The quick answer is – it depends. Both short and long LinkedIn messages can be effective, but you need to tailor your message length to your specific goals and the recipient.
When To Use Short LinkedIn Messages
Here are some situations when a short LinkedIn message may be preferable:
- Making the initial connection request – A brief message introducing yourself and explaining why you want to connect works best here.
- Following up after meeting someone – A short note recalling where you met and reiterating your interest in connecting makes sense.
- Making a time-sensitive request – If you need a quick response, get to the point fast.
- Replying to a direct question – Respond succinctly and directly to the question asked.
- When you don’t know the recipient well – Long messages can come across as overbearing to connections you don’t know.
- Scheduling a call or meeting – A few sentences proposing some time slots is usually sufficient.
- Introducing someone new – Brief messages can efficiently explain who you are connecting and why.
The common thread is that when your goal is a simple call to action, logistics, or introduction, a concise message is often best.
When To Use Longer LinkedIn Messages
Here are situations where a longer, more detailed LinkedIn message may be more effective:
- Providing a substantive update – If you want to provide real value, give full details.
- Making a request for help – Provide context to make it easy for the recipient to assist you.
- Following up after a meeting – Give a recap and share additional thoughts to keep the conversation going.
- Reconnecting with an old colleague – Reminisce and catch them up on your latest news.
- Not sure if the recipient will remember you – Give a refresher on where you met and your relationship.
- Explaining a complex concept or proposal – Comprehensive details are important for understanding.
- Trying to build a relationship – Longer messages allow you to be more personal and nuanced.
Essentially, when your objectives are relationship building, providing value, making an in-depth request, or sharing complex information, take the time to write a longer message.
Tips for Writing Effective Long LinkedIn Messages
If you’ve decided a longer LinkedIn message would be most appropriate, keep these tips in mind:
- Get to the point eventually – Summarize the purpose of your message up front before getting into details.
- Watch your tone – Long messages can unintentionally seem aggressive or imposing. Use a polite, conversational tone.
- Show your personality – Let your unique voice come through instead of sounding overly stiff and formal.
- Make it skimmable – Use sections, bullets, paragraph breaks, and emphasis formatting to enhance readability.
- Check for clarity – Ensure important details are highlighted and unnecessary points edited out.
- Use open-ended questions – Give the recipient something to latch onto if they want to continue the dialogue.
- Mention next steps – Provide clear calls to action, recommended responses, or plans for follow up.
With the right approach, a detailed LinkedIn message can be well received and help strengthen your connections.
Tips for Writing Effective Short LinkedIn Messages
On the flip side, here are some tips for crafting better short LinkedIn messages:
- Grab attention fast – Lead with your most important point or question up front.
- Stick to one goal – Boil your message down to one clear call to action or point.
- Be specific – Leave out unnecessary details so you can be concise yet precise.
- Show you did your homework – Demonstrate you know the recipient well enough to be brief.
- Follow up if needed – Let the recipient know you’re happy to provide more detail over a call or in a longer message.
- Use natural language – Don’t try to cram in more points by omitting small connecting words.
- Close with next steps – End by clearly stating any needed response or action from the recipient.
An effective short message shows you value the recipient’s time and enables you to deliver your key point succinctly.
Finding the Right LinkedIn Message Length
Finding the ideal LinkedIn message length is ultimately about understanding your goal and what would be most effective for the recipient. Consider these tips:
- Put yourself in their shoes – Would a short or long message be most natural and appealing if you received it?
- Think about existing rapport – Err on the side of brief messages for new connections, longer ones for established contacts.
- Match the response you want – Long messages work to start an open-ended dialogue, short ones are good for specific logistical replies.
- Consider their time – Executives tend to appreciate brevity; those not as busy may appreciate more detail.
- Use your judgment – There are always exceptions to the guidelines. Go with your instincts.
With experience, you’ll get a feel for when a quick note or an in-depth message is the right call. The most effective LinkedIn messaging strategy uses both short and long messages when appropriate.