Why To Avoid LinkedIn Messages

by Scott - 3 Comments

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A lot of people in my Skillshare classes ask me whether you should send LinkedIn messages when reaching out to prospects?

Short answer: avoid this at all costs.

In this video below I discuss WHY reaching out someone on LinkedIn hurts your chances of getting a response and the framework I use to determine which method of communication is best for engaging prospects.

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In general, I almost always approach people via email because that is where people I do business with interact with contacts they know and trust. That’s the bucket you want to be in – not the random people from Indonesia asking you to join their mastermind group of 28,678 “strategic consultants.”

Linkedin Message

Using one of the methodologies in this post on how to find email addresses, I’m able to figure out someone’s email 98% of the time.

Again, it’s not to say that I haven’t had any success with sending a LinkedIn message, I just think it’s a suboptimal channel.

If anyone has any other thoughts on the efficacy of LinkedIn messages, please feel free to share in the comments. Also curious to hear if people like video (more vids here)…I’ve been experimenting with delivering content in this form a bit more lately.

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3 comments, add to the conversation.

  1. mdudas

    Really helpful – I’ve been out of the cold-contact game for a number of years and recently dialed up the volume on making new connections. Personally, I view a potentially useful incoming InMail with curiosity, as I don’t get a whole lot of them; there’s actually less noise for me on LinkedIn right now than in my combined inboxes (work + personal). Thus, I’ve actually been using LinkedIn InMail for just over 2 months with moderate success.

    However, I was looking for other folks’ opinions on how the people who weren’t responding likely felt. So this is very useful, as it’s one thing to not get a response from a prospective partner; it’s another thing to turn them totally off from you or make them very skeptical via your method of outreach. Since you only get feedback from people who accept the InMail (I believe), your feedback score is pretty misleading (my feedback score is 5 stars, yet my response rate is ~25% or so for InMail).

    Since InMail may still be a channel for some folks to use on occasion when other methods fail, here are some thoughts on how I try to stand out from the recruiters, spammers and other time wasters:

    * Connect with people with whom I have at least a few mutual connections (although, to be fair, it would make equal sense to simply have the mutual acquaintance do a real intro -> perhaps this is best option when you have weak, competitive or otherwise unsuitable mutual connections for an intro)
    * Put your company’s name and the reason for your outreach in the subject line to stand out from recruiters, particularly if your company has a strong & credible brand
    * Only reach out to one person at the company -> LinkedIn is not the place to be the person spamming an entire organization. Take your shot at the who you think the right contact is, leave it be if you don’t hear back. Don’t become the chatter of the company as the person reaching out to everyone on LinkedIn
    * Personalize, personalize, personalize (but that’s true regardless of medium of outreach)


    1. ScottBritton

      Hey man – thanks so much for sharing this. There is definitely the benefit of the signal to noise element with LinkedIn Mail (due to low volume) vs. email. This just reflects my personal opinion. Ultimately if someone very valuable reached out to me over LinkedIn, I’d no question respond, but I don’t think that dynamic changes at all if done over email.


  2. Pingback: Why To Avoid LinkedIn Messages | The Startup Voice

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