Reaching out to new people can be scary. However, there’s a platform that’s ready-made for you to connect with other professionals. You’ve got it made! The entire point of social media is to reach out to people, and sending a personal LinkedIn message is one of the most impactful ways.

If you’re wondering what you should say, when, or how, you’re in the right place. What you say can be half of the reason they even respond to you but making it personal is the way to go. To get responses from those you want to connect with, you should have created a need based on their specific challenges.

Whether you’re looking to reach out for jobs, connect, perform sales, or just schedule meetings, you’ll want to utilize these tips to start off right.

Be sure you understand your target audience’s pain points, then read on:

Why should I use LinkedIn messaging? 

The term Social Media came about because it was meant to be a means of connecting socially. What this means for LinkedIn as a focus for businesses is that you can insert a social element into your professional account.

This works best when coming from your personal account – especially since sending a LinkedIn message as a company isn’t even possible. The point is to make personal connections.

Do I need to send a LinkedIn connection message? 

In the last few years, there has emerged a great need for personalization in sales and marketing. People expect a lot more from professionals and businesses because of all of the technologies available today. If you’re not customizing your messaging, whether via email or otherwise, you’re already behind. 

Think about when someone requests to add you on any social media platform. Do you approve all requests? Probably not. You want to keep it social, you don’t want to always share information with strangers, and you may even feel that it’s rude of them to neglect to introduce themselves first.

Considering the other side will instantly tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. The recipient should feel as though they want to add you for some reason or another. If you start a conversation via the connection request, it’s much easier to continue the conversation on a particular topic.

Keep in mind that creating a message to send people when you request to connect only allows you 300 characters. Make it short and sweet!

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Best practices for LinkedIn introduction messages 

When connecting with a new person on LinkedIn, always insert a personal note! In fact, even when it’s not a new person, write a note. There are two primary ways people connect with new people:

  1. Be transparent. Tell them what you want them to do or what you expect to happen. Not in a demanding way (obviously), but in a request posed as to why they might be interested. 
  2. Be vague/indirect. Maybe you’re looking to connect with whomever, wherever (not necessarily recommended). If this is the case, you may just want to generally say you’re looking to connect/meet new people.  

Do I need to create follow-up messages?

In short: Yes! The way you follow up, however, can have an impact on whether or not they respond. This is true for the things you say as well as the channel you say it in. 

For example, if you send someone an email with “Hey, I like your profile” it will likely come off as strange because there’s no profile to view from an email. The same is true for social media. It may come off as strange if you’re overly formal. 

Because of this, you’ll want to focus on where you’re planning to send those messages and be sure you send the right message to the right place. In fact, we’ve done the research to determine how many follow up messages you should be sending:

avg reply ratio by number of followups

We’ve found that the sweet spot between the number of messages you need to create (and the time you’ll spend doing so) and the reply ratio is at 5 follow-ups (outside of the 8 message anomaly). The follow-ups are also based on a mix between LinkedIn messages and emails and this amount produces about a 15% reply rate.

So send wisely and don’t waste your precious chances with throw-away emails or annoying your prospects. Building relationships is vital throughout this process rather than being focused only on selling.

Best Practices Guide

There are some best practices to consider when creating LinkedIn and follow-up messages. Keep these tips in mind when you’re ready to get started:

  1. Keep the subject line short and intriguing (3-5 words). Rather than explaining your entire point before they even read your email and feel they can delete it, provide them a reason to open it. Creating a point of interest – without being ‘clickbaity’ – will give them a chance to see what you’re trying to tell them. One great option is to mention something they normally have a difficult time with or ask them a question.
  2. Read their profile and insert something personal about them. For example, in their profile, they have previous experience in crypto currency or have commented on it in their activity. Mention your interest in it as well in your messages and you’ll build that relationship with a common interest.
  3. Keep it short. Around 200 words (preferably less due to small mobile screens) is ideal – don’t make them work for it. People are busy and get messages like yours every week if not every day. If they don’t know why you’re writing them within the first few seconds, you’ll lose them. Be clear, be genuine, and be honest.
  4. Don’t include a link in your first message on LinkedIn. They will only see the thumbnail and need to scroll up. You want to ensure they’re able to read your full message right away because a link can be suspicious. People are wary of new contacts sending them links so inspect your messages before you send them.
Link in LI message
  1. Focus on them, not what you want. Use “you” instead of “I”; for example: “You have had an extensive career in IT and must be very knowledgeable” versus “I have been in IT for many years and want to speak with you.” Think of a time when someone sold to you and you actually kind of enjoyed it. They likely focused on what you need and want instead of what they want. Listening is ideal when they do message you back.
  2. Plan on no more than 5 follow-up messages due to the results you’ve seen above. Grab their attention, be in front of them consistently, but do not annoy them. Getting marked as a spammer will hurt you and your email messages in the future. We’ve created a set of templates you can download to get you started.
  3. Automate responses as much as possible. Use helpful tools like LaGrowthMachine to help you create automations that save you time. Create your emails once and put them into a system that allows you to send them automatically. Base your emails on location, job function, or company to help you target the message, but allow automation to send the right emails at the right times. Manually sending out hundreds of emails will only make you burn out very quickly.

These tips should get you well on your way to writing a great LinkedIn message.

How to create the perfect LinkedIn follow-up message?

Sending the initial message is the first hurdle you’ve already jumped successfully. Now to advance, you must continue to stay in front of them so they get to know you a bit better via your messages. 

  • If your initial message was a connection request and they accept it, be sure to send them a follow-up message (or respond to anything they might say) within 24 hours
  • If they don’t respond 1-2 weeks after that, try another approach to reach out. It could be a free resource, a coffee appointment, or simply learning more about them and what they do.
    • You could also contact them on an additional channel like email or Twitter. LaGrowthMachine can provide a very easy-to-contact multi-channel outreach plan.
  • If you still don’t receive a response, try one more time about a month later. Use a new angle this time as well such as a free consultation or something completely different.

Whatever you choose, be sure it represents what will bring you closer to your goals – building relationships. Never try to sell on a first – or even second – LinkedIn message!

BONUS: LinkedIn message to use right now 

We want to help you get started right away. Use the following templates to help get you started on your way to building a great network and getting more business!

Initial Connection Message

Hi [first name],

I saw you on the [event attendees list, webinar, etc] and would love to connect because [I also work for the industry, I am looking to expand my network, I thought we might be able to help one another in our businesses, etc]. 

I look forward to your response,

[your name]

Get replies from LinkedIn messages

Now that you have the super powers of a great sales prospector, you can send the best LinkedIn messages to your target audience. Remember to use automation wherever possible and check out LaGrowthMachine to save you time and stress.