What is InMail?
Before we dive into HOW to use LinkedIn InMail, let’s discuss what it is. We know that LinkedIn is a networking platform where you can connect with other like-minded professionals, search for employment opportunities, or recruit new employees. It can also be used to reach out to potential clients who you are not already connected with. InMail is a premium, paid service of LinkedIn which is similar to email or messenger. Although you can connect with users on LinkedIn by commenting or liking a post, many times you will only see those that are in your Level 1 Connection, so using InMail is the only way to directly engage with them.
InMail Plans and Pricing
LinkedIn Premium gives you 5 InMails each month. A LinkedIn Sales Navigator Professional account gives you 20 InMails per month (the Team version gives you 30). To get InMail credits you’ll need a LinkedIn Premium account ($29.99/month) or a Sales Navigator account ($79.99/month or $779.88/year). We recommend a Sales Nav account to take advantage of the advanced search functions (and additional InMail credits). You can also earn an InMail credit for any message response you get within 90 days.
I Have InMail…Now What?
In order to make the most of the limited credits you have each month, there are a few strategies you can use to increase the effectiveness of any InMail connections you make.
- Find a common connection and either join a group they are a part of or write a post you think would interest them that they would comment on. If you can see their profile via a recent post, you can ask for a connection that way.
- Prioritize the connections you are wanting to make. You have a limited number of InMail messages to send each month, so they need to be of high quality. If you view their profile and they have a Twitter or email link, go that route first so you can save your InMail messages for those you can’t contact via any other venue.
- Do some leg work up front to make sure your message is viewed AND, most importantly, responded to. This not only gets you in a conversation with your client, but also earns you an InMail message credit.
- Use the suggestions that LinkedIn provides for ways to begin your email, as well as icebreakers to get the conversation started. Personalize your message to reflect a common interest you have.
- Keep the message short, concise, and all about them and how you can help their business succeed. Say enough to peak their interest, but not so much that you bore them with details.
- If you DO get a response, look for ways to connect with them directly….ask for their direct email address, phone number, or social media handle. This will increase the chances that you learn more about them and are able to make continuous connections that will aid you in closing the deal.
When used effectively and efficiently, LinkedIn InMail is a powerful tool in building your business and reaching clients you may never have the opportunity to present your product or ideas to otherwise.