cool stuff 👇🏼

bd: gusto in-mails

bd: gusto in-mails

// Wife’s out of town so we’ll see if this is going to be a regular series or just a one off

// here if you’d rather want to watch a video if this post

I just received my first LinkedIn Sponsored InMail. It came from Gusto one of the ‘new’ HR platforms trying to disrupt an xxxx bn dollars industry blah blah blah, but also one of the best brand marketing teams in the valley. Seriously check them out

Thrilling stuff, I know. But just like any good artisan I can’t help myself break down what could be done to improve this campaign.

Field of play:

  • Gusto is focusing on acquiring partners. This makes a lot of sense as the ‘point of need’ or entry point to the SMB business services market still is the first and most important business service provider (eg. accountants)

  • Xero followed a very similar and highly successful go-to-market strategy with the only difference that when they did it, there was no LinkedIn InMails available

  • Sponsored LinkedIn InMails launched on self-serve almost 3 years ago but their efficacy is rising along usage of the social network. For those who don’t find this incredible, here why this is not normal

  • The only people that don’t like receiving a LinkedIn message are the ones who get too many, and that’s 0.001% of the LinkedIn user base (source: i know, I ran the numbers)

I love when a platform comes up with a propitiatory format that takes advantage of the moats around its business, but If you are a LinkedIn Advertising PM, get in touch! There is a lot of headroom here!

On to to the breakdown

Assets Critique

Headline 2/4

‘Payroll, benefits, and HR for you and your clients’

Pretty weak. It reveals itself as a boring ad before you even open. Sad

The only job of the headline is to get you to read the body. Why not get the recipient curious? ie. “Revenue share partnership proposal. Earn with Gusto Payroll”

It fits, with one character to spare. First try, don’t give me grief. You get the point

Figure out what’s the incentive that your audience cares about. Lead with the most important at the top.

Body 2/4

This campaign has an issue with targeting (more below). Possibly the copywriter and the platform specialist didn’t get to align before launching. Maybe an agency in the middle?

The body copy is way too specific for LinkedIn targeting 😬

I don’t work at an accountancy firm

There is also a mention of a mysterious calendar below when in reality the calendar is to the side.

If you have ever ran this format you know that the CTR of the banner is a good 10x lower than the main CTA in the body of the InMail

And the main CTA leads me to a LinkedIn lead generation form that doesn’t allow me to set-up any quick call, Katie! 😠

These problems are easily fixable, and could really improve the performance. Always try to reduce friction down to the minimum

Gusto LinkedIn Partner Campaign .png

Target 1/4

I’m all for scrappy. But there is no excuse to drive paid traffic to a calendly page. WTF Gusto! How do you even track this?

GA integration is available with caledly pro. If you bought the pro package why are you leaving the calendly branding exposed? This is hurting my brain

No agenda, no redirection to Gusto Partner programme page. This is bad. Why would I pick a slot?


Targeting 2/4

If I reverse engineering the UTM parameters..

/partner-advising { seems to be a wider campaigns than just LinkedIn

/call-with-gusto-linkedin {ok, we can be sure the MQL is a demo booked

/utm_source=LinkedIn {Cool, cool, cool..

&utm_medium=Paid+Social {That’s it? No format? Content?

&utm_campaign=WCA_AccountantsPartners {This must be the audience. west california would make sense as my geo is LA and AccountatntsPartners matches the body copy (somewhat, not perfectly)

The reason why I was targeted becomes almost obvious 👇🏼

fabri linkedin.png

Gusto is targeting by position keyword and possibly industry (I’m tagged in Managing Consulting). Still, I’m no accountant and this is wasting $$$

LinkedIn self serve platform is not perfect, I usually check with my AM to make sure I’m not off my intended personas. You should too

Lastly I did a cross check with the assets on Facebook to see whether there is any active campaign targeting accountants or other partners that could give us more insight

Nothing. This is an isolated campaign. Possibly an in-house MVP or an agency that should probably care more of their client’s money

fb gusto ads april 19

Overall 2/4

It’s not a bad ad, just a bad experience. Gusto, why lowering the bar?

3 action-items

  • Fix the copy -> make it compelling to the audience

  • Improve the experience -> Fix links, improve landing page

  • Track and compare -> Add UTM parameter for content & audience

And most of all, picture your target audience journey. Would you click through? Why? What was the incentive?

Wanna chat about digital acquisition? reach out @fabritravels

👋🏼fabri here, former founder and consultant
working with startups, helping them grow

structured thinking

structured thinking

are you hands on?

are you hands on?