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With LinkedIn said to increase InMail quotation for certain premium plans, we thought it would be the perfect time to delve into the domain of LinkedIn Inmails and showcase why it is such a great outreach platform, even better in performance when compared to cold emailing or cold calling, let’s get started.  

So what are LinkedIn InMails? Well, InMails are a direct and customizable (premium) message format on LinkedIn, helping you to directly message anyone on LinkedIn. How is this any different from the normal LinkedIn messaging? Well, you can even send direct messages to people who are not connected to you (2nd or even 3rd-degree connections to you) and you can even include a subject line to let them know what your purpose of messaging is. Kind of like an email sent through LinkedIn itself. 

If you already have a premium account and you are not utilizing the given InMail credit every month, it’s a big crime. The purpose of an InMail is to start a new conversation with a new prospect so you can effectively outreach with much more valuable insights and with much more reliability than a short connection message.

Why should you use In Mails? 

When used correctly, InMails are said to have a much better open and response rate when compared to cold messaging/calling or cold emailing. In fact, it has been reported that InMails have open rates of more than 85% with clickthrough rates reaching upwards of 5% (Neal Schaffer, 2021).

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All premium plans get an allotted number of monthly limits for InMails allowed. As mentioned above, you will receive InMail credit back if a recipient responds within 90 days, which importantly is valid even if they say that they are “not interested” as it is counted as a response. Furthermore, LinkedIn Premium and Sales Navigator have 800 free InMails by default, however, these credits are only applicable to the prospects who have allowed open inboxes. As you upgrade your basic LinkedIn account, these credits will be available to you. 

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According to LinkedIn, the number of monthly InMails credits allotted (for messaging ones with closed inboxes) varies per account as follows:

  • LinkedIn Premium Career: 5 credits (15 max)
  • LinkedIn Premium Business: 15 credits (45 max)
  • Sales Navigator: 20 credits (60 max)
  • Sales Navigator Teams: 30 credits (90 max)
  • Sales Navigator Enterprise: 50 credits (150 max)
  • Recruiter Lite: 30 credits (90 max)
  • Recruiter Professional: 100 credits (300 max)
  • Recruiter Corporate: 150 credits (450 max)

However, if you have used all of your Inmail Quota for the month (based on your account) you can also purchase an additional InMail for $10 per extra InMail Message (may vary in some special cases).

Furthermore, you can also use a sponsored version of InMails, also called Message Ads to deliver your message to 2nd or 3rd connections. The primary difference is, as opposed to messaging each lead individually, sponsored InMails can be sent by 100s or 1000s after creating a target audience. The primary benefits are that it is relatively cheaper than traditional InMails (usually $0.20 per send and $5 per click to CTA) and they are sent only when the recipient is active on LinkedIn. However, it has the added major disadvantage being that the leads cannot directly respond to you so therefore you will have to include a Call-To-Action (CTA) within your message and be clearly labelled as sponsored therefore enticing a certain bias before the message is even opened. 

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According to Linkedin some of the best tips to increase your Inmail open & response rates are:

  • Choose your recipients wisely: Since you only get a few InMails quotas per month, make sure to do your market research and optimize the quality of your message so you will be able to maximize your open & response rates and eventually returns. Furthermore, if a prospect has common interests, connections, shared experiences or even hobbies relatable to you, then there is more of a chance they will be warmer to you therefore you should select your target recipients with much deliberation.
  • Personalise: If you use a general/common message to everyone, you probably won’t have much success as this is what everyone else is doing. Before shooting the gun with a message which everyone uses, research your prospect’s profiles thoroughly (interests, experiences, achievements) and use those insights to tailor your message for them to get their attention and to persuade them. For instance, if you are part of a group on a common subject you can reach out saying “Hey there, since we are in the same interest group, I thought I should reach out and get to learn more about what you do”. Or if particular content is related to you, then your approach could be, “Hey there, I saw you commenting under that post, I can relate to your pain point and thought of letting you know what worked for me”.
  • Eye-Catching Subject Lines: If you want your message to be replied to, you should first get it opened. This doesn’t apply to emails only, the first thing they will probably see is the subject line so it should warrant enough attention-catching and interesting to intrigue them. You can maybe start off with a topic or even a question and add a little bit of personal touch here and there. An example of an eye-catching subject line would be “Hey there Jacob, Quick question on b2b lead generation” or “Hey (first-name)! just kidding, hi Jacob!
  • Use InMails to start conversion: By getting your foot in the door, you will be able to build rapport with your prospect and explain your solutions via further correspondence and/or meetings, this shouldn’t be considered as a one and done deal. Like any outreach campaign, you need to build up a conversation and build a relationship so you can see how relatively-new parties could work with each other.
  • Short & Simple: With most of the InMails are said to be consumed on mobile devices, so longer message sequences may not be so compelling to read. Just because you have a longer character limit allowed doesn’t mean you should maximize that fully. So keeping it short and sweet is more likely to have a better chance of response, however, the appropriate number of characters depends on your campaign and the services you seek to offer to the prospect.
  • Include a call to action: InMails are best used to start a conversation and not as a one-shot to seal deals. An example of a CTA would be, “If what I mentioned above is of interest to you, shall we have a quick call on maybe next Thursday at 9 am ECT?“ or even “I am glad you are interested, let’s connect so we can share propositions and see how we can work together?”
  • Make sure your profile is optimised: After seeing your InMail, a prospect is more likely to check out your profile and learn more about you and what you have to offer. If you have detailed and provided comprehensive information in your profile (eg: summary, experience, current role, specialisations, educational background, etc.), will give more credibility to your message and will elevate your chances of getting a response.
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In short, here are some benefits of using LinkedIn InMails:

  • Far more effective than cold calling or cold emailing.
  • You’ll receive your InMail credits back if responded within 90 days (even if they reply with “Not Interested”). Eg: You used 30 credits to send 30 inmails, 5 replied within 90 days so you get 5 credits back so you can send to 5 more prospects. 
  • Can send a personalized message without the need for connection requests.
  • InMails can be sent to anyone, even if they don’t have a premium account. With InMails, you can reach out to anyone and everyone on the platform.
  • Far more characters allowed (1900) compared to a connection message (300).
  • Subject lines (200 characters) help you stand out & convey your purpose directly.
  • Track the results of your InMail campaigns (from InMail Analytics page).
  • Avoid time looking for contact details (emails, telephone numbers, etc.) when you can directly message them.
  • Ability to include signatures worth 150 characters.
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Even though you may get sufficient InMail credits per month, it is very vital that you use them wisely as InMails should ideally be targeted mainly towards ones who get a lot of connection requests and are very hard to get in touch with through the normal outreach methods. If you do try to get in touch with these kinds of people (i.e. executives, heads, managers of MNCs) via a connect message, as the connect message you send will only be seen properly in the inbox, only when the prospect only accepts the connect requests so your connect message can get lost or ignored but when it comes to inmails it will stay in your inbox even if your prospect accepts or not. If you think what’s the harm in sending out many connection requests, well if too many recipients decline and flag you as “I don’t know this person” when ignoring your request, it can majorly hinder your account standings and your LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI)

Choosing the appropriate lead generation approach that will be right for you will depend on your company’s needs, budget, target audience, and no two company’s needs are alike. So, it will be hard for anyone to specifically tell you which approach to go with. But Team Rocket can help you decide what approach is the best possible option for your growth outreach and help your business to employ fully realized InMail campaigns as one of the lead generation options, which will be a great value addition for your growth marketing campaigns.

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