LinkedIn messaging allows you to directly connect and communicate with other LinkedIn members. However, there are some guidelines and best practices to follow when messaging on LinkedIn to ensure you have a positive experience.
Who Can Message Who on LinkedIn?
On LinkedIn, your messaging abilities depend on your relationship and connections:
- You can message any 1st-degree connections in your network without any additional requests.
- You can message 2nd-degree connections by asking to connect first or paying for a premium LinkedIn account which allows messaging 2nd-degree connections.
- You cannot directly message anyone who is not already in your LinkedIn network. You would need to send them a connection request first before messaging.
LinkedIn Messaging Etiquette
To make a good impression and have successful conversations, follow these LinkedIn messaging best practices:
- Personalize your messages – Always address the recipient by name and demonstrate you reviewed their profile before reaching out.
- Keep it professional – LinkedIn is for business networking so maintain a professional tone even if you know the recipient personally.
- Be clear and concise – Get to the point of your message quickly and avoid overly long messages.
- Add value – Offer something useful like advice, referrals, or recommendations rather than just asking for something.
- Follow up – If you don’t get a response, follow up once or twice over a few weeks before moving on.
What to Avoid in LinkedIn Messages
Some types of LinkedIn messages may be flagged, banned, or ignored. Avoid:
- Spamming – Mass messages or contact requests will cause you to lose messaging abilities.
- Hard sells – Don’t be overly promotional or pushy.
- Inappropriate content – Keep messages PG-rated with no offensive language.
- Asking for sensitive information – Never ask for personal contact info like phone numbers.
- Spam keywords – Don’t use words that may trigger spam filters like “free” or “urgent.”
How to Craft Your Initial LinkedIn Message
Follow these tips for writing effective opening LinkedIn messages:
- Personalized greeting – Use their name and say “Hello” or “Hi” to start.
- Introduce yourself – Give a 1-2 sentence bio so they know who you are.
- Note common ground – Mention shared connections, groups, employers, or interests.
- Explain why you’re messaging – Provide context on what sparked the outreach.
- Pose an open-ended question – Give them an easy prompt to respond to.
- Make a specific ask – Tell them clearly if you want to connect, set up a call, get advice, etc.
- Thank them – Express appreciation for their time and consideration.
Following Up on LinkedIn Messages
If your initial message goes unanswered, here are some tips for appropriate follow-up messages on LinkedIn:
- Wait 1-2 weeks – Give them reasonable time to respond before following up.
- Resend original message – Politely ask if they received your previous note.
- Change subject line – Write “Following Up” or “2nd Attempt” so it’s not flagged as duplicate.
- Remind of who you are – Reintroduce yourself and context for messaging.
- Rephrase ask – Don’t simply copy-paste your initial message.
- Offer new incentive – Give additional reasons why they should respond.
- Ask for feedback – Check if they had issues with your request or tone.
However, don’t continue messaging repeatedly if you still don’t get a response. Take the hint and move on.
Is LinkedIn Messaging Right for Your Purpose?
Before messaging extensively on LinkedIn, consider if it aligns with your goals:
- Reconnecting with colleagues – Appropriate and expected.
- Seeking employment – Normal to message recruiters and hiring managers.
- Building partnerships – Useful for initiating business relationships.
- Business development – Expected way to generate new leads and sales.
- General networking – Effective for expanding your connections.
- Promoting content – Acceptable in moderation to share articles, events, etc.
However, avoid overusing LinkedIn messaging for things like:
- Spamming – Random unsolicited messages will damage your reputation.
- Cold sales – Most users won’t appreciate unprompted sales pitches.
- Bulk invites – Mass invites to connect or events may be flagged as spam.
- Promoting unrelated offerings – Don’t message just to pitch something off-topic.
LinkedIn Messaging Frequency Guidelines
There are no set rules from LinkedIn on how often you can message other members. However, some best practices include:
- 1-2 messages per week per individual contact – Avoid flooding any single person with constant messages.
- 10-20 total messages per week – Keep overall messaging volume reasonable for your level of connections.
- 1 follow-up reminder for unanswered messages – Don’t badger people who don’t respond.
- 1 message per new connection – Let a new connection settle before asking for anything.
- 2-4 weeks between similar broadcast messages – Don’t repeat the same mass message too often.
Monitor response rates and user feedback to adjust your ideal messaging cadence as needed. Messaging too frequently risks annoying recipients and being marked as spam.
Tips for Managing High LinkedIn Message Volumes
If you receive more LinkedIn messages than you can handle, try these tips to stay organized:
- Sort messages by sender – Group all messages from the same person into conversation threads.
- Use flags and reminders – Flag messages requiring follow-up and set reminders if needed.
- Categorize messages – Use labels to tag messages by type like “Prospects,” “Partners,” etc.
- Set up senders – Add frequent senders as contacts so messages skip your inbox.
- Check once or twice daily – Don’t let messages pile up unread for too long.
- Use advanced search – Find messages quickly using specific search criteria.
- Schedule dedicated message time – Set aside 30-60 minutes per day to focus on messages.
Also, adjust your account settings to control notifications and filter lower priority messages from flooding your inbox.
Possible LinkedIn Message Limits
Although LinkedIn does not publish exact message limit guidelines, members who message in extreme excess may face restrictions such as:
- 100 messages per day – Excessive daily volumes may get flagged as spam.
- 500 messages per month – Messaging hundreds per month could attract scrutiny.
- 1,000+ connections – Larger networks make high volumes more noticeable.
- Low response rate – One-way messaging with few replies can seem suspicious.
- Low 1st-degree connection share – Messaging 2nd-degree connections extensively may raise concerns.
The best way to avoid issues is to keep messaging relevant, spread out over time, and focused on connections most likely to respond positively.
LinkedIn Automated and Manual Messaging Limits
LinkedIn scrutinizes automated messaging from integrated tools more heavily than manual messaging:
- 10-25 automated messages per month per account – Automated sequences easily trigger spam defenses.
- 25-50 manual messages per week – Manual personal messaging has more flexibility.
- 2-3 automated messages per individual per month – Repeated automated messages to one person will likely be flagged.
- 1-2 manual messages per individual per month – Manual varying messages are less risky.
For critical relationship-building messages, manual personalization always makes the best impression.
Consequences of Exceeding LinkedIn Messaging Limits
If you send volumes of messages far exceeding the recommended guidelines, LinkedIn may take actions like:
- Throttling message sending abilities – Temporarily slowing or limiting how many messages you can send.
- Requiring CAPTCHA – Making you verify “I’m not a robot” before sending messages.
- Requesting phone verification – Having you confirm your identity via text code.
- Disabling messaging – Completely removing your ability to message temporarily or permanently.
- Restricting your account – Limiting your overall LinkedIn use if messaging abuse continues.
- Banning your account – Deleting your profile if your misuse is severe.
The best way to maintain full messaging privileges is to stay within reasonable volumes and only message those likely to welcome the connection.
Appealing LinkedIn Messaging Limitations
If your LinkedIn messaging abilities are limited, you can try to appeal by:
- Reducing messaging volume – Show you can restrain your activity to responsible levels.
- Updating messages – Demonstrate more personal outreach vs. templates.
- Removing purchased lists – Confirm you won’t message indiscriminate contacts.
- Following recommendations – Stick closely to LinkedIn’s etiquette guidance.
- Providing business need context – Explain if higher volumes are critical for your role.
- Waiting it out – Limits sometimes reset or expire after 30-90 days.
However, if messaging limits were applied due to clear violations of LinkedIn policies, your account may remain restricted unless you can prove the issues were addressed.
LinkedIn messaging is a powerful tool for building connections when used properly. By personalizing your outreach, adding value, and avoiding spamming behaviors, you can productively engage your network through messages. Pay attention to feedback and adapt your approach if messaging volumes or frequency ever exceed comfortable levels for recipients. With some common sense and regular monitoring, you can achieve your relationship-building goals on LinkedIn while staying in bounds of appropriate messaging etiquette.