InMail (a LinkedIn messaging feature for upgraded accounts) is a quick and easy way to contact potential business leads. At one time, they made things easy — a bit too easy — especially for people who abused them. By not making the effort to use this tool in a targeted way, those users damaged many professionals’ perception of InMail (it became synonymous with spam). By extension, the experience of generating B2B leads via InMail, both for salespeople and their prospects, was negatively affected.
InMail has its fair share of haters, but it can be an effective tool when properly deployed. Notably, one study revealed LinkedIn to be 277% more effective for generating leads than its competitors.
So how can you effectively use InMail to connect with your target prospects?
Well, a separate lead-generation tool — offering validated, self-reported data from companies and professionals — will tell you who among all those millions of LinkedIn account holders fit the profile of your best prospects (more about that later).
You also need to tailor your InMail message content to trigger a response from your prospects, rather than make them click delete right away. We’ve dug into the data on the types of messages successful marketers send with InMail.
Here’s what you need to do.
Find common ground
Obviously, you want to initiate a conversation. Do some detective work to learn more about your prospects. Just one minuscule detail of a prospect’s profile might catch your eye and can act as an icebreaker.
Often, buried within the text of someone’s biography lies clues to assist you in opening up a dialogue. Perhaps their motivations align with yours, they follow the same influencers as you, or share similar interests.
Take time to better understand the person on the other side of the message. This will help you build a scalable strategy around their interests or any pain points you could readily address.
Customize your messages
Refrain from sending the same boilerplate introduction to all your leads at once.
Customized InMails net an average 18% to 25% response rate. Unsurprisingly, people are far more likely to respond to a personalized virtual handshake than a generic one.
Get inspiration from your prospect’s LinkedIn feed. Are they actively posting? What are they sharing? Try to find commonalities and use this information to craft individual messages. This way, your communication is focused, targeted, and interesting.
Your message needs to tell the recipient, quickly, who you are, what you do, and why your product or service is of value to them personally or to their business. Use a short, straightforward subject line to immediately trigger interest. Share your profile or briefly acknowledge a recent post or milestone to encourage a response.
Give them a reason to reply
You should always include a Call To Action to keep the conversation going.
Include a question at the end of your correspondence. For instance, inquire about something that only they would know. They’re more likely to answer if you show interest in gaining insight or expertise on a specific topic they can help with.
Click send at any time
Most people send InMails midweek, thinking that they’re avoiding Monday meltdown, Friday mental checkout, or the weekend void. But the timing doesn’t matter. Data shows that response rates are the same on any day of the week.
So, there’s little reason to schedule your outreach around which days work best. Recipients tend to respond when it’s convenient, not as soon as something pops up in their inbox.
InMail isn’t the only way to connect with your prospects
BizLeads, recently launched by American City Business Journals, is an online prospecting tool that makes connecting with your leads easier. BizLeads holds the most first-party reported data on business professionals (80 million) and private companies (30 million) in the United States. This data includes contact information for key decision makers, including emails, phone numbers, and LinkedIn profiles. Best of all, this data is continually validated in real time to ensure ac-curacy.
The platform’s 14+ unique search filters allow you to rapidly pinpoint the quality leads that match your Ideal Customer Persona. You can sort through prospects by region, zip code, industry, job title, number of employees, company revenue, and much more.
Then, simply download your newly curated prospect list and use it to supercharge a more targeted, customized InMail strategy. Or, if you’re not a LinkedIn fan, have your sales team reach out via company email instead, and free yourself from InMail altogether.
Are you ready to take your prospecting to the next level?
Schedule a 15-minute BizLeads Demo and start discovering your ideal prospects today.