6 Steps to writing a strong LinkedIn InMail message


From reaching out to share content to inviting a user to an event, or simply asking for a connection request, there are numerous reasons to send a LinkedIn InMail message. Here are 5-steps to crafting an InMail people want to read.

From using it in your lead generation strategy to being a perfect platform to retarget professionals, LinkedIn is a great social network to connect with individuals and forge a relationship with them. And if you approach this process properly, those same users can become loyal customers or future partners.

How? By using LinkedIn InMail (either Sponsored or via LinkedIn Premium) and reaching out directly to individuals. Now, much like cold calling or cold emailing, the aim of such an interaction is not selling, as nobody buys in the initial contact stage. In fact, your InMail shouldn’t even be about asking for a meeting. Rather you’re trying to build relationships with target companies and leaders and provoke curiosity from a potential buyer.

You can do this by sharing valuable content, inviting a user to a relevant event you’re hosting, solving a problem for a company and being there for them when needed.

Given the variety of reasons to reach out and connect, there’s no ultimate LinkedIn InMail message. However, there are some tips you can follow to improve your success rate. If you’re short on time, check out our ten LinkedIn InMail templates.

Start by knowing what you aim to achieve by reaching out

Much like cold calling or cold emailing, your first LinkedIn InMail should not be about selling. As no one will buy in the initial contact stage. The goal should be to start a conversation. These people don’t know who you are, and you need to convince them that talking to you is a worthy cause.

So don’t go in guns blazing talking about an opportunity; make a connection first.

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Make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimised

Before you launch your InMail campaign, check your LinkedIn profile (if you’re the sender) and make sure it is complete and up-to-date. Here are a few items to look at:

  • Profile photo – As this is the first element people’s eyes gravitate towards, ensure you have a professional image that conveys trustworthiness.
  • Background image – As you’re a company representative reaching out to new people, a background photo of your company logo or achievements is an easy way to build credibility.
  • LinkedIn headline – This should convey your position and/or unique skills and how you can be of service to others.
  • Summary – If your tagline describes what you do, your summary should represent why you do it and why people can trust you.
  • Work history and skills – Having these sections filled in gives you more credibility.

Why do this? Because this builds truth and credibility. Leads will look at your profile and judge if they want to do business with you. So don’t ruin great messaging and positive interactions with an empty, outdated or mistake-filled LinkedIn profile.

Your LinkedIn profile is like a landing page.

Having these items in order will ensure that your profile works for you, not against you, when acquiring new leads.

Quirijn Kleppe
Quirijn Kleppe Heal of Product & Growth

Do your research

The easiest to strike up a conversation with a LinkedIn user is via common ground. Luckily, LinkedIn provides an abundant amount of information about a person’s career path and professional interest.

So when you find a potential customer and wish to connect or reach out, scan through their profile, their recent activity and pages they follow. Take note of their current position, how long they’ve been at a company and their past professional experience to find common ground or spot an intriguing aspect about them which sparks your interest.

Keep these aspects in mind when crafting your first message to them. This ensures the first point of contact is targeted, personal and relevant. Tailoring your InMail’s shows that you’ve done your research, paid attention and care about them and their company.

LinkedIn InMail writing guidelines

When crafting the perfect message, there are a few things to pay attention to. For example, you want to create a subject line which intrigues and piques the reader’s interest. Since this is the first thing a user will see, it needs to be catchy, to the point and relevant. It’s also nice to greet your prospect by their first name so that they know this message is intended for them.

The body of the message should revolve around the recipient rather than you and your needs. It’s also good practice to quickly establish why you are reaching out so that the reader is not left wondering what the point of your message is.

Furthermore, stick to one reason for reaching out. For example, don’t send a connection request whilst also inviting this person to your upcoming webinar and telling them about your newest eBook. Focus on one point and one point only, such as how you came across their profile, what you have in common, or what about their experience interests you.

Keep it short

Much like cold emailing, the length of your InMail message has a significant impact on whether someone reads your message and responds or not. Think of LinkedIn messaging as instant messaging, not emailing. So avoid sending multiple paragraphs of text when a few concise sentences will do the trick. Your goal in your first cold LinkedIn message is to get the recipient to respond. That’s it.

Give the person a reason to reply

If you received a message from a stranger, you probably wouldn’t be inclined to respond unless they gave you a good reason, right? That reason probably doesn’t involve a stranger trying to sell you a product or service. However, simply because you are seeking to establish a relationship doesn’t mean you don’t want to keep the conversation going.

To do this, ask a question at the end of your message. It could be asking them for insights, something pertinent to their company or role, or simply their interests in a specific topic. But this keeps the ball rolling rather than cutting the conversation short.

Increase your reach

It can feel intimidating to reach out to someone you don’t personally know. However, by putting these principles into practice, you can craft a winning InMail template which hits all the marks.

The secret is to keep it short and relevant, tailor your message and prioritise the reader. From the subject line to your choice of closing question, personalisation demonstrates that you did your research and that you care.

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