LinkedIn message pitching refers to the practice of sending unsolicited messages to LinkedIn members to promote a product, service, job opportunity, or other offering. The goal of message pitching is to generate leads and opportunities for one’s business. It involves crafting personalized messages that provide value to the recipient while also introducing what you have to offer.
How Message Pitching Works on LinkedIn
On LinkedIn, members can send messages to any other member they are connected with or that does not have messaging restrictions enabled. This enables the use of messaging for pitching purposes. Here is an overview of how message pitching typically works on LinkedIn:
- The sender identifies and researches potential prospects/leads based on criteria like job title, industry, company, location, skills, etc.
- They customize messages that provide value, demonstrate knowledge of the prospect’s needs, and highlight how their offering can benefit the prospect.
- Messages are sent individually to avoid coming across as spammy. Personalization and relevance are key.
- The goal is to get recipients to respond, have a conversation and ultimately convert to a sale, signup, or other desired outcome.
- Tracking software can be used to automate finding prospects and sending initial messages, but human interaction is still needed for worthwhile conversations.
- Response rates tend to be low so persistence and regular testing of messaging is required.
Crafting Effective LinkedIn Messages
Creating compelling messaging is crucial for generating responses and conversions from LinkedIn outreach. Here are some tips for crafting effective messages:
- Personalize every message with the recipient’s name, company, location or other unique details.
- Make the subject line descriptive and use power words to compel opening.
- Highlight common connections or groups to establish familiarity.
- Provide value by sending useful content, resources, or insights.
- Speak to the prospect’s needs and pain points based on their profile and role.
- succinctly explain what you offer and how it can help them.
- Use a warm and helpful tone – avoid sounding salesy or robotic.
- Ask thoughtful questions to encourage a response and further the conversation.
- Keep messages concise yet personalized – a few paragraphs at most.
- Mention referrals from common connections to increase response rates.
Pros of LinkedIn Message Pitching
There are several potential benefits to pitching over LinkedIn messages versus other outreach channels:
- Higher response rates – LinkedIn estimates response rates around 3-5x higher than email.
- More direct access – messages go directly to the recipient versus getting lost in an inbox.
- Deeper personalization – leveraging LinkedIn profile data for targeting and messages.
- Relationship building – supports more meaningful conversations and networking.
- Cost effective – no ad spending needed to contact prospects.
- Higher quality leads – prospects on LinkedIn tend to be more senior level and engaged.
Cons of LinkedIn Message Pitching
There are also some potential downsides to be aware of with LinkedIn messaging outreach:
- Time intensive – Requires manpower to craft personalized messages.
- Low response rates – While higher than email, response rates are still typically under 10%.
- Spam risk – Mass message blasting can damage sender reputation or get banned.
- Oversaturation – Many prospects get high volumes of messages daily.
- Restricted reach – Can only message connected members or those open to receiving messages.
- Slow conversions – Building relationships takes time before leading to sales outcomes.
To maximize success and avoid common pitfalls, here are some best practices to follow:
- Limit message volume to avoid coming across as spammy.
- Spread out messaging in small batches instead of blasting everything at once.
- Personalize every message while also maintaining efficiency with templates.
- Test different subject lines, messaging styles and call-to-actions.
- Follow up with non-responders no more than 2-3 times spaced out over weeks.
- Report response metrics to refine messaging and prospecting over time.
- Develop guidelines for sales team members to ensure proper etiquette and representation of your brand.
- Monitor changes to LinkedIn policies which may restrict messaging behavior.
Alternatives to Pitching Prospects
If your response rates to prospect messaging are low, consider these alternative outreach strategies:
- Utilize LinkedIn ads to reach prospects – allows targeting by various criteria.
- Provide value first by sharing content, joining groups and building connections before pitching.
- Ask for introductions through mutual connections instead of cold contacting.
- Engage prospects through commenting on posts, liking content, and connecting in groups.
- Invite prospects to webinars, events and other content experiences.
- Partner with influencers, companies and schools who can refer prospects to you.
Keys to Success
To maximize the results of LinkedIn prospect messaging, the keys are:
- Personalization – Treat each recipient like an individual.
- Value – Offer insights and resources, don’t just pitch.
- Persistence – Follow up appropriately if no initial response.
- Relationships – Build rapport, don’t just go for the hard sell.
- Relevance – Ensure your offering addresses their needs.
- Refinement – Continuously optimize your targeting and messaging.
- Patience – Develop contacts over the long-term; overnight results are rare.
Is LinkedIn Message Pitching Right for You?
LinkedIn message pitching can generate quality leads but requires time and effort to do properly. It is best suited for B2B companies with products or services that appeal to professionals on LinkedIn. To determine if it is a good fit, consider:
- Are your prospects business decision makers with LinkedIn profiles?
- Do you have the manpower for personalized, one-to-one messaging?
- Are your offerings a potential solution to your prospects’ business needs?
- Are you focused on relationship building, not just one-off sales?
- Can you persistently follow up while maintaining a positive brand image?
If you answer yes to these questions, LinkedIn messaging may be a viable strategy. Test it out on a small scale and track results before committing extensive time and resources. With strategic messaging and persistence, it can become an effective component of an integrated sales and marketing plan.