LinkedIn Ads is the best channel for B2B Account Based Marketing (ABM).


However, that doesn’t mean that uploading a list of contacts or companies will result in a 100% match.


So how can you ensure you’re reaching as many of the right people as possible?


At B2Linked, we’ve conducted our own tests to find which methods result in the highest match rates on the platform.


In this article, we’ll walk you through best practices for uploading both contact and company lists, and how we came to these conclusions, so you can increase the accuracy of your ABM targeting on LinkedIn Ads.


Let’s hit it!


How to Upload a List on LinkedIn Ads


First, let’s quickly go over how to upload a contact or company list to your LinkedIn Ads account.


Knowing how to do this is crucial for understanding how to improve your list match rate.


In LinkedIn Campaign Manager, click “Plan” and then “Audiences” in the left-hand navigation bar.



Then, click the blue “Create audience” button and select “Company / Contact” under “Upload a list.”



A popup will then appear. This is where you can name your new Matched Audience, select which type of list you’ll be uploading, download LinkedIn’s list template, and upload your list once edited.


If you haven’t created a list using LinkedIn’s template at this point, then click the link to download the template.


Note that you need to select your desired list type first, as this will determine which list template you can download.



Once you’ve downloaded the template, you’ll see a number of columns listed along the top row and examples of contact or company information that LinkedIn has provided along the second row. 


This can be deleted and replaced with the relevant information from your ABM list.


Note here that the information you choose to include will affect your match rate. (More on that in the following sections).



Once you’ve edited and saved your list, upload it to LinkedIn by clicking the “Select list” button in the popup we mentioned earlier.


Finish by clicking the blue “Agree & Upload” button.


Your list audience is now available to target in a LinkedIn Ads campaign!


Uploading Contact Lists


As mentioned in the previous section, the information you choose to include in your list upload will affect its match rate.


So, we wanted to find out which combination of fields resulted in the highest possible match rate.


Here are the tests we conducted and what we found:


  • Just first and last name returned a 50% match rate.
  • First name, last name, company name, and job title (as reported in a person’s headline on their LinkedIn profile) returned a 61% match rate.
  • First name, last name, company name, and job title (as in their actual job title reported in the experience section of their LinkedIn profile) returned a 75% match rate.


Our takeaway was this: If you upload a contact list, make sure to upload your contacts’ first and last name, company name, and actual job title (not the one found in their headline, but in the experience section of their LinkedIn profile) to get the highest possible match.


Just be aware that this was our own test, so your results might not be identical to ours, but you can likely get a higher match rate in comparison when uploading lists in this way.


Uploading Company Lists


Just like with uploading contact lists, we conducted a similar test when uploading company lists.


Here are the tests we conducted and what we found:


  • Just company name
  • Just company website
  • Just LinkedIn company page URL
  • Company name and company website
  • Company name and LinkedIn company page URL
  • Company name, company website, and LinkedIn company page URL


All had a stated match rate over 90%.


BUT also had different audience counts.


The ones with LinkedIn company page URL in them all had an audience count of 680K members.


The ones with company name + website and just company name had an audience count of 1.2M members.


And the one with just company website had an audience count of 610K members.


Interestingly enough, those that shared the same audience count still differed in which companies matched.


When clicking on a company list after it’s uploaded and finished building, you can see which companies matched and which did not.


So when looking at all the lists with company page URL in them, they all shared the same audience count, but were still inconsistent in which companies matched.


One list, though, had zero companies that were unmatched. That was the one with just LinkedIn company page URL and no other criteria.


So here’s our conclusion: It’s likely that criteria like company name and company website pulled in companies that were not originally on our list (which is why those audiences were so large), probably because LinkedIn couldn’t distinguish between company names that were similar, so it matched some extra.


Those with LinkedIn company page URL seemed to be the most accurate, but the most accurate of them all was when this criteria was singled out in the list upload.


This is data that LinkedIn owns, so it makes a lot of sense why this would be the case.


Now What?




For contact lists, upload using first name, last name, company name, and job title (from the experience section of a user’s LinkedIn profile).


For company lists, upload using only company page URL.


We hope this article is helpful for you in your own ABM efforts!


For more LinkedIn Ads ABM strategies, check out this episode of The LinkedIn Ads Show.


And if you want to maximize your return by minimizing waste within your LinkedIn Ads account, consider booking a discovery call with us at B2Linked.


We’d absolutely love the chance to get to work with you!


Written by Eric Jones

Eric Jones - B2Linked