9 Linkedin Inmail Best Practices: Maximize Response Based on 28M Inmail Statistics

If you’ve used Linkedin’s InMail to send sponsored messages to your audience, you’ve probably asked yourself some questions about the best way to create your text.

Knowing that many users are concerned about that, Linkedin recently released a study conducted by Lavender on best practices to help increase the results of this strategy.

The company gathered data from 28.3 million messages to come up with great practical tips that can change your game on Linkedin. Next, I’ll share the main insights and how to put them into practice to optimize your efforts. At the end of the article, I’ll give a final statement that I think summarizes all the tips.

linkedin inmail best practices

I have been using linkedin inmail for my business for a few years now, and I've had great success with it. It's certainly not a magic bullet that will make any cold outreach campaign successful, but used correctly it can be an effective way to reach out to people who are already interested in what you have to offer. In this article, I'll share some best practices for getting the most out of your linkedin inmail messages

What is the difference between InMail and Email marketing?

First of all, it is important to point out that a sponsored message in Linkedin’s InMail, now called Sponsored Messaging, and Email Marketing have some similarities, but they do not necessarily share the same best practices.

With email, sent messages go into the inbox (when they don’t go to spam) and the user almost feels obliged to open it (at least I feel this way), since our email inbox is practically a to-do list. On LinkedIn, InMail goes to the user’s message box, who doesn’t see the tool as just a way to keep in touch with other people in the market.

9 Best Practices for LinkedIn InMail Messaging

linkedin inmail best practices

Now, let’s get down to business: how to build your sponsored message to get more responses and not be ignored on LinkedIn? Most of the tips have more to do with how you write content, so having good copywriting knowledge can be a huge advantage!

1) Write Short Messages

That’s right, on Linkedin’s InMail, more objective messages get more responses. Just take a look at the chart below. According to the research, messages with 25-50 words get 65% more responses, although the tool allows you to write 1900 characters.

So you know, less is more!!

2) Avoid complex language

This tip works for other types of content too, and it makes a huge difference in InMail. Avoid fancy words and remember that the user should make no effort to understand what you mean.

Therefore, avoid jargon and be minimalist. Keep in mind that anyone who reads the message needs to understand what you want to convey right away. Just remember that this conclusion has to do with the clarity of the text and was extracted from the research, which took into account the number of syllables, sentences and paragraphs in the messages analyzed.

Source: LinkedIn

3) Include personalization

As with email, the more personal you manage to be, the more attention your audience will pay. But how do you do this in a sponsored message, sent to multiple users?

The answer is segmentation. Advertise by segments, defining the attributes of the audience you want to reach. I’m talking about targeting criteria configured when creating your ad, such as job title, sector or skills. Thus, you can write a text aimed at professionals in a specific industry, for example, and be more assertive.

  • Personalize your InMail. The first step to a successful InMail is to personalize it as much as possible. Use the person’s name in the subject line, and include their name in the body of your message. This will show that you took the time to research them, and that you care about their interests and questions.
  • Ask a question about something you know they are interested in. If someone has publicly shared an article or blog post on LinkedIn Pulse, comment on it with questions that would be relevant for them to answer (e.g., “What made you decide to start blogging? What were some of your biggest challenges along the way?”). This will help you connect with them instantly by showing that: A) You took an interest in their content; B) You want them to share more content; C) You want keep reading what they already wrote!

Source: LinkedIn

4) Give preference to the passive voice

This one is curious, but it seems to work. Give up the informative tone, full of information and data, and think about your audience. What do they need? How can you help them?

Source: LinkedIn

Show that you’re interested in knowing how you can be useful right now, make assumptions about your audience’s pain, and be unpretentious. Thus, the user will be more tempted to respond and your message becomes more inviting to begin a conversation.

Source: LinkedIn

6) Use an attention-grabbing headline.

inmail sent individually performed nearly %15 better then inmails sent in bulk

You want your recipients to read and respond to your inmail, so use a headline that will make them stop and look.

  • Ask a question: How often do you struggle with X?
  • Use a quote: [INSERT QUOTE]
  • Use a statistic: Studies show that 71% of people feel this way.
  • Say something strong: Your business is going nowhere without me.
  • Make it funny: I love you, LinkedIn InMail!

7) Ask a Question on Your Inmail

shorter inmail better ranks

You should always ask a question that is relevant to the person you're contacting. It's important not to ask questions that are too personal or too broad, as they may come across as intrusive and irrelevant. Ask questions that allow you to get a sense of how your prospect thinks and feels about their business and industry.

  • Avoid asking questions that are vague (e.g., "How can we work together?"). This doesn't give the recipient much information on which to base their reply and will likely result in an unfavorable response from them.
  • Don't try to be sneaky by asking a question so specific it's impossible for someone else not already familiar with your company/product/service—this could also cause an unfavorable response from them (and even trigger spammy flags on LinkedIn).

8) Include a compliment or other form of flattery.

A compliment can be a great way to break the ice. If you're going to use this strategy, however, make sure that it's sincere. The last thing you want is for your recipient to feel like you're being insincere or disingenuous by including one in your first message. If you want to use this technique, do so sparingly—once every three messages would be a good rule of thumb.

You could also consider asking about something that might interest them more than yourself (e.g., "What's the best restaurant in town?"). This approach might seem less direct than starting with a compliment, but it could help avoid making the other person feel uncomfortable or awkward by coming off as overly self-promotional right out of the gate—which is exactly what LinkedIn InMail is designed not to do!

9) Don't try to sell something in the first message on Inmail

Don't try to sell something in the first message. While some companies have successfully used Inmail as a sales tool, it isn't meant to be a sales tool. The purpose of LinkedIn Inmail is to build relationships and connections, not sell stuff. Some people will respond if you send them an interesting offer or pitch, but many will ignore it and never open another message from you again.

10) Use Linkedin profile QR codes and its effects on inmail

With digital communication being the primary mode of interaction in the professional world, LinkedIn has introduced QR codes for profiles to streamline networking opportunities. The LinkedIn profile QR code is a unique barcode assigned to each user that, when scanned, redirects the scanner to that user's LinkedIn profile. This functionality simplifies the process of connecting with others on the platform and provides a quick, paperless way to share professional information.

One of the major impacts of the LinkedIn QR code system is on InMail, LinkedIn’s messaging feature for connecting with individuals outside of one's immediate network. Here's a look at how the QR code system has influenced the InMail function:

  1. Increased Reach: The QR code system allows for immediate connection with other professionals, making it easier to reach out via InMail. When attending a conference or a networking event, for example, one can simply scan the QR codes of other attendees to directly connect with them on LinkedIn, eliminating the need to manually search for profiles later. This expands the InMail reach and enhances professional networking opportunities.
  2. Enhanced Efficiency: When a QR code is scanned and a connection request is accepted, users can directly send InMail messages. This reduces the time spent finding and adding professional contacts and allows for more prompt and efficient communication.
  3. Improved Accuracy: The LinkedIn QR code system also reduces the possibility of reaching out to the wrong person via InMail. The traditional method of searching by name can lead to errors due to common names or similar profile pictures. With QR codes, you ensure you're contacting the correct person.
  4. Increased Engagement: The ease and speed of connecting via QR codes can lead to an increase in the number of InMail messages sent and received, potentially boosting user engagement on the platform. This can also increase the response rate to InMail messages, as recipients might feel more inclined to respond to messages from connections made at face-to-face events.
  5. Personal Branding & Marketing: The use of LinkedIn QR codes in email signatures, on business cards, or other promotional materials can lead to increased profile visits and InMail connections. This provides an effective way for individuals and businesses to promote their personal brand or services, and it allows for more direct, immediate interaction through InMail.

Bonus: stay interested!

Finally, a tip in case your message gets a response: ask more questions. Try to understand more about the person you are talking to and add even more personalization to continue the conversation. As you can see in the chart below, asking questions increases your chances of getting answers.

linkedin effect on reply rate

Source: LinkedIn

Understanding the Power of LinkedIn InMail


LinkedIn InMail stands out as a unique feature within the LinkedIn platform, enabling users to send private messages to other LinkedIn members, even those outside their immediate network. This powerful tool is essential for professionals looking to expand their network, reach out to potential clients, collaborators, or employers. Unlike standard email or LinkedIn messages, InMail typically boasts a higher read and response rate, primarily because it directly reaches the LinkedIn inbox of a recipient who recognizes the professional context of the platform.

The effectiveness of InMail lies in its ability to bypass the usual constraints of connecting with professionals outside your network. With InMail, you can directly approach industry leaders, decision-makers, and potential clients without needing a mutual connection. This direct line of communication is invaluable in building professional relationships, pitching ideas, or even headhunting.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in InMail

Navigating the Pitfalls of InMail Communication

While LinkedIn InMail is a powerful tool, its misuse can lead to ignored messages, or worse, damage your professional reputation. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Being Too Salesy: InMail should not read like a cold sales pitch. Instead, focus on building a relationship first before pitching your product or services.
  • Overlooking Personalization: Generic messages are a big no. Tailoring your message to the recipient shows that you've done your homework and genuinely value connecting with them.
  • Ignoring the Importance of a Clear Call-to-Action: Your InMail should have a clear purpose. Whether it’s to set up a meeting, ask for a referral, or share valuable content, be clear about what you want the recipient to do next.
  • Neglecting Profile Completeness: Sending InMails from a half-filled profile can lead to a lack of trust. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is complete and presents you in the best professional light.
  • Overlooking Follow-Up Etiquette: Bombarding recipients with follow-up messages can be off-putting. Be patient and give them time to respond before sending a polite follow-up.

How to Continuously Improve Your InMail Strategy

Evolving Your Approach for Maximum Impact

The key to success with LinkedIn InMail is continuous improvement and adaptation. Here’s how you can keep refining your InMail strategy:

  • Track Response Rates: Pay attention to which types of messages garner the most responses. Use LinkedIn’s analytics tools to track the performance of your InMails.
  • Experiment with Different Approaches: Don’t be afraid to try different styles or formats for your InMails. A/B testing different subject lines or message content can reveal what resonates best with your audience.
  • Stay Updated with LinkedIn’s Features: LinkedIn regularly updates its platform. Stay informed about new features or changes to InMail policies and adjust your strategies accordingly.
  • Seek Feedback: If possible, ask for feedback from connections about what they thought of your InMail. This can provide invaluable insights into how you can improve.
  • Keep Learning: Regularly read up on new strategies and tips for effective InMail communication. The digital landscape is always evolving, and staying informed is key to success.

People want to be heard

If you stop to think about it, these best practices from this research make perfect sense. After all, we live in a time when people are bombarded with information. That’s why they don’t have time to waste and, at the same time, they want to be heard.

Summarizing, the key to increasing your response rate on LinkedIn’s InMail seems to be combining an objective and easy-to-understand message with personalization and focus on your audience.

Bearing in mind that LinkedIn wants to separate spam from the inbox, it’s important to think about optimizing your sponsored messages as soon as possible.

If you don't want to reach people via linkedin email you can search for email via emailsearch.io

We hope these tips will help you to make the most of your LinkedIn InMail. If you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to contact us!