1. You aren’t giving me a reason to engage
Do you have a clear objective? Before you send me an InMail, you need to get clear on what you are hoping to achieve. Are you trying to build your network? Engage in business with me? Are you asking me to attend an event? If you are sending out blanket InMail messages without knowing how you want me to respond, you likely won’t get far. In your InMail, are you offering me something or are you asking for something? Make sure you know before you hit send.
2. No one wants spam
Automated and generic messages are the biggest offender. LinkedIn is a professional platform, so be respectful and don’t use it as an opportunity to spam people. People do not take kindly to these mass emails, and there is no going back once you have sent one. Take the time to read people’s profiles and ensure you are a good fit. Then craft a highly personalised InMail that is targeted and relevant to the recipient. An InMail is the beginning of a conversation that could lead to a meaningful connection, so make it count.
3. I don’t know you!
Have we met? Perhaps not – did you know that 92% of users that delete messages that come from people that they don’t know. To grab my attention, you will need to reel me in with a clever subject line and then in the copy put forward a good case for why we should connect. Cold calling on LinkedIn doesn’t work. Unless we have a mutual friend or a past connection, then the best way to engage with me is for you to build a relationship with me before you send me an InMail, engage by commenting or sharing my content. It’s called Social Selling.
4. Don’t ‘Dear Madam’ me!
Ok, your message title was interesting enough that I opened your message. Then you spoil it with ‘Dear Madam’ or worse, no salutation at all. It tells me that you have not taken the time to read my profile or to personalise the message. It also tells me that you’re sending the same message out to hundreds of other people. To make meaningful connections on LinkedIn, you need to engage with the person you are trying to connect with, show them that you have taken time to consider why you should be in each other’s network. Otherwise, it is a wasted opportunity.
5. You are selling the wrong product or person
Research the person you’re messaging, check out their LinkedIn profile, read their articles, find out who they follow. I do my research when I make a buying decision, so please do yours when sending me your InMail message.
Buyers today are smart; they don’t want to be sold to directly! When they have a need, they will do their research and then reach out to the companies they know who might be able to help them. Did you know that 60% of the buying decision is already made when they contact you? So, if you do want to sell directly, know your audience and invest in building relationships with your potential buyers first.
When used correctly, InMail can be a great tool to help you connect with your audience. However, to really build your network, generate business leads and amplify your brand message, you need to be an active and engaging user. To see real results from your efforts, it all comes down to how you use it.