The key to writing an effective LinkedIn message is to make it personal, relevant, and professional. You want your message to capture the recipient’s interest right away and encourage them to respond. Here are some tips for crafting attractive LinkedIn messages:
Personalize the greeting
Always address the recipient by name rather than using a generic greeting like “Hi” or “Dear Sir/Madam.” Taking the extra second to personalize makes your message feel more genuine and less copy/pasted. For example: “Hi [First Name],” or “Good morning [First Name].”
Reference your connection
Remind the recipient how you are connected on LinkedIn or where you met before. This helps provide context for your outreach. For instance: “I see we are both members of the Digital Marketing group.” Or “It was great meeting you at last month’s industry conference.”
Compliment their work
Look at the recipient’s profile and find something to sincerely compliment like an accomplishment, award, or recent content they shared. This shows you took the time to learn about them. You could say something like: “I enjoyed reading your post on the future of social media marketing. You made some excellent points.”
Explain why you are reaching out
Be clear about your purpose for messaging them. Are you asking for career advice? Making a business introduction? Simply expressing interest in connecting? State your reason upfront so they immediately understand why you contacted them.
Make your ask specific
If you are asking for something, be as specific as possible. Rather than a vague “pick your brain,” say exactly what you hope to learn from them. For example: “With your expertise in customer retention, I would love to hear your thoughts on improving client loyalty programs.”
Keep it short
LinkedIn messages should be concise and scannable, 3-4 sentences at most. Get straight to the point rather than including lengthy introductions or background information. You want the recipient to quickly grasp your purpose without having to read a dense block of text.
Pose an open-ended question
Ask something that invites a response and gets the conversation started rather than a simple yes/no question. “What advice would you give someone looking to transition into product management from marketing?” Or “How do you prioritize professional development for your team?”
Suggest a meeting
To take the conversation offline, propose meeting for coffee or a phone call to continue the dialogue. Offer a few time slots that work for you rather than asking about their availability. For instance: “Would you have time for a 20 minute call on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon?”
Close with appreciation
End your message by thanking them for their time and consideration. Let them know you look forward to hearing back from them. This is just a polite way to wrap up your ask before signing off.
Proofread before sending
Be sure to thoroughly proofread your message before hitting send. Check for typos, grammatical errors, and unclear phrasing. Read it aloud to make sure it flows well. You want the message to sound polished and professional.
Follow up if needed
If you don’t receive a response within a week, consider sending a polite follow-up nudge. Sometimes messages get buried or overlooked. But don’t badger the person if they clearly ignored your initial outreach.
Avoid using LinkedIn auto-messages
While LinkedIn offers prewritten templates and quick Apply buttons, avoid using them for your outreach. These auto-messages come across as impersonal and thoughtless. Take the extra minute to write an original message.
Steer clear of hard sales pitches
Don’t make your message feel like a pushy sales pitch. Keep the focus on introducing yourself, building a connection, and starting a mutually beneficial conversation.
Be yourself and add personality
Inject some of your personal style and voice into your message. Professional doesn’t have to translate to overly formal or stiff. Let a bit of your uniqueness and authenticity shine through.
Connect beyond LinkedIn
Once you’ve established a connection, look for opportunities to engage beyond LinkedIn. Follow them on Twitter, sign up for their newsletter, or reach out via email or phone. Deepen the relationship across multiple platforms.
Offer to help
People love when you offer to lend a hand before asking for something. Offer to make an introduction, share an interesting article, or provide input on a project. Look for ways to add value.
Focus on quality over quantity
Don’t spam every connection with generic messages. Carefully target a handful of contacts most relevant to your purpose. Quality conversations trump blind mass outreach.
Align with their interests
Frame your message around topics or issues you know they care about based on their profile. This shows you’re on the same wavelength and makes them more inclined to respond.
Share common ground
Highlight experiences, education, skills, or affiliations you have in common. This sparks an instant connection. “As a fellow University of Michigan alum, I’d love to…”
Sounding too eager or desperate can be off-putting. Keep your tone casual and conversational. Don’t beg them to respond or shower them with praise.
Consider your network
If you share several connections, mention that mutual connection who referred or introduced you. Leverage your existing network.
With some thought and personalization, you can craft LinkedIn messages that grab attention and inspire responses. The more value you offer, the more likely people will want to connect and converse.