LinkedIn identifies three steps for a small business that wants to use LinkedIn to find sales prospects and connect with decision makers. If you or your team are not already connected, which entitled you to email for free, you might consider reaching out with a Paid Linkedin InMail.
You will have a higher positive response to outreach emails if both your personal profile and company page look professional and relevant to your target prospects. In case you need it, here’s a quick review of best practices.
- Identify leads in LinkedIn using your own list of target companies
- Locate new prospects using Linkedin advanced keyword search, as in the video above. The presenter is using a premium version but advance search is available for some fields in the free version. Or check this PDF on Optimizing your LinkedIn Search to Find the Right Prospects.
- Save key searches and subscribe to get new target leads emailed to you regularly
- Refine your list using fields like company size, seniority level and job title to compile a reasonable list of target prospects. Then review profiles to be sure they are likely buyers.
- Review profiles to find the best context to reach out
- Request an introduction from a mutual connection, ideally a second connection.
- If you do not have mutual connections, reach out using Paid LinkedIn Inmail. According to the company, “InMails messages are private messages that enable you to contact or be directly contacted by another LinkedIn member, while protecting the recipient’s privacy. InMail is a paid feature that’s included with a Premium account.”
How Much Does InMail Cost?
If you are connected to someone, you can of course email them through LinkedIn for free.
However if you are not connected, you may purchase premium plans and gain the right to send a limited number of InMails per month to those with whom you are not connected. Here are the number by premium plan as of March 2016.
- Business: 3 to 5
- Business Plus: 10 to 15
- Executive: 25 to 30
- Sales Navigator Basic: 5 to 8
- Sales Navigator Pro: 10 to 15
- Sales Navigator Team: 25 to 30
- Recruiter Lite: 25 to 30
- Recruiter Professional Services: 50 to 100
- Recruiter Corporate: 50 to 150
Business plans start at $47.99 per month and sales plans at $64.99 per month. There is no contract so you can easily cancel.
Since 2015, “InMail messages that don’t receive a response don’t get credited back. Instead, you get an InMail credit for every InMail message that receives a response within 90 days of the send date. A reply back or a “not interested” response both result in a credit. You’ll receive the credit back once the recipient responds.”
InMail Writing Tips, Types and Templates
6 Tips for Writing a Kick Ass InMail. A LinkedIn staff member gives you these tips:
- “Check their contact preferences
- Write a catchy subject heading
- Introduce yourself
- Show you have done your homework (Most important part, she says)
- Keep it short
- Put in a clear call to action.”
http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140526073436-38646313-6-tips-for-writing-a-kick-ass-inMail (You must be logged in to see this link)
Why Your LinkedIn InMail template doesn’t earn response (and how to fix it) Your inMails fail because they…
- “Accidentally communicate “me-me-me” to the recipient.
- Are more than 3-4 sentences—saying too much, too fast.
- Ask for the meeting or call.”
Read Molander’s post on how to fix these problems.
How to Write an Effective InMail: 7 of my Best Templates Jeff Molander says be “Brief, Blunt and Basic.” (You have to buy his book to get the templates, but this post has tips.)
3 of the best InMail and Email Subject Lines I’ve found They are: “Know this about ____?” “Advantages of ___” and “Is this a fit for ___?” Read the full post for further advice.
How to Craft a LinkedIn InMail That Gets Results See discussion and examples for the The “Crazy Big Ask” InMail and the “Let Me Offer You Some Specialized Help” InMail.
Linkedin InMail Case Studies
Sponsored InMails are Paid InMails available to large advertisers who want to use this feature at scale. Here are some case studies of their usage.
“NetBrain reaches hard-to-find prospects with Sponsored InMail and Sponsored Updates.”
“Sitcores targeted use of LinkedIn InMail almost triples webinar audiences.”
Your Experience with InMails?
I notice that I am receiving Paid InMails, such as the one above, to attend events or webinars. There is a lively discussion about open rates and usefulness of InMails in Quora. Some complain of being inundated with recruiter messages. One says he gets responses in low double digits when he reaches out to new prospects by contacting only second connections or fellow group members.
What has your experience been with LinkedIn InMails? Please share your experiences in the comments.