To grab a prospect’s attention, it’s critical you use the right LinkedIn outreach templates. Nailing that first message can make or break a quarter’s worth of prospecting efforts.
Yet messages aren’t sent in a vacuum. (Or, if they are, it’s likely your sales strategy won’t take you very far). Effective LinkedIn outreach works by building messages on top of each other into compelling outreach cadences. These series of messages, generally 3-8 touchpoints in length, work on prospects over a length of time to persuade them of their need for your brand.
If messages can be a challenge, cadences take that even further. Not only does each message have to land, but information has to be drip-fed to your audience in the precise order to make them engage.
To help you get it right, we’ve used the insights from our sales, business development, and done-for-you campaign experts to create a series of plug-and-play templates for the following campaign types.
- New connection campaigns (connection request + follow-ups)
Connection request cadences are the standard way to generate leads on LinkedIn. By sending a connection request, you can invite other platform members to join your LinkedIn network. If they accept, they become first-degree connections and you can message each other directly on the platform.
Although LinkedIn limits the number of connection requests members can send per week, these are still the most common way to reach out to other users. Once connected, there are no limits on the number of follow-up messages you can send to those in your personal network. And any users that follow you will get frequent updates on your posts, activity, and updates.
The true value of these cadence types is in the follow-up messages. Generally, that’s where you’ll warm up and ultimately convert your leads. To help you create a campaign that converts, we’ve put together this basic 5-step cadence you can tweak for your business needs.
Connection request templates
Although the real value of connecting lies in the follow-up, you won’t be able to directly message a lead until they accept your initial invitation. With a limit of 300 characters for each connection request invite, that means the pressure is on to grow your network. To help you get the best results, we’ve included multiple options for connection request templates. Try each out for yourself and choose whichever gets the best results for your audience.
As you plan ahead for the next quarter at [company], are you looking to add [service you provide/service your product makes possible]? I’d love to connect and see if my company could help with [initiative].
Do you currently offer [service] at [their company]? I’d love to connect and give you more info on how you can [benefit from your offering or service].
Are you facing issues with [pain points your product can solve] at [their company]? I’d love to connect and explore how we could support with [service you offer].
You can load up your entire connection request cadence into a LinkedIn automation tool like Salesflow at the very beginning of your campaign. However, only users that connect will receive the follow-up messages below.
Thanks for connecting. I wanted to reach out as we both [point of connection], and your role as [job title] stood out to me.
At [your company], we [service offer] for [company type] like [their company]. If you’re facing issues with [core pain point], we can help with:
[tangible benefit 1]
[tangible benefit 2]
[tangible benefit 3]
Would you be up for a quick call to discuss further?
Follow-up 1 (alternative option)
Thanks for connecting. Can I assume you’re either already [situation you can help with] or anticipate this shortly?
My company, [your company name], [core value proposition]. We help companies like [their company] [most beneficial feature/outcome for this buyer persona].
Would you be interested in discussing further on a quick call?
All the best,
If you’re struggling with [pain point], [your company] can [core benefit for this buyer persona] with [process/ease of use benefit].
We recently worked with [similar company] to:
- [core statistics and social proof to show evidence of success]
I’d love to discuss further on a quick call – when would work best this week?
Hope you’re keeping well.
Just wanted to check in and see if you’ve given any thought to using [your company] to [your key service]?
I understand you’re likely very busy at [company] – but [quick line about how your service can help them gain that time back].
Worth a quick call to discuss?
Since I’ve not heard from you since we connected, I assume that [service you offer] isn’t top of mind at [company] right now.
If that’s not the case and you’re just super busy, is there anyone else in your department I should get in touch with?
Best practices for your LinkedIn outreach templates
Check you’ve followed all of the points below:
- Include at least two follow-ups, but no more than four in two weeks.
- Leave a day or two between each follow-up. The gap between outreach should increase as you get further into your cadence.
- Keep the first connection message short and simple. You can even experiment with not sending a connection message and compare results.
- The first follow-up message after a user accepts a connection request should be the longest. It should also explain what you offer.
- After the first message, alternate additional stats and social proof with short, one or two line messages that act as prompts.
- InMail campaigns
When sending LinkedIn InMails, your cadences will likely only have one step. That’s because InMails work differently from other campaign types. Users have to reply to an InMail to continue the conversation. Plus, unless you’re using an Open InMails campaign, each message costs a precious InMail credit.
Nonetheless, InMails are a fantastic way to capture the attention of unresponsive leads. Unlike connection requests, they’re not restricted to 300 characters, so they’re great for messages that require more detail. They also don’t require a user to connect with you to talk: perfect for leads that rarely add others to their LinkedIn network.
Because InMail cadences are necessarily short, we find companies that mix InMail campaigns with other cadence formats that have multiple touchpoints get the best results. That requires splitting your prospect list across different campaign types.
To decide on the split, you could pull out important decision makers and experiment with sending them more in-depth, tailored messages via InMail. Then, you could add a larger selection of leads to either a new connection or a shared group campaign. For the best results, remember to A/B test your strategy and pick the approach that resonates most with your audience.
Here’s a standard LinkedIn InMail template you can use as the basis of your outreach:
N.B. Since you’re sending an InMail message, you’ll need to include a subject line. Think of it as being exactly like an email. Here’s a basic InMail subject line template you can tweak for your own purposes:
Subject: [Your service] for [benefit your service offers]
Subject: [Your service] to [overcome pain point]
Hope you’re well. I wanted to reach out as I see you’re responsible for [job title] at [company name].
At [your company], we [what you do for accounts like [their company]]. If you’re facing issues with [pain point], we can:
- [tangible benefit #1]
- [tangible benefit #2]
- [tangible benefit #3]
Would you have time this week for a quick call to discuss your needs?
Best practices for InMail outreach templates
To get the best results, follow this checklist:
- Keep your InMail under 1200 characters
- Include statistics and social proof to back up your claims where possible
- Include a call to action in your final sentence (and make sure it’s obvious to prospects what action to take)
- Break your message up with bullet points to emphasize core messages and improve comprehension
Check out our complete guide to LinkedIn InMail best practices for more pointers on improving your response rates.
Should you follow up?
If one InMail isn’t enough and you want to follow up with a promising lead, you might have to run this as a new separate cadence. Consider whether another InMail message makes the most sense compared to a connection request campaign.
If you decide to send a second InMail, keep it short. Aim to check-in rather than offer a big sales pitch. Here’s a template you can use:
Hope you’re well. How are you getting on with [pain point] at [their company]?
I really believe [your solution] can help you [tangible benefit that will help them overcome the issue], for all the reasons mentioned above. Let me know if you’re interested in discussing this further?
Remember, if a user clicks ‘not interested’, you shouldn’t follow up (and you won’t be able to message them about your original InMail anyway). Second attempts should only be used on those that haven’t responded.
Also, consider the likelihood that these prospects will engage if you message them a second time. InMail credits are limited (except for Open InMail campaigns), and you don’t want to waste them.
- Groups & Events campaign templates
Groups and Events cadences are campaigns you can send to LinkedIn members who are part of the same group as you or who have attended the same event.
They’re ideal ways to conduct outreach as they don’t come with the message restrictions seen in InMail and connection request campaigns.
Sending these cadences requires a little upfront legwork. Namely, you’ll have to join relevant LinkedIn groups and events before you can conduct outreach. Once you’re in, you can copy and paste the following sequence to prospects to scale your lead generation.
Template 1 (first message)
Dear [first name],
I hope you’re doing well. I wanted to reach out as we’re both [part of the same group/attending the same event] and your role as [job title] stood out to me.
At [your company], we [what you do] for accounts like [their company]. If you’re facing issues with [pain point], we can help with:
Would you have time for a quick call this week to discuss your needs?
Template 2 (follow-up 1)
Dear [first name],
I wanted to follow up as I’m keen to help [their company] with any [pain point] issues that might be impacting you.
At [your company], our [product/service] is designed to [benefit for companies like their company]. We have [features that support the benefit] and even offer [best feature that supports the benefit].
When would work for a quick call about your needs?
Template 3 (follow-up 2)
Dear [first name],
Just following up on the above. Are you open to exploring how [your product/service] could help you [most impressive benefit, ideally with tangible stat/result]? If so, when would be a good time for us to connect?
All the best,
Template 4 (final follow-up)
Dear [first name],
I understand you’re probably very busy and might not have had time to consider our [service/product], so I wanted to quickly follow up on the above.
Would you have time this week for a quick call to discuss how we can help [company]?
Alternatively, if there’s someone you recommend speaking to instead, I’d be happy to follow up with a colleague!
If you just don’t have a need right now, do feel free to reach out in the future. I’m always happy to discuss requirements.
All the best,
Best practices for Groups and Events outreach templates
- Wait a few days between your first message and your follow-up.
- Wait about a week between the first follow-up and the second, and about two weeks between the second follow-up and the third.
- Try to focus on attracting more leads rather than messaging the same leads too often. (This is why we recommend a maximum of four outreach attempts in one go per each type of cadence).
- Try to alternate longer messages with shorter follow-ups to maximize the chance a lead will actually read your outreach.
Implement winning LinkedIn outreach templates
LinkedIn outreach messages don’t have to be a source of stress. With the templates above as a starting point, you’ll soon be on your way to campaigns that convert leads.
Once you’re ready to give them a go, try Salesflow. Our LinkedIn lead generation software lets you upload all your campaign templates in one go, then add prospects for winning results that scale.
Try us today for free with a 7-day trial (no credit card required).