Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Understand best practices for contacting people via InMail, part of Learning LinkedIn Premium Career.
- [Instructor] As we saw earlier, when you upgrade to a Premium career account, one of the benefits you receive is the ability to send five free InMail messages per month. Again, InMail is the LinkedIn messaging system that allows you to send messages to people outside of your network, meaning people you're not directly connected with. It allows you to contact people like recruiters and hiring managers without having to first connect with them. If you don't use your five InMails each month, they'll roll over into the next month for up to 90 days. On the other hand, if you need more InMails, you can purchase more and use up to 10 additional InMail credits each month.
Now there's a reason that InMail credits are not dolled out to everyone with free accounts, and why extra credits cost money. InMail isn't supposed to be used casually, or worse, for spamming purposes. You should always have a clear reason for sending an InMail that should be obvious to your recipient. For example, you might be contacting someone to ask for their expert advice or assistance with a business matter. Or you might use InMail to directly contact recruiters to inquire about a job you're interested in. To see how this works, I'll click to send an InMail to this person. You can see I'm not directly connected to them.
But I'll click InMail, and at the bottom of this window here you can see how many InMail credits you have to use. So first, add your subject line, keeping it concise and to-the-point. And then compose your message. Now, when messaging someone you don't know, there are some things to keep in mind to increase the likelihood that you'll get a response. For example, mention a friend or colleague that the two of you might have in common. Try to limit your message to around 100 words and making it direct and to-the-point. Or, show that you've done your research by referencing something from the recipient's profile.
Again, the idea is to be as specific as possible about why you're contacting this person. Some people, especially hiring managers and recruiters, receive tons of InMail every day, so don't waste time and words. Keep it professional, but conversational in tone. I'll just cancel that for now. And just so we can see what this looks like from the other end, I'll click the Messaging button at the top of my screen to go to the inbox for my account. And you can see here, I have an InMail, which I can click to read. And you can see the message appears over here on the right.
Now when you're on the receiving end of an InMail message, you're given the option to reply just like with a regular message you might receive from one of your connections. But you also have these buttons above the message field to let you quickly indicate your level of interest in what the person sending you the InMail is requesting. Notice that rolling over these buttons shows you the text that will appear if you click them. So if I went to Interested, it would say, hi Maggie, thanks for reaching out, I'd like to learn more. Maybe Later says, thanks for reaching out, I'm not currently interested, but let's keep in touch. And No Thanks says, thank you for reaching out but I'm not interested.
So you can choose any one of these, and whichever the case, you're at least providing a reply of some sort, which can be nice since you always have the option of ignoring or deleting messages as well. You can of course also click in the Reply field if you'd like to be more specific about why you're interested or not interested in what the sender is asking or suggesting. And when you've typed your reply, you can hit Send. Now you can also customize what types of messages you're willing to receive. If you go up to your account to Settings & Privacy and select Communications, here you can click Change next to Email Frequency.
Next to Messages, click Details. And here you can choose how messages from connections and InMails and introductions are sent to you. The Recommended option sends you emails with messages you might have mixed. Or you can choose to receive all messages of these types as either combined weekly digests or as individual emails. Or if you prefer that not just anyone can send you a message, you can turn off InMails and Introductions. I'll leave mine on though. And there are other useful options to set up here as well.
So for example, if you don't want to receive messages with invitations to join groups, you can click the details next to Invitations and turn off Invitations To Join Groups. So it's worth browsing through all of these message options to customize how you'll receive certain types of communications or whether you want to receive them at all. Alright so that's a little bit about working with and using the proper etiquette for InMail.