For those who do not like making cold calls, do not think they are effective any longer, or want to combine cold calls with some other way of making contact with a prospective client, InMail may be the answer.
InMail is available with a LinkedIn Premium Account or on a pay-per-use basis with a free account. InMail is simply an email that can be sent to anyone on LinkedIn, whether they’re in your network or not.
According to Kelly Parkinson, who claims to have had a very high 41 percent response rate to her InMails and secured six new clients for her copywriting business, InMail has several things going for it, among them:
- Receiving an InMail in your inbox stands out from other emails because it is delivered by LinkedIn. This makes it, at least for now, somewhat novel, almost a curiosity.
- Related to this, because there is a charge for InMails, recipients are not bombarded with them, which again helps make them stand out.
- The recipient’s email address is protected; they can respond or ignore an InMail without revealing their email address and additional contact information.
- Recipients have a chance to “qualify” the person sending the InMail before responding. This gives the recipient an easy opportunity to find out more about you and your company by reading your profile, which can encourage them to follow up on the InMail.
With all these plusses, you may want to rush right in and try the InMail system. However, that might not be a good idea. There is a skill to writing InMail and the best advice I can offer you is to learn as much about this skill as you can before jumping on the InMail bandwagon.
Here are some of the tips I have learned from Ms. Parkinson and others:
- Avoid templates. If you search online, you will find many InMail templates. Some of these templates have been kicked around a lot already and are showing their wear; avoid reusing them but use them for ideas on writing your own InMail.
- Keep it short. InMails should be less than 90 words.
- Find a connection. When you write InMail, the LinkedIn page will list what connections you have in common with the recipient. If you can tactfully bring that person into the InMail, it helps grab attention.
- Check to see if the recipient wants to receive an InMail. To the right of the InMail form is listed the types of InMails the recipient is interested in receiving: for example, “Consulting Offer,” “Ask for Advice,” or “Business Deal.” If the recipient is not interested in why you are contacting them, do not contact them. As a user of InMails you are now graded on how well you follow this and other rules. You do not want a low grade.
- Avoid the “I’s.” Many InMails start out with “I saw your profile,” “I wanted to talk to you about,” “I am interested in discussing,” and so forth. Too many I’s sound like the InMail is about you and your interests; the recipient is interested in how your InMail can help them, not you.
Finally, Kelly Parkinson does offer the following example to give you some ideas in writing your own InMail:
I’m Kelly Parkinson, my company is Copylicious, and we specialize in working with green tech companies to capture their prospects’ attention. My knack is translating fancy concepts into clear, accessible stories. I’ve written for [company], [company], [company]. I know how tough it can be to find a copywriter who “gets” the green tech industry. I’m that girl!
I’d very much like to speak with you about your marketing ROI. I only need about 10 minutes or so. Could you let me know when might be a good time to speak?
Look forward to hearing from you!