A look through the comments of numerous social question-and-answer groups and websites dedicated to Lead Generation led to a decision to speak up about LinkedIn’s weekly limit of 100 Invites to Connect and the newest trend of desperately finding a way to bypass it.
In this blog, we would like to take a moment and explain why we find the growing tendency to work around LinkedIn’s restrictions not only unaligned with positive professional practice but also temporary and damaging to your LinkedIn account and business image on so many levels.
It is what it is
Any current LinkedIn user needs to make peace with several facts.
Firstly, at this point, a basic LinkedIn account gets restricted or banned pretty much for any elevated activity. By elevated activity, we intend something as little as several page views or profile searches. LinkedIn made it impossible for any basic LinkedIn user to network, let alone generate leads whether manually or by using an automation tool. So, unless you just need to exist on LinkedIn, forget about a free account.
Secondly, if you do want unlimited profile and page views and searches together with plenty of other options guaranteeing the quality of leads, you have to upgrade to Premium or Sales Navigator. These are highly desirable to salespeople for a reason.
Thirdly, LinkedIn restricted a weekly invitation limit to 100 for everyone. Therefore, don’t take it personally.
Whoever was doing things right on LinkedIn, and by that we mean marketed themselves well, targeted leads correctly, and reached out with a well-thought-of strategy was successful and will continue to be despite the newest LinkedIn restrictions.
LinkedIn just wants to stop the spammers and to reassure quality networking. And trust us, so do you.
The mystery of “Direct Invite”
The “Direct Invite” option on LinkedIn was created to connect with people you somehow know outside of LinkedIn. Therefore, it implies that you have their personal emails.
Namely, instead of finding their profile and clicking the “Connect” button, you would reach out through the following online form.
If you insert an email they are using for their LinkedIn account, they will get a notification directly in the platform. In case you use another one, they will receive the following email.
In both cases, these invites don’t fall into LinkedIn’s weekly invite limit.
How is the “Direct Invite” option being (ab)used?
Whether reaching out to your leads manually or by using an automation tool, the only (ethical) way to collect personal emails is to connect with them on LinkedIn first. That is on condition these are publicly available, of course.
If you already connected with someone on LinkedIn, then there is no need for the “Direct Invite” option. If they have a publicly available email, you will be able to see it. The only situation in which this option makes sense is if you know the lead personally and they gave you their email addresses, as mentioned before.
However, let’s say you’ve already reached your weekly invite limit of 100. Or, for any reason, your Invites to Connect are pending. Some tools are proposing the following option.
By using an Email Discovery & Verification feature or tool, you can collect your leads’ business emails even without connecting on LinkedIn first.
Once you have these, you can insert them into LinkedIn’s “Direct Invite” option and the same email from above will arrive at your lead’s business inbox.
Doesn’t seem like there is a problem, does it?
What’s wrong with the trend of “Bypassing LinkedIn Weekly Invite Limit”?
Unless sent to the email connected to their LinkedIn, your invite is useless
Let’s say you send a direct invite on LinkedIn to someone using their business email. This one is not connected with their LinkedIn profile.
That person will receive the above-posted picture.
They need to click on the “Join to view invitation” button which will take them to the LinkedIn login page. Since this is not the email they use to access the account, they will have to put in the other email and password. Once they are in, there will be no pending invitation.
The user has to go back to their email, check out your name, search you up on LinkedIn, and send a regular Invite to Connect. Basically, not only do they need to do all these actions, but they will be spending their weekly quote of the invites to connect on you.
How many people would actually do that?
So don’t get caught up in the statements of those who claim that it is as simple and straightforward as that.
Some tools use GDPR non-compliant methods
Some Lead Generation platforms claim that they can scrape personal emails on LinkedIn without them being your 1st-degree connections.
How is this possible?
These tools are storing data their users collect and therefore have a database that, when needed, share with other users.
Making available to users a stored data collected by another user is 100% GDPR non-compliant.
Have that in mind before getting in the mindset “I will do what it takes to get to that lead”.
LinkedIn will ban this option sooner or later
Just like everything else that users complained about or was threatening to jeopardize the status of LinkedIn as a legit business-oriented platform, was sooner or later removed.
LinkedIn aims to stay the place where you go with the intent of establishing meaningful relationships for your career. Now more than ever it prioritizes the quality of connections over their quantity.
We highly doubt it will tolerate this kind of limits’ abuse and alternative ways of getting to your leads that will rather annoy them than make them wish to connect.
Skylead bypasses LinkedIn, but not its limits
When we use the phrase “bypassing LinkedIn” we refer to Skylead’s multichannel outreach and the ability to find alternative paths to your lead.
Skylead’s Smart Sequences react to the user’s behavior and choose the most direct way of getting through to them.
The ability of Skylead to combine LinkedIn with Email outreach, to discover and verify business emails, to recognize if the lead’s profile is open to free InMails allows a well-rounded approach we spoke about before.
Namely, each feature Skylead has is a step in the Smart Sequence, not a separate action or something that needs to be done beforehand. Once you combine your flow, you can sit back and let Skylead think for you.
Let us demonstrate how “bypassing LinkedIn” works on a simple example.
As you may see, we start with a simple Invite to Connect.
In case the lead connects with you, the sequence will proceed with message #1, and subsequently with message #2.
If for any reason your Invite to Connect is pending for a certain period or gets denied, the sequence will proceed with discovering and verifying your lead’s business email. From there you can go ahead with cold email outreach. If Skylead doesn’t find a verified email, the sequence will follow the lead’s LinkedIn profile as a reminder that you tried to reach out.
This is a very simple Smart Sequence. Check out here how elaborate Smart Sequences can get.
Feeling a bit less frustrated with a LinkedIn weekly invite limit?
Hopefully, you do.
Have in mind that this restriction is in a way for your own good because it will make you step up your game in terms of the quality of targeting and campaigns.
And this is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
For more information on quality campaigns, book a Skylead demo call.