Generating leads from LinkedIn starts with growing your network. And the key to a larger network? Snappy, compelling LinkedIn connection messages that give prospects almost no choice but to accept your connection invite. 

At Salesflow, we’ve created a list of 10 unique templates you can use in a variety of different scenarios to grow your network and reach more prospects. This guide will walk you through the best practices for sending LinkedIn connection requests, give you templates for each type of connection request, and show you some quick ways to get more out of the platform using our LinkedIn automation software.  

What Are LinkedIn Connection Messages?

Connection messages are small notes you can send to prospective members of your LinkedIn network, stating why they should accept your invitation.  

When you click ‘connect’ with an individual, you’ll receive a message asking if you want to send a note as well. 

LinkedIn connection request option to add a message

Click ‘add note’ and you’ll see the screen for including a LinkedIn connection message. 

LinkedIn connection message form

These messages have a limit of 300 characters, so you’ll have to keep your note to 2-3 sentences maximum. However, they’re a great way to build warm connections and show prospects you’ve actually taken the time to determine you’re reaching out for relevant reasons. 

If connection messages are too short, there are other ways of prospecting. Users with LinkedIn Sales Navigator accounts can also send LinkedIn InMails, and there are always Groups and Events campaigns. 

Why Do LinkedIn Connection Messages Matter?

Growing your LinkedIn network starts with sending a connection request. For cold outreach, they’re the first impression a user gets of you and your personal brand

In person, we have mere milliseconds to make a good first impression. Online, it’s not that different. Busy decision-makers, CEOs, and high-level executives won’t have time for more than a momentary glance at your connection message before making a decision to accept, ignore, or leave it pending forever. 

To increase your odds of a positive response, you need to quickly cut to the chase and prove your value as an addition to their network. 

The key to doing so? A LinkedIn connection message that’s warm, specific, and personal. Here are the things to remember to create connection messages that get accepted.

5 Dos and Don’ts for LinkedIn Connection Requests

Obviously, the basics include proper grammar and formatting. But there is more work to do to create connections people will approve. The following five do’s and don’ts give your message the best chance of success.

1. Be Direct

As society bombards us with more and more information, we’re less inclined to absorb it. Just like in person, you don’t have long to grab people’s attention. So be direct and make your words count. 

With LinkedIn connection messages, that decision is made for you: you have just 300 characters to make an impression.

2. Share Information

The world’s most complimentary and engaging message may not lead to a connection if you tell the invitee nothing about yourself. After all, why would someone connect if they don’t know anything about you?

Sharing one tidbit of information about yourself helps contextualize your message, and makes you seem like a worthwhile connection. Even just your job title, field, or the city you’re working in helps potential connections paint a picture of you in their mind.

3. Don’t Promote Products or Services – Yet

Even a well-constructed connection message can get dismissed if it looks like an advert. In the long run, your focus is lead generation. But right now, it’s networking.

Once a connection and rapport have been established, you can work on turning them into a customer. In your first message, stick to emphasizing how adding you to their network will give a prospect value. Maybe it’s sharing insights, commiserating about industry trends, or keeping up with their career progress. Show you’re a real human, who cares about your prospect beyond their sales potential, and you’ll reduce the chance of your message being ignored.

4. Don’t Send a Generic Message

If your message can be copied and pasted into every connection request you make, it won’t work. Why?

People can tell.

Much like a cover letter for a job application, people know when a message wasn’t written specifically for them. Inserting their name isn’t enough to personalize it.

Instead, mention something specific about their company, their work history, or why you want to connect with them. Using a LinkedIn automation tool like Salesflow, you can add personalization tokens for name, company, job title, and location – or customize blank tokens for any other use case. 

Salesflow LinkedIn automation personalization tokens
The right customization tokens will help you get results.

5. Have a Reason to Connect

Common ground makes a connection request much more likely to be accepted. What is the reason you are reaching out to this person? Whatever it is, mention it in your message to give them some context to the invitation.

This doesn’t limit your network to people you already know. Here’s a list of common ground ideas that can help you find potential contacts, and motivate them to connect with you:

  • Did you study the same major?
  • Do you live in the same area?
  • Do you work in the same field?
  • Have you been following their work?
  • Are they connected to one of your existing connections?
  • Did they comment on or like one of your posts?
  • Did they comment on or like a post that you also interacted with?
  • Did they comment on or like a post related to your field?

Even if you can only answer yes to one of these questions, that point of connection will go a long way toward getting your LinkedIn message requests accepted. 

10 LinkedIn Connection Request Templates For Every Occasion

Now that we have the basics of LinkedIn messaging out of the way, it’s time to get down to business and craft some awesome connection requests. 

Here are 10 scenario-specific templates you can use for your own LinkedIn outreach to generate more leads.

1. Shared Industry

Hi {Prospect’s Name},

I see we both work in {industry}. I’m a {your job title} at {your company} and believe we work on similar projects – would be great to connect and swap insights!

{your name}

2. Met at a Networking Event

Hi {Prospect’s Name},

Great speaking to you at {event} last week – your thoughts on {topic} were really insightful! 

Thought we should connect here so I can keep up with your work at {company}. 

{your name}

3. Recently Posted

Hi {Prospect’s Name},

I saw your comment on {x person’s} post, it was so insightful. I hadn’t thought of it that way before! 

I’m a digital marketer that works with B2B businesses like {your company}. Would love to connect and learn more about your work. 

{Your Name}

4. Share a Mutual Connection

Hi {Prospect’s Name},

I noticed we both have {x person} as a mutual connection – aren’t they the best? 

It’d be great to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn. Any connection of {x person} is clearly doing interesting work!

{your name}.

5. Fan of Their Work

Hi {Prospect’s Name},

I’ve been following your content for a while now – I was particularly impressed by your recent piece on {topic}, I shared it with my whole network!

Would love to stay up to date with your output by connecting.

{your name}.

6. Share a Group

Hi {Prospect’s Name},

I see you’re also a member of the LinkedIn group {group name} – does that mean you’re interested in {relevant topic}? 

It’d be great to connect and share insights we’ve seen at {your company} directly.

{your name}.

7. Attended the Same Event

Hi {Prospect’s Name},

Saw you also attended {event}. What did you think of {topic/speaker}? 

Would be great to touch base and learn how you’re doing similar work at {company}.

{your name}.

8. Industry Leader

Hi {Prospect’s Name},

I’ve been following your output for a while now and I’m still getting so much value, so thank you!

I’d love to connect and stay up to date with your industry insights on LinkedIn. 

{your name}.

9. Alumni of the Same College

Hi {Prospect’s Name},

Always great to come across a fellow {college/university} alumni! Has it changed much since {time you were there?}. 

Would be awesome to connect and keep up with another {college/uni} grad’s career.

{your name}

10. Live in the Same Area

Hi {Prospect’s Name},

I noticed you’re also based in {area}. How do you like {local attraction, custom or weather}? 

I’m a {your job} that works with {business type}. Would love to connect and keep up to date with the awesome work you’re doing at {their company}. 

{your name}.

Should You Ever Send a Blank Connection Request? 

Generally, it’s always best to optimize your chances of acceptance by sending a message – and not just any message, but one that’s been carefully thought out, like the examples above. 

Even when it’s obvious how you know someone, for example when you know them in real life, you’ll strengthen your connection by sending a personalized note. 

Another benefit of sending a message is that, when a prospect accepts your connection request, it’ll automatically start a LinkedIn conversation with them. It increases your visibility and their chances of replying.  

However, you’ll need to weigh up the time spent crafting messages against the improvements you see in acceptance and response rates. One way to do so is by using a LinkedIn automation solution like Salesflow to speed up the process of sending messages and track results for different campaigns. That will let you experiment and A/B test different campaign strategies to see what gets your company the best results. 

How to Improve Your Acceptance Rate For LinkedIn Connection Messages

What if you and your prospective connection have no reason to connect? No shared connections, no mutual fields, no previous interaction. How can you still motivate strangers to connect with you?

There are a couple of best practices that will improve your chance of getting results, no matter how warm or cold your outreach:

  • Show You’re a Real Person. Engage with your community through posts, comments, likes, and even publishing occasional articles. When prospective connections check out who you are, they’ll see you’re a valuable, active connection to add to their network.
  • Optimize your LinkedIn profile. When someone doesn’t know you, they’ll generally take a cursory look at your LinkedIn profile to decide whether it’s worth connecting. Make your proposition irresistible with a relevant profile picture and banner image, a summary that outlines your value proposition, and a profile that’s filled with details. Want to go the extra mile? Learn how to turn your LinkedIn profile into an inbound lead funnel
  • Use LinkedIn Automation. Speed up your outreach and access sophisticated features like personalization tokens and the ability to run multiple outreach campaigns at once. All that time you save can be spent crafting more effective messages that convert leads. 
Salesflow analytics dashboard.

The Lead Generation Shortcut

It takes effort to send messages that resonate every time. But that process can be streamlined with LinkedIn automation that removes all the hard labor.

Connection messages, follow-ups, and LinkedIn campaigns can all be handled by Salesflow’s automation system while maintaining a personalized feel.

You can create different cadences for each campaign type or prospect list, allowing for easier personalization without compromising on speed and scale.

Salesflow LinkedIn campaign types
Four different campaign types help you reach more prospects. 

Our templates function lets you save standardized best-practice connection request messages with personalization tokens for each user. Send them as-is to reach more prospects, or take the time to tweak them for each individual and see the difference it makes to your results.

Salesflow LinkedIn connection message templates
Create message templates for any occasion.

On average, users save 4-6 minutes per lead using Salesflow’s software — time that can be spent analyzing results and honing your outreach strategy instead.

Check out our ROI calculator to see how much of a difference automation software could make to your business.

Generate More Leads From Your LinkedIn Connection Requests

Forming the perfect LinkedIn connection messages is possible, but it takes a little effort – effort which eats into your time. 

That’s why automation tools are essential for anyone trying to make a significant amount of B2B connections. 

Over 6,000 agencies, sales teams, and startups have worked with Salesflow to optimize their lead generation strategies. We’ve helped companies save 50 hours per week and achieve up to a 20x ROI. And the numbers just keep growing.

Try us out for yourself with 7 days for free – no card required.