Are you prospecting the right way?
If you’re discouraged because prospects are not responding to your emails, then you should give LinkedIn InMail a try. Why? Because according to LinkedIn research, “InMail response rate is 3X higher than a regular email.”
However, to achieve this high response rate, you’ll need the right LinkedIn template that’s proven to work for other businesses. More on this later.
LinkedIn InMail is an effective way to prospect and reach your target audience almost instantly.
The InMailI feature comes with a LinkedIn premium plan where you can get between 5 to 30 InMails depending on the method you choose. There’s an option of purchasing extra InMails.
With the premium plan, you can send the InMail message to other LinkedIn users whom you have no direct connection with — what a great way to reach more people on a business-focused social network!
That being said, follow these 5 even tips to write irresistible InMails:
Use Catchy Subject Lines to Create the Best LinkedIn Inmail Messages
The subject line is the first thing your prospect sees. If you want to reach well over 30 million companies that are active on LinkedIn with your InMail messages, then you need to craft compelling subject lines.
Take this seriously. After all, 35% of recipients will open your message based on the subject line alone.
When it comes to InMails, don't write a long subject line. Keep it short with a maximum of 10 words. When writing, put yourself in your prospect's shoes and think of the reason why they should care to read.
That means you should focus on the benefits. Avoid generalizing it; instead; you need to be personal. You should be careful with the choice of words.
You need to be specific. Through the subject line, ensure that the prospect gets a hint of what your message is all about. You can ask a question. It will trigger the reader to respond or engage.
Above all, personalize the message as much as possible. The simplest way to personalize InMails is to address the recipient by name. This alone will boost your open rate by as much as 26%.
Examples & Templates Of LinkedIn InMails.
How much do you know your prospect in and outside LinkedIn?
To avoid your InMail getting marked as spam, you have to develop common ground.
You can do that by simply researching your prospect’s social media profiles. It will help to build trust faster. You can achieve that by mentioning acquaintances common to both of you.
Here’s an InMail template you can tweak for your own campaign:
You can also indicate a group you share in common with the recipient. You’ll also have an added advantage if you mention companies in common. If you attended the same school regardless of the level, say it.
Anything to inform the recipient or prospect that you know them beyond LinkedIn is important. For example, here’s a sample InMail from Social Talent to Siotra Patt. Before sending the message, the company actually read his article elsewhere.
You also have a high chance if the prospect is your company's follower on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
Technology has made it easier to access information. You can't give any excuse of failing to establish commonality. You can check a prospect's LinkedIn profile, check their Facebook page or Instagram.
Comb through and establish any commonality. It will be easier to get your conversation started.
Your LinkedIn Inmail Needs To Focus On the Benefits [Templates]
Your aim here is to entice the prospect to read your InMail. Once you craft a catchy subject line and establish commonality, focus on the benefits. According to a LinkedIn study, “about 64% of B2B buyers appreciate it when a salesperson sends them relevant information.”
More so, if you’re a solution provider in your industry, buyers will rate you — in turn — open your messages based on the value you deliver, according to ITSMA.
If you don't provide relevant information, the chances of response are low. Clearly explain what you’re offering and why they should consider your offer.
Often times, an offer can be so good and creative but not beneficial to the prospect. Humans are naturally selfish. You have to explain “What’s in it for them” before they can respond to your InMail or click on your link.
Here’s an example InMail template the offers relevant value to the recipient:
Avoid Going in For the Kill In Your First LinkedIn InMail [Examples]
Avoid booking for appointments in your first LinkedIn InMail.
You’ll reduce your chances of getting a response. Your first InMail to prospective clients should be the beginning of your discussion.
Build rapport with LinkedIn users (your target clients) in your first email before asking for a favor.
It isn’t an opportunity for striking an instant deal. It’s similar to typical dating — you’ll agree with me that it’s difficult to agree on a marriage proposal on a first date. So take it easy and build up that relationship first, before asking for something.
Here’s a template you can use (tweak to suit your plan):
Subject line: [Prospect Name], How fast does your website load?
Hi [Prospect Name],
Your content-rich website is inspiring and visually stunning but I conducted a performance test that indicates it might be loading slowly for site visitors.
Would you like to see the test results, how to fix it, and how your site compares to the competition?
Get The Timing On Your LinkedIn Mail Right [Examples]
Regardless of how good you craft your InMail, you need to know the schedule. The chances of getting a response if you send it on weekends are minimal.
Just like tweets and Facebook posts, there’s a time when LinkedIn users are most active on the platform, or when they’re more inclined to opening InMails.
In an exclusive study by LinkedIn to determine the best times recruiters send InMails to potential candidates, the study revealed that companies send their InMails between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. but the daily response rate clearly corresponds to the average response rate.
The study didn’t clearly indicate the best time to send InMails. However, what matters is the nature of the messages. Essentially, short subject lines and short body outperforms long InMails.
However, the popular myth that Monday morning is the best time falls short here, and Friday afternoon isn’t advisable either.
You can also avoid sending it at night. You will increase your chances if you send it in the morning around 9.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.
Timing is really important. Queen’s School of Business drives 300% more traffic and 480 new leads using InMails which are sent at the right time, after testing out the most active times on LinkedIn.
How to Send a LinkedIn InMail
Now that you know the basics of writing an exciting InMail, here is how to post it.
Step #1. Find your LinkedIn Prospect
You need to get the contact of the person you want to send the InMail. In the LinkedIn page, there’s a search tool. It’s at the top left-hand corner. Use it to find any contact you want.
Step #2. Visit the User's Profile
You need to click on the prospect's name then navigate to their profile page.
Step #3. Click the Message Button
Just below the headline and the prospect’s headshot, you will find a message button.
Go ahead and click it.
Ensure that you’re a premium recruiter. Also, a sales navigator plan also allows you to contact non-connected users on LinkedIn. If you don't have either, you will be prompted to upgrade upon clicking the message button.
Step #4. Write Your InMail Message
Using a brief message, explain your reasons for reaching out. Be as clear as possible, personalize the message and make sure you’re not promoting any product right away.
Here’s an example template:
Step #5. Customizing Your InMail
Avoid misspelling the prospect’s name. It would create a wrong impression. Show how familiar you are with them and their work.
Establish common grounds to cement your relationship with them. Once you are through, click the send button.
Things to Avoid When Writing An InMail
1. Lengthy Message
As a rule of thumb, you’ve got to understand that your prospect is a busy person. He or she could be receiving tens or hundreds of such InMails. Ensure that your InMail is persuasive, thoughtful, and short.
You need to remember that you aren’t sending a long-winded questionnaire. Send only fewer (at most 3) questions to prompt a response. That’s the way to go.
You aren’t sending InMails to yourself, are you? For this reason, the attention must be on the prospect. Talk about their needs, problems, and solutions.
You might be writing to a total stranger. As such, you need to convince them to open and read your message and take it seriously. You need to have a competitive advantage.
Think of something that will make the recipient respond to your message, despite having a busy schedule.
You can only achieve these by citing the benefits they’re going to receive. Don’t hone your skills or achievements. Beam the light on your recipient.
3. Avoid Duplication
If you’re sending the messages to different prospects, don’t try to take shortcuts. Avoid duplicate messages.
Remember you have to customize your InMail to suit each prospect.
The characteristics and preferences of your prospects will almost certainly differ. Once you prove that you took time to dig in, the chances of getting a positive response are high.
4. Avoid Formal Tone, Use Conversational Tone Instead
When writing to a LinkedIn prospect for the first time, you might be thinking they care about your industry jargon and academic excellence.
Well, maybe they do but they’d prefer you send a message that touches their very being. The table below shows a comparison between stuffy, conversational, and unprofessional tone.
For this to happen, the message has to be conversational, as though you’re sitting next to them in a couch and sharing a thought.
Of course, make sure it’s grammatically correct, spellings are checked, and tenses aren’t misplaced.
You need to use a conversational tone. It’s more friendly and accommodative. Ensure that it’s exciting and short.
LinkedIn InMail Marketing Strategy and Case Studies
LinkedIn has become a powerful marketing tool for B2B companies. Since its launch in 2003, it now boasts of more than 590 million users by the end of 2018.
Unlike other social media networks, LinkedIn has attracted senior level influencers, top decision makers, among other leaders. It’s a goldmine of opportunities to job seekers and B2B marketers.
Through effective planning, the right LinkedIn marketing strategies can help you to increase traffic on your website. Here are some success stories:
It can also help you to generate sales and increase brand awareness.
Currently, LinkedIn has made marketing a lot more comfortable and exciting through the introduction of Sponsored InMail - an advertising platform that helps you to deliver personalized messages at scale.
Through Sponsored InMail, your personalized message can get to your ideal audience. Apart from the ads, InMails are a better way of talking to your prospects. LinkedIn users tend to respond to them than traditional Emails.
How to Write High-Converting Sponsored InMail (Template)
1. Promote a Relevant Offer
When creating Sponsored InMail, think of your goals and the message you want to pass. Remember you want to use the ads to convert LinkedIn users into buyers.
Ensure that the ads contain relevant information about your product and have a strong call-to-action (CTA).
Better yet, use Sponsored InMail to promote webinars and events, these are proven to engage LinkedIn users since the majority of them are professionals and business-minded people.
2. Target a Specific Audience
Traditional emails often get lost in the flooded inbox and fail to deliver the intended purpose. Others get blocked by spam. Sponsored InMail ads can reach active users very quickly.
The ads can either display on their desktops or through their mobile app. Even though LinkedIn has millions of users, it’s still not a guarantee that a lot of them will read your message.
You have to nudge them to open and read it. That’s your responsibility. So make your Sponsored InMail ads work.
To increase your B2B sales, you can use other viable means such as combining InMail with different tactics. This combination will likely increase your conversion rate by up to 60%.
How to Establish a Successful LinkedIn Marketing Strategy
Generally, promoting your business on LinkedIn is a great way to amplify your content reach and grow faster. Knowing and sticking to the best practices can help you create better InMail and Sponsored InMail ads.
Let’s go through some of the steps to establishing a winning strategy:
3. First, Define Your Goals
Although 92% of companies make LinkedIn an integral part of their digital marketing mix, it’s equally important to set clear goals so that success can be measured.
Before publishing or distributing any content on LinkedIn, you must clearly state the objective. Why are you doing this?
To have an effective marketing strategy, outline your goals and make them realistic.
“I want to drive traffic to my website through LinkedIn” is a generic goal, which you may not achieve — seeing you don’t even know when you’ve achieved it.
But when you place a ‘number’ on it, your goal becomes measurable and realistic.
“I want to reach 2,500 prospects using InMail messages in 4 months.” Now you know what you’re aiming for, and when to celebrate your success or failure.
Generally, decide how much brand awareness you intend to create, how many leads you want to acquire, and so on. You could also be aiming to increase your sales or engage with your audience.
4. Define Your Target Audience
You need to understand the audience you’re targeting after defining your goals. You can consider their job titles, the industry, or even the geographical location.
Get a clear understanding of your existing audience. You can achieve these by analyzing the company's page followers or visitors. You will get a clear understanding of their tastes and preferences.
That way, when tailoring your LinkedIn marketing strategy you’ll have your audience preferences in mind.
5. Create High-Converting LinkedIn Page
A LinkedIn company page is where you interact with your target audience. That’s your brand’s billboard on LinkedIn.
For this reason, it makes it a powerful asset when creating your marketing strategy.
Include any information relevant to your target users. Explain your products or services.
Give the location of your business, i.e. its head headquarter and branches if any. You can even include the number of your employees.
Here’s an example from the Aspen Group Marketing LinkedIn company page:
You also need to give crucial details like your company size, include your logo and your website URL.
Keep on updating the company's page. It increases a brand's credibility. More importantly, provide engaging content that will prompt your audience to respond to your InMails when you decide to send them.
There you have it, the complete guide to using LinkedIn InMail for your marketing activities.
It doesn’t matter what goals you’ve set for your business, as long as you want to reach professionals, companies, and business owners, combining InMail and Sponsored InMail is a great way to reach these people, build up an active community of followers, generate qualified leads, and grow your product’s sales & company’s revenue.
In case you into muddy waters, use the LinkedIn InMail templates I shared throughout this post to guide you.
Trust me, you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel — just do what’s working and you’ll get amazing results.