LinkedIn InMail: What is it? How to Use it? + 16 Best Practices

Diving into the world of LinkedIn InMail can feel like unlocking a treasure chest of professional opportunities—if you know how to find the key. 

This guide unlocks the secrets to using InMail effectively, showcasing its unparalleled ability to connect you with key industry players outside your immediate network

While direct messages limit your interactions to existing connections, InMail breaks down those barriers, offering a direct line to potential mentors, partners, and employers. 

If you’re serious about advancing your career or expanding your business, mastering InMail is not optional—it’s essential. 

Discover how to craft InMail messages that open doors to opportunities direct messages could never touch. 

This article is your blueprint for networking success, revealing strategies to harness the full potential of LinkedIn InMail.

What is LinkedIn InMail?

LinkedIn InMail is a unique feature that lets you reach out directly to anyone on the platform, even if you’re not connected. It allows you to directly message anyone on the platform, without needing a mutual connection

This feature is like a special pass, letting you bypass the usual restrictions to reach out to professionals, potential employers, or prospective clients directly. InMail uses credits, which are essentially LinkedIn’s currency, to determine how many messages you can send.

What is LinkedIn InMail
What is LinkedIn InMail

Ideal for job hunting, networking, or expanding your business, InMail is a strategic tool for anyone looking to make significant professional connections. 

Unlike regular messages that might get lost in email, InMail stays within LinkedIn, ensuring your message lands right where it needs to be. So, InMail on LinkedIn is your key to unlocking new opportunities and forging valuable connections in the professional world.

How to Send A LinkedIn InMail?

Sending a LinkedIn InMail is a straightforward way to connect with professionals outside your immediate network. Whether you’re eyeing a job opportunity, seeking advice, or looking to collaborate, InMail is your ticket to initiating those pivotal conversations. 

Let’s dive into the easy steps to send an InMail, helping you unlock the full potential of this feature. Crafting thoughtful, personalized messages is key to making connections that count. Follow along to learn how to send InMail messages that truly stand out.

How to Send A LinkedIn InMail
How to Send A LinkedIn InMail

By following these steps, you’re well on your way to harnessing the power of LinkedIn InMail. Each step is designed to ensure your message not only reaches the intended recipient but also leaves a lasting impression

Remember, the key to a successful InMail is not just in sending it but in how thoughtfully and effectively you communicate your message. With each InMail you send, you’re opening a door to new possibilities, be it for networking, job opportunities, or building professional relationships. 

Make every InMail count by tailoring your approach to each recipient, and watch as your LinkedIn network grows stronger and more influential.

LinkedIn InMail vs Direct Message

Navigating LinkedIn’s messaging options can feel like decoding a secret language, but it’s simpler than it seems. LinkedIn InMail and direct messages (DMs) are two powerful tools at your disposal, each serving a unique purpose in your professional toolkit. 

InMail lets you reach out to anyone on the platform, even if you’re not connected, making it perfect for LinkedIn cold outreach or contacting someone out of your immediate network. On the other hand, direct messages are for chatting with your existing connections, ideal for keeping in touch and fostering relationships. 

Both options have their place in your LinkedIn strategy, so understanding their differences is key to maximizing your networking potential. Here are the key differences to consider:

LinkedIn InMail:

Direct Messages (DMs):

LinkedIn InMail vs Direct Message
LinkedIn InMail vs Direct Message

16 Best Practices for LinkedIn InMail Success

Mastering LinkedIn InMail can transform how you network, job search, or drive sales. It’s about striking the right balance between being professional and personal.

Here are 16 best practices that can set you up for LinkedIn InMail success, ensuring every message you send has the potential to open new doors.

1. Personalize Each Message

When you personalize your messages, you’re not just sending a template; you’re initiating a conversation. 

Mention specific details from the recipient’s profile, such as their recent achievements or interests, to demonstrate genuine interest and effort. This approach shows that you’re not mass messaging but thoughtfully reaching out to them.

2. Keep Your Message Concise and to the Point

Time is precious, especially on LinkedIn where professionals are often sifting through numerous messages and notifications. Craft your messages to be brief yet impactful. Clear and concise communication respects the recipient’s time and increases the likelihood of your message being read and responded to.

3. Use a Clear and Compelling Subject Line

Your subject line is the gateway to your message. A compelling subject line should be clear, specific, and intriguing enough to prompt the recipient to open the message. Think of it as the headline of your pitch; it should capture the essence of your message and entice the reader to learn more.

Qualities of a Compelling Subject Line
Qualities of a Compelling Subject Line

4. Highlight Mutual Connections or Interests

Referencing mutual connections or shared interests can significantly increase the relevance of your message. This not only provides a common ground for starting the conversation but also increases trust and openness from the start. 

It signals to the recipient that you share a professional network or interest, making your message more personal and less intrusive.

5. Offer Value in Your Message

Your message should clearly articulate what’s in it for the recipient. Whether it’s a potential job opportunity, a mutual collaboration, or insightful information relevant to their field, make sure the value proposition is front and center. 

This approach shifts the message from being perceived as a request or interruption to being a potential opportunity or benefit.

6. Follow Up Wisely

Following up is key in maintaining engagement, but it’s crucial to do so wisely. Allow adequate time before sending a follow-up message to avoid appearing impatient or pushy. Your follow-up should be polite and express genuine interest, possibly adding new information or a gentle reminder of your previous message.

7. Monitor and Analyze Response Rates

Tracking how many of your InMails receive responses can provide valuable insights into what strategies work best. Analyze patterns in response rates related to different message styles, subject lines, or sending times. 

This data can help you refine your approach, making your future InMails more effective and increasing your success rate on LinkedIn.

8. Be Professional in Tone and Appearance

Maintaining a professional tone and appearance in your LinkedIn InMails is crucial. This means choosing the right words, maintaining a respectful tone, and ensuring your LinkedIn profile reflects your professional identity accurately. 

A polished profile complements your message, reinforcing the professional image you want to project. This combination of tone and appearance helps establish credibility and makes a positive first impression.

9. Utilize InMail for Diverse Purposes

LinkedIn InMail is a versatile tool that can be tailored to various objectives, such as networking, job searching, or sales initiatives. Each goal requires a different approach; for networking, you might focus on shared interests, while job inquiries may highlight specific skills or experiences. 

For sales, demonstrating clear value to the potential customer is key. Adapting your strategy to fit your purpose makes your InMail more relevant and effective.

10. Respect the Recipient's Time and Attention

In today’s fast-paced professional world, time is a precious commodity. When crafting your InMail, be mindful of the recipient’s likely busy schedule. This means making your point clearly and concisely without sacrificing the message’s essence. 

Demonstrating respect for their time not only increases the chances of your message being read but also appreciated.

11. Incorporate a Call to Action

A clear call to action (CTA) guides the recipient on what to do next, whether it’s replying to your message, scheduling a meeting, or visiting a website. A well-defined CTA removes ambiguity and encourages a specific response, making your InMail more effective. It’s the bridge between your message and the desired outcome.

12 Best Practices for Crafting Your Email CTA
12 Best Practices for Crafting Your Email CTA

12. Avoid Sending Mass InMail Blasts

Mass InMail blasts can be tempting for reaching a larger audience quickly, but they often lack the personal touch that makes InMail so powerful. Personalization shows you’ve taken the time to understand the recipient and their needs, making your message more engaging and increasing the likelihood of a response.

13. Use InMail Credits Strategically

InMail credits are a limited resource, particularly valuable for LinkedIn Premium users. They should be used thoughtfully and strategically. This means prioritizing messages to potential contacts who are most likely to respond or where there’s a significant opportunity for professional advancement or collaboration.

LinkedIn InMail Message Credits
LinkedIn InMail Message Credits

14. Stay Updated on LinkedIn's InMail Policies and Features

LinkedIn regularly updates its platform, including InMail policies and features. Staying informed about these changes ensures you’re using InMail effectively and adhering to best practices. This knowledge can enhance your strategy, ensuring you’re always leveraging the latest capabilities to your advantage.

15. Experiment with Different Message Formats

Not all messages resonate the same way with every recipient. Experimenting with different formats, such as varying your opening line, structuring your content differently, or even adjusting the tone, can help you discover what works best for your audience. 

This trial and error approach can significantly improve your InMail success rate.

16. Be Authentic in Your Communication

Authenticity in your messages fosters trust and rapport. Genuine communication, where you express your true intentions and show interest in the recipient, creates a foundation for meaningful connections. 

People are more likely to respond positively when they feel they’re engaging with a real person rather than a scripted message.

Other Ways to Communicate: LinkedIn InMail Alternatives

While LinkedIn InMail is a fantastic tool for reaching out to professionals you’re not connected with, there are other strategies to communicate and expand your network. Let’s explore some LinkedIn InMail alternatives that can help you connect in different yet effective ways.

LinkedIn InMail Alternatives
LinkedIn InMail Alternatives

Connection Requests

Sending a personalized connection request is more than just hitting the “Connect” button. When you take the time to add a note explaining how you found their profile and why you’re interested in connecting, it adds a personal touch that can significantly increase your acceptance rate

This method is not only a direct way to expand your LinkedIn network but also sets the stage for meaningful professional relationships. It’s an effective alternative to InMail, especially when you aim to build a long-term network.

LinkedIn Connection Request Message for Networking with Industry Peers
LinkedIn Connection Request Message for Networking with Industry Peers

Participating in Groups

LinkedIn groups serve as a hub for professionals sharing similar interests or industries. By actively participating in these groups, not only do you get to absorb valuable insights, but you also get an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and expertise. 

Engage in discussions, answer questions, and share relevant content. This visibility can lead to organic connections and conversations, bypassing the need for direct InMail messages.

LinkedIn Comments

Interacting with posts through thoughtful comments is an understated way of networking. Whether it’s congratulating someone on a new job, providing insights on an industry-related post, or engaging in a topic of mutual interest, your comments can pave the way for direct engagement

This approach can make you visible to the content creator as well as their wider network, potentially leading to new connections and opportunities.

LinkedIn Articles and Posts

Creating and sharing engaging content on LinkedIn can turn the tables and bring professionals to you. By publishing articles, sharing insightful posts, or even case studies relevant to your field, you position yourself as a thought leader. 

This not only enhances your profile but also encourages others to engage with your content, comment, and possibly send you a connection request. It’s a proactive way to network and build your professional brand on LinkedIn, offering a creative alternative to using InMail.

Frequently Asked Questions About LinkedIn InMail

Navigating LinkedIn InMail can sometimes feel like you’re trying to solve a puzzle, especially with all the specific features and rules. Let’s dive into some frequently asked questions about LinkedIn InMail that we haven’t touched on yet, giving you a clearer picture of how to use this powerful tool effectively.

Is there a limit to how many InMails I can send?

Absolutely, your ability to send InMail messages is tied to the number of credits you have, which varies depending on your LinkedIn subscription level. For instance, LinkedIn Premium users receive a set number of credits each month. 

It’s crucial to use these credits wisely by targeting messages to individuals you genuinely believe will benefit from connecting with you. Remember, crafting personalized and value-driven messages is the key to making the most of each credit.

Can LinkedIn InMail be ignored or declined?

Yes, recipients have the power to either ignore or decline your LinkedIn InMail. However, there’s a silver lining if your message doesn’t get the reception you hoped for. LinkedIn offers a unique feature where you receive a credit refund for any InMail that gets a response

This policy is designed to encourage users to craft thoughtful and engaging messages, rewarding those that prompt a reply. It’s a clever way to deter spam and ensure the platform remains a space for meaningful professional communication. 

So, if your InMail sparks a conversation, you’re not just gaining a potential new connection or opportunity; you’re also getting your credit back, ready to be used for your next outreach.

How can I increase my chances of getting a response?

To boost your response rates, focus on personalization and relevance. Research the recipient’s profile to tailor your message, ensuring it resonates with their interests or professional background. 

Additionally, mentioning any mutual connections or shared experiences can make your message feel more familiar and less like a cold call. Also, crafting a compelling subject line is vital as it’s the first thing the recipient sees. 

A subject line that piques curiosity or clearly states the value of opening the message can significantly increase your chances of getting a response. Lastly, timing your InMail thoughtfully, avoiding weekends and holidays, can also play a crucial role in whether your message is promptly read and acted upon.

Key Takeaways in Mastering LinkedIn InMail

Exploring the realm of LinkedIn InMail uncovers its true potential as not merely a feature for sending messages, but a powerful gateway to a wealth of professional opportunities. 

The essence of success with InMail lies in the ability to personalize your approach, maintain a professional tone, and deploy a strategic mindset

By carefully crafting messages that resonate on a personal level, utilizing your InMail credits wisely, and engaging with the LinkedIn community through groups and content sharing, you can significantly enhance your networking efforts.

Each InMail presents a unique chance to forge connections with professionals who could become key to your career progression. It’s about more than just reaching out; it’s about establishing meaningful relationships through thoughtful, relevant communication. 

As you navigate LinkedIn’s networking landscape, remember the value of personalization and the power of a well-crafted message. With a bit of intentionality and creativity, your use of InMail can open up new paths in your professional journey, expanding your network in meaningful and impactful ways.

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Edgar Abong

Edgar is a skilled software developer with a passion for building and evaluating software products. His expertise in software development enables him to provide in-depth evaluations of software products. He can draw out insights about features, functionality and user experience.

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