InMail is LinkedIn’s internal messaging system that allows you to directly contact other members, even if you’re not connected. While InMail can be a useful tool for making valuable connections, some LinkedIn members prefer not to receive unsolicited messages.
Can InMail be blocked?
Yes, LinkedIn members have the option to block InMails from people they are not connected to. There are a few ways members can do this:
- Go to Settings & Privacy > Communications > Blocked Accounts. Here you can add accounts to your block list.
- When you receive an unwanted InMail, you can block the sender directly from the message by clicking the “Block” button.
- Upgrade to a Premium account. One of the benefits of Premium is the ability to automatically block InMails from non-connections.
So in summary, while InMail can be a useful networking tool, LinkedIn members do have the ability to block messages in order to control their inbox and who they receive messages from.
What happens when you block someone?
When you block a LinkedIn member, any future InMails sent by that person will automatically be deleted and not delivered to your inbox.
You won’t receive any notification that you’ve blocked someone. From the sender’s perspective, it will seem like their message was successfully sent even though you never received it.
Blocking only prevents that person from sending you InMails in the future. It doesn’t affect your 1st degree network connections or ability to appear in search results. You can still view each other’s profiles as normal.
The block is one-sided. If Person A blocks Person B, that means Person A won’t get messages from Person B anymore. But Person B can still receive messages from Person A unless they also choose to block.
Blocking someone is permanent and can only be reversed if the block is removed. So use this feature judiciously for contacts you definitely don’t want to hear from again.
What types of InMail can be blocked?
The LinkedIn blocking feature applies to standard InMail messages sent directly between members. Here are some examples of InMails that can be blocked:
- InMails sent directly to you by another member
- InMail messages sent via a customized template
- InMail replies to a message thread between you and another member
However, other automated InMail messages sent by LinkedIn cannot be blocked. For example:
- InMails inviting you to connect with someone who views your profile
- InMails notifying you when someone shares content with you or mentions you
- InMails from LinkedIn groups informing you of new posts or discussions
So in summary, the blocking feature applies specifically to one-to-one conversational messages between members. System-generated InMails from LinkedIn will still reach your inbox.
Who can send InMail?
By default, regular LinkedIn members can send InMails to anyone, regardless of whether they’re connected. But there are limits:
- Free members – Up to 30 InMails per month
- Premium members – Up to 150 InMails per month
- Sales Navigator members – Up to 250 InMails per month
- Recruiter accounts – Unlimited InMails
So anyone on LinkedIn can send InMails up to the limits for their account type. However, keep in mind unsolicited messages may cause recipients to block you. To avoid this, only send InMail when appropriate and provide value to start meaningful conversations.
Best practices for sending InMail
To maximize your chances of getting a response, here are some best practices when reaching out via InMail:
- Personalize the message with their name and why you want to connect.
- Be transparent about who you are and why you’re contacting them.
- Make the message relevant by referencing their work, interests, or connections.
- Keep it brief but thoughtful – a few concise paragraphs.
- Use a customized template if connecting with multiple people.
- Follow up if you don’t hear back after a week.
Avoid generic outreach that seems copy-pasted. Tailor your message to the person so it doesn’t feel like spam. With a bit of personalization, InMail can be very effective for building your network.
InMail vs. regular LinkedIn messaging
Beyond InMail, LinkedIn also allows members to exchange free messages under certain circumstances:
- You can message 1st-degree connections at no cost.
- Group members can message each other for free if the admin enables it.
- You can reply to someone for free if they message you first.
Compared to InMail, regular LinkedIn messaging has a few key differences:
|Can be sent to any member, regardless of connection
|Only works between 1st-degree connections
|Costs credits to send (except with Recruiter)
|Free between connections
|Appears prominently in recipient’s inbox
|Easily overlooked in notifications tab
So in summary, InMail provides more flexibility to contact anyone, but regular messaging is free between existing connections. Choose the right channel based on your purpose and the recipient.
Pros and cons of blocking InMail
Before blocking InMail capabilities, here are some pros and cons to weigh:
- Prevents unwanted outreach from distracting you
- Saves time by automatically deleting irrelevant messages
- Lets you filter contacts based on who already knows you
- Gives you more control over your LinkedIn inbox
- You may miss out on some worthwhile opportunities
- It’s difficult to unblock someone later on
- Your profile may be less visible to recruiters if they can’t message you
- Paid account required to automatically block non-connections
As usual, blocking has trade-offs. Use your judgment based on the volume of messages you currently receive and whether that unknown outreach provides value.
Tips for managing unwanted messages
If you receive distracting or irrelevant InMails, here are a few ways to handle them:
- Selectively block senders who provide no value after replying
- Reply with a polite decline when uninterested
- Set your messages so only 1st-degree connections can contact you
- Upgrade to automatically block non-connections
- Add an “Only accepting warm introductions” note to your profile
The key is filtering effectively while remaining open to worthwhile opportunities. With the right settings and etiquette, you can manage inbound messages without compromising your LinkedIn visibility.
While InMail provides a way to directly contact LinkedIn members, it also enables recipients to block senders. Members can block specific individuals or set their account to automatically block non-connections. However, core system InMails from LinkedIn itself can’t be blocked.
Overall, judicious blocking combined with courteous replies provides a balanced approach. This allows you to filter irrelevant messages without missing out on valuable connections. With some prudent mailbox management, InMail can remain an effective networking tool on LinkedIn.