The Definitive Guide to Linkedin’s New Matched Audiences

Opinion: With LinkedIn’s latest targeting improvements, you can virtually place your ad in front of any one of its 500 million members

If you asked any business-to-business marketer what their favorite paid acquisition channel was before late April, chances are that very few would of them would have said LinkedIn.

But in late April, LinkedIn introduced Matched Audiences, its advanced targeting options, which convinces me that this statement will no longer remain true.

Now, with the professional network’s latest targeting improvements, you can virtually place your ad in front of any one of its 500 million members.

The new targeting advancements include:

    • Account Targeting (target specific companies and key decision makers, at scale).
    • Contact List Targeting (target users from your email list or connecting select customer-relationship-management systems).
    • Retargeting web visitors (target website visitors of your site from the past 90 days).

With one of these three new options, you’re likely able to get in front of any desired prospect or account with your sponsored content.

In this definitive guide, we’ll explore how to leverage this new targeting on Linkedin and finally make use of the world’s largest professional social network.

Getting started

If you haven’t set up a Linkedin Ads account or lack proper permission to access your company’s account, you’ll need to handle that first.

But before we dive into the new features, let’s quickly brush over what the previous capabilities were.

You can see all of the original targeting options offered by Linkedin, including company name, certain job titles and a few others.

But in the next three sections, we’ll explore the new targeting advancements, how to use them and why B2B marketers are so excited about them.

Account Targeting

Linkedin has 12 million business on its platform. And now, you can truly leverage every single one of them that’s relevant to your business.

Account targeting allows advertisers to upload a list of company names and target the decision makers of these companies.

It’s incredibly simple. All you do is ensure that the first column of your CSV file reads “companyname” (without quotes), and upload the file of company names like this:

Then, Linkedin will match these companies to some of its 12 million business pages. The maximum upload amount is 30,000 companies and the minimum requirement is 30.

Once your file is properly prepared, it only takes a few seconds to upload. Simply click “Create an Audience,” name your audience and then upload

Pro tip: Upload at least 40 companies to ensure that you meet the minimum upload requirement. Although there are 12 million business pages on Linkedin, not all of your accounts will be matched.

Contact List Targeting

It’s much easier to sell to current customers than to find new ones. And with the new contact list targeting option, you can finally do just that. Just upload a list of emails and Linkedin will map out each email to that relative user on the professional network.

Now you can target individual prospects, email subscribers, churned customers and beyond.

These are incredibly similar to Facebook custom audiences, but they require fewer data points and have a much higher match rate due to the nature of corporate emails. From the experiences of industry experts, they’ve found match rates on Linkedin to be around 75 percent, compared with Facebook’s low 20 percent to 30 percent.

LinkedIn also offers the ability to seamlessly integrate with select CRMs like Marketo, Oracle Eloqua and LiveRamp.

Very similar to uploading CSV files for account targeting, you simply upload a CSV of emails only, with the first column being titled “email” (without quotes).

With the minimum list being 300 emails, we suggest uploading at least 500 to ensure that you meet the minimum requirement after the matching process completes.

One current downside is that Linkedin only tells you what percentage of emails did or did not match rather than specifying which emails, which makes improving your match rate incredibly difficult.

Web retargeting

The final new feature Linkedin released was web retargeting. By installing a unique snippet of code on your site that Linkedin provides, you’re capable of retargeting page visitors on Linkedin.

If you’re familiar, creating a retargeting audience is very similar to Facebook. Once you plant your code snippet on your website, you can go to Tools > Matched Audiences > Create an audience to retarget.

From there, you can fill out your audience parameters and you’re all set. You can see URL matching patterns in the screenshot above, and site visitors will remain in your audience for 90 days.


Up until these recent Linkedin targeting advancements, us B2B marketers have been extremely limited in choice when it comes to paid acquisition channels.

But now that the Matched Audiences platform is publicly available, the B2B marketing community has started to take Linkedin much more seriously as an effective channel for paid acquisition.

From shortening deal cycles with account targeting to consistent omnichannel campaigns, we’ve already seen many interesting implementations of this new technology.

We look forward to exploring more use-cases and can’t wait to hear how other markers leverage these new capabilities.

If you’d like to learn more about advanced use-cases, check out our free webinar.

Dominick Malzone is CEO of Facebook ad campaign creation tool Turbo.