LinkedIn InMail is a messaging feature within LinkedIn that allows you to directly contact other members outside of your network. InMail messages bypass the need for a connection request and go directly to the recipient’s LinkedIn inbox. InMail provides a way to reach recipients that you otherwise may not be able to connect with through traditional means.
How InMail Works
With a LinkedIn Premium account, you get a certain number of InMail credits per month that allow you to send direct messages to any LinkedIn member, whether they are in your network or not. The number of credits depends on the type of premium account you have. When you send an InMail, it will go to the recipient’s inbox just like a regular email message would.
Some key things to know about InMail:
- InMail messages can only be sent and received between LinkedIn members. You cannot send InMails to non-members.
- Recipients do not need to be connected to you in order to receive your InMail.
- You must have a Premium account in order to send InMails. The free LinkedIn account does not include this capability.
- Recipients can respond to your InMail just like a regular message if they choose to.
- InMails often have higher response rates than connection requests since the recipient can read your message before deciding to engage.
Essentially, InMail allows you to directly contact anyone on LinkedIn in a more personalized way to introduce yourself or share information. It helps you establish connections with people outside of your existing network.
When to Use InMail
Here are some common uses cases and reasons to send InMail messages:
- Reaching recruiters or hiring managers: InMail provides a way to directly contact recruiters, hiring managers, and other talent acquisition professionals at a company you are interested in. You can introduce yourself and express interest in opportunities.
- Following up on applications: If you have applied for a position but have not heard back, InMail offers a way to follow up directly with the hiring manager versus going through HR.
- Establishing a connection: InMail lets you reach out directly to peers, leaders, or professionals in your industry that you want to build a relationship with.
- Sending personalized messages: You can use InMail to send more detailed, personalized messages versus a generic connection request.
- Making introductions: If you want to introduce someone in your network to another member outside it, InMail provides a way to make a warm introduction.
- Sharing content: You can use InMail to share articles, links, or other content directly with another member who might find it relevant.
In summary, the direct and more personal nature of InMail makes it preferable for establishing important new connections, following up on time-sensitive matters, sending meaningful introductions, and conveying information that merits focused attention.
InMail vs. Connection Request
How does InMail differ from sending a regular connection request? Here are some key differences:
- An InMail goes directly to the recipient’s inbox and they can read the full message you send before deciding whether to engage.
- Connection requests only allow for a brief note and the recipient must accept the request before being able to message.
- InMail allows you to contact anyone, even if you have no shared connections. Connection requests are less likely to be accepted without common connections.
- InMail messages often see higher response rates compared to connection requests.
- You are limited by the number of InMails your account has per month, whereas connection requests are unlimited.
In summary, InMail tends to be more effective when you want to establish an important new connection or convey key information. Connection requests work better for casually expanding your network when you already have shared connections.
InMail vs. LinkedIn Messages
LinkedIn Messages allow you to communicate with existing connections, while InMail lets you message non-connections. Here are some other key differences:
- You can send unlimited messages to your connections, but InMails are limited based on your account.
- Recipients are notified of new messages in the LinkedIn messaging thread, but InMail goes to the primary inbox.
- It’s considered more intrusive to message non-connections, whereas messaging connections maintains existing relationships.
- InMail is seen as a good way to establish new relationships, whereas messages are for nurturing current ones.
In summary, LinkedIn messages are better for ongoing communication with your network, while InMail enables outreach to new people previously outside of your reach.
When using InMail, it’s important to follow proper etiquette to create a good impression:
- Personalize each message with context about why you are reaching out specifically to the recipient.
- Be transparent about the purpose of your message – are you seeking a job, wanting an introduction, or sharing information?
- Introduce yourself briefly so they know who you are.
- Keep messages concise and focused on a single call-to-action.
- Use a professional but friendly tone.
- Give relevant background on yourself or information to provide value to the recipient.
- Thank the recipient for their time and consideration.
- Follow up if you don’t hear back, but avoid pestering someone who clearly is not interested.
- Respect it if the recipient does not reply – don’t overdo follow-up InMails.
Essentially, treat InMails like professional business communications. Be courteous, add value, make clear asks, and engage in effective follow-up. This will lead to the best results.
Tips for Writing InMail Messages
Here are some tips to writing effective InMail messages:
- Focus on relevance – Ensure your message is tailored specifically to the recipient and demonstrate that you did research on their background.
- Highlight common ground – Mention any shared connections, groups, or interests you have in common with the recipient.
- Have a clear purpose – State explicitly if you are seeking a job, wanting an introduction, or just aiming to connect.
- Make a specific ask – Include a call to action, such as requesting a referral or inquiring about job opportunities.
- Keep it short – Get to the point within 2-3 concise paragraphs.
- Proofread carefully – Avoid typos and grammar mistakes, as these will reflect poorly on you.
- Follow up tactfully – If you don’t get a response within 1-2 weeks, consider a brief, polite follow-up.
- Say thanks – Express gratitude for the recipient’s time and any help they provide.
With a personalized, relevant message and clear call-to-action, you can increase your chances of getting a response to your InMail.
Buying Additional InMail Credits
If you use up your allotted InMail credits, you can purchase additional ones:
- Credits can be purchased directly from your account settings under the “InMail” tab.
- Prices range from $10 for 5 credits up to $120 for 50 credits.
- You must have a Premium account in order to purchase extra credits.
- Carefully consider if you need additional credits or could reach out other ways.
- Focus on sending high quality InMails rather than a high quantity.
- Consider upgrading your Premium account level to receive more credits per month.
Purchasing extra credits can make sense in certain cases, such as when you are actively job searching or focused on building strategic relationships. But evaluate whether other outreach methods may work as well before spending money.
InMail Compliance Policies
LinkedIn has compliance policies regarding appropriate use of InMail. It is important to avoid any InMail spam or abuse.
Here are some key policies to keep in mind:
- InMails should not be used for promotions, solicitations, or other commercial purposes.
- You should have a prior relationship or contextual reason for contacting someone via InMail.
- Avoid sending identical InMails in bulk to many users.
- Do not contact members multiple times if they do not respond.
- Honor any request from a member to stop receiving messages.
- InMails should not contain false information or misrepresentation.
Violating these policies could potentially lead to suspension or termination of your LinkedIn account. Be sure to use InMail thoughtfully for relationship-building purposes.
InMail and Privacy Settings
Recipients’ privacy settings can impact if they are able to receive your InMails:
- Members can opt out of receiving InMails from free users outside their network.
- But Premium users can message any other Premium member, regardless of privacy settings.
- Some members fully disable receiving InMails in their communication preferences.
- Your InMail could get automatically rejected if a recipient’s preferences block you.
- Review a member’s profile carefully to determine if they are likely open to your InMail.
Essentially, recipients maintain control over who can reach them via InMail. Respect their settings and preferences when considering your outreach.
InMail Metrics and Insights
LinkedIn provides data on your InMail activity that can be useful:
- You can view the number of InMails sent and opened over any time period.
- This allows you to analyze your open and response rates.
- Insights help you identify effective subject lines and messaging approaches.
- InMail statistics are found under the “Insights” tab in your LinkedIn Premium account.
- The data can help you refine your outreach strategy over time.
- Benchmark your open and response rates to aim for continuous improvement.
Optimizing your subject lines, messages, and target recipients based on insights can boost your InMail effectiveness over time.
InMail on Mobile
LinkedIn’s mobile app allows you to send and receive InMail on the go:
- The LinkedIn app is available for both iOS and Android.
- You can compose a new InMail from the Messaging screen.
- Mobile makes it easy to promptly respond to received InMails.
- The conversation and profile view adapt for mobile ease of use.
- You still need Premium access to send InMails on mobile.
- Mobile provides flexibility to communicate important InMails on the go.
Having the mobile app makes it convenient to send timely messages from anywhere when important opportunities arise.
In summary, LinkedIn InMail provides a powerful way to directly engage and build relationships with other members outside of your existing network. It is ideal for making meaningful new connections, following up on time-sensitive matters, and establishing strategic relationships. With proper etiquette and effective messaging, InMail can expand your professional opportunities. Use it thoughtfully as part of an overall relationship-building approach.