The short answer is yes, you can send messages on LinkedIn without a premium account. LinkedIn allows all members, including those with free basic accounts, to send messages to any of their 1st-degree connections without any restrictions. You don’t need a premium account for this basic messaging functionality.
Who can I message on LinkedIn without premium?
With a free LinkedIn account, you can send private messages to any of your 1st-degree connections. Your 1st-degree connections include:
- Anyone who has accepted your connection request
- Anyone who has sent you a connection request that you’ve accepted
- Anyone you’ve imported from your email contacts who has accepted your connection request on LinkedIn
You can send messages to these connections individually or in groups of up to 50 people. You’re not limited in how many messages you can send and exchange with your connections.
What messaging features are available without LinkedIn Premium?
LinkedIn provides a built-in messaging system you can use for free to communicate with your 1st-degree connections. Free account holders have access to the following key messaging features:
- Send and receive private messages with any 1st-degree connection
- Start group conversations with up to 50 of your 1st-degree connections
- Share text, photos, videos, and files up to 25MB in size
- See when your messages are read by recipients
- Get notifications when you receive new messages
The free messaging system provides the basic ability to have conversations and share content with people in your network. While there are limitations compared to premium accounts, you’re not completely restricted.
What messaging restrictions apply to free LinkedIn accounts?
There are some key restrictions to be aware of with LinkedIn’s free messaging features:
- You can only message people who are 1st-degree connections in your network. No messaging 2nd or 3rd-degree connections.
- You can’t send InMail messages, which allow you to contact anyone, even people outside your network.
- You have a limited number of search filters when looking for connections to message.
- You can’t send messages to groups of more than 50 people.
- Advanced features like read receipts and being notified when your message is opened are not available.
While limiting compared to premium accounts, the core ability to communicate with your connections is still available. You just need to work within the rules of LinkedIn’s free messaging system.
Should I upgrade to premium messaging?
For many people, the free messaging system is sufficient for basic communication needs. But there are some situations where upgrading to a premium account with messaging perks can be beneficial:
- If you want to contact people outside your 1st-degree network
- If you regularly need to message large groups exceeding 50 people
- If you want access to advanced features like seeing when messages are opened
- If you need expanded search filters to find the right connections to message
- If you want to send InMail to reach people you’re not connected to
Premium accounts unlock more messaging capabilities and flexibility. But for simpler messaging needs, a free account will cover the basics.
Messaging tips for free LinkedIn members
Here are some tips to get the most out of LinkedIn messaging with a free account:
- Fill out your profile completely to encourage connections from coworkers, classmates, etc. The larger your network, the more people you can message.
- Personalize connection requests when sending them. People are more likely to accept and engage if they know who you are.
- Organize your connections using tags. Makes it easier to find the right people to message in your network.
- Send thoughtful, relevant messages that clearly explain why you are contacting someone.
- Avoid spamming your connections with unsolicited messages and sales pitches.
- Utilize group messaging when appropriate to communicate with up to 50 people at once.
- Consider upgrading to premium if you want to expand your messaging reach and access.
While limited compared to premium, LinkedIn’s free messaging still provides an opportunity to engage your professional network in a meaningful way.
Can I message my LinkedIn connections through email?
LinkedIn does not provide the ability to message connections directly through email. All messages must be sent and received within LinkedIn’s built-in messaging platform, either the free version or the expanded premium system.
However, when you message someone on LinkedIn who also has an email address associated with their profile, they have the option to enable one-click replies. This allows them to reply to your LinkedIn message directly from their email inbox. But the conversation is still contained within LinkedIn.
There is no way to message, text, call, or email a LinkedIn connection directly outside of LinkedIn’s platform, unless they have provided that contact information publicly on their profile or to you privately.
Can I message someone who viewed my LinkedIn profile?
LinkedIn does not allow you to message someone strictly based on them viewing your profile. In order to exchange messages, they must be one of your 1st-degree connections.
You can see a list of 3rd-party profiles who have viewed yours in the last 90 days. However, since they are not connections, LinkedIn does not allow you to message them directly.
If you want to message someone who has viewed your profile, you first need to send them an invite to connect. If they accept your invitation, they’ll be added as a 1st-degree connection and you can freely message each other.
Can I message my LinkedIn connections using mobile apps?
Yes, LinkedIn offers mobile apps for iOS and Android that allow you to send messages to your connections from your mobile device. The messaging functionality works the same as the desktop website.
To get started, download the official LinkedIn app and sign in with your account credentials. You can then access your connections and message them individually or in groups up to 50 people.
The LinkedIn mobile apps provide the core messaging features available to free users, such as sending text, photos, videos, and files. Everything syncs across the mobile apps and desktop site in real-time.
Having a free LinkedIn account still allows you to send messages to any of your 1st-degree connections without limits. While restricted compared to premium options, you can have basic conversations with the core professionals in your network.
Focus on building out quality connections, personalizing your messages, and staying within the rules of LinkedIn’s free messaging system. With some effort, you can engage your network in a meaningful way even without a premium account.