Why Your LinkedIn InMail template doesn’t earn response (and how to fix it)

By Jeff Molander

 

linkedin inmail templates

Time to read: 3 minutes. Most LinkedIn InMail templates and InMail examples I’ve found DO NOT WORK. Here is a fast, painless way to get more sales-focused conversations going using InMail, Group email or regular email messages. I’ll show you how to get prospects so curious they cannot resist responding—asking questions.

Success is all about applying copywriting techniques that create irresistible curiosity in you. Below is a better template to get started.

Why most InMail templates fail

The problem with most LinkedIn InMail templates is they:

  1. Accidentally communicate “sales pitch ahead” and “me-me-me” to the recipient.
  2. Are more than 3-4 sentences—saying too much, too fast.
  3. Ask for the meeting or call. (this is a big mistake)

Most InMails say too much too fast. They also use the word “I” too much. They’re not brief, blunt and basic.

It’s such a turn-off when dating—when the other person gives you too much information, too fast. It’s even more so with email.

Asking for the appointment in an InMail is also common. However, it sabotages your chances of getting a reply. Don’t do it!

Bye the way, I offer an InMail Writing Clinic that let’s you watch me improve messages for volunteer “guinea pigs.” Otherwise, let’s continue with a quick tip that gets more response.

Do this right now: Remove the “I”s

Here’s a quick way to fix your under-performing InMail template. Count the I’s and remove as many as possible.

I admit, not using a bunch of “I”s seems obvious. Yet you’ll find “I”s all over the place—in LinkedIn templates that struggle to (or claim to be) successful. Take a look—right now—at your InMail templates.

Be sure to:

  • avoid starting messages with an “I”
  • remove the other I’s too… and reduce references to “we” and “our”
  • avoid saying “I came across your profile on LinkedIn and noticed” (this earns instant deletion)

You can do this right now with your existing InMail templates.  Or when done crafting an email or LinkedIn InMail template go back and see if you can pluck “I”s out of it.

Below you’ll find the best InMail template examples I’ve found. They are simply the best because they’re EFFECTIVE.

A Common InMail template that fails

Do your LinkedIn InMail templates focus on the recipient? You might think so. But those doggone “I”s will sabotage you every time!

Here’s an example from my inbox, with the details obfuscated to protect the innocent! Notice how many I’s appear:

I noticed we have some groups in common, and I wanted to reach out to you personally. I am getting ready to launch a fresh and an exciting new social media network “XXX” with a blogging 2.0 platform at it’s center, and I wanted to extend an invitation to you to be a pioneer. 

XXX.com will be the world’s first multi-dimensional/multi-topic blogging engine built for the mobile future. We have out invented everyone and have built something compelling. You can find our competitive comparison chart at [link]

We would love for you to be part of our innovation and be among the first to establish a presence and benefit from that advantage.

You can sign up for early access at:
www.XXX.com

Why it fails

  1. Having a common group is a horrible way to try to shoe-horn into someone’s inbox. It’s common but in-effective.
  2. All your prospect sees are those doggone “I’s” jumping off the screen. I this, I that. They don’t care about you.
  3. “I wanted to reach out to you personally” is wasted time and space. It will earn the delete key every time. The sender already knows you want to email—because you just did email!
  4. WOW. Look at all the I’s here!
  5. This message is not brief, blunt and basic. It talks too much about the sender, and takes too long to get to the point.

Instead, let’s try …

“Are you doing everything possible to distribute tips and earn leads in return, Jeff?

Your article on blogging to generate B2B leads mentions a strategy most sellers don’t realize: Using a copywriting technique to spark curiosity—leading to inquiries. You are clearly a leader in this area.

Are you open to considering a private invitation to the world’s first blog of its kind? We use an unusual but effective way to present blog posts and meta information to Google.

Please let me know what you decide?

Thanks for considering, Jeff”

This improved version serves you better by:

  1. Taking the focus off of you and placing it on the other side (notice the salutation and close uses the buyer’s name).
  2. Asking for a decision to be made.
    – The addition of a question mark at the end asks the reader to decide. Clearly. You can’t miss it.
    – Adding “Let me know what you decide?” politely but firmly asks for a decision to be made.
    – Do NOT use the phrase, “Let me know if you are interested?” Use the word DECIDE. Because that’s what people do with emails—decide what to do with them.
  3. Creating interest in what your next steps might be by not saying too much too fast.
    – Not bragging, positioning, boasting or in any way trying to impress the other side.
    – Not revealing any details about why this opportunity is so remarkably fantastic.
    – Instead, make the claim it’s “one of a kind” (unusual) and trigger the question, “how so?” from the reader.

Want to learn this technique, step-by-step? I offer an InMail Writing Clinic that let’s you watch me tune-up messages for folks. Maybe you?

Why & how it works

This approach makes your target curious about those next steps. In fact, the above InMail example suggests, “delete or ignore this message and you’ll never know how I can help you!”

It forces the recipient to understand—not responding comes at the cost of not knowing.

Don’t forget this element in your LinkedIn InMail template! If you overlook it, you are literally telling the prospect “ignoring me costs you nothing.”

By using this technique you’re sparking a recipient’s curiosity AND exposing a cost—that of never knowing—if they ignore you!

Saying, “when I hear from you I will…” shows the prospect you’re willing to invest in them, right now. It’s a promise and everyone like’s promises.

SUBJECT LINE TIP: My best, most effective subject line remains, “Let’s decide.” Why? Because it makes the recipient wonder “decide on what?” (creates curiosity) and suggests “this is an ACTION-oriented email.”

Make sense? Feel free to steal my most effective InMail subject line!

BONUS TIP: Customers are rarely compelled by suggestions. “Please accept my request to stay connected” is a suggestion—not a firm request. Be bold and specific about WHY you want the prospect to connect.

Ask them to decide (in a way they want to act on)

Your recipient is like you: selfish. We all are. It’s human nature. When people show up in our inbox we say to ourselves:

  1. “Who is this? (is it spam)
  2. What do they want?
  3. How long will this take?”

Make it easy and urgent for your customer to respond. Ask for the response. Make it crystal clear. But ask for the response in a way that makes it clear—“I’m in tune with your world.”

Start writing in ways that focus on the answers, solutions, better ways … whatever it is they want to hear AND act on.

Want help applying this technique, step-by-step? I offer an InMail Writing Clinic.

Making effective Group connection requests

The below connection request InMail example is being passed around the Web as a “best practice” … but it’s a sure-fire way to get ignored. Watch out!

Hi _________ (first name),
As a member of the _________ (LinkedIn group) group, I wanted to introduce myself. I’m _______________(title or background) with _______________ (company) and wanted to connect with area professionals. If you are not open to connecting, please ignore this invite. Thanks!

Where to begin with this one, eh? It’s terribly self-centered. Topping-it-off we invite the prospect to ignore us! Woah.

Hey, being polite is a great idea. But do yourself a favor. Be polite without inviting someone to ignore you!

So let’s apply our new habit: Tallying-up the “I”s before we press send. Then, decreasing the “I”s to increase response and generate focused conversations more effectively.

Let’s re-write the above LinkedIn InMail example as:

Hi _________ (first name),
We both participate in the ____________ group and should know each other because ____________ (insert specific, mutual benefit). How can my network of colleagues help advance your ambitions or bring you closer to goals? Thanks for considering the connection. I look forward to helping and hearing from you.

This improved version serves you better by:

  1. Emphasizing the other person by removing most of the “I”s.
  2. Giving the recipient a reason to act. You’re clearly stating “the WHY.”
  3. “Bringing to life” an appealing idea: making your LinkedIn network available to advance their agenda.
  4. Creating interest. By asking a question we compel the recipient to consider answering. By asking the question we encourage the thought, “gee, how can this person’s network serve me right now?”
  5. Being polite without inviting deletion and increasing response.

You increase the chance of response by saying, “thanks for considering.” This affirms the prospect’s right to choose.

This technique is a copywriter’s secret weapon.

It’s highly successful because it dis-arms the other person. You are no longer a pushy person; instead, a breath of fresh-air!

Warning: Avoid this mistake!

I see it all the time and it’s the kiss of death:

“I ran across your profile on LinkedIn and…”

You may believe in serendipity but your prospects think they are special. And ya know what? They ARE special! So please don’t accidentally tell them, “I’m meeting you randomly, without having done much homework.”

Instead, show the prospect they’re special. Don’t just say it, show it. Prove to them,

“I’m on a mission, I’ve done my homework and I have something for you that you probably need … let’s decide if I’m right, quickly.”

Then show them how you did your homework. Prove it. Use the above technique to do so.

“I ran across your profile on LinkedIn…” is commonly used and, yes, it’s how we tend to speak. It’s a natural sounding phrase. But if you want exceptional results with LinkedIn you’ll need exceptional habits. Get in the habit of using words to your advantage!

“I ran across your profile on LinkedIn…” contains a double-whammy.

  • Your prospect probably doesn’t care how you found them. (this is wasted space in an email!)
  • It makes you look un-focused (are you bumping around LinkedIn or focused on them like a laser?)

Instead, try:

“Your recent Twitter tweet venting frustration about _____ gave me pause. You are right to be concerned about ___________. Would you like help relieving that pain? Are you interested in a potential solution?”

This signals and SHOWS, you’ve done your homework … this meeting is not by chance … confirms a nagging belief that is troubling the prospect … offers a remedy for the pain. Short, to the point and focused.

Good luck! Let me know how these LinkedIn email templates “fixes” work for you.

Photo credit: marsmet473a

 

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About your coach

Jeff Molander is the authority on starting sales conversations online. He teaches a proven, effective and repeatable communications process to spark buyers curiosity about what you're selling. He's a sought-after sales prospecting trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe. Jeff also serves as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with technology platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.

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