For anyone who has not used Inmail before here is a quick explanation of how it works.
It’s a direct messaging function that’s available to all LinkedIn users and it’s roughly 3 times more effective for prospecting than email.
For anyone with a free LinkedIn account, you can send Inmails but you will be charged a fee for each one you send. Premium members, you will all have a certain number of free Inmails per month as part of your subscription package.
Inmail can be used as a very powerful tool to grow your online reach and create great success for your business if used correctly, where it becomes frustrating is when people aren’t responding to the messages you are sending. So ensuring you are sending the right types of messages to the right audience becomes very important. I’ll show you how later in this blog.
LinkedIn’s research shows:
You may be asking yourself what does it take to ensure this kind of traction and what mistakes must you avoid to ensure your target audience pays attention to your Inmails rather than ignore them?
First, if your LinkedIn inbox is anything like mine I’m sure you have your fair share of random, cold call messages from people you’ve never heard of often with a blatant sales pitch about their product or service.
Most of the time these are often from people claiming to be experts at LinkedIn lead generation which is kind of Ironic right!
I usually react with the instant use of the ignore button!
Here are some of the common characteristics of these Inmails:
- No prior contact and therefore no existing relationship, let alone trust
- No reference to a referred introduction/mutual connection
- Usually very generic content
- Generic subject lines’
- Messages that say how wonderful your profile is but mention nothing specific
- Long, “salesy” content
- Not replying to you if you do happen to respond
Here are some things you can do to make sure your Inmails are a pleasure to read and ensure more people are responding to the messages you are sending.
A Stand Out Subject Line
Make sure you put some thought into your subject line, Why are you reaching out? Are there mutual connections you can use as a referral? Do you genuinely have anything in common with this contact? What catchy subject line and wording can you use that isn’t going to come off as too clever for the connection and will entice them into responding?
Make your messages personal
Most of us are already overloaded with the volume of emails, notifications on social and other alerts we receive on our mobile devices currently. So anything considered spammy or sales like in nature is going to be deleted or ignored.
I’d suggest using a message template that you can make your own which is going to help with efficiency but will also allow you to personalise each message. Check out their profile, have a look at their blog, see if you can find some common ground or at least something that will capture their interest.
Keep your messages short, sharp, and to the point!
Most people hold themselves back thinking they need to be a world-class writer to create concise messaging, but keep in mind all the people you are writing to are also busy and time-poor, so long, highly detailed Inmails are a turnoff for most. Get a conversation going first and feed in more information as you build the relationship.
FACT: Messages with fewer than 100 words typically get the most responses!
Referrals are your Friend
Which of these are you most likely to respond to?
- You get a cold call Inmail from someone you don’t know, never heard of them before
- You get an Inmail from someone you don’t know, but they make it clear they’ve been referred or introduced by someone you do know and trust.
I think we would all choose the second option so leaning on referrals is a powerful way to get your message across and to get people to respond to your messages.
Messaging once is not enough!
A study I saw several years ago stated that before making a purchase decision a prospective client will consume 7 hours of content, through 11 touchpoints and ideally spread over 4 ‘locations’.
So simply reaching out once via Inmail and expecting someone to buy something is never going to happen.
LinkedIn is one of the best ‘locations’ to interact with potential buyers, Inmail’s when done with a purpose and not in a spammy way are great ways to connect and communicate the opportunities you have with your clients.
Businesses that are serious about lead generation on LinkedIn need a Sales Navigator account. that allows sending follow-up messages.
Time your messages
Getting your Inmails into your audience’s inbox at the right time is vital to getting a good response rate. So when should you send them?
LinkedIn’s research suggests that the best time to send Inmail is on a weekday between 9.00am and 10.00am, which does make sense.
Many business people or social media managers allocate a bit of time at the start of the workday to check emails, check LinkedIn and decide what needs a response.
The study also shows that if you send Inmails on a Saturday the response rate will drop by around 16%.
What next from here?
Having a clear set of goals and strategies for using not only LinkedIn in general but for also sending Inmail messages is a must in order to map where you are hading next.
These messages can be used very effectively for finding talent to hire, building connections that lead to job opportunities, and building relationships with prospective business clients.
In my business at Prominence Global we specialise in helping you leverage the reach and impact of LinkedIn to get your message in front of your target audience and keep it there.
Whether you’re launching a product, promoting an online event or wanting to position yourself and your business as leaders in your niche LinkedIn can make this happen.
Getting things done is always better than trying to be perfect
I always tell my clients that while there needs to be an emphasis on personalised high-quality messaging but it can’t come at the expense of getting the job done. Don’t get bogged down in endless editing and chasing perfection.
Let your own voice be heard. Focus on the audience, not yourself, and get your message out there!
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