InMail is among the best premium features on LinkedIn. It helps business owners to reach prospective collaborators and recruiters to start a conversation with potential job candidates.

Unfortunately, many LinkedIn users are still unfamiliar with the InMail feature, even though it has become one of the most relevant platforms for improving profile engagement and generating leads.

This article will help you better understand LinkedIn InMail and its benefits. Also, you’ll learn the difference between the standard and premium LinkedIn messaging options. Let’s get started.

What Are LinkedIn InMail Messages?

On LinkedIn, users cannot send direct messages to other users with whom they’re not connected. This may hinder sales marketers and HR professionals from reaching their prospects and vice versa.

LinkedIn InMail enables premium users to send direct messages to another LinkedIn member who isn’t in their networks. The feature also helps users reach someone without having their contact information.

Depending on the subscription type, users will get a specific number of InMail credits. For instance, the LinkedIn Premium Career plan allows its users to send five InMail messages/month. On the other hand, the Sales Navigator plan grants 20 InMail credits/month.

LinkedIn InMail credits are cumulative but expire after 90 days. For that reason, users need to strategically plan their campaigns so that they won’t lose their InMail credits.

How LinkedIn InMail Is Different from Standard LinkedIn Messaging

Standard LinkedIn messaging allows free account users to reach their connections only. It doesn’t allow them to send a message to 2nd or 3rd-degree connections and those out of their network.

Using free accounts, the Message button on a LinkedIn member’s introduction card will contain a padlock.

Locked "Message" button on LinkedIn free account

Once users have upgraded to a premium account, the icon will vanish, and they will be able to send an InMail message to anyone on LinkedIn.

InMail message on LinkedIn premium account

Another difference is that InMail messages will have InMail labels on the recipient’s inbox. It separates them from the standard ones, triggering higher open rates.

In addition, premium users have InMail credits that limit the number of messages they can send. In comparison, LinkedIn users can send unlimited messages using the standard messaging option.

Benefits of Using LinkedIn InMail

Premium LinkedIn homepage

Many people hesitate to use LinkedIn’s premium account to get InMail credits, as they wonder if the feature is actually worth every penny. So, let’s check out some of the benefits of using it:

  • Unique notifications. Users not only get notified through their homepage, but they can also spot the messages as soon as they open their inbox.
  • It reaches LinkedIn members when they’re active. InMails are delivered real-time when users are most engaged, allowing live conversation opportunities.
  • It helps generate quality leads. Researching prospects beforehand maximizes the potential of reaching people who are interested in working with you or purchasing your products.
  • It ensures a higher response rate.Compared to emails, InMail messages may yield better results. The latter is more personalized and lets you reach more qualified leads.

10 LinkedIn InMail Best Practices

Most people ignore messages from unknown senders. Therefore, after receiving InMail credits, you need to plan your messaging strategy to guarantee high open rates and generate leads. Let’s check ten LinkedIn InMail best practices you should consider.

1. Establish your Goals

Establishing a purpose and keeping it in mind when creating the texts is vital for high-converting InMail messages. One way to start is by asking the question, “Why do I need to send this InMail?”.

For example, if you want to expand your network, connect with the recipient by sharing common interests or experiences. Alternatively, you may wish to inform LinkedIn members about job openings in your company. When sending a connection request, include a personalized message and a link to the job ad in your InMail messages.

2. Define Your Brand Voice

When you think of communication on LinkedIn, you may immediately associate it with professionalism. However, you’re allowed to be a little informal to get users interested in collaborating with your business or joining your company.

Unsurprisingly, being too formal in your InMail messages can harm a campaign’s response rate. They may fail to invite InMail recipients to internalize the content and engage in the conversation.

Therefore, it’s much needed to establish a brand voice. Apart from keeping messages uniform, it also illustrates a company culture so that users can learn how it’s like to work with you.

3. Select the Right Target Audience

Next, determine the target recipients for each of your goals. Reaching the right people help ensure the best use of your InMail credits.

For that reason, utilize keywords and filtering when researching LinkedIn members. Here are some aspects to consider to get the best search results:

  • Job title.
  • Industry.
  • Company.
  • Educational background.
  • Skill sets.
  • LinkedIn activities.

4. Keep It Simple

Reading lengthy InMails is time-consuming, and most people don’t have time to spare. By keeping your messages short and concise, you’re showing respect for your recipients’ time.

One of the best strategies is keeping LinkedIn InMail messages under 125 words or around 500 characters. Apart from preventing recipients from getting overwhelmed, this strategy makes the messages easy to understand.

Person using a smartphone

Keeping InMails concise also helps optimize them for mobile use. As smartphones generate 54.8% of global internet traffic, doing so may improve conversion and response rates, as recipients are more likely to read them fully.

5. Personalize Your Content

Before sending an InMail, be sure to check the prospect’s profile to gain more information about them. It’s crucial as it can help personalize your messages and create a more compelling introduction.

Here are some tips for personalizing InMail messages:

  • Write a personalized greeting by including the recipient’s name.
  • Congratulate the prospects for their recent career achievements.
  • Refer to their hobbies and interests.

On top of all, mentioning mutual educational backgrounds, business niche, and connections help create a common ground for a smoother prospecting process.

6. Use a Catchy Subject Line

Subject lines are the elements that pop up whenever a user gets a message. They give recipients their first impression of you and your company, reeling them in or throwing them off.

Thus, utilizing an attention-grabbing subject line is crucial to improve your InMail’s open and response rates, making them stand out in the users’ inbox.

Here is a list of tips for crafting an engaging subject line:

  • Make it brief. Most marketers believe that subject lines should be shorter than 60 characters. Apart from making it easier for users to read them, they fit mobile phone screen sizes better.
  • Cover the benefits. Whatever your goal is when sending an InMail message, ensure it is mutually beneficial. For example, a subject line like “Improve Your Email Campaign with Us” sounds appealing to most small business owners.
  • Highlight the point of interest. Help users understand what they may get from an InMail message. A great subject line example for this is Get our SEO eBook and Improve Your Online Visibility.
  • Include personalization. InMail messages’ subject lines should look like they’re crafted specifically for the LinkedIn member receiving them.

Additionally, let’s check some of the best-performing words and phrases to include when you send an InMail:

  • Thanks.
  • Join us.
  • Job opportunities.
  • Exclusive invitation.

7. Include a Clear Call-to-Action

Flatlay image of a person typing on MacBook Pro keys

Calls to action are words, phrases, or sentences that provoke immediate action. As they significantly affect conversions, InMails need to contain clear calls to action at the end of the message.

A clear CTA helps users understand what they’re expected to do next. For example, the CTA in “If you’re interested in this offer, shall we have a 30-minutes call on Friday to discuss?” is great to utilize if you’re offering a job opportunity or sending a business collaboration proposal.

Alternatively, you can include a CTA button, like Get Your Free Trial or Register for an Account, on your InMail messages. Some of the most effective CTA keywords to use in InMail are:

  • Try.
  • Confirm.
  • Download.
  • Register.

8. Add Relevant Visuals

LinkedIn InMail allows users to include a 300×250 px image in the message. When opened on the desktop, the media will be displayed on the right side of the users’ screen.

Apart from keeping users engaged, images help improve your business’s visibility and brand awareness. Including visuals also makes sure LinkedIn doesn’t use the space to show competitors’ ads.

Keep in mind to always use visuals that complement your InMail content. Make sure they are high-quality and don’t distract recipients from the content.

9. A/B Test Your Campaign

Online messages can be easily overlooked, and InMails are no different. For that reason, it’s highly recommended to regularly A/B test your campaign. It ensures that your metrics don’t plummet and people actually read your InMail messages.

Woman holding out a "yes" and "no" sign with her hand

Some of the simplest elements to A/B test are subject lines, CTA, banner ads, and greetings. However, it’s also possible to test the body content. A few ideas for this include changing its tone, length, or use of emojis.

When A/B testing, remember to change only one element in each version. This helps you determine which factor affects your InMail campaign’s conversion the most.

10. Use Analytics Tools

Like testing, analyzing a LinkedIn InMail strategy’s performance should also be done regularly. The process helps determine which techniques work and which don’t.

Some success metrics to track include:

  • Delivery rate. Refers to the percentage of InMails that are delivered to recipients’ inboxes.
  • Click-through rate. Illustrates the number of clicks on a link or a call-to-action button included in a message.
  • Response rate. It’s often equivalent to direct replies.

Using an InMail analytics platform, such as Digivizer, eases the analysis process. The tool lets users set their preferred metrics and see how well their campaigns perform.


LinkedIn InMail allows users to send personalized messages to other members that aren’t in their connection list.

To access it, users need to upgrade to LinkedIn Premium. While you may hesitate to upgrade to the paid version of a platform, LinkedIn InMail has several benefits.

From improving response rates to increasing the chance of live conversations and generating qualified leads, LinkedIn premium users may work towards their goals more conveniently and efficiently.

However, pay attention to the number of InMail credits you get each month. As they’re limited, make sure to use them wisely.

We hope we’ve helped you better understand LinkedIn InMail. If you have questions, feel free to share them in the comments.