How do I get started with cold emailing?

The Perfect LinkedIn Message: A Complete Guide

"The people you want to reach are the ones who delete emails by default"

Seth Godin

How many LinkedIn messages do you think top entrepreneurs get every day from sellers, advertisers and other service providers?

Tip: It's a lot.

Social networks like LinkedIn have revolutionized advertising, and suddenly everyone can be reached directly. Any advertiser can buy LinkedIn In-Mails en masse and send messages to anyone they want.

Some companies have developed the mindset that if they send enough messages, they will get results. LinkedIn essentially fosters that mentality with the metrics that highlight it.

LinkedIn sales will tell you that you hit the nail on the head with a 25 percent in-mail acceptance rate. However, this corresponds to a failure rate of 75%. If you were unsuccessful in any other business function within ¾ of that time, would you be happy with it?

There is one more important detail here:

25% of candidates might open your messages, but the actual response rate, the important part, is much lower. Our LinkedIn agency from Hamburg has gained experience in many projects, which we will give you here with regard to the perfect LinkedIn message.

What is the result?

The “best” contacts are literally flooded.

Many directors, employees and other entrepreneurs receive hundreds of messages every week. Most are just the same, recycled, template, and the result is that most prospects are unresponsive to people like you.

To stand out from these candidates, we have to be different.

We should use more advanced messaging techniques and take the time to create templates that appear at least personalized.

What tactics do you need to use to get people to stop ignoring your messages?

Compelling LinkedIn messages start with great subject lines

If you sit down at your desk every morning and read through emails and LinkedIn messages, how do you decide which to open and which to delete?

Based on the subject line.

The words used here can have a huge impact on open rates. Up to 35% of recipients will only open a message if the subject line resonates with them.

If you're sending an unsolicited, cold message, the subject line is even more important. You need to make the most of it and grab the recipient's attention.

Here are some tactics to help you write subject lines that get results:

Mention shared contacts

This is the gold standard for unsolicited messages.

Use LinkedIn's How You're Connected feature to see if you have any common connections with a candidate.

If so, try to include mutual acquaintances in the subject line so that the candidate's attention is drawn.


Ask your mutual connection for a direct introduction. This is an even more effective tactic.

Remind a non-contact that you've met before

If you've met the recipient of your message before, be sure to mention it!

Don't assume that your name will make them remember you. A quick nudge of the subject line to remind them who you are can make all the difference.

Also, make sure that you are very specific about your memory. The best format for this is something along the lines of:

"I met you at ...".

Include the contact's name or personal accomplishments

Putting personal information in the subject line proves that you are not sending a general message! Ideally, you should try to mention the recipient's first name, their company, or a specific project they were involved in.

Check the LinkedIn profile to see if he has recently published and do a quick Google search to see if the company has had any big news lately.

If you do just a little research here, it can make a huge difference in your open rates. Just adding a first name to the subject increases the open rate by 26%.

Keep your LinkedIn message short and sweet

Brevity is one of the keys to a successful LinkedIn message.

There are a couple of effective ways you can make sure you don't end up writing an entire essay for each recipient.

Do not give a personal introduction

There is no need to waste words on a personal introduction.

Your name will appear in the header of the message so that the recipient can see exactly who you are. Recipients can also click on your LinkedIn profile to find out more information about you. There is no need to stick to the traditional "Hello, I'm ..." format.

Instead, use the first sentence to get attention.

Browse the recipient's LinkedIn profile to see if they have posted and check for updates on recent personal achievements.

Mentioning these achievements at the beginning of the communication is much more effective than a standard induction.

No more general flattery

Unless you go into specifics on flattery and point out certain things a recipient has done, I would recommend leaving it out entirely.

Make sure you get to the point quickly

The average reader spends between 15 and 20 seconds reading a message. If you don't get to the point quickly, you will lose your readers.

How much can the recipients digest during this time? Well, it takes the average reader around 20 seconds to scan 50 words.

50 words are not very many!

This is why it is important that you tackle the important things right at the beginning of a message. This gives the best chance of getting the potential contact's attention.

Dive right in and tell the recipient exactly why you are contacting them and give them a brief overview of ways to get the best result.

Rely on quality instead of quantity

LinkedIn makes it so easy to find contacts that it's pretty tempting to go all out with messages and cast a pretty wide net.

However, companies can achieve better results if they focus on a smaller group of people.

Acquisition for a specific service?

Make sure everyone you text has a specific problem that your service can solve. It sounds obvious, but if you stick to this guideline, you will quickly develop a relationship with the recipients.

They may not be interested, but at least they know you are sending them relevant offers and they will be more likely to open your messages.

You also have the added bonus that if the number of messages you send is restricted, you will have more time to personalize and personalize the content of each message.


Try to reach out to the candidates on social networks before texting them. Data from LinkedIn suggests that if you do, the likelihood that they will accept an in-mail is 2x higher.

Make the next step clear

The way you finish each message is crucial. You need to give the recipients a clear next step.

You're sending this message for a reason, usually to draw attention to a product, service, or opportunity, so make sure the contact knows!

Possible next steps could include:

  • A simple 'answer'.
  • A follow-up call
  • A face-to-face meeting

Being vague is not going to help convince a cold contact to follow up. According to research by psychologist Robert Sutton, people are more approachable and helpful when given clear instructions.

How can you make this a reality?

Be specific about the next step. If you'd like to schedule a call, suggest a few times and ask the candidate to choose a slot.

This decreases the mental energy it takes recipients to reply to a message and makes the more likely they will reply.

Make sure you follow up

Every great salesperson knows the power of follow-up. This is often the key to contacting potential customers on LinkedIn.

Even so, the follow-up work often doesn't get the attention it deserves.

There are 2 main reasons for this:

Nobody wants to appear pushy

It's easy to tell yourself, if the person really wants your product, they will respond by themselves. If you fall into this mindset, you will most likely feel intrusive.

Nobody likes to be rejected

Especially when your follow-up attempts are unsuccessful, it is not uncommon to experience feelings of rejection. Studies show that rejection affects the human brain in the same way as physical pain, something salespeople understandably want to avoid!

There are a number of legitimate reasons why someone might not have replied to your message.

First of all, they are very busy. Responding to any message is likely not your top priority.

It's just as possible that they didn't see your first message. People with a lot of contacts and a relevant position in companies are very likely to have a pretty full LinkedIn inbox. Your message may have gone unnoticed.

** How often should you follow up? **

If your first message was completely cold and you've never interacted with the person, you might want to follow up once or twice. You really don't have a relationship that allows you to do much more than that.

If you've had some type of interaction before and that interaction wasn't a resounding NO, follow up while it takes to get a response.

Never stop until you get an answer.

LinkedIn News - Conclusion

LinkedIn messages are a powerful acquisition tool. If used wisely, they can be hugely effective in connecting with potential business partners.

We've outlined the steps for creating LinkedIn messages that produce results, but it's still worth learning about other outbound and inbound strategies. If you would like to benefit from the full scope of our LinkedIn offer, take a look at our range of services or simply contact us directly.