3 LinkedIn InMail Tips for B2B lead generation

Written by Alastair Kane

Mar 16 2015

What is InMail, and why is it used?

A feature available to Premium LinkedIn account holders only, InMail is a private messaging service that allows you to directly message any LinkedIn user, equally allowing other members to contact you, even if they’re outside your network.

LinkedIn describes the ‘InMail’ feature as:

“The most credible way to message anyone on LinkedIn’... If you are seeking new opportunities, InMail helps you make the right impression, in front of the right people, at the right time,”

Giving you the ability to talk to anyone on LinkedIn without an introduction or contact information, InMail is clearly a powerful tool for lead generation and prospect nurturing.

But with great outreach power comes great responsibility.

Though you can send content, questions, requests - it doesn’t mean you should without proper consideration. InMail etiquette is simple but important. Mess up your messages, and you’ll ruin your chance for better connections, prospects and leads.

3 LinkedIn Inmail Tips To Keep In Mind

1. Keep your message relevant, short and scannable

Too much text and your message will be ignored. Too many questions and your point will be diluted.

Work to the idea that the message is an introduction - of yourself, but also a single piece of relevant information. Don’t try to cram too much in at once, if the person you’re messaging is interested you can drip feed your information during the nurture stages.

Relevance and brevity applies to your subject lines too - be sure to write something that will interest the person you’re messaging; something that isn’t salesy, and addresses a question or problem they have.

2. Don’t oversell yourself and your solutions

When it comes to InMail messages, forget about yourself and your company. Conversation should never focus on yourself, but instead should focus on the contact. Think:

  • What would they gain from a conversation with you?

  • What issues of theirs could your advice address? (How can you help them in a non-salesy way?)

  • What common ground to you have? Has any of their other content drawn you to message them specifically? Are you contacting them to seek advice or perspective?

Remember, an InMail message is an introduction, not a sales pitch. We’ve mentioned the importance of brand ambiguity and social selling, not self-selling in previous posts.

When it comes to social promotion, always be brand ambivalent. Engagement efforts should focus on solving a problem without anticipating a return. When sending InMail messages this still applies. After all, would you accept an obvious sales pitch out of the blue? Probably not. But if someone directed you towards content or a conversation that could help you solve a problem - without pushing a brand motive - it would likely be more appealing.

3. Make sure you send a personalised message

Got a short, concise message that’s entirely focussed on your prospect?

Great! But have you personalised it?

Nobody likes stock messages. They want to have been picked out from the crowd - make your prospects feel special! Make sure you’re friendly, polite and always personalise messages.

  • Check that you’ve spelt names correctly! This goes for job titles too.

  • Personalise enough to show you’ve done your research but don’t be creepy-personal. Nobody wants to know you’ve been stalking their interests across social media.

  • If you do use templates, double check they’ve been adjusted to fit each person.

  • Don’t make things up, and don’t lie. If you say you’ve read their posts, or like their advice, mean it or you could come unstuck.

Other InMail tips

  • Make sure your profile is up to scratch. If you’ve messaged someone, there’s a good chance they’ll want to know more about who you are. Make sure your info is up to date, especially contact information. For more information, read our post on how to optimise your LinkedIn profile to generate more leads.

  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Just because you didn’t get an immediate reply doesn’t mean it’s a no (unless a ‘no’ is what you got of course). Your timing may have been wrong, they may not have seen the message; there are a variety of reasons to send a follow up message. After all, you wouldn’t give up if it was a phone call and you couldn’t get through.

  • Keep in the back of your mind the types of messages you like, and hate to receive. If you can honestly read your message back and think ‘Yes, a conversation with them would be beneficial to me’ you’re probably ok to send it!