You may already be aware of some recent changes to the InMail feature on LinkedIn, resulting in countries within the EU being phased out of sending due to GDPR reasons. But a couple of weeks ago, LinkedIn announced an even bigger change – the ‘sunsetting’ of this format altogether.

This may come as a disappointment to some, as InMails have been a favourite tactic for many businesses, particularly when it comes to lead gen campaigns. However, all is not lost, as LinkedIn will soon introduce TWO brand new ad formats and an exciting new feature:

So, what are the alternatives?

The removal of InMails comes alongside the introduction of a new inbox style which will feature a “Focused” and an “Other” tab, and will be replaced with Conversation Starter ads (more on those in a sec), which will appear within a fixed placement in the “Focused” tab.

These ads will encourage users to click to initiate a conversation and engage with the ad itself, allowing them to choose their own path during the process of interaction.


Conversation Starter ads

Formally known as ‘Conversation Ads’, the new version is pretty much the same, but has a fancy new name to indicate that these messages can be controlled by your audience member.

Messages will still appear in your audiences’ inbox as a fixed placement, encouraging them to click to engage with the ad, but this version allows them to initiate a conversation with your business, prompting them to take action on their own terms.

*Unfortunately, these will not be available in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland.

Click-to-Message ads

These are feed-based ads that enable your business to capture your desired audience’s attention directly in their newsfeed and drive high-intent conversations about a product or service through a CTA button. The great thing about this new format is that they can be used to drive deeper brand engagement or conversions with audiences, again, allowing them to initiate on their own terms.


‘Focused’ Inbox

Inboxes will now include two tabs, using an industry-standard, organised, and intuitive layout that helps members find and respond to the messages that are most relevant to them. The ‘Focused’ tab will contain your most relevant messages; the ‘Other’ tab contains the remainder of your conversations. A much-needed change for those who like to keep things neat and tidy!

With such an important ad format removed from LinkedIn, there is no better time to start thinking about differentiating your budgets by nurturing your audience using different ad formats and making sure every element amplifies the right message.

For any questions or advice relating to your social media strategy or how we can help you adapt to these new changes, give us a call on 01256 881100 or email us at

Marley Lacey – Digital Marketing Manager & Team Leader