LinkedIn To Introduce Email Targeting, Launch New Ad Platform

LinkedIn plans to introduce email-based targeting by the end of the year, according to a presentation released and posted online.

As first reported by Marketing Land, LinkedIn plans to unveil a new advertising product called ‘Matched Audiences’ in November. Matched Audiences will at first incorporate the company’s account targeting option, released in March, as well as give Eloqua, LiveRamp and Marketo early access to email targeting features. The platform will then broaden to accept any email list uploaded via CSV file later in the year.

Marketers will be able to target advertising to LinkedIn users via email addresses, a targeting solution already available with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  Unlike its social competitors, however, LinkedIn offers an advertising channel that is already business-centric.  

B2B marketers might especially benefit from Matched Audiences because they can target prospects via their work email addresses, a new opportunity for account-based marketing that reaches out to leads while they are likely to be thinking about their work and careers.

Email addresses will be hashed and anonymous to protect the privacy of LinkedIn users, so advertisers will not be able to view what LinkedIn matches were made or to access information about LinkedIn users.

LinkedIn’s plans were leaked in a presentation published on the company’s website, as well as in marketing videos posted on YouTube. Email Marketing Daily reached out to LinkedIn to confirm the news, but did not receive a reply by time of publication.

“Matched Audiences is a natural evolution of our Marketing Solutions business and we’re currently testing it with key customers,” stated a LinkedIn spokesperson to Marketing Land. “We’ve spent the last few years heavily investing in our infrastructure, and regularly enhancing Campaign Manager translates into better results for our customers.”

LinkedIn will also be adding Web site retargeting again to the business-centric social media site, an advertising business the company closed in early 2016 due to increasing costs. Since the shuttering, however, LinkedIn has now gained the financial backing of Microsoft.

Microsoft closed its $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn at the end of 2016, and appears to be developing LinkedIn into a modern digital advertising business. Considering Microsoft’s history with email, and its database of Outlook addresses, this will likely not be the last of LinkedIn’s email-related news. 

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