Best Practices for Cold Messaging on LinkedIn
If you’re on LinkedIn (and you should be), you may be wondering about the right etiquette for messaging others on the platform. There are several reasons why you might want to message someone on LinkedIn. Maybe you are sending a connection request and want to send an accompanying message. Or maybe you’re already connected with the person and want to network or get to know them professionally. Or you’re sending a message to solicit a sale. These are just some of the reasons you may be sending personal messages on LinkedIn. Regardless of the purpose of your message, here are a few tips to help you get the best response.
Determine what response you want back
The first step to sending a thoughtful LinkedIn message is determining how you want the person to respond. Do you want them to set an appointment to demo a new product? Do you want to do an informational interview? Once you have a clear understanding of what you want, you can convey your message in a clear and concise matter. The reality is that people are busy and are bombarded with many messages in a day. And just like any other sender, you’re fighting for their attention. That’s why concise messages with a clear call to action will get the best results.
Do your research
The worst thing you can do is message someone without doing your research. Most of us have had it happen to us—you get a message from a recruiter for a job that’s not aligned with your interests or a salesperson tries to sell you a product you have no need for. If your goal is to get a connection to demo a new product but the person doesn’t have any purchasing responsibility at their company, then you’ve wasted your time. While there’s a small chance they’ll forward the message along to the appropriate party, it’s more likely that they’ll just ignore it. That’s why doing your research before sending a message is paramount. You’ll get the best response if you take a few moments to learn about the person from their profile.
Shoot for authentic conversation
The best way to get the response you want is to shoot for authentic conversation. One way to do that is to connect with them beyond just asking for something. Comment on a recent post they’ve made, or talk about shared experiences like going to the same university or living in the same city, or share and engage with their content. Building an authentic relationship will make it easier to make the ask later on.
Another way to shoot for authentic conversation is to personalize your messages. People are used to receiving cold, scripted messages, so getting a personalized message feels like a breath of fresh air. This is the perfect time to use all the research you did before crafting your message. As we noted above, putting in a little effort to learn something about the person you’re messaging will only increase your chances of getting a reply.
Reaching out to people you don’t know can be intimidating. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get the response you want right away. Don’t take it personally. Remember to think about what you want from the conversation, do your research, and shoot for an authentic conversation to improve your chances of getting the desired response.