First impressions last forever. And when you’re connecting with people on LinkedIn, that first impression is your connection request. This is how you approach people on this professional network, and you can think of it as your digital handshake.
If you send great connection requests, you’ll be able to grow your network in a much more effective way. If you don’t, not as many people will accept your connection requests, and you risk giving them the wrong impression.
Despite being an important success factor on LinkedIn, most people don’t give their connection requests much attention. Considering what good connection requests can provide, this should be a top priority for you.
Keep in mind that having a low acceptance rate for your connection requests could get your account banned. So, if you want to build a strong network on LinkedIn and reap the benefits, you should follow these connection requests best practices:
1. Start a conversation – LinkedIn connection request
Getting straight to the connection request is what most people do on LinkedIn. You see someone you want to connect with, and you just send them a connection request. No message, no proper introduction, nothing. Some people also use the placeholder text for the message, which is even worse.
In addition to having this spammy feeling to it, this approach is not good for building a useful network on LinkedIn. Before you send a connection request to someone, try chatting with them first to make sure they know who you are.
You can do that if you have a Premium LinkedIn account. After introducing yourself, you can then follow up with the connection request.
If you can’t do that, make sure your request message is something more than “I want to connect with you on LinkedIn.” Not only are people much more likely to accept your connection request then, but they’ll also remember who you are. Even if they accept a “cold request” you sent them, you’ll most likely end up as another “forgotten contact.”
2. Use well-written messages
You don’t need to be a professional writer to send LinkedIn messages that follow writing best practices. And by “best practices,” we don’t mean grammar and punctuation. These are important, of course, but that’s not what we’re talking here. The best practices that we are referring to are related to how you make your message more appealing.
Based on results from thousands of LinkedIn messages, there are message templates that are proven to work. Instead of reinventing the wheel, you can use our LinkedIn message templates to improve the acceptance rate of your connection requests.
All you have to do is download the free e-book, choose the template that works best for your target connections, and fill in their info. Best part? You can automate this entire process using a tool like SalesFlow.
3. Personalize your messages
Nobody likes receiving a message that sounds too generic. And the same goes for the people you want to connect with on LinkedIn. Even when you’re using one of our high-converting templates, it won’t work if you’re sending generic messages.
If you’re sending the connection requests manually, try learning more about your customers to make the messages sound more personal. If you want to scale this process, you can use SalesFlow to personalize your outreach messages based on predefined criteria.
The only situation where those generic connection request messages are okay is if you’re standing in front of the person you’re sending the invitation request to. Other than that, personalize your messages as much as possible.
4. Remember the connection request limits
Many people don’t know that LinkedIn has a limit for the number of connection requests that a user can send per day. Despite sounding trivial, the daily request limit is something you take into consideration.
According to LinkedIn, sending too many connection requests can get your account banned. How many is too many? They don’t say. If you want to stay on the safe side though, we recommend your daily connection requests don’t exceed 2-5% of your total connections.
5. Withdraw unanswered requests
Reviewing and withdrawing unanswered requests is essential for establishing a strong presence on LinkedIn. Unless you withdraw those unanswered requests, people will keep receiving email reminders to accept them. And that is very annoying.
By withdrawing your unanswered requests, you give yourself a chance to re-approach those people with the right message at the right time.
When people are not accepting your requests, that signals to LinkedIn that your profile is spammy. Withdrawing your unanswered requests also makes your profile look less spammy to LinkedIn, and lowers the chances of you getting banned.
Your connection yourself is the first impression people get about you on LinkedIn. And first impressions are as important there as they are in real life. Not only do good connection requests increase your request approval rates, but they also help you build more meaningful relationships.
While the process of sending and managing your connection requests on LinkedIn requires a lot of work when you do it manually, it’s much easier when you automate it. Instead of wasting hours upon hours of work to get this right, you can set it and forget it with a tool like SalesFlow.