When you send an InMail message to someone on LinkedIn, there are a few ways you can tell if the recipient declined or ignored your message.
1. The message will show “Unanswered” instead of “Sent”
After sending an InMail, the status will initially show as “Sent.” However, if the recipient declines or ignores the message, the status will change to “Unanswered.” This is the clearest indication that your InMail was declined.
2. You may see a notice that the message was declined
In some cases, LinkedIn will explicitly notify you that your message was declined. You may see a banner or notice stating “Your message was declined” or something similar. This leaves no doubt that the recipient actively declined your InMail.
3. You can no longer send messages to that recipient
LinkedIn limits the number of InMail messages you can send to recipients who have not responded. So if you are unable to send any more InMails to a particular person, it likely means they declined or ignored your previous messages.
4. The recipient’s profile no longer shows the InMail icon
When you have the ability to send InMail to someone, you’ll see a little envelope icon on their profile. But if your InMail was rejected, this icon disappears, indicating you can no longer message them.
5. You didn’t get a response within a few days
If a recipient is interested in your message, they will usually respond within a few days. So if you don’t hear back after 3-5 days, chances are high they ignored your InMail.
6. Your InMail credit was refunded
When someone declines your InMail, LinkedIn refunds the credit you used to send the message. Check your current InMail credit balance – if it increased, that’s a sign your message was rejected.
7. The recipient blocked you
In some extreme cases, recipients may completely block you after declining your InMail. You’ll know this happened if you can no longer view their profile at all.
Tips for handling declined InMail messages
Getting an InMail declined or ignored can be discouraging. Here are some tips on how to handle it gracefully:
- Don’t take it personally – focus on other connections and opportunities.
- Reflect on how you can improve your outreach strategy and messaging.
- Wait a few months before attempting to reconnect with the person.
- Consider if you have any shared connections who could provide a warm introduction.
- Focus on building up your network and profile to increase the response rate.
Reasons your InMail may have been declined
There are many reasons why someone might ignore or decline your InMail message, including:
- Too salesy or promotional – focus on providing value.
- Irrelevant to their interests or industry.
- Bad timing if they are not active on LinkedIn currently.
- Too generic and mass-messaged – personalize your outreach.
- Outside their current job role or responsibilities.
- Unclear what you are offering or asking for.
- Do not know you or have existing relationship.
Best practices for sending InMail
To boost your InMail response rate, here are some best practices:
- Personalize each message with specifics about their background.
- Provide value by sending insights, advice or opportunities.
- Have a clear and benefit-driven call to action.
- Keep your message concise and scannable.
- Highlight shared connections or experiences if applicable.
- Ensure your profile is complete and optimized.
- Focus on those more likely to respond based on role, industry, etc.
Alternatives to InMail
If you are struggling to get InMail responses, consider alternative outreach strategies like:
- Asking shared connections for introductions.
- Commenting on the recipient’s posts and content.
- Joining relevant LinkedIn groups and engaging in discussions.
- Connecting at in-person events, conferences, and meetups.
- Running LinkedIn ads targeting your ideal audience.
- Connecting via other social media platforms.
When is it appropriate to send an InMail?
As a general rule, it is appropriate to send an InMail when:
- You share a common connection, group, or company.
- You have something of value to offer the recipient such as an opportunity, advice, or support.
- You have a specific proposal or ask that is relevant to their interests or needs.
- Your message is personalized and demonstrates you did research on their background.
- You have made an effort to build rapport by engaging with their content first.
Avoid sending InMail “cold” without any context or existing relationship, as this will likely get ignored.
InMail alternatives for free users
If you are on the free version of LinkedIn without InMail credits, you can still reach out to new connections by:
- Commenting on posts – start a conversation this way.
- Connecting in LinkedIn Groups – establish yourself as an expert.
- Finding email addresses via tools like RocketReach or Hunter.io.
- Connecting on other platforms like Twitter or Facebook.
- Asking mutual connections for an introduction.
- Upgrading to a premium LinkedIn account to access InMail.
Being ignored on LinkedIn can be disheartening, but is often a numbers game. Focus on personalizing your approach, adding value, and using alternative channels to make new connections. With persistence and the right strategy, you can overcome ignored InMails.