The short answer is no, sending messages on LinkedIn does not cost money for most basic users. LinkedIn offers a free messaging system that allows all members to send messages to their 1st degree connections without any fees. There are some limitations, such as only being able to send 15 messages per month to members you are not connected with, but there are no costs associated with basic messaging capabilities.
Sending Messages to 1st Degree Connections
LinkedIn allows all members, including those with free accounts, to send unlimited messages to people they are connected with (1st degree connections). There are no fees or costs associated with messaging your direct connections. This allows you to easily network and communicate with people in your professional circle on LinkedIn without incurring any charges.
Some key things to know about messaging 1st degree connections:
- You can send individual or group messages to connections.
- Messages have no length or size restrictions.
- You can send attachments like photos, PDFs, Word docs, spreadsheets, etc.
- Messages are only seen by the recipients and are not posted publicly.
- There are no limits on the number of messages you can send per day/month.
Being able to freely message your network is an essential part of leveraging LinkedIn to build relationships, get introductions, and find career opportunities. Avoiding any costs here makes it very accessible for all members.
Sending Messages to 2nd & 3rd Degree Connections
In addition to direct connections, LinkedIn members can also send messages to 2nd degree (someone connected to your connections) and 3rd degree connections (connected to 2nd degree connections). There are some limits here, but it does not cost money to message these connections:
- You can send up to 15 messages per month to each 2nd or 3rd degree connection.
- If they reply, your conversation does not count towards the 15 message limit.
- Upgrading to a Premium account removes the 15 message per month cap.
- Group messages count as 1 message towards your limit per recipient.
While not unlimited like messaging 1st degree connections, you do get 15 free messages per month you can use to reach your broader network. Note that if someone replies, it will open up unlimited back and forth communication.
Sending Messages to Non-Connections
LinkedIn also provides options for sending messages to people who are not in your network at all (no shared connections). Again, there are some restrictions here, but no costs:
- You can send up to 15 messages per month to members you share no connections with.
- After someone replies, ongoing messages are unlimited.
- A Premium account again removes the 15 message per month limitation.
- Receiving messages from non-connections is unlimited.
While limited, having some free messages to connect with non-connections allows you to cold message new prospects and potential connections relevant to your career goals.
Does a Premium Account Remove Messaging Limits?
As mentioned in the previous sections, upgrading to a Premium paid account on LinkedIn will remove limitations on how many messages you can send to 2nd, 3rd, and non-connections. Premium accounts currently start at $29.99 per month for the basic level.
Here are the key messaging perks that come with Premium accounts:
- Send unlimited messages to anyone, regardless of connection level.
- See more profile information before messaging someone.
- Know when your messages have been read.
- Get insights into response rates.
While not mandatory, upgrading to premium can significantly increase your messaging power on LinkedIn and make networking more effective if you need to message a high volume of people.
Using LinkedIn InMail for Direct Messaging
In addition to traditional messaging, LinkedIn also offers a product called InMail that allows you to directly message anyone on LinkedIn (whether they are in your network or not). InMail messages skip the inbox and go straight to the top of the recipient’s inbox.
Unlike normal messaging, InMails do have a cost associated with them:
- Individual InMails cost $10 each to send.
- Packs of 10 or 25 InMails can be purchased at discounted bulk rates.
- Only Premium account holders can purchase InMails.
- Many Premium accounts come with a small number of free InMails per month.
InMail can be useful if you need to guarantee that an important message gets delivered and opened. For general messaging though, the free options are likely sufficient for most LinkedIn users.
Does Sending Attachments Cost Money?
Attaching files and media like photos, PDFs, presentations, etc. to your LinkedIn messages does NOT cost extra money. All members, including those with free accounts, can attach files to messages they send.
Some key things to keep in mind with attachments:
- Attachments count towards your daily message send limits.
- Messages with attachments still cannot exceed 20MB in size.
- Recipients must download attachments to view them.
- Attachments are only retained for a limited number of days.
Overall, the ability to send attachments via messaging is an excellent free tool for sharing professional content and collateral with your connections on LinkedIn.
Does Sending Longer Messages Cost Money?
The length of messages you send has no impact on cost – longer messages are free just like short ones. The only restriction LinkedIn places on message length is a maximum of 20,000 characters per message.
Some things to keep in mind with longer messages:
- Extremely long messages may be ignored or rejected.
- Formatting like bullet points can improve readability.
- You can break up long content into multiple messages.
- Pay attention to sentence structure and paragraph breaks.
How lengthy you make your messages is up to you. Focus on clear, concise writing that delivers value.Length does not equal higher cost.
In summary, here are the key potential costs associated with LinkedIn messaging:
- Upgrading to premium – This removes limits on messages to 2nd/3rd/non-connections but starts at $29.99/month.
- Purchasing InMail credits – Each InMail sent costs $10. Buying in bulk lowers per unit price.
- Nothing – Basic messaging capabilities are free for all members.
LinkedIn provides generous free messaging options. Before paying, analyze your needs and see if limits are actually impacting your goals. For most users, free works just fine.
- LinkedIn messaging is free between 1st degree connections with no limits.
- You can message 2nd/3rd/non-connections at no cost up to 15x a month.
- Premium accounts remove recipient limitations for a monthly fee.
- InMail direct messages cost $10 each to send.
- Attachments, length, etc. do not impact messaging costs.
Understanding the ins and outs of LinkedIn messaging costs allows you to maximize reach while controlling expenses. Take advantage of the generous free options before paying for message upgrades.