Show Resources

Here were the resources we covered in the episode:

Cost Cap Bidding

Targeting Strategies

Key to Efficient Scale

NEW LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox

Contact us at with ideas for what you’d like AJ to cover.


Show Transcript

On this episode of the LinkedIn Ads Show, we’re talking about the biggest oversight that LinkedIn made on their ad platform, the feature that is constantly requested.

With LinkedIn Ads, you can either increase efficiency or volume. But wait, can you have both? Here’s a strategy you’ll need to know about on this week’s episode of the LinkedIn Ads Show.

Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here’s your host, AJ Wilcox.

Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics. So there’s a common misconception that you can’t increase ad efficiency at the same time as you’re increasing your lead volume. And there is a lot of merit to this argument, it really makes sense. But due to some of the nuances of the LinkedIn Ads platform, as well as some of the strategies I’m about to teach you, I’m excited to let you know that you can actually do both, you can have the best of both worlds, you can have that cake and also eat it too. Make no mistake about it. This is secret sauce, and I’m letting you in on it. So please do show your gratitude by leaving a review on the show. The most common place to do this is within Apple podcasts. So if you’re listening on an Apple device, it should be easy to navigate over there. Otherwise, open up iTunes and look up the show B2Linked. And honestly, there’s nothing you could do that would make me happier.

In the news. I’m back after my Alaskan cruise. And I’ll tell you it was fantastic. Thank you everyone for your patience as I did skip an episode. I did get to go dog sledding, I got to see whales and glaciers, and go canoeing and jeeping and kayaking. And those of you who know me well know I don’t get cold very often. And I always get sunburned. You’ll be pleased to know that even in Alaska, I only had to wear a jacket twice, and I came back with no sunburns. I came back to a good friend Glenn Schmelzle from MarketingWhatsNew. He sent me an update about something that’s going on inside of campaign manager. He sent me the screenshot, and I’m actually not sure where to find the screenshot, so you may see it within your accounts. But it starts, “We recognize the importance of continuously investing in our technology to deliver solutions that help you reach your marketing goals, and are excited to bring you an important update today. In order to offer more precise campaign cost control for our advertisers, we have decided to sunset target cost bidding within campaign manager. In its place, we’ll be launching cost cap bidding, which will offer greater cost control, even for cost per lead, as well as improved ROI. While target cost bidding allows a range of costs, cost cap bidding will cap your average bid so that you don’t spend more than your desired amount. Among this updated bidding product suite, you will be able to confidently choose a bid strategy that best suits your campaign goals. There will be no changes made to your current target cost bidding campaigns, and you may run your existing target cost bidding until completion. However, starting on April 18 of 2022, LinkedIn will gradually close access to target cost bidding and advertisers will begin to lose the ability to create new target cost campaigns. We encourage you to try cost cap bidding instead.” And there’s a button to learn more. Down in the show notes below, you’ll see a link to where you can click on the Help Center article all about cost cap bidding. So you can go and do more research there. But basically, if I can distill it down for you, target cost bidding is being phased out. And thank goodness because we have tested it extensively and found no scenario where it provided a lower cost or a higher quality of lead. And it’s being replaced with cost cap bidding, which actually seems really similar to Google’s target CPA bidding. It looks like you’re going to be able to choose an optimization goal. So maybe that is clicks, the landing pages, or clicks on the ad, or a video view or even a lead. And you’ll be able to bid a certain amount for each one of those actions. And then the system will go into this learning phase where it’s adjusting your bids up and down trying to find the highest number of those key actions that you’re looking for, at the lowest cost or at least around the cost of what you’re bidding. And then after that learning phase, LinkedIn is probably going to attempt to bid over time so that your key action averages about what your bidding was, in principle, I’m actually really excited about this rollout. We’ll definitely need to test it out to see if LinkedIn’s auction is smart enough to actually find the right people at lower costs. Since the platform doesn’t really have a track record of being able to do this well in the past. This episode is brought to you by B2Linked.

The LinkedIn Ads Show is proudly brought to you by, The LinkedIn Ads experts.

If the performance of your LinkedIn Ads is important to you B2Linked is the agency you’ll want to work with. We’ve spent over $150 million on LinkedIn Ads, and no one outperforms us on getting you the lowest cost per lead at the most scale. We are official LinkedIn partners, and you’ll deal only with LinkedIn Ads experts from day one. Apply to work with us on the contact page of We’d absolutely love the opportunity to get to work with you.

Alright, let’s jump into this efficiency versus volume argument. I’ve heard this said by especially web development agencies or other agencies who build something concrete for a client, you can have something in high quality at a fast speed and low cost, pick two of them, but you can’t have three. And what that means is, if you need something fast, chances are you won’t get quality, or you need something at low cost, you probably won’t be able to get it fast if you want good quality. And this is what was going through my mind when at a previous company, my boss doubled my budget one month, because things were doing so well with LinkedIn Ads. And she said, let’s double our budget, but I also want you to decrease our cost per lead. And I went back to her and said, actually, you can’t have both, we can’t be doubling our budget, and decreasing our costs per lead at the same time. They are diametrically opposed ideas. The actions that you would take to increase your budget, that way, means bidding up, which automatically means you won’t be able to lower your costs per lead. But then later, I figured out a strategy where you actually can have both. And I’m going to lay out this strategy for you. The way that this works, is, we have so many different campaigns, targeting our ideal audiences. And because we’re targeting with different targeting facets, in a lot more campaigns, we actually are able to reach more of our ideal target persona. But then because we have them all in separate campaigns, all of these micro segments, which we’re actually going to cover on one of the next two podcast episodes, so make sure you listen to this. Because we have these micro segments all set up, we’re going to find some that perform better than others. And so what we can do, by increasing the number of campaigns and the number of ways that we’re targeting these ideal prospects, we’re going to find that some of these campaigns are costing more or costing less or are about average. And what that means is you can start to bid down or shut off the poor performers. And you can bid up and give additional budget to those that are high performing. And I’ll give you an example here. So let’s say you do some analysis, and you find that you have three campaigns that have a cost per lead of about $200. Then you have another 10 campaigns, which are all performing at about average, about $100 per lead. And then you have another three campaigns that are running at a cost per lead of about $50. So you’ve got your three campaigns that are poor performers, you have three campaigns that are performing really well, and 10 that are kind of in between, if I want to both increase my spend, and decrease my cost per lead, what I can do is I can go into those three campaigns that have the $200 CPL, and I can bid them down. So let’s say we’re bidding at $12 per click. I could bid those down to 10, or $8, per click. And because I decrease them, we’re going to see less volume from them. But the volume that we do get is probably going to perform closer to our $100 cost per lead average. And what about those 10 campaigns that have a cost per lead of around $100. So this is about average, and we’re okay with this. We could go in and increase their budgets just in case they are budget limited. And all of a sudden, overnight, these campaigns that were spending, let’s say they’re spending their budget of $10 a day per campaign, if we increase that to $20, or $30 per day, all of a sudden, these campaigns are pushing more volume at exactly the same efficiency, we’ve increased their budget, and they’re still paying about $100 per lead. So we’re just getting more volume. And then we turn our attention to those three campaigns that have a cost per lead of around $50, which is really low for us. What I would do then is I would increase the budget here, give these campaigns as much leeway or legroom as you can possibly give them. And if they’re way outperforming, if they’re at $50 per lead, what if we bid up. If we bid up, maybe they actually start creeping closer to those $100 cost per lead, but we’re able to get a lot higher volume of them. So as you can see, we’ve lowered our overall cost per lead significantly, we might have taken our overall cost per lead from let’s say, like $140, all the way down to $100. And we’ve actually been able to double, triple or quadruple our total spend. So we’ve talked about being able to set up a whole bunch of different types of campaigns with different targeting. If you go all the way back to episode two of the podcast, we talk about this. But basically there are four standard ways that you can usually target someone on LinkedIn. That’s by job title by job function with seniority, by skill with seniority. And finally, number four by groups with seniority. And don’t jump too far ahead, make sure you listen to the one of the next couple episodes where we talk about segmentation. But then you can go and segment your audiences by things like company size, by job function, by seniority, by geography, etc. And what it does is it gives you a lot of different campaigns that are now hyper targeted. So what you do then is watch the performance, you’re going to find some poor performing campaigns that you can either bid down or shut off entirely, you’ll find some good performers that you can bid up and budget up, just try to add more fuel to them. And then as you look in your CRM and talk to your sales team, you’ll find some of these that create higher quality leads. And you’ll want to give more fuel to those targeting options and campaigns. To get more of those high quality leads out of them. We had two different clients that we implemented the strategy for. And overnight, we had a SAS tool for targeting accountants, we increased their budget by 9x overnight, and cost per lead actually dropped while we were doing this. We did the same thing for another client in the finance space. They 10x their budget overnight, and cost per lead stayed right about the same. And this is of course, the key to efficient scaling on LinkedIn, make sure you go back and listen to episode 39 for more on this. If you choose not to use this strategy, I’m going to let you in on how your scaling is going to work. Let’s say you get 20% more budget, you’re going to go into your few campaigns, and you’re going to bid them up by 20%. Your cost per lead will increase by 20%. That means your ROI goes down by 20%. So you got additional volume, but it cost more. Maybe that’s okay, but maybe it’s not. That’s totally up to you to decide. But if you use this strategy that I’m outlining for you, you’re going to get more qualified audiences, you’re going to have more levers to pull, you’ll then be able to use those to starve the poor performing campaigns and audiences and feed the great performers. You’ll feed them by giving budget increases, and even bidding increases. You’ll see your cost per lead overall account wide drop, which will cause your cost per lead to drop and your ROI to increase. All right, I know that this was a slightly shorter episode than normal so please let me know in the comments, or email us at to let us know. Do you love the shorter episodes? Do you want the longer ones? Definitely let us know. Okay, I’ve got the episode resources for you coming right up. So stick around.

Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away.

All right down in the shownotes, you’ll see the LinkedIn Help Center article about cost cap bidding. So as that’s rolling out over the next couple of months, go check it out and see if you can build it into your strategy or at least test. And we’ll of course cover it here as well. I mentioned episode 2 all about targeting strategies, you’ll see the link to grab that episode. As well as episode 39 that’s all about the key to efficient scaling on LinkedIn, for when you get additional budget. If you or anyone you know is looking to learn LinkedIn Ads. I’m the author of the course on LinkedIn learning around LinkedIn Ads. Check the link down below and go check out that course. It is by far the highest quality and the lowest cost for any LinkedIn Ads course you’ll be able to find out there, guaranteed. Please do look down at whatever podcast player you’re using and hit that subscribe button if you want to hear more of this next week or next month or however often you listen to these things. And as you’re doing that, please do rate the podcast. It really helps. I know you don’t think that it does, and it’s going out of your way. But please, please please, it will do us wonders. And I would really appreciate it with any questions, suggestions, or even recommendations. Reach out to us at And with that being said, we’ll see you back here next week. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.