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Effective LinkedIn Messaging for Prospects

LinkedIn Messaging for Prospects
Thad KingThad King
June 7, 2024

LinkedIn is unique among social media platforms. While platforms like Facebook and Instagram encourage personal sharing, LinkedIn is designed for professional networking. Users have access to standard social media features like the ability to update their profiles with posts, but the platform’s messaging feature is one of its most powerful.

LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn messaging gives you the opportunity to directly reach professionals in all kinds of industries, and many users find that they’re able to access people with whom they would never normally have contact. Executives and heads of companies are on LinkedIn, and when you know how to effectively message prospects on LinkedIn, the platform can be a fantastic tool for lead generation.

At the same time, although LinkedIn provides the ability to engage in cold outreach, the messaging feature can be a double-edged sword. Approaching cold messaging the wrong way can burn opportunities and harm your professional reputation in the worst-case scenario.

If you want to learn best practices to help you message prospects on LinkedIn, you’ll find some easy-to-follow tips below. Every interaction on LinkedIn is different, but the following tips can serve as guidelines to help you optimize your LinkedIn sales message and improve response rates.

Know Your Audience

Know Your Audience

Perhaps the most important part of using LinkedIn for cold outreach is to know your audience. Just like in cold calling, where you should at least know that you’re calling someone who is related in some way to your industry and target audience, a LinkedIn cold message should have some sort of relation to your products, services, business, or industry.

For example, if you worked in the pallet industry, you would want to look for professionals in warehousing, manufacturing, logistics, and other industries where pallets are used. If you send a sales pitch about your standard pallet size options to someone who works in software, you will not likely get a response.

Instead, take some time to research prospects before writing LinkedIn messages to them. Your prospecting message should align with your shared goals and attempt to find common ground between your goals and those of your prospects.

Leverage LinkedIn Groups

Another opportunity to explore before messaging prospects on LinkedIn is the platform’s LinkedIn Groups feature. LinkedIn Groups are a form of group chat or message board where members can share with one another. Groups are created by LinkedIn users and typically revolve around topics related to specific industries or professional pursuits.

Some LinkedIn Groups allow anyone to join and post, but others require approval. Some Groups also require a moderator to approve posts before they go live to the entire group. Check the Group rules before attempting to join and post.

The good news is that once you join some LinkedIn Groups, you gain access to professionals who share similar interests without sending connection requests. When you post to a LinkedIn Group, hundreds, thousands, or even more people will see your content.

This is a good way to promote a product, service, brand, or offer and can be used as an engagement measure. You can test different types of content or approaches to see which ones get the most responses from Group members.

As an added bonus, you may receive connection requests from interested professionals in various Groups. Because you’re already connected through your mutual interests and receiving a connection request, cold messaging can be slightly warmer.

Look Through Mutual Connections

Mutual Connections

If you’re having difficulty finding prospects to message on LinkedIn, look through your existing connections. LinkedIn shows mutual connections or people you have in common with those you’re already connected to.

Messaging a shared connection on LinkedIn may yield better response rates since a semblance of trust is already built into the interaction. It can also demonstrate your shared interests, which can be a starting point for a conversation. This becomes more important when cold emailing since you’re essentially a stranger.

Mutual connections can also benefit you by making introductions. Like in the real world, introductions by people you have in common with a stranger in the digital sphere can help break the ice and warm up a prospect to become a lead. Even if your engagement never amounts to anything more, you never know when that person could become a connection who may then introduce you to someone who becomes a prospect or lead in the future.

The key to getting the most out of LinkedIn is to remember that it is designed first as a professional networking platform. Everyone on LinkedIn understands this, so you may find more opportunities for mutual connections to make introductions on LinkedIn than on other social media platforms.

Optimize Your Profile

Before sending out messages on LinkedIn, you’re encouraged to review your profile. One of the nice things about the platform is that you can optimize your LinkedIn profile to portray yourself in whatever way you feel is best.

Remember that your profile picture is one of the first things a prospect sees when you engage. In fact, your profile picture is included with any LinkedIn connection request you send out, so before a prospect can review your connection request or its associated message, they will see your picture. Make sure it represents you, your brand, and your offer.

Having a number of quality connections displayed on your profile is also a good thing, and getting endorsements from others can add credibility to your profile. Try to update your profile often with interesting posts and rich media, and make it a habit to engage with others so that your activity shows up on your profile. An active account is likelier to receive prospects' engagement than a profile with little activity.

Use Message Templates With Caution

As with any other type of cold calling or emailing, cold messaging on LinkedIn can benefit from having a script or message template. Message templates help you refine your messaging and cover all relevant points across multiple messaging attempts. They can also speed up sending LinkedIn messages by writing a unique message every time.

Although message templates provide some value, they should be used with caution. Seasoned LinkedIn users can tell when they’re being contacted with a template, and you should still take some time to personalize each message in some way. Blasting out the same templated message to every prospect or lead will likely not deliver the results you had hoped for, and some people may even block or report you on the platform.

This is where knowing your audience once again comes into play. Try to find a way to work in messaging that speaks to the unique pain points of your prospects. Look for something you can add to each message that shows you took time to learn about the prospect, but try not to be too generic. Simply glancing at the prospect’s current role and company and then including that in your message may not be enough to convince the recipient that you did your homework.

Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

If you really want to step things up on LinkedIn, you might consider investing in LinkedIn Sales Navigator. This application is designed to help sales enablement by tracking contacts with prospects and leads. Sales Navigator does things like notify you of important events or milestones in the profiles of contacts you’ve made on the platform. This gives you the opportunity to reach out at key moments.

Sales Navigator also leverages LinkedIn’s InMail messaging to jump into conversations with people who aren’t connected. You can use Sales Navigator to categorize contacts and connections, allowing you to keep up with the cold messaging process from your first message through the sales process. You also gain access to tools that help you manage buyer intent to focus your attention on prospects who convert into leads or who are more likely to convert.

Take Time to Learn the Culture

As with any social media platform, LinkedIn has a culture all its own, and it would be beneficial for you to learn about this culture before sending out cold messages. Understanding the flow of conversations and what to expect from your efforts can help you tailor your approach for greater success.

Remember that many people use LinkedIn daily, but others only check in every so often. This may result in slower response rates compared to other social media platforms. Since LinkedIn is a platform built for professional networking, many users are busy throughout the day and cannot respond immediately. When you set your expectations accordingly, you’re more likely to have a better time on the platform.

Contact Pallet Company Marketing to Learn How We Can Accelerate Lead Generation Online

You're not alone if you’re overwhelmed at managing LinkedIn as a sales and marketing tool. Thankfully, you can rely on the experts at Pallet Company Marketing for answers. We offer digital marketing solutions for pallet companies that manufacture custom pallets in Los Angeles, and across the country.

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