With a LinkedIn premium account, you get 30 free InMail messages per month. InMail messages allow you to directly contact other LinkedIn members, even if you are not connected to them. This gives premium members a powerful recruiting and sales tool to reach targeted prospects and build relationships.
What are InMail Messages?
InMail is LinkedIn’s internal messaging system that allows premium members to directly contact anyone on LinkedIn, whether they are in your network or not. Regular LinkedIn members can only message their 1st-degree connections. With InMail, you can send messages to 2nd and 3rd degree connections or LinkedIn members outside your network.
InMail messages bypass the recipient’s inbox and appear as notifications on LinkedIn, so they have a high open and response rate compared to regular emails. Recipients can respond directly or request to connect. This makes InMail ideal for sales prospecting, recruiting, and targeted outreach.
How Many Free InMail Messages Do You Get?
The number of free InMail messages you receive per month depends on your LinkedIn premium subscription:
- LinkedIn Premium Career – 30 InMails per month
- LinkedIn Premium Business – 30 InMails per month
- LinkedIn Premium Sales – 50 InMails per month
- LinkedIn Premium Recruiter – 50 InMails per month
- LinkedIn Premium Hiring – 140 InMails per month
So if you are on the basic Premium Career or Premium Business plans, you get 30 free InMail messages to use each month. For sales-focused Premium Sales or recruiting-focused Premium Recruiter, you get 50 InMails. And Premium Hiring aimed at recruiters and HR professionals has the highest limit of 140 InMails per month.
What Happens When You Exceed the Limit?
If you exceed the number of free InMail messages your plan provides in a month, you will have to purchase additional credits. Each additional InMail credit costs $10 on all premium plans. There is no option to roll over unused credits to the next month.
However, on annual Premium subscriptions, you can purchase discounted packs of InMail credits upfront. This brings down the per-InMail cost compared to buying ala carte. For example, you can purchase a pack of 100 InMail credits for $800, bringing the per-message cost down to $8.
Getting the Most from Your Free InMails
To maximize the value from your monthly InMail allowance, here are some tips:
- Personalize each message with the recipient’s name and company to boost open rates.
- Keep messages short, focused, and relevant to the prospect’s interests.
- Highlight what’s in it for them – how you can help solve their problems.
- Follow up any InMail outreach with a LinkedIn connection request.
- Track open and response rates to refine your messaging.
- Leverage LinkedIn’s search filters to find your ideal prospects.
- Set reminders to stay on top of your InMail usage so you don’t miss the monthly limit.
With some strategy, planning, and targeting, you can get excellent value from the 30-50 free InMails provided in LinkedIn Premium plans each month. The high open rates and direct access give you a powerful tool to build relationships, close deals, and find qualified candidates.
What Happens When Your Premium Subscription Expires?
If you cancel or your LinkedIn Premium subscription expires, you will lose access to sending InMail messages. However, any unused InMail credits you have already purchased can still be used within 6 months of your subscription expiration.
After cancellation, you revert to only being able to message your 1st degree connections. So you lose the ability to directly reach prospects outside your network. This limits your ability to use LinkedIn for sales prospecting and recruiting.
Before cancelling Premium, consider downloading your InMail metrics and history for record keeping. And if you have a significant amount of unused paid InMail credits, try to use them up within 6 months so you don’t lose that investment.
Can You Increase the Monthly InMail Limit?
If you frequently exceed the monthly InMail allowance, you have a few options to increase your limit:
- Upgrade your Premium plan – For example, go from Premium Career to Premium Sales. This immediately raises your monthly allowance.
- Purchase an annual plan – Annual plans come with discounted bulk InMail credits you can use anytime.
- Buy add-on InMail credits – Purchase individual credits for $10 each as needed, no discount.
- Use automated InMail campaigns – These don’t count against your monthly limit, but have lower response rates.
For high-volume sales prospecting and recruiting, it often makes sense to upgrade to the higher-tier Premium Sales or Premium Recruiter plans. Buying InMail credits in bulk annually is also cost-effective. But regularly purchasing individual credits at $10 each adds up quickly.
Tips for Using InMail Messages
To get the most out of your limited number of monthly InMail messages, keep these tips in mind:
- Personalize each message to show you did research on the prospect.
- Be concise and communicate value quickly.
- Follow up initial InMail with a LinkedIn connection request.
- Thank recipients who respond and offer to help in any way.
- Scrutinize analytics to improve subject lines and call-to-actions.
- InMailProspecting and setting reminders to respond.
- Consider sending InMails early morning or just before end of day.
With smart targeting, clear messaging, and consistent follow up, your monthly InMail allowance can help you make valuable connections and advance your sales and recruiting efforts.
If you are looking for ways to conserve your InMails or do more outreach on LinkedIn, some alternatives to consider include:
- LinkedIn connection requests – Ask to connect instead of InMail for your 1st degree network.
- LinkedIn Open Networkers – Message 2nd & 3rd degree connections open to any contact.
- Automated campaigns – Use pre-written templates to reach prospects at scale.
- Long-form messages – Combine multiple InMails into a single longer message.
- Groups – Participate in discussions and reach members directly.
While InMail is a powerful tool, you can stretch your monthly limit further by supplementing with some of these alternative ways to connect on LinkedIn.
The Value of LinkedIn Premium
While the number of free InMail messages may seem limited at first glance, keep in mind the substantial value unlocked with a LinkedIn Premium subscription:
- Direct access to send messages to any LinkedIn member.
- Communicate with prospects outside your network.
- High open rates compared to cold email outreach.
- See full profiles of 2nd and 3rd degree connections.
- Advanced search filters and analytics.
- Discounts on additional InMail credits purchased in bulk.
For sales, recruiting, and business development, LinkedIn Premium pays for itself many times over by enabling targeted, high-response-rate communication. The InMail allowance is just one piece of a powerful set of tools.