LinkedIn’s InMail can be a powerful communication tool once you’ve figured out to craft messages people will actually want to respond to.
Anyone who has had a completed LinkedIn profile for any length of time will have at least a passing familiarity with InMail, the social platform’s messaging feature. InMail has the potential to be a very powerful networking and marketing tool, but like any other messaging system, how useful it is to your business will depend on how well you’re able to leverage it.
The volume of InMail messages being sent out has been on the rise in recent years as more and more business professionals recognize the value this tool offers. That being said, with more messages making the rounds, it’s getting trickier to get your messages to stand out and get the response you need from them.
After taking a look at what works and what doesn’t, we’ve come up with 5 tips to help your InMail messages grab attention and get you results.
Make It Personal, And Make A Connection
Chances are you’re not just blindly sending InMail messages out to random recipients. You’ve got a target demographic in mind or a specific mailing list comprised of businesses or individuals you want to interact with, so put forth the effort to make those recipients feel like they’re important to you. A well-crafted email template can go a long way, but it’s personalization that will get you real results. Personalized InMail messages can boost response rates by as much as 15% and for very minimal effort.
Create a loose email framework that touches on all of your talking points and gets your message across, but before you hit ‘send,’ tweak each InMail message to target that specific recipient. Make a personal connection by referencing commonalities between your business and theirs, a shared educational background, or even a preferred philanthropic activity. This level of personalization can increase response rates even further by sparking an interest not just in your message, but in your business and you as a person.
Using language like “connect,” “chat,” “talk,” and “call” also boosts response rates by cutting down on some of the informality of these types of messages. Open-ended invitations to start a conversation without any pressure are typically much more well-received than aggressive messages that suggest specific times and dates for a follow-up of some sort.
Keep Your Messages Short And Sweet
The best way to make a fellow business professional like you right off the bat is to show respect for their time. Long-winded emails packed full of details and specifics aren’t easy reads. At best, the recipient will skim through your message and likely miss the point you were hoping to make. At worst, they’ll see a wall of text and simply hit ‘delete.’ Keep subject lines short, and make sure the body of your InMail messages is between 200 and 500 characters.
Timing Is Not, In Fact, Everything
A lot of professionals put considerable thought into when “peak times” for sending out correspondence happen to be. The idea is that they want to avoid their message getting lost in Monday’s catching-up-from-the-weekend rush, or being ignored because it’s Friday and everyone has already started to mentally check out. The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter when your InMail message hits their inbox. Most people answer emails and messages when they have the time to do so. They’ll get to it when they get to it, regardless of when you sent it.
Show Them You Did Your Homework
If nothing else, your InMail messages should refer to details found in the recipient’s LinkedIn profile. Showing them you took the time to review their profile is a great way to demonstrate that you’re genuinely interested in them and in their business. Since their profile is right there for you to read, it’s only a common courtesy that you do so. Having that information also makes it easier to personalize your messages by engaging with them regarding their interests and values.
Focus On Contacting People You Already Know Want To Hear From You
A quick scan of a person’s LinkedIn Profile will tell you what type of business they run, the field they operate in, the path their business has taken to get to where it is today, and the goals and ambitions they have for their business’s future. That information can help you gauge whether or not they would be interested in what your business has to offer, either from a services or networking standpoint.
It should come as no surprise that targeting individuals you know would want to connect with you can increase your response rates dramatically. You don’t appreciate it when someone wastes your time, so make an effort not to waste someone else’s.