them for your LinkedIn ads targeting. It also helps you to scale audience building by automating the task of sending new email addresses as they come into LinkedIn Matched audiences from your CRM software.

Below is a video showing how to integrate Leadsbridge with your LinkedIn matched audiences.

How to connect My CRM Example to LinkedIn Matched Audiences | LeadsBridge Documentation

LinkedIn Matched Audiences Minimum Audience size

 LinkedIn Matched Audiences Minimum audience size is 300 members according to LinkedIn, and the maximum is 300,000. Location is a requirement for targeting. Therefore, when using LinkedIn Matched Audiences, it is required to have a list of audience size that is more than 300 because location will reduce your audience size. However, if you have a small list of less than 300 contacts, you can use multiple lists or create a lookalike audience to get the LinkedIn Matched Audiences Minimum audience size for your campaign to start.  The larger the contact lists, the better the match rates.

LinkedIn Matched Audiences Case studies

1.           Scorpion Healthcare

scorpion 1

Scorpion healthcare used LinkedIn’s audience segmentation and retargeting features to reach out to senior healthcare decision-makers and got high quality leads. The company wanted senior health care decision makers to be aware of its products. So, they created a campaign that allowed them to reach the senior healthcare decision makers, build relationships and trust with them, and they generated leads and conversions. The company used LinkedIn sponsored content and LinkedIn Matched Audiences tool to target and deliver quality leadership content to prospects and customers. They got 56% in conversions, 33% reduction in cost per lead and 3.14x increase in opportunity-to-customer rate.

2.           Sage


Sage is a company that deals in accounting and payroll software. The company wanted to create awareness for their payroll solutions and withholding tax requirements and offer support for existing customers. They used LinkedIn’s retargeting options to engage prospects with a free compliance guide, sponsored content, and landing page to achieve their goals. The campaign generated 700,000 impressions in six weeks, got more leads that exceeded their target by 4x and reduced cost per lead that was less than a fifth of Sage’s previous average cpl.


The LinkedIn Matched Audiences tool offers capabilities for businesses. It reduces the sales journey and keeps your brand fresh in the minds of prospects with decision making power. It saves valuable time and helps you to achieve better ROI with LinkedIn advertising by making it possible to create audiences from your contacts and showing your ads to any one of its 500 million members.

With LinkedIn matched audiences, you can target decision makers and influencers in your industry or collect their information with lead generation campaigns. You can know how people respond to your ads. You will see the number of views and clicks. These features have made LinkedIn to be a powerful competitor against Facebook or Twitter.

Curios to know more about the LinkedIn topic? Enroll for free in our dedicated webinar and learn how to seamlessly collect high quality leads and gain new clients with LinkedIn!

Register Now to the free LinkedIn webinar

Hephzy Asaolu

Hephzy is a Professional writer and blogger with over 9 years of experience in writing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases search engine visibility.

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