LinkedIn outreach is essential to any marketing strategy. Learn the best strategies to send personalized messages and grow connections.
LinkedIn outreach is an essential part of your company’s marketing strategy, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start with some of the best practices to reach your target audience and then supplement them with LinkedIn automation software like Meet Alfred.
(Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/JLj_NbvlDDo) (Image alt text: LinkedIn mobile app for networking and outreach)
When you combine these steps with the social selling tools offered in Alfred, you will find yourself with a highly effective LinkedIn strategy. From ways to improve the effectiveness of your LinkedIn direct messages to avoiding having your LinkedIn account flagged or disabled, this guide gathers the most important Alfred hacks to optimize your LinkedIn outreach, as well as general tips and best practices.
No matter the LinkedIn social selling strategies you use, your profile is one of the first things people will see. This is true whether you send a connection request or a LinkedIn private message. With that in mind, make sure that your LinkedIn profile is filled out and professional.
If you send someone a message or connection request, they will look at your profile before deciding whether to accept or respond. So, use a professional profile picture. Take some time to create a summary and headline that shows you put in some effort.
(Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/H8iW_bKwaX4) (Image alt text: A LinkedIn profile otpimized with a professional photo and job description)
You can technically increase your connection requests and use LinkedIn automation right after creating a LinkedIn profile. However, this is never recommended. It simply will not go as you hope.
Simply put, LinkedIn is likely to flag your account if you don’t warm it up first. The goal of LinkedIn automatic invitation messages is to use them in a way that seems natural. You have to follow the same strategies whether you do things manually or use automation. This means that you need to work on growing your LinkedIn profile at a reasonable pace. If you start with just one or two connection requests per day and suddenly go up to dozens or hundreds, LinkedIn will flag your account.
Between manual connection requests and automated ones via your LinkedIn automation app, aim to increase your requests on the following schedule.
As you increase the number of daily connection requests, pay attention to your account.
Specifically, pay attention to your acceptance rate before going above 50 requests per day. If the rate is less than 40%, stay at 50 requests per day (or fewer) until your acceptance rate increases.
As you warm up your account, your ultimate goal is to send about three to five requests for every 100 connections your LinkedIn already has. So, if you have 1,000 connections, you will want to send about 50 requests per day at the most.
But you shouldn’t send more than 50 to 70 requests daily, even if you have a Sales Navigator account. And only reach those limits if the acceptance rate is above 40% or more.
The above schedule assumes that you have a paid LinkedIn account. If you have a free one, cap your daily request at 30 even when you automate LinkedIn.
You need to do more than send an increasing number of connection requests to warm up your LinkedIn account. You should do the same with direct messages. Sending LinkedIn automated messages without a gradual increase is likely to get your account flagged. Remember that you still need to warm up your account even if you do everything manually.
Most accounts, including new ones, should just send 30 messages a day.
Once your account is warmed up, you can try increasing your LinkedIn auto messages to 50 to 70 a day. Just make sure to set them up to send throughout the day, not all at once.
Another aspect that LinkedIn tracks is how many searches you do per month. Note that this is per month, not per day, like the messages and connection requests.
So, how many searches can you get away with per month on LinkedIn without your account getting flagged? We suggest setting the following limits in our LinkedIn lead generation service.
While you should be aware of the daily and monthly limits outlined above, you don’t need to manage them yourself. A simple hack is to let Alfred handle it for you. The program’s algorithms detect your LinkedIn membership type and create limits for you accordingly. You still get the freedom to edit those limits, but Alfred will recommend conservative levels that will protect your account.
Learn how Meet Alfred tracks your daily limits and reply detection for you.
As mentioned earlier, a good success rate for connection requests is 40% or higher. This means that up to 60% of your requests will go unanswered or declined. You don’t want to just leave those on your profile.
This does two things. It makes it much easier to manage your profile, as you won’t have to weed through dozens of old requests.
More importantly, it helps keep LinkedIn’s attention away from your profile. On top of that, you may not be able to send more requests if you have 1,000 to 1,500 pending ones.
To clear pending requests on LinkedIn, navigate to:
How many pending requests are too many? Think of 1,000 as the absolute maximum. But realistically, try to keep it under 500.
It is good practice to cancel pending requests that are older than two weeks.
We already covered the limits to stay under when you automate LinkedIn connections and messages, but you don’t necessarily want to reach those limits. Think of them as options, not necessarily goals.
Instead of focusing on quantity, focus your efforts on quality, whether you automated LinkedIn messages or connections. The more effort you put into each connection request, the more likely it is to be expected.
Yes, you could potentially send more requests if you skip some of the other outreach hacks on this list, such as personalization. But you would likely find yourself with worse results. After all, lower-quality efforts will reduce your acceptance rate.
Remember that reaching out with a low-quality message doesn’t just hurt your current acceptance rate. It also hurts your brand’s reputation and future prospects. If you reach out to a potential connection with minimal effort, they may remember. Even if you wait a year or two to reach out again, that initial poor impression will be there, hurting your efforts.
How do you prioritize quality? Just be sure to follow the other hacks for LinkedIn outreach in this guide. Combined, they will help you create high-quality requests and messages that deliver results.
The focus on quality over quantity doesn’t just apply to your initial LinkedIn outreach efforts. It should also apply to the people that strive to connect with. One unique option is to let them make the second move.
You already made the first move when you sent a LinkedIn auto connect request. At the end of the message in the request, ask them to look at your profile and reach out if your company seems like a good fit or if they have questions.
This prevents connections from feeling as if your outreach methods are too high-pressure. It also reduces the number of private messages on LinkedIn you need to send. Use that to easily stay within the daily or monthly limits outlined above.
As a bonus, it lets you ensure that the people you actively interact with on LinkedIn are more likely to convert. Think of it as letting people pre-qualify themselves.
Of course, this strategy is not for everyone, as it does come with risks. After all, most LinkedIn automated sales, or any other sales for that matter, will require multiple points of contact.
So, consider striking a balance. Use Alfred to auto connect on LinkedIn and leave the ball in the contact’s court. If they don’t respond within a predetermined amount of time, go ahead and send a message on LinkedIn.
When striking that balance, another option is to reach out to your connections on another channel. Maybe they didn’t respond because LinkedIn isn’t their preferred method of communication. You could do this manually or use email outreach or Twitter automation tools.
Alfred lets you easily follow up on either channel. You can even create a campaign that automatically follows up across multiple channels. For example, you could start with a message on LinkedIn. Then, reach out with a Twitter DM and send an email if they still don’t respond. Maybe at this point, you decide to send another text message from LinkedIn.
(Image source: https://meetalfred.com/) (Image alt text: Using Meet Alfred to manage outreach over LinkedIn, email and Twitter.)
With Alfred, you can easily create a campaign that goes between these channels as many times as you want. This automates your ability to give the person time to respond but follow up if they don’t. As a bonus, it maximizes the chances that you will interact with the potential client on their channel of choice. That alone should increase the response rate.
Learn how multi-channel prospecting with Alfred can triple your replies.
It can be tempting to use LinkedIn marketing automation to send requests to as many people as possible. But this will hurt your acceptance rate, eat into your limits, and be a waste of time. Remember that your focus is quality, not quantity. You will have to take a few minutes to conduct your research, but it is well worth it.
In practice, this means that you should take five minutes or so between letting your automated LinkedIn profile viewer find connections and sending requests. Get in the habit of looking at your potential connections and confirming that they are right for your business. This lets you avoid targeting competitors or someone outside of your industry.
Take this a step further and include your research in your message. For example, mention something you saw on a recent blog post or on the company’s “About Us” page. Another great area of the potential client’s website to explore is case studies. This can help you understand what they do and hope to achieve. This is just one example of personalization with your LinkedIn tools and messages, which will be covered in more detail below.
The people you contact on LinkedIn will likely assume that you are using LinkedIn automation software. Part of this means expecting (and dreading) a generic message. But you can overcome this by adding personalization. With personalization, you get the advantages of the best LinkedIn automation tool, along with the level of connection and customization that you would expect from manual interactions.
Of course, you can also create new personalized messages for each connection yourself. However, that would be time-consuming.
This is crucial, as your contacts prefer personalized messages. A personal message dramatically increases the chances of receiving a response. If you send a clearly generic connection request, most people will simply ignore or decline it.
Of course, it is also worth mentioning that LinkedIn may notice if you just send everyone the same exact message. LinkedIn could then flag your account.
So, how do you get personalization along with the time savings of automation? It comes via a combination of templates and placeholders.
At the most basic level, you can personalize:
While those are the most common, the best LinkedIn software allows for even more personalization. With Alfred, for example, you can import a .csv file of your leads.
Alfred will automatically capture any extra columns in the file. You can then use that information to customize your messaging even more than you thought possible.
We mentioned templates when outlining how you should use personalization with your LinkedIn message automation tool. While it isn’t hard to find a handful of templates, it is a much bigger challenge to find a variety of options.
Alfred has more than 600 examples in its template library. With so many templates, you should be able to find one to work with your goals. As a bonus, the sheer number of templates means that you will likely find yourself using different templates than most other companies in your niche. This will help you stand out from the crowd and prevent LinkedIn from flagging your profile as spam.
But you can also completely customize a template and create your own. Alfred also lets you edit and save the templates in the library.
Use templates as a starting point, and then add customization to personalize them and boost your response rate. You will find yourself with a growing acceptance rate for your LinkedIn automatic connections, along with more responses to your messages.
As a bonus, using templates helps prevent misspellings or other typos in your messages.
The best practices of LinkedIn social selling automation change regularly. So, a template that works well at first may eventually become less effective as your connections’ expectations change. Recognize that this is a fact of marketing, and you will have to occasionally adjust your templates.
Just like you have to occasionally change your strategy with email marketing tools, be prepared to adjust your templates as necessary. This will help you adapt to a changing landscape.
Whether you use existing templates or create your own, try to keep them short and concise. The best LinkedIn sales tools will focus on text-message-length messages instead of email-length ones.
If you have more to share, turn to your email outreach tools.
Understand that if you just rely on templates and basic levels of personalization, your requests and messages won’t be opened. People will be able to instantly tell you’re using LinkedIn automation software.
This will give them the impression that connecting with them is not a priority. After all, you would have contacted them yourself instead of using your LinkedIn tools for business to do so automatically.
But you can avoid this issue with the creative use of the personalization and templates. Start by using a variety of templates, instead of focusing on one or two. Consider segmenting the people you want to contact based on hobbies, job title, or any other relevant information. This will let you send more focused templates that seem less generic. But you still get to take advantage of automation for your message on LinkedIn.
(Image source: https://meetalfred.com/features/hyper-personalised-messaging) (Creating personalized messages using Alfred LinkedIn messaging templates.)
Use the personalization feature in your LinkedIn automation software to emphasize common ground with connections you reach out to. A simple example: If a company talks about growing its business on its blog, mention this growth mindset in your connection request.
But how does this personalization work?
Segmentation can help. Think about the connections you typically reach out to and their common traits. Then, choose templates that work for those common traits or goals. Segment your connections based on which of these traits they emphasize most.
So, you could set up one template for companies focused on growth and another for companies that emphasize social responsibility.
You still get the efficiency and reduction in errors from typos with Alfred. Plus, you form more of a connection.
Discover how Alfred takes personalization to the next level, offering hyper-personalization.
When crafting the messages for your LinkedIn auto response or connection request, highlight what you can offer. This helps provide an incentive for them to respond.
Your sales outreach should mention your services and how they can help your connections reach their objectives.
Overall, you want your message to include what they will get out of the relationship. Of course, you also want to mention who your company is and why you are reaching out. But including what is in it for them is crucial.
Statistics about your company’s results are an excellent part of any LinkedIn marketing strategy. Including facts and figures proves that your company offers something valuable to the people or businesses you are reaching out to.
Don’t wait to share these statistics. Include some in your initial connection requests and messages. At the very least, including figures will encourage people to consider your request. For the best results, be as detailed as possible and include links to case studies or similar studies to back up your claims.
As with any other type of marketing interaction, the more times you interact with a LinkedIn prospect, the more likely you are to convert them. Each interaction will push them a little further along the sales funnel.
To start this approach, take full advantage of the multi-step, multi-channel campaigns already mentioned. Remember that you can spread your campaign across LinkedIn, email, and Twitter DMs and go between the channels as many times as you want.
But not all the methods of interacting with prospects rely on automation.
Take this to the next level and let prospects see you everywhere they turn on LinkedIn. Look at their feed and comment on, like, or share their content. Tag them when you share their content.
Look at the content that prospects have interacted with, from posts to groups. Then, make it a point to comment on or like the same content. It’s even better if you can be preemptive and start commenting on similar articles. Hence, the prospect sees your name regularly.
Birthdays, promotions, and job anniversaries offer the perfect opportunity to reach out to prospects without it feeling forced. You don’t even have to do this manually, as Meet Alfred’s Greetings feature will do it for you automatically.
This feature of the LinkedIn software sends customized messages for milestones. These include birthday greetings, congratulations on changing jobs, congratulations on job anniversaries, and thank yous for endorsements. Think of this feature as a way to ensure you never forget a crucial connection opportunity.
Watch a demo video to get a better feel for Greetings and other features included with Alfred.
With a program like Alfred, you can handle a great deal of your lead nurturing within a single program. But you want the option to do so outside of the platform. What if you just want to call a contact or send an email?
A LinkedIn CRM, like the one built into Alfred, makes this easy. You can just export or extract data on connections such as their phone number and email address. This lets you easily take the data you scraped from LinkedIn and use it however you need to.
(Image source: https://meetalfred.com/features/linkedin-scraper-crm-sync) (Image alt text: Using a LinkedIn scraper and CRM sync.)
LinkedIn is an excellent tool that your business cannot afford to pass up when it comes to reaching potential clients. You can find yourself boosting your revenue significantly, thanks to your outreach efforts. With the above tips in mind, you are well on your way to doing just that. From staying within LinkedIn’s rules and creating an appealing profile to making contacts feel appreciated, there are plenty of ways to enhance your LinkedIn strategy.
As you make the most of your LinkedIn outreach, get some extra help from Meet Alfred, one of the best LinkedIn tools.
Get a feel for Alfred with a demo, and then sign up for a 14-day free trial. No credit card details are required.