In today’s digital world, building connections and generating leads can feel like navigating a crowded online space. Imagine you’re a sales representative on a mission to land a game-changing client, a business owner seeking strategic partnerships, a marketer aiming to expand brand reach, or a recruiter scouting top-notch candidates. While traditional networking methods still hold value, platforms like LinkedIn offer a powerful tool for targeted outreach. But how do you break the ice and get them to engage? This is where the power of cold messaging on LinkedIn comes in. 

It’s not just about sending a message; it’s about crafting the perfect pitch that resonates with your audience, fosters trust, and drives results. This comprehensive guide will equip you with the strategies you need to craft effective cold messages on LinkedIn, from defining your ideal audience to crafting messages that resonate and get responses. With this guide, you’ll be well on your way to turning cold connections into warm relationships and, ultimately, driving business growth.

What is Cold Messaging on LinkedIn?

Cold messaging on LinkedIn involves reaching out to individuals you haven’t connected with before to build relationships, explore potential business opportunities, or offer valuable insights. It’s a targeted approach that leverages the vast professional network LinkedIn offers, allowing you to connect with decision-makers, generate leads, and ultimately drive sales or achieve your recruitment goals.

Why Should You Be Cold Messaging on LinkedIn?

The numbers speak for themselves. According to Leadfeeder, LinkedIn is the number one source of high-quality leads for B2B companies. A study by Sales Hacker revealed that personalised cold emails on LinkedIn have a 25.7% open rate, compared to just 17.4% for generic emails. That’s a significant difference that can translate into real results for your business.

Cold messaging on LinkedIn offers a direct and personalised way to engage with potential leads, bypassing the noise of traditional advertising and email campaigns. According to recent statistics, personalised messages are 75% more likely to be opened and generate six times higher transaction rates. With LinkedIn being the world’s largest professional network, boasting over 800 million members, the potential for connecting with key stakeholders in your industry is unparalleled.

How to Cold Message on LinkedIn Successfully (Strategy)

Here’s a breakdown of the six key steps involved in crafting a successful cold message strategy on LinkedIn:

  1. Define Your Ideal Prospect: Before crafting messages, take the time to understand your ideal client profile. Who are you trying to reach? What are their challenges and goals? By honing in on your target audience, you can personalise your outreach and increase engagement.
  2. Research and Connect: Utilise advanced search options on LinkedIn to find individuals who fit your ideal profile. Research their background, company, and recent activity to find common ground for personalisation. 
  3. Craft a Compelling Message: Start with a personalised greeting and a brief introduction highlighting mutual connections or shared interests. Clearly articulate the value you bring to the table, and end with a call to action that encourages further engagement.
  4. Be Concise and Respectful: Keep your message concise and to the point, respecting the recipient’s time and attention. Avoid generic templates and sales pitches; instead, focus on building a genuine connection.
  5. Follow Up Strategically: Don’t be discouraged if you don’t receive an immediate response. Follow up with a polite reminder or additional information that reinforces your value proposition.
  6. Track and Analyse Your Results: Use LinkedIn’s built-in analytics tools to track the performance of your messages and iterate on your approach. Pay attention to open rates, response rates, and conversion rates to refine your messaging strategy over time. Your automation partner can further help you with insights to optimize your campaigns.

How to Message Someone on LinkedIn (the Basics)

Connect and Send a Message: This is the most common and recommended approach, especially for those with free LinkedIn accounts.

  • Find their profile: Search for the person’s name and company on LinkedIn.
  • Send a connection request: Click the “Connect” button on their profile.
  • Don’t leave the message box blank: Briefly introduce yourself, explain why you’d like to connect, and mention a shared connection (if applicable).

Once connected, initiate your message with a friendly greeting using their first name. Briefly mention how you came across their profile and what caught your attention. Be sure to keep it professional and relevant to the recipient’s interests.

Get our guide on 100+ LinkedIn message templates that convert here!

How to Send Messages to People Outside of Your Connections

Use InMail (Premium Feature): LinkedIn offers a premium service called InMail that allows you to message individuals even if you’re not connected. However, InMail credits are limited, so use them strategically. Consider offering valuable content, such as an industry report or an insightful article, in exchange for their time and a chance to discuss your offering.

  • Upgrade to a Premium Account: You’ll need a LinkedIn Premium subscription (like Sales Navigator) to access InMail credits.
  • Find their profile: Locate the person’s profile on LinkedIn.
  • Click “Message” (it might be labelled “InMail”): Look for a button labelled “Message” or “InMail” on their profile.
  • Compose your message: Similar to a regular message, personalise your message and explain why you’re reaching out.

How to Get Responses from Cold Messaging on LinkedIn

Getting responses from cold messaging on LinkedIn requires a combination of strategy, persistence, and a value proposition. Focus on building rapport, providing relevant insights, and offering solutions to your prospect’s pain points. Here are some key strategies to increase your response rate:

  • Personalisation is Key: People respond better to messages that feel genuine. Research the recipient’s profile and tailor your message to their specific interests or recent activity.
  • Focus on Value, Not Just Sales: Don’t bombard them with a sales pitch right away. Instead, highlight the value you can bring to their role or their company.
  • Keep it Short and Sweet: People are busy. Aim for concise messages that are easy to read and understand.
  • End with a Call to Action: Clearly state what your desired next step is – whether it’s a call, a meeting, or a visit to your website.

How to Create a LinkedIn Template

Crafting a LinkedIn template requires careful consideration of your target audience, messaging objectives, and brand voice. While templates can be helpful for streamlining your outreach, remember that they should be a starting point for personalisation. You want to be personalised without being creepy, informative without being salesy, and engaging enough to elicit a response. Download our guide with 100+ cold LinkedIn message templates.

Also, include your LinkedIn Message in a Multichannel Sequence. Don’t rely solely on cold messages. Integrate LinkedIn outreach with other channels like email and social media to create a multi-touch marketing campaign, and don’t forget to keep your messaging and brand voice consistent across different mediums. This increases the chances of getting noticed, builds more trust, and fosters a more holistic brand experience.

Read here: How to Implement Multichannel Outreach for Beginners

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cold Messaging on LinkedIn

While crafting a compelling message is crucial, avoiding common pitfalls is equally important. Here are some missteps to steer clear of:

  • Sending Generic Messages: Avoid generic salutations like “Dear Sir/Madam” or impersonal greetings. Research the recipient’s name and use it!
  • Excessive Self-Promotion: Focus on the value you can provide to the recipient, not just your product or service.
  • Grammatical Errors and Typos: Proofread your message carefully! A single typo can scream unprofessionalism.
  • Unrealistic Expectations: Don’t expect immediate responses or high conversion rates. Be patient and persistent.
  • Being Pushy: Avoid forceful language or high-pressure sales tactics. Let the conversation flow naturally.
  • Neglecting Follow-Up: Don’t be afraid to follow up with a polite reminder or additional information if you don’t receive a response initially. Persistence pays off in the world of cold messaging.
  • Ignoring Analytics: Use LinkedIn’s analytics tools to track the performance of your messages and identify areas for improvement. Pay attention to open rates, response rates, and conversion rates to refine your approach over time.

10 Things You Should Do Before You Start Cold Messaging on LinkedIn

Ready to jump into cold messaging? Hold on a second! LinkedIn has limits in place to prevent spam. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know:

  • Start Slow: Don’t blast messages right away. Engage with the platform for a while to establish activity.
  • Warm Up Your Account: Like, comment, and share on LinkedIn to gradually increase your activity level.
  • Connection Request Limits: The exact number fluctuates, but it’s generally safe to send around 20 invites per day.
  • Withdrawing Connection Requests: Go to the sent connection requests page and click “Withdraw” next to the request you want to cancel.
  • Daily Message Limits: Similar to connection requests, there’s no set limit, but sending excessive messages can raise red flags. Focus on quality over quantity.
  • Automation Tools: Use with caution! Excessive automation can violate LinkedIn’s terms and get you banned.
  • Cold Messaging on LinkedIn: Absolutely! It’s a powerful tool. Just follow best practices and avoid spamming.
  • LinkedIn Search Limits: There’s no official limit, but focus on targeted searches to avoid triggering restrictions.
  • Is Premium Worth It? For advanced features like InMail credits (messaging unconnected profiles) and increased search filters, Premium can be valuable.
  • Premium Perks: Premium offers features like InMail credits, advanced search filters, seeing who viewed your profile, and sending connection notes.


Play by the rules, personalize your messages, and focus on building relationships. By following these tips, you’ll navigate LinkedIn’s limits and maximize your chances of success.

By following these steps and best practices outlined earlier, you can craft a winning cold messaging strategy on LinkedIn. Remember, it’s about building relationships, providing value, and establishing yourself as a trusted advisor in your field. So, are you ready to connect with the right people on LinkedIn and take your outreach efforts to the next level?

Boost Your Lead Generation Efforts

It’s important to remember that cold messaging should be part of a multi-channel outreach strategy. Consider integrating LinkedIn outreach with email and social media for maximum impact. Tools like Salesflow can help with LinkedIn automation and multi-channel outreach. Start a free trial today!