Have you ever sent a LinkedIn connection message, only to be met with deafening silence? We’ve all been there.
I like to think I'm always one message away from an opportunity. The secret to unlocking more meaningful connections on LinkedIn doesn't lie in sending more messages, but in sending the right ones.
In this article, I’ll share everything with you:
- LinkedIn connection message templates with good acceptance rates
- Actionable tips on how to structure a good LinkedIn connection message
- Bad LinkedIn connection message examples and red flags
Bad LinkedIn Connection Message Examples
Before showing you what to do, I’ll first share what NOT to do. I’ve made every mistake out there, including sending bad LinkedIn connection messages—and let me tell you: I’ve probably lost more deals than you can count.
So, it would be very wise to avoid the following 6 mistakes
1. Sending connection messages like these
- The message lacks substance, offering no engaging content or call to action
- There’s no mention of specific content I've created, which casts doubt on the sincerity of their interest (plus I immediately think the message is automated).
- The vague notion of 'growing together' feels like a filler, not an authentic invitation to engage.
- The mention of "similar connections" is a weak attempt at finding common ground.
- Lacks any introduction that would place us in the same professional sphere.
- The offer to help is non-specific and comes off as insincere, failing to establish a genuine rapport.
- The message jumps straight into a sales pitch, skipping the crucial step of gauging my interest or need.
- Overloaded with details, the lengthy message loses my attention before building a connection.
In summary, these types of connection messages miss the mark because they're crafted with minimal effort, lack personalization, and fail to provide a clear and engaging call to action.
2. Damaging your Social Selling Index
Think of your Social Selling Index (SSI) on LinkedIn as a health check for your networking skills. It scores you on four crucial aspects – relationship building, brand establishment, finding the right people, and engaging meaningfully – it's the yardstick measuring your social selling finesse from 0 to 100.
A higher SSI often translates to tangible benefits - like a greater likelihood of hitting sales targets and more sales opportunities.
Your SSI also puts you in a relative position against your industry peers. It's not just about scoring high; it’s about outscoring others in your field, especially if you aim to be seen as a thought leader.
3. Getting account penalties
If your messaging strategy veers toward spamming, you might face temporary or even permanent bans. If your messages are consistently reported as spam, you risk a long-term dent in your account's reputation.
4. Exceeding daily connection limits
The limits on message sending vary between free and premium LinkedIn accounts. Exceeding these limits can flag your account for spam-like behavior. For new or inactive accounts, it's crucial to gradually increase your activity.
Start with 40 LinkedIn visits and 20 connection invitations per day, and slowly ramp up. Sudden spikes in activity can alert LinkedIn to potential misuse.
5. Exceeding connection message character limit
Exceeding the LinkedIn connection message character limit (which has been reduced from 300 to 200 characters for connection requests with notes) can lead to your messages being ignored.
For free accounts, it's now more important to craft brief yet impactful messages, as the opportunity to send connection requests with notes is severely limited to 10 per month.
6. Ignoring pending connections
Regular review and withdrawal of unaccepted requests help maintain a targeted outreach strategy and are increasingly important with the new LinkedIn limits.
I've found that waiting 1-2 weeks to see if a connection request is accepted is optimal. After this period, it's usually clear if the person is interested or active. Even though LinkedIn automatically clears pending invitations after 6 months, I still feel that it’s a good idea to keep this clean if you’re actively reaching out to people.
How to remove a pending connection request:
- Access Invitations: Go to your LinkedIn homepage and click on the 'My Network' icon at the top.
- Navigate to Sent Invitations: In the 'My Network' section, find and click on 'Manage all' located near the top of the 'Invitations' section. This will take you to a page where you can see all the invitations you've sent and received.
- Withdraw Sent Invitations: Switch to the 'Sent' tab to view all the invitations you've sent. Here, you'll see a list of people to whom you've sent connection requests that haven't been accepted yet.
- Confirm Withdrawal: After clicking 'Withdraw', you may be asked to confirm your decision. Confirm it, and the invitation will be withdrawn. Remember, once withdrawn, you can't send another request to the same person for 3 weeks.
Keep in mind the little-known LinkedIn rule that prevents you from resending it to the same person for 3 weeks. This forces a more strategic approach to whom we send requests.
The Anatomy of a Good LinkedIn Connection Message
I’ve prepared a couple of different strategies and approaches I regularly use. First, we’ll cover the 4 connection strategies you can leverage and then we’ll focus our attention on the 11 LinkedIn connection message templates.
4 Strategies for Connection Messages
My favorite—No Message: Sometimes, silence speaks volumes. Especially if your profile is strong and speaks for itself, sending a connection request without a message can be a subtle yet effective approach. It’s like a nod across the room; non-intrusive but acknowledging a potential connection.
Why I like this approach:
- I appreciate the efficiency of this approach. It allows me to connect with more people in less time, especially when I’m focusing on expanding my network quickly.
- It feels natural—most genuine connections don’t start off with a formal introduction or sales letter.
- You avoid potentially messing up by saying something wrong—hence why I’ve gotten the best results with this one.
Common Ground: This is like finding a familiar face in a crowd. Highlight shared experiences, mutual connections, or common interests. It shows that you’ve done your homework and see a specific reason for connecting, which can be very compelling. It’s an essential approach for how to build connections on LinkedIn.
Why I like this approach:
- This approach creates an immediate sense of relevance. By mentioning a shared interest or connection, I've found it easier to establish a rapport.
- Messages based on common ground tend to stick in people’s minds. It feels more like starting a conversation rather than just making a request.
Compliments: Everyone appreciates genuine praise. Complimenting a recent achievement, article, or career milestone can be a great conversation starter. It’s important, though, to be sincere – a forced or generic compliment can do more harm than good.
I find adding a compliment to an already good LinkedIn connection message makes it even better.
Why I like this approach:
- It sets a positive tone for the conversation, making the recipient more receptive.
Short and sweet: A brief and to-the-point message can be refreshing. Like a well-written headline, your message should grab attention and convey your intent succinctly. This one speaks for itself.
My advice is that no method wins in every situation, the key lies in knowing when and how to apply each one effectively, based on the specific context and the audience you're targeting.
LinkedIn Connection Message Templates
Alright, let's roll up our sleeves and dive into the practical part – the real fun begins now! Get ready to click 'Send' with a smile – let's make some connections!
Template 1: Connecting on Common Ground
I see we're both into [Common Interest]. I've been experimenting with [Tactic] lately. How do you find it compared to other channels?
This template leverages shared interests to break the ice, making the initial message feel more like a conversation between peers rather than a cold outreach.
It opens the door for a more in-depth exchange, encouraging the recipient to engage more personally.
Template 2: Genuine Compliment
Just read your article on [Specific Topic] - really cool take on [What]. I'm dabbling in something similar. Ever run into [Common Challenge]?
A genuine compliment on someone's work not only flatters but also shows that you've engaged with their content thoughtfully. This approach sets a positive tone and fosters mutual respect. It also naturally leads to a discussion about shared professional interests or challenges.
Template 3: Mentioning a Common Connection
[Common Connection's Name] said you're the go-to person for [Field]. I'm poking around in this field and could use a few pointers. Any quick tips/resources you can share?
It’s one of the best-performing LinkedIn connection request templates out there. Mentioning a mutual connection provides a sense of trust and commonality. It leverages existing networks and suggests a pre-vetted credibility.
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Template 4: Connecting After a Conference
Caught your session at [Conference] - your thoughts on [Topic] were spot on. I'm working in [Industry]. [Relevant Question]?
Linking your message to a recent event like a conference creates a timely and relevant connection point. It demonstrates active involvement in your field and provides a natural starting point for discussion, based on shared experiences or interests highlighted at the event.
Template 5: Conversation Starter/Relationship Building
I'm in the trenches of [Industry] and saw you're in the same boat. Just tackled [Related Challenge]. What's been your most interesting project in this area?
Discussing common challenges in a specific industry area fosters a sense of shared experience and understanding. It's a strategy that not only builds rapport but also invites collaboration or the sharing of insights, setting the stage for a professional relationship.
Template 6: General Networking Message
I’m exploring [Industry] and noticed your work in [Project]. That’s very impressive! I’d love to hear about your recent projects or experiences.
It effectively shows your interest in the recipient’s projects or skills, making the outreach more personal and relevant. This template doesn’t require high levels of personalization and makes for an effective en-masse campaign.
Template 7: Post-Engagement Connection
Loved your take on my [Post/Article] about [Specific Topic]. Your comment on [Specific Point] got me thinking. What are your thoughts on [Area of Interest]?
Showing you value someone’s opinion is a great way to turn a simple interaction into an opportunity for deeper conversation. This approach makes the recipient feel recognized and appreciated, increasing the likelihood of a positive response.
Template 8: Shared Professional Challenge
I've been grappling with [Challenge] in [Industry] and noticed you might have faced something similar. How did you tackle it? Would love to exchange notes.
Addressing a shared professional challenge immediately creates a connection based on mutual understanding. It’s an effective way to initiate a dialogue that can lead to the exchange of valuable insights, advice, and experiences.
Template 9: Collaboration Proposal
I'm running a project on [What] and saw your recent work at [Company]. I see a unique opportunity for us to collaborate. Interested to discuss?
It demonstrates a clear understanding of the recipient’s work and suggests a synergy that could benefit both parties, making the connection highly targeted and potentially fruitful.
Template 10: Inviting to a Niche Webinar/Seminar
I noticed your interest in [Topic]. I’m hosting a webinar on [What], with [Number] people registered already. Would you be interested in joining as a speaker?
Inviting someone to a webinar or seminar that aligns with their interests is a tactful way to provide value upfront. It shows you’re not just looking to expand your network, but also to engage in meaningful knowledge exchange, making the connection more appealing and beneficial.
Template 11: Seeking Input for a Specialized Publication
I'm working on a feature for [Website] about [Topic], and your expertise in [Specific Area] would be beneficial. I want to feature you. Interested?
It flatters the recipient by valuing their expertise and offers them a platform to share their insights. I found this approach is often met with enthusiasm, as it recognizes their professional reputation and offers them visibility.
So, responses finally start flooding in. Now what?
It’s time to manage these conversations effectively.
This is where having the right tools can make a world of difference. Firstly, consider a Unified Inbox. Think of it like a command center for all your LinkedIn interactions. Instead of constantly switching between accounts, or even missing messages in different inboxes, everything is right there in front of you.
Then, there are the canned responses. This isn't about sending impersonal, robotic replies; it's about efficiency.
With well-crafted, predefined responses at your fingertips, you can maintain the warmth and personalization of your messages while significantly cutting down the time spent typing out each reply.
It's about working smarter, not harder, giving you time to research and personalize the heck out of your messages—which leads to the best results.
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The essence of crafting effective LinkedIn connection messages lies in their simplicity and authenticity. It's not about pushing a transaction; it's about genuinely striving to build relationships. Each prospect deserves that little bit of research and a personal touch.
But remember, while the templates I've shared are a great starting point, mastering LinkedIn message automation and outreach is an art. It involves adapting to unique scenarios, tweaking your approach based on context, and constantly refining your message.