How to Personalize Your InMail Pitch
We’ve identified some of the best tips that any sales pro can use to write a killer pitch.
December 31, 2018
Editor's Note: Enjoy this special encore post which was one of our readers' favorites in 2018. Happy New Year!
Cold outreach is never fun. Salespeople want to avoid it, and prospects on the receiving end are always looking for a way to end the conversation. When it comes to making a strong first impression, the stakes couldn’t be higher: This first interaction with a prospect often determines the rest of your relationship.
The key is to find a way to warm up the first interaction. InMail allows you to send a message to other LinkedIn members who you’re not yet connected with, delivering this message through three distinct channels: The member’s LinkedIn inbox, their personal email inbox, and a pop-up that will display the next time they open the LinkedIn app.
Because you’re able to create multiple points of contact with the prospect, InMail is an ideal channel for directly engaging prospects who you haven’t found through a referral. Our research shows that InMails earn a 10 to 25 percent hit rate when it comes to getting a response from prospects. That’s three times higher than emails created with the exact same content. To help you achieve better response rates, we’ve identified some characteristics of successful InMails that any salesperson can use to improve their InMail ROI.
First Paragraph: Start Socially
LinkedIn is a social network, so it makes sense to lead with a social talking point. Study your prospect’s profile page to see if you can use mutual connections, experiences, or other talking points that can open the message in a friendly, engaging way. Not only will this prove that you’ve done your homework, it will also grab their attention better than an impersonal stock introduction.
Sales Navigator can be a valuable tool here, enabling you to “unlock” and view 25 LinkedIn profiles that aren’t within your network. If you’re struggling to find a natural, compelling talking point to lead off with, some subjects to consider include:
- Sports or community activities
- Similar education history
- Posts they have written on LinkedIn Longform
One of the biggest problems of cold outreach is how impersonal it feels for prospects. The more you’re able to personalize your message, the better you’ll be able to start a conversation.
Second Paragraph: Make a Quick Pitch
Once you have the prospect’s attention, cut to the chase. Briefly explain why you’ve reached out to them, and tell the prospect what you can potentially offer. LinkedIn users understand that business is routinely conducted on the platform, so they won’t be turned off that you’re using their personal profile to start a business conversation, as long as it’s relevant.
The important thing here is to make sure your message is concise and articulates the benefits and opportunities you can offer the prospect. As you write this paragraph, make sure it answers the question the prospect will ultimately ask: “What’s in it for me?”
Don’t limit yourself to focusing on the business value of your products or services. Focus on the personal value you can offer to the prospect. If the prospect thinks you can solve a problem she’s been struggling with, you’ll have an ally when you try to win over her boss.
Third Paragraph: Call Them to Action
Every InMail should close with an action, even if it’s simply providing availability for the next conversation. This is the best way to encourage a response and take your sales relationship to the next level.
Some other InMail tips we encourage when writing your message:
- Use a compelling subject line. Make it unique. You’re trying to capture attention. Reference common interests or speak directly to one of the prospect’s professional challenges.
- Make it about the prospect. Present yourself as someone who wants to make your prospect’s job easier. Build your message around their needs and their perspective.
- Start a conversation. A two-way dialogue is important. You’re not going to close a deal strictly through InMail, so it’s important to ask questions that move the conversation forward.
- Keep it short. People are busy, and the average reader’s attention span is only eight seconds. Longer messages risk losing your audience. Aim for your entire message to be 100 words or less.
When it comes to using LinkedIn to generate sales, InMail is just the tip of the iceberg. Get more tips for generating quality leads by checking out our latest eBook, the LinkedIn Selling Tactical Plan.