So you’ve been tasked to write some LinkedIn ads for your SaaS company, and you’re not sure how to write an ad that will convert…
This is where you need to consult your swipe file…
And if you haven’t got one, the best time to start building one is today.
In this post, I’m going to show you 5 great examples of SaaS ad messaging on LinkedIn.
We’ll be focussing on the 3 key elements of an ad:
- The media
- The headline
- The body copy
These elements are usually noticed by a reader in that particular order.
The anatomy of a LinkedIn ad explained
The media (aka the image) takes up the majority of the ad space and is the first thing to get noticed in a reader’s feed:
It needs to be relevant, tell a story that ties in with the ad’s message, and aim to stop the reader’s scroll.
The headline is the second thing that’s noticed, even though it’s at the bottom of the ad:
Depending on the prospect’s awareness level, the headline may educate the reader on a problem or may call a reader to action.
“CTA-type” headlines are plentiful on LinkedIn and are often misused.
In retargeting ads, these have their place.
But generally speaking, most SaaS companies mistakenly treat the headline as “close copy” ie as part of the call-to-action, because of its position at the bottom of the LinkedIn ad anatomy.
Just because the headline is at the bottom, definitely doesn’t mean you should always treat it as a CTA!
Especially if you’re targeting TOFU or MOFU prospects.
I’ve avoided “CTA-style” headlines in my 5 examples below – they’re just not applicable in most cases.
Finally, the body copy (LinkedIn calls this the “primary text”) is where the meat of the copy will go:
Even though this is at the top of the ad, it’s actually the last thing your prospects tend to notice.
Your body copy should act as a “lede”, priming your readers’ interest so they want to know more and click on the ad.
Now that we’ve run through the LinkedIn ad anatomy, it’s time to see some great, swipe-file-worthy examples at work.
The 5 ads below are by no means perfect – and for each ad I explore some areas for improvement – but overall, all these ads execute on the 3 main elements very well.
Guild Education are an L&D platform that help businesses upskill their employees with affordable training programs.
The ad is driving top-of-the-funnel prospects to a webinar registration.
Their audience get told everything they need to know about the offer:
- The promoted event is a webinar
- They learn the webinar’s title
- They find out who’s moderating it
Plus, they get an image of a smiling human being, instead of a token SaaS “Corporate Memphis” illustration!
Guild Education does a lot right with this ad.
The headline is well-adjusted to their problem-aware audience, urging them to get an edge on their competition at a time of hardship in the industry.
It accomplishes a lot in economic fashion:
- “As talent markets tighten” describes/reminds the prospect of the problem they’re facing
- “Stand out from the competition” offers a solution – with the reader now feeling drawn to the body copy to learn more about it.
There’s plenty of good stuff going on in the body copy.
The opening line is a great hook that links well with the headline and lays down the gauntlet to its audience.
The copy mentions that JPMorgan Chase will be speaking at the webinar – this is a big-hitting name which lends the event instant credibility.
There are 3 benefits mentioned: Recruiting, retention and career mobility.
Triads ( information delivered in groups of 3) are always inherently satisfying to readers, and from a stylistic POV there’s a nice use of alliteration here, too.
WHAT COULD IT DO BETTER?
There’s been a longstanding trend for these webinars to be called “discussions”, which isn’t good.
Discussions (especially with strangers, via videoconference) are not remotely valuable to your leads.
The title of the webinar, too – “War For Talent: A Game of Musical Chairs” is a little on the abstract side.
A more direct, clearer title spelling out the webinar’s value prop is needed here.
Overall, the presentation of the offer is good. It’s just the offer itself needs some optimization.
If this kind of messaging breakdown feels like something that could help your website, head on over to my SaaS Website Messaging Conversion Audit page and see if you think you'd benefit from one.
My bespoke video analyses are considerably more detailed than this!
Support Ninja is a customer support outsourcing company.
Their ad drives TOFU prospects to an educational “listicle” video on their YouTube channel.
Support Ninja use a 29-second video to deliver the value prop here, and it works as an effective bridge to the content they want their readers to click through to.
The video runs through the 6 tips promised in the headline, but in the brief teaser clip, they only deliver one of them.
You have to click through and view the full video to get all 6 tips.
As for the video aesthetics...
Techy-looking human in a funky industrial-decor office, speaking enthusiastically to the camera?
Of course you’re going to feel engaged. In the tech space, It’s a well-trodden, authoritative pathway to our trusting hearts.
OK, I like this.
Support Ninja give their ad a listicle headline akin to a click-worthy blog post.
Now, the power words driving the click are a little samey (“best” and “better”), so I won’t get too carried away with my praise…
But as far as SaaS LinkedIn ad headlines go, it’s strong.
Nothing special going on here – it’s functional intro copy.
The bulk of the content is delivered in the video.
They do, however, deliver a CTA to watch the video. So overall, it’s a well-constructed ad.
WHAT COULD IT DO BETTER:
As I’ve mentioned, the headline is good but could be beefed up with more interesting and varied power words.
Something like this:
6 Practical Ways To Transform
Your Customer Service In Outsourcing
The body copy also opens with a belief that Support Ninja think their prospects have: “Preparation is key when it comes to deciding what outsourcing company to partner with…”
But is it, though? Is this a belief that’s going to be at the forefront of prospects’ minds, and have them nodding along in agreement?
Mentioning a sharper, more immediate customer pain – and describing it in more visceral detail – would maintain attention more effectively here.
CONTEXT: Dashlane is a password management app, so security is the name of the game here. The CTA drives their audience to a blog post published on their website.
I really don’t know what to make of the left and center images. Answers on a postcard, please.
But the right-hand image works.
A human being, smiling and relaxed, and presumably this human is Rachel Tobac herself, the hacker who’s promised to share her secrets in the headline.
(No presumably about it, actually. I Googled, and yes, it’s her!).
Of the 5 ad swipes in this post, this is the headline that’s the most irresistible.
Human beings are hardwired to crave “secrets” and “insider information.”
- Give us a shortcut to where we want to be and
- Appeal to our sense of Pride, by offering us a leg-up on our competition
“Tips and tricks” offered – for free – by an industry insider?
It’s like a seasoned soldier telling you what life will be really like on the battlefield, before you head out into the line of fire yourself.
It takes us straight into the action like an efficient lede should, picking up where the headline left off.
The body copy fills the “Interest” section of the AIDA formula (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) very well by introducing us to Rachel and establishing who she is and what she does (her status as CEO of her company builds credibility for Dashlane’s offer here, as well).
In fact, if we break the ad down with the AIDA formula, we can see how the ad structure is crystal-clear:
- Attention – the headline promises cybersecurity tips from a “hacker herself”, arousing curiosity
- Interest – we’re introduced to Rachel Tobac and filled in on why she’s the right person to be educating us on this topic
- Desire – the body copy goes on to explain what you’ll get: “demystify cybersecurity, answer hacking and phishing questions, and much more” (And yes, it’s information delivered in one of those satisfying triads again!)
- Action – they’ve chosen the “Learn More” button option to drive the click
WHAT IT COULD DO BETTER:
It’s a super ad, but the three-way image split doesn’t work.
Two of the images are too abstract in relation to the value proposition and they’re distracting.
The image of Rachel herself would have sufficed, here.
Whatagraph is an app that enables marketers to build customizable data reports.
The goal is simple website conversion: the CTA takes you to the Whatagraph website homepage.
The image contains a sub-headline that adds to the value prop (“Monitor all your marketing data in Real-Time”).
The image copy is further bolstered by some social proof from tech review site G2 – a couple of awards, and an average 4.7/5 review rating. Compelling stuff (for a logical decision-maker).
Whatagraph works around LinkedIn’s limited real estate by using the eye-catching image space to add extra copy.
It’s a smart move – they knew that adding this into the body copy meant it might not get read.
This is a classic “value prop” headline that’s concise and explicit about the value of the offer.
It promises a desired result, to be delivered at speed.
The ad headline “message matches” with the homepage headline, too (“The Ultimate Cross-Channel Reporting Tool”).
A full-on, social proof roundhouse-to-the-face is delivered in this ad.
Just as the image copy showcases the company’s awards and strong review ratings, the body copy leverages the power of peer pressure, by trumpeting the “600+ marketing teams” who’ve already found success with the tool.
They also challenge the reader with a question by asking if they’re “ready to join them”.
It’s very direct response-y and doesn’t beat around the bush.
I like it!
WHAT IT COULD DO BETTER:
The ad relies on quantitative data for its proof points.
Given that the ad’s audience is the performance marketing crowd, then the decision to go with quantitative social proof is an understandable one (no one loves hard data more than these guys).
But emotion sells, though…
Even to hard-nosed, data-driven marketers.
So some more “emotional copy” wouldn’t have gone amiss…
Like Support Ninja’s ad, the headline was missing a power word to give it some emotional juice.
This is better:
Get beautiful cross-channel marketing reports in minutes
Sendoso help their customers choose and send gifts to clients and track campaign effectiveness with an analytics tool.
The ad’s offer is an ebook that gives Sendoso’s leads 101 gift ideas to woo their clients/prospects.
It’s sooooo simple and yet sooooo good.
The orange background whips prospects’ eyeballs away from LinkedIn’s blue-and-white visuals like a chameleon’s tongue saying hello to a fly.
The pinada image marries with Sendoso’s colorful brand palette, and conveys the message in a fresher manner than a photo of a bow-wrapped gift-box could.
And as for the copy in the image, the eyebrow line immediately lets the reader know what the asset is (“EBook”) before the scene-stealing, blog post-eque listicle title: 101 Unforgettable Corporate Gift Ideas really catches the eye.
This headline isn’t the strongest in this post because it borders on being a call-to-value, but I’ve seen much worse SaaS LinkedIn ad headlines than this.
There’s a value prop relating to the offer (with “Increase Sales” being particularly compelling) but it should be optimized with more specific details.
The media’s strength and simplicity means there isn’t much body copy needed here.
What little body copy is written does its job nicely:
“We’ve got your back!” demonstrates a fun, relaxed brand voice before the copy delivers another direct response close to compel the reader to take action.
WHAT IT COULD DO BETTER:
Great SaaS LinkedIn ad headlines are so rare, aren’t they?
To be honest, there isn’t a lot wrong with the ad, but the headline could be strengthened with some specificity.
“Increase sales” is a pretty vague promise.
The “Solutions” page on Sendoso’s website gives us the answer to this problem:
So, a good way of incorporating this specificity would be for Sendoso to split-test these babies:
Up Your Gift Game And 5x Your Sales!
Up Your Gift Game And Increase Sales By Up To 500%!
I’d bet my mortgage on both of these headlines driving more clicks than the control (N.B. I rent, but still…).
What You Need To Take Away From These Examples
The lesson learned in this post is that these ads know that they’re ads and they advertise unashamedly, balls-out.
If you’re paying for your traffic, you best go all in with your copywriting and don’t waste time being shy.
The worst LinkedIn ads treat the medium similar to a stuffy press release or routine social media post – devoid of enthusiasm, with lifeless language and media.
Successful SaaS LinkedIn ads require salesmanship…
And this needn’t be dirty nor difficult.
Add these 5 ads to your swipe file today and peek at them when you’re next tasked with writing yours.
They’ll inspire you to write ad messaging that converts better than anything you’ve written before.
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