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What Is LinkedIn InMail and How it Works

What Is LinkedIn InMail and How it Works
Last updated: May 18, 2024
Reading time: 11 minutes
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LinkedIn InMail is a great solution for connecting and engaging with leads and prospects. It allows you to interact with your 2nd and 3rd-degree contacts without the hassle of sending connection requests first.

We’ll explore LinkedIn InMail definition as well as provide actionable insights and best practices, specifically for B2B sales professionals and career-minded individuals alike.

What Is LinkedIn InMail?

LinkedIn InMail is a special, premium messaging feature on LinkedIn that lets you send messages to people you’re not directly linked to, like second or third-degree connections.

InMail means you can reach out to potential clients, partners, or employers without having to send a connection request. Compare LinkedIn InMail vs connection request and choose what is the best for you. It often gets better responses than regular emails or messages because they come through LinkedIn, where people are more likely to pay attention to professional messages.

InMail has an impressive response rate of 18-25%, surpassing the meager 3% from cold emails and regular messages on LinkedIn. 

But what about LinkedIn InMail vs message? With the regular messaging feature of LinkedIn, you can only contact your 1st-degree connections. But with a premium account, you can reach out to anyone using InMails. This makes it easier to contact any individual on the networking platform.

Outreach Automation on LinkedIn with Dripify

LinkedIn InMail Types

LinkedIn offers three types of InMails catering to different needs and user subscriptions. 

1. Free InMails

LinkedIn InMail Types: Free InMails

First, there are Free InMails. These are available to users with Premium accounts. 

With this type of InMail, you can send messages directly to anyone on LinkedIn, even if you’re not connected. It’s a great way to reach out to potential clients, partners, or employers without any additional cost.

2. Paid InMails

Next, we have Paid InMails. These are accessible to subscribers of Sales Navigator and Recruiter Lite plans. Make sure to evaluate the LinkedIn InMail cost against your budget and the potential benefits so you can use your credits carefully. 

This InMail type comes with enhanced features and capabilities. It allows you to send personalized messages to prospects or candidates outside of your network, enabling more targeted outreach efforts.

3. Sponsored InMails

LinkedIn InMail Types: Sponsored InMails

Lastly, LinkedIn offers Sponsored InMails. This is a part of the LinkedIn ads platform and is ideal for targeted advertising campaigns. LinkedIn Sponsored InMail lets you send messages directly to individuals who match your ideal customer profile or buyer persona. 

They come with a more professional vibe, as messaging ads are prohibited in Sales Navigator and Recruiter inboxes. This means your message stands out without being diluted by other promotional content.

The Purpose of LinkedIn InMail

If you want to connect with people who match your ideal customer profile or get quick responses from anyone on the platform, LinkedIn InMail is your go-to solution.

How LinkedIn InMail Works

As mentioned earlier, InMail lets you message anyone directly, even if you’re not connected or don’t have any mutual connections. This means you can reach out to people who are three levels away from you without having to send a connection request beforehand.

Moreover, InMail is way more effective than traditional emails. 

LinkedIn InMail vs email: It’s 2.6 times more likely to get a response than an email or phone call. So, if you’re aiming for better results, InMail is the way to go.

Plus, you get access to valuable insights through InMail statistics. What does that mean? It means you can use the insights to fine-tune your approach and increase your chances of success.

And here’s a bonus: you win LinkedIn InMail credits against each response you receive within 90 days. It’s a neat little incentive to keep the conversation flowing.

The Benefits of LinkedIn InMail

Here are more benefits of incorporating InMail in your LinkedIn outreach strategy:

  • It allows you to tap into both passive and active job candidates within the extensive LinkedIn network. This broad reach increases your chances of finding the right fit for your company.
  • The Additional Info section on a member’s profile gives insight into the type of messages they’re open to receiving. You can use this valuable information to tailor your messages to match the candidate’s preferences, ensuring a more personalized and effective outreach approach.
  • With InMail, you can contact any LinkedIn member, regardless of whether they have a Premium account or not. This means you can connect with a wider pool of talent without needing their email address, simplifying the outreach process.
  • To improve your communication, you can use these handy features:
  1. Use the slide-in profile to easily reference relevant experience.
  2. Simplify scheduling interviews by sharing your availability with candidates using LinkedIn Scheduler.
  3. Tap into short, pre-populated responses that can be quickly edited to respond to InMail messages. This can save time and effort.
The Ultimate LinkedIn Sales Guide

InMail Character Limit

Sure, InMail on LinkedIn offers an array of benefits. But did you know that it also comes with a character limit? So, when writing your InMail messages, be sure to keep character limits in mind. 

LinkedIn InMail Character Limit

For your regular InMail, the subject line can contain up to 200 characters, while the body of the message can include up to 1900 characters. So, to write a good InMail, keep it short and organized. Doing this can help you get better responses.

Sales Navigator InMail Character Limit

Sales Navigator InMail Character Limit

The character limit of Sales Navigator InMail is the same as it is for the regular InMail. 

As such, you stick to the 1900-character limit for your message’s body text and 200 for the subject line. Doing so will help your message draw the attention of the reader and generate a response. 

Recruiter InMail Character Limit

When you’re using Recruiter InMail messaging, remember these character limits: 200 for the subject line and 1,900 for the message body. 

While you’re writing, a character counter in the lower right side of the message box will show your count. Be sure to keep an eye on it and write shorter messages since they usually get better responses.

4 LinkedIn InMail Best Practices

InMail is a great method for outreach but how to make it stand out and boost InMail response rates? Or how to write a good InMail on LinkedIn that generates a response?

Follow these simple LinkedIn InMail best practices:

1. Write a Compelling Subject Line

The subject line is your first impression, so it’s crucial to make it compelling. Make sure to use language that grabs attention and entices the recipient to open your message. 

The best LinkedIn InMail subject lines always draw attention. For instance, instead of a generic subject like “Opportunity,” you could try something more specific and intriguing, such as “Exciting Collaboration Proposal” or “Unlocking Your Team’s Potential.” 

These subject lines offer a glimpse into the value or benefit of the message, prompting the recipient to want to learn more.

Example: Let’s say you want to reach out to a potential client about your consulting services. A subject line like “Transform Your Business Strategy With Expert Guidance” will clearly communicate the benefit of your services and spark curiosity about your service. 

2. Write Clear and Concise Messages

LinkedIn InMail Best Practices: Write Clear and Concise Messages

Your InMail message on LinkedIn should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. This means you should avoid using industry-specific jargon or unnecessary details that might confuse the recipient. 

Instead, focus on delivering your message in a simple way. It is a good idea to break up long paragraphs into bullet points or numbered lists to make the content more digestible.

Example: Say you’re recruiting for a position and want to highlight the key responsibilities and qualifications. In such a case, you could structure your message like this:

  • Introduction and greeting;
  • Brief overview of the position;
  • List of required qualifications;
  • Call to action (e.g., inviting them to apply or schedule a call).

3. Don’t Sound Salesy

While it’s tempting to promote your product or service aggressively, keep in mind that InMail on LinkedIn is not the place for hard selling. Instead, you should focus on building a genuine connection with the recipient. 

In your message, make sure to show interest in the recipient’s background, accomplishments, or shared interests. Plus, provide value upfront by offering insights, resources, or relevant content that aligns with their needs or challenges.

Example: Suppose you’re reaching out to a potential partner for a collaborative project. Instead of immediately pitching your idea, it is good to start by complimenting their recent achievements or expressing admiration for their work. Then, offer to share relevant industry insights or invite them to a networking event where they can connect with other professionals in their field.

4. Personalize Your Message

Personalization is key to making your InMail stand out and resonate with the recipient. As such, you should take the time to research their profile, interests, and background before crafting your message. 

You can reference specific details from their profile, such as past projects, skills, or mutual connections, to demonstrate that you’ve done your homework and genuinely care about engaging with them.

Example: Let’s say you’re reaching out to a potential job candidate. You can recognize their achievements or skills mentioned on their profile, saying something like “Your leadership experience at XYZ company is impressive,” or “Your background in data analysis fits seamlessly with our available position.”

This personalized approach shows that you’ve taken the time to understand their background and makes the message more relevant to them.

Outreach Automation on LinkedIn with Dripify

How to Write an InMail on LinkedIn

Now, let’s give you some important tips on how to write an effective LinkedIn InMail. 

How to Write a Good LinkedIn InMail

1. Choose Your Recipient’s Carefully

When it comes to sending InMail messages on LinkedIn, who you choose to message is just as important as what you say. 

  • First, pick active LinkedIn users as they’re more likely to respond to your messages. These are the folks who log in frequently, engage in discussions, and share updates.
  • Second, look for recipients with a high number of connections. They’re often well-connected within their industry, making them more inclined to engage with your message.
  • It is also a good idea to choose recipients who happen to be members of several LinkedIn groups. This shows they’re actively involved in professional communities and discussions.

2. Focus on Quality Instead of Quantity

When reaching out via InMail, be sure to always prioritize quality over quantity. Tailor each message to the individual recipient, show genuine interest, and increase your chances of a positive response. 

Sending fewer, well-crafted messages is more effective than mass-sending generic ones. Not only does this save time and resources, but it also allows you to invest more energy into each interaction. 

Anyway, if you must do mass messaging on LinkedIn, be sure to use automation tools like Dripify. These tools come with built-in LinkedIn InMail templates that you can quickly tailor to each recipient. This way, you can send more effective mass messages while saving time and effort. 

3. Introduce Yourself and Establish Credibility

How to Write a Good LinkedIn InMail: Introduce Yourself

When you’re writing an InMail message, it’s important to introduce yourself and establish credibility right away. Briefly state who you are and why you’re reaching out. This helps the recipient understand the purpose of your message from the start. 

Mention any mutual connections or shared experiences you have. This can help you build rapport and credibility. It also shows that you have something in common, which can make the recipient more likely to engage with your message. 

Overall, when you introduce yourself and establish credibility, it sets a positive tone for the conversation and increases the chances of a successful interaction.

4. Keep it to the Point

When writing an InMail, it’s important to get straight to the point. Keep your message clear, concise, and focused. Avoid going off-topic or including too many unnecessary details that might overwhelm the recipient. 

Instead, clearly state the purpose of your message and what you hope to achieve. This way, you respect the recipient’s time and increase the chances of a positive response. 

5. Proof-Read and Edit

Before hitting send on your InMail, it’s important to proofread and edit your message. This step can make a huge difference in how the receiver perceives you. 

As such, it is always good to scan your InMail for any typos or grammar mistakes. A clean, error-free message reflects well on you and boosts your chances of getting a response.

Proofreading and editing also show that you care about the quality of your communication. It’s like giving your message a final polish before presenting it. Plus, it demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail, which can leave a positive impression on the recipient.

6. End With a CTA

Last but not least, be sure to end your message with a clear call to action. This is crucial because it guides the recipient on what to do next. Whether it’s scheduling a call, replying to your message, or visiting your LinkedIn profile, make it easy for them to take the next step.

For instance, if you’re reaching out to a potential client, you could invite them to schedule a call to discuss further. This makes it simple for them to initiate further communication and move towards a potential partnership.

Similarly, if you’re contacting a job candidate, ask them to reply with their availability for an interview. This gives them a specific task to complete and streamlines the process.

So, always remember to wrap up your message with a clear and actionable next step.

How NOT to Write a LinkedIn InMail

How NOT to Write a LinkedIn InMail

When writing an InMail on LinkedIn, it’s vital to steer clear of certain mistakes that can undermine your message’s effectiveness. 

Here’s how not to write a LinkedIn InMail:

First, avoid being too generic. Sending out one-size-fits-all messages can make you seem impersonal and insincere. Instead, it is always good to tailor your messages to each recipient. You can research the recipient’s profile and personalize your message to their achievements, skills, interests, or needs.

Second, watch out for pushy language. Using aggressive phrases like “Act now” or “Limited time offer” can turn recipients off and decrease the likelihood of a response. 

Also, not providing value in your message can be a turn-off for your target recipient. You must ensure that your message provides real value. Messages that only focus on what you want without considering the recipient’s interests are unlikely to elicit a response.

When you avoid these common pitfalls, you can craft more effective and engaging LinkedIn InMail messages that are more likely to resonate with recipients and prompt a positive response.

How to Leverage LinkedIn InMail in Lead Generation

It’s no secret that B2B sales is a challenging field. It involves longer sales cycles and convincing an entire team of decision-makers. That’s why it is vital to make a powerful initial contact. And this is where LinkedIn InMail has your back. 

InMail has some great perks, like built-in analytics. But its real strength lies in its ability to target key decision-makers directly. In the complex world of B2B purchases, reaching out to these stakeholders individually is invaluable. 

With InMail, you can do just that, without the hassle of searching for contact information or worrying about emails ending up in spam folders. It’s a more efficient and effective way to connect and generate leads on LinkedIn.

B2B sales professionals can leverage LinkedIn InMails within Sales Navigator to boost their success rate. Sales Navigator allows you to search for users based on various criteria like region, industry, job title, and seniority. This helps you find new leads and key decision-makers efficiently.

  • Look for users with open profiles. You can send them InMails without limits;
  • Use the “Interested In” filter to find users interested in your solution;
  • Upload high-quality images for a better profile presentation;
  • Use the TeamLink feature to find users with mutual connections.
Outreach Automation on LinkedIn with Dripify

Ready to Use LinkedIn InMails?

So, are you ready to leverage LinkedIn InMails? Make sure to follow the tips and best practices covered in this article. This way, you can contact potential clients, partners, or job candidates in a personalized and impactful manner. 

From crafting engaging subject lines to closing with a clear call to action, each step is vital in optimizing your InMail messages. Keep in mind, how you say it matters as much as what you say. So, start implementing these strategies today and tap into more opportunities on LinkedIn.

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