The best LinkedIn inmail messages are personalized, concise, and make a specific ask or offer value. Avoid generic outreach and focus on showing you understand the recipient’s profile and can provide something useful.
Personalize With Specific Details
Personalized inmails have much higher response rates than generic templates. Mention specific details from the recipient’s profile to show you took the time to understand their background. Reference their current job title and company, previous experience, education, skills, interests, groups, publications, awards, etc. Let them know why you think connecting would be valuable based on common experiences or interests.
Keep It Concise and Scannable
Inmails should be short and to the point. Recipients are busy and will not read long messages. Craft a succinct subject line that conveys the purpose of your note. Use bullet points instead of long paragraphs for key details. Include relevant links, but don’t overdo it. Aim for no more than 3-5 concise sentences.
Make a Specific Ask or Offer
Don’t just say you want to connect, explain why. Make a specific ask or offer of value to the recipient. For example: request an informational interview to learn about their career path, invite them to connect to a job opportunity, share an article or resource you think they’d find interesting, or suggest meeting at an upcoming industry event you’ll both be attending. Give a clear call to action.
Showcase Mutual Connections
Namedrop any mutual connections you share to establish credibility. Mention how you are connected and if your mutual contact suggested you connect. This social proof helps get your inmail opened and builds trust.
Focus on Helping, Not Selling
Avoid coming across as overly salesy or promotional. People will tune out inmails that seem spammy. Instead focus your message on providing value and helping the recipient in some way. Build a relationship first before eventually discussing business objectives.
Follow Up Strategically
Don’t overdo it on follow up inmails if you don’t get a response. Limit follow ups to 2-3 spaced out over several weeks. Vary subject lines and vary message content. Change up your ask or offer and add new information. Be polite and know when to move on if you continue getting no response.
Grammatical errors or typos give a bad first impression. Carefully proofread your inmail before sending to catch any mistakes. Ask someone else to review it with fresh eyes too. Use proper capitalization and punctuation. Spell the recipient’s name correctly.
Adjust Based on Recipient Seniority
Use an appropriate tone based on the recipient’s seniority and position. More casual language can work for connecting with peers but take a more formal approach for senior executives. Show extra deference and respect when reaching out to VPs, C-Suite, Founders, etc.
Show Your Professional Brand
Make sure your own LinkedIn profile is complete with a professional photo and headline before outreaching. Provide enough detail on your background for the recipient to understand your professional brand and expertise.
Time Requests Carefully
Pay attention to the current news happening in the recipient’s industry and company before reaching out. Don’t ask for something at an obviously busy time. For example, don’t ask to connect right before a big product launch, funding announcement, or leadership change.
Be Authentic and Human
Inmail reaches peak effectiveness when it facilitates authentic relationship building between professionals. Steer clear of overly formal, stilted language. Express your actual personality and aim to start a two-way dialogue.
Avoid Aggressive Hard Sells
Resist aggressive call-to-action statements giving ultimatums or demanding an instant response. For example, avoid saying you need an answer by end of day or that spots are filling up fast. This pushy approach often backfires.
Consider Alternatives to Inmail
Inmail has limitations, especially for reaching influential people outside your network. Consider creative alternatives like targeted social media outreach or finding an introduction through your existing network. Inmail works best as part of an omnichannel strategy.
Test and Refine Templates
Craft 2-3 inmail templates for common outreach scenarios that you can tailor for each recipient. Track response rates to see which message styles and approaches work best. Refine your templates over time based on the data.
Follow Up With Value
After connecting, continue nurturing the relationship by periodically sharing useful articles, resources, and insights. Recommend groups to join or people to connect with. Offer to make introductions. Provide ongoing value.