How to Leverage Hyper Personalisation with LinkedIn

Over the coming weeks we will be updating this post with updates on our tests and outcomes, from our endeavours to integrate Hyperise with LinkedIn, to enable Hyper Personalised reach-out, communication and retargeting.

We’d created a poll in our facebook group (Hyper Personalisation Hacks), asking which integrations our customers wanted to see most.

The answer was a lot, with more than 40 suggestions 😱 but the top request certainly stood out, with almost double the votes of the second placed request.

So we started off testing the options manually first.

Sending a message to an existing contact was the low hanging fruit as we could test that without harassing strangers…

Spoiler Alert this step was a success!

LinkedIn’s default process when wanting to include an image within a message, is for it to be uploaded and then cached. This prevents the image from being dynamic, as well as more work having to download each personalised image from Hyperise and then upload to each message within LinkedIn. Additionally and we felt more importantly the image would not be clickable.

We’ve seen from our own analytics from email, that users love to click on images. If you have a personalised image, next to a personalised CTA button, the image will still get 75% of the clicks.

– So whilst feasible with this first low-fi solution the outcome was slow and sub-optimal, so we carried on looking and discovered something beautiful 😍

Ain’t nothing but a OG thang

Hands up who knows about OG tags…? 🙋
Open Graph tags were introduced by Facebook back in (google search…) with the intention of making it easier for social shared pages to be better displayed in summary in the news feed.

However many other platforms have adopted and use this format, such as Slack and pertinent to this article, LinkedIn, also recognise these tags.

So….. taking our personalised image URL and adding it to the og:image tag of a web page would allow the personalised image to be used in the preview pane of the link….. which would then also be clickable……

Great news we thought, our hand-crafted static HTML test page, with ugly as hell URL worked, we’re on to a winner…

So the tidy up and scale tests started and it all fell apart… 🙁

OG tags are stored meta tags within the pages HTML, whereas Hyperise uses Javascript to make changes to the web page, eg change an image to be personalised. The nuance of this means that LinkedIn ignores the Javascript changes, and so did’t pick-up the personalisation changes in the image preview.

We’re on the thresholds of getting really geeky and boring, which I’m sure none of us want, so I’ll stop short of deep diving in the problem, but suffice to say we tried a bunch of different ways to elegantly update the OG tags “server side”, so in time for LinkedIn preview pane to catch…

Fuck it, lets build a WordPress plugin

In the end the path of least resistance was to build a WordPress plugin, that would automatically take an image on the page, personalise the image, and add as an og:tag, before the page was loaded.

So thats what we did, and it works pretty damn well!

We’ll make the plugin available to all for free, we’re just in the process of submitting it to WordPress for approval, which can take a few weeks. If you’d prefer it quicker, give our support a shout and we’ll send you the code.

The benefit of this first strategy is the image preview is clickable, which can lead to a sales page, (WP page in our example) which we can then also load a FB Pixel on, so we can create an audience and then serve personalised Ads to them outside of LinkedIn, via Facebook and Instagram.

The next we’re going to be looking at tools that will enable us to automate sending new personalised message on connection, to allow this to be done as scale.

(+1 week later…) ^^ OK as it turns out “next” wasn’t looking at scale options, it was building out a CNAME solution, but with that ready to roll out, it’s time to focus on LinkedIn again 🙂

Whilst away from the project I had some thoughts about how the plugin could be more useful it we merged it with the functionality to add Javascript to the page, as we needed that for the Hyper-Campaign javascript. This took a bit extra to complete, but I think worth it making our customers lives easier…

If you’d like to use the plugin you can install directly from within WordPress (search for Hyperise within plugins), or download from here: Hyperise Opengraph Tags