Cheat sheet to crafting LinkedIn InMail that delivers results

LinkedIn is amazing! Hailed as the professional network for people who mean business, you can rest assured that you will find nothing but quality content and connections. LinkedIn offers the perfect platform to connect with like-minded people and industry leaders, find prospects, potential employees as well as make valuable connections.

This is precisely why, LinkedIn InMail is the perfect way to reach out to potential customers, potential partners or any other person you want to make business with.

Why LinkedIn InMails work?

You can send people messages on Facebook and Twitter, but not many people (if anyone) have ever gotten any business as a result. LinkedIn InMail however, offers a unique set up that can guarantee that your messages will be received, read and responded to, almost every single time. Here is why:

  • Credibility and context – You predominantly receive InMail from people who are already your connections. Receivers can therefore check you out straight away when they receive a message. This gives them context as to who you are, what you do, the company you work for etc.
  • Wearing the business hat – Why is LinkedIn the best place to approach someone for business? Because LinkedIn is the business network for professional people. It is the perfect platform to approach someone with a business proposition. People go on Twitter to get bite-sized chunks of information about the world and current-events, they go on Facebook to catch up with friends and share funny cat videos, but they go on LinkedIn to grow their businesses and make valuable and mutually-beneficial connections. People already think ‘business’ the minute they log in.

So now that you know that LinkedIn InMail offers the perfect place for a business interaction to take place, here are some quick tips to help you make the most of the InMail feature and get exactly what you want every time.

  • Keep it shortJust like with everything else, keep it short, sharp and to the point.

  • Show the value – What’s in for the receiver? Express interest in helping them in their goals rather than your need. It’s not about hiring them because you want their skills. Is about you offering them an opportunity to further their career. It’s not about showcasing your service to try to make a sale, it’s about explaining how your company can help them lead an easier/richer/happier life. Turn your message from ‘this is what I want’ to ‘this is what I’m offering you’.
  • Read their profile first and personalise your message – Don’t just send the same generic stuff to everybody. Get a bit of context and when possible include personal information form the person’s profile. For example, ‘I can see that you have a degree in Linguistics, you may be interested in working with us on our content creation team’ or ‘Your recent post in the business group we’re both a members of made me think you might be interested in finding out about more about the technology we’ve developed which addresses the same issue in an innovative way.
  • Be realistic – The goal is to discuss and explore an opportunity, not seal the deal immediately. Whatever your proposition is this is the time and place to open up the floor for questions and possible future talks.
  • Track success – Just like with any other outbound activity, keep an eye on how successful your outreach is. Are people responding to your message? Try different techniques, such as keeping the messages shorter, making them sound a bit more personal and less like a professional business email. Don’t forget that you are engaging with people on one-to-one basis. Make it feel personal.
  • Follow up – People may not read your first message but a gentle nudge or a reminder that you’ve tried to reach out to them is welcomed. Maybe send them a link to a landing page if they want to find out more about what you offer. No response is not a no, but there’s a thin line between following up and bombarding people with messages. Don’t cross it!

No matter how complex this may seem at the beginning, business relationships are ultimately built on relationships between individuals. So, simply focus on how you can offer something of genuine value to the person you’d like to connect with and you will be successful.

Have you used LinkedIn InMail before? Would you explore the feature as a way to reach out to more prospects? Let us know in the comments!

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