How to Reach Out to Someone on LinkedIn

Many professionals establish and maintain their networks on LinkedIn. Writing an effective networking message/inMail on LinkedIn can help you gain valuable information, connections, and career opportunities. To capture someone’s attention, you need to think like a digital marketer, your inMail has to be personal, meaningful, and give a clear call-to-action. Writing a killer networking inMail takes practice, but the following tips will help you get a head start.

1. Superficial Research is Not Sufficient, Dig Deep

Doing research is as important as writing the actual inMail. Besides the basic company and industry research, you would want to analyze the person’s presence on social media, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and personal blog; go the extra mile by reviewing his or her published articles, guest posts, and interviews. While you conduct research, find at least one commonality that you share and write down some insightful questions and thoughtful comments related to his or her experience, as they are vital to your inMail content.

2. Write Short but Meaningful Subject Lines

Without a compelling subject line, the effort you put into crafting the perfect inMail will be wasted. The key is to keep your subject line short, ideally 50 characters or less while clearly indicating the purpose of the inMail. In addition, establishing a personal connection with the recipient, such as mentioning a mutual acquaintance or the event where you met him or her, will make your inMail stand out. Other ways to associate with the recipient are expressing interest in his or her career field, personal experience, or something you find interesting. Here are some examples of short and sweet subject lines:

  • Referred by John Lewis
  • Nice to Have Met You at Inbound 2017
  • Inspired by Your LinkedIn Article on Leadership

3. Make Your Recipient Feel Special

It’s important to be concise with your inMail message, but it’s also important to make your recipient feel special. After introducing yourself in one or two sentences, tell the recipient why he or she is the “special” person that you are reaching out to. Be flattering while you personalize the message, such as:

  • Your article (article name) changed my perspective on leadership
  • Your experience as a young entrepreneur really resonated with me because of…

Then, clearly state what you are hoping to get out of this inMail. As the foot-in-the-door effect suggests, a person is more likely to agree to a big request if you start with a smaller one first, like a short phone call, answering a question, or connecting you to someone else.  Finally, wrap up your inMail with a clear call-to-action by suggesting the next steps.

Writing a good networking inMail takes time and effort, but the benefits and opportunities that come from networking will exceed your expectations.