typing on a smartphone
LinkedIn today debuted a lead gen solution that tries to do away with fat finger syndrome on mobile PHOTO: Alexandra E Rust

LinkedIn introduced a tool today designed to generate quality leads on mobile by avoiding the fat finger syndrome so common on smartphones.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based professional social network released Lead Gen Forms for mobile, which auto-populates contact info from LinkedIn member profiles when the member clicks on an ad in a Sponsored Content post. 

"This makes it very easy for advertisers to collect high-quality leads," said Divye Khilnani, group product manager at LinkedIn. "They're also highly customizable."

'Better Experience'

Divye Khilnani
Divye Khilnani

Sponsored Content includes content updates promoted by a company, brand or another organization on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has three product lines — Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions and Premium Subs, which includes Sales Solutions.

Khilnani said the new lead-generation capability helps both advertisers and LinkedIn members: Sponsored Content readers no longer have to fill out forms, and advertisers are better assured of quality leads. It's a quality lead, Khilnani claimed, because it comes directly from a LinkedIn profile.

About 80 percent of member engagement with Sponsored Content happens on smartphones, according to LinkedIn officials.

"We've definitely been getting a lot of feedback on this," Khilnani told CMSWire. "The problem in general we're trying to solve is that Sponsored Content is a mobile-heavy product. Members are taken to a form that they need to fill out, which can be cumbersome given the small screen size."

Instead, the new Lead Gen Form makes it a "better experience" for members. LinkedIn piloted the forms with about 50 customers before today's rollout. Khilnani said most beat their cost-per-lead (CPL) goals.

Post-Lead Capabilities

What happens after a lead's profile auto-populates? Companies receive the person’s name and contact info, company name, seniority, job title and location, among other data. 

"Because this lead data comes from the member’s up-to-date LinkedIn profile," Khilnani wrote in a blog post, "it is typically more accurate and complete than what you’d get from traditional website forms — where people can enter false or partial information." 

Companies have the option of sending members an in-app “thank you” page following the upload of their member profile data. The app can also connect leads with more content or send them to a website to learn more. 

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

Current and Future CRM Integrations

Reporting tools in LinkedIn Campaign Manager track metrics like CPL, form fill rate and other data points.

Advertisers can also sync leads with marketing automation or CRM systems through partners Driftrock and Zapier. Soon, Khilnani promised, marketers will also be able to send their lead data directly to their Marketo, Oracle Eloqua and Microsoft Dynamics accounts. 

At launch, Sponsored Content campaigns running with Lead Gen Forms will only be served on the LinkedIn mobile app. Khilnani said they'll expand that capability to desktop campaigns in the coming months. It will also let advertisers use Lead Gen Forms on Sponsored InMail campaigns, for both mobile and desktop, later this year.