LinkedIn InMail: Everything You Need To Know 

LinkedIn InMail: Everything You Need To Know

LinkedIn InMail is a direct private message to or from a LinkedIn member who is not part of your network. LinkedIn members that are not part of your network can be your 2nd or 3rd-degree connections. 

The correct usage of LinkedIn InMails can increase your acceptance and response rates up to 3 times. Therefore, a well-written InMail can affect your outreach efforts. 

However, the first step towards benefiting from this LinkedIn feature is to fully understand it.

By the end of this blog, you’ll know 

  • What a LinkedIn InMail is. 
  • What a sponsored LinkedIn InMail is.
  • What types of LinkedIn InMails exist
  • How many LinkedIn InMail credits are there according to your subscription.
  • How to check your LinkedIn InMail credits according to your subscription.
  • LinkedIn InMail cost and how to purchase additional InMails.
  • Why you should send InMails on LinkedIn.
  • How to send an InMail on LinkedIn and know whether it’s free or not.

The second step is knowing to whom to send InMails, and how to write them compellingly. Check out these 13 LinkedIn InMail examples for 13 different LinkedIn scenarios with a 25% reply rate formula. These are the best practices when composing LinkedIn InMails, and offer a good starting point for writing your copy.


What is InMail on LinkedIn? 

LinkedIn InMail is a free or paid direct message on LinkedIn that can be sent to members not part of your network, contrary to a regular LinkedIn message. 

Think of it as LinkedIn’s version of an email, as InMails have a subject line and higher character limits compared to a LinkedIn connection request or a regular LinkedIn message

If you’re sending InMails from LinkedIn

InMail subject line: unlimited (recommended up to 200 characters)

InMail body copy: up to 8000 characters (recommended up to 2000 characters)

If you’re sending InMails from Sales Navigator

InMail subject line: unlimited (recommended up to 200 characters)

InMail body copy: up to 1900

If you’re sending InMails from Recruiter

InMail subject line: unlimited (recommended up to 200 characters)

InMail body copy: up to 1900

According to an official LinkedIn Learning course, InMails have an average response rate of between 18 to 25% compared to cold emails’ 3% average response rate. 

There are two types of InMails – free InMails and paid InMails.

Every LinkedIn member can set up their profiles

  • to receive both types of InMails (paid and free)
  • to receive only paid InMails
  • not to receive any type of InMails at all. 

There’s also a sponsored InMail, but you’ll see down below why we’re treating it as a separate category. 


Free InMails

Every LinkedIn subscription plan comes with 800 free InMails per month. 

Free InMails can be sent only to users who set their profile to Open profile status. This Settings option is available only to paid LinkedIn subscribers. 

On the other hand, LinkedIn users who are on LinkedIn’s basic plan can only receive paid InMails. They can reach other members via regular LinkedIn messages if connected, or via free InMails if their recipients have their profile set to Open profile status. 

This is how you set up your LinkedIn account to receive free InMails. There are two ways to do so. 

#1 Go to your home page and click the pen icon. 


Set up open profile status on LinkedIn the pen icon

Then, click on the LinkedIn Premium icon in the top left corner. 


Set up open profile status on LinkedIn the premium icon

Turn on or off the Open Profile option. 


Set up open profile status on LinkedIn open profile toggle button

Here’s option number 2 to set your LinkedIn profile to Open profile status. 


#2 Click the Me icon. Then Settings & Privacy. 


Set up open profile status on LinkedIn the premium feature option

Check out the left sidebar. Click Communications, and then Messages


Set up open profile status on LinkedIn the communications step

As you may see, you can opt out of receiving InMails overall, or just free InMails. 


Set up open profile status on LinkedIn the messages settings, allow InMails

Paid InMails

Every LinkedIn member on a paid LinkedIn subscription can send paid InMails to any LinkedIn member, but to those who opted out of receiving any type of InMail (see above). 

Every LinkedIn member can receive paid InMails, but for those who switched that option off as mentioned above. 

In the LinkedIn InMail credits section of this blog, you can check how many paid InMails your LinkedIn subscription plan has. You will also find detailed instructions on how to check InMail credits according to your plan.


What is a Sponsored InMail?

A sponsored InMail is a LinkedIn product that lets you utilize the LinkedIn Ads platform to reach specific users in bulk. 

However, unlike handcrafted InMails, you cannot choose exactly who the recipients of your sponsored InMails will be. You set up the targeting options, and let the platform do the rest. 

It is very clear for your recipients that the InMail they received is sponsored. Every sponsored InMail is clearly labeled as such. Therefore, no matter what you do, the message will be considered an advertisement.

It looks like this in your Inbox. 


Sponsored InMail example

When composing a sponsored InMail, keep in mind that the recipients cannot respond to it. They can only respond to a specific call-to-action like in the above example, so make sure you craft it well.


Linkedin InMail VS Message

(Regular) LinkedIn messages can be sent only to members who are your 1st-degree connections, that is, part of your LinkedIn network. They are free of charge, available to all LinkedIn users, and land directly in the recipient’s LinkedIn inbox.

LinkedIn InMails can be sent to members who are not part of your network, that is, your 2nd and 3rd-degree connections. They also land directly in your recipient’s LinkedIn inbox and have a subject line. 


LinkedIn InMail Credits According To Your Subscription


Free InMails

LinkedIn Premium, Sales Navigator, and Recruiter have 800 free InMails by default, whereas only Recruiter Lite has 100 free InMail credits. As you upgrade your basic LinkedIn account, these credits are available to you.

There’s no way to check how many free InMail credits you have left.  


Paid InMails 

If a LinkedIn member answers back to your InMail within 90 days for LinkedIn Premium and Sales Navigator, and within 120 for LinkedIn Recruiter plans, of the send date, you get that credit back. 

If the person doesn’t answer your InMail within 3 days, LinkedIn will send them an automatic reminder. You can get InMail credit back even if your recipient answers with LinkedIn auto-response options.  

If you are a LinkedIn Premium user, you will not be able to send another free or paid InMail until that LinkedIn user replies to your InMail. On the other hand, Sales Navigator and Recruiter users can send a follow-up InMail, and it will cost them another InMail credit. 

You can edit or delete a message that has been sent. If you delete an InMail before it receives a reply, you will not get that credit back. 

Recruiter subscribers have additional limitations. According to LinkedIn, they must keep their response rate at or above 13% on 100 or more InMail messages send within 14 days. If you send more than 100 InMail messages over a 14-day period and have a response rate of less than 13%, you’ll receive a warning notification and tips to improve your response rate.

Additionally, Recruiter subscribers can send up to 1000 InMails per day, per seat. Newly created or upgraded accounts have an InMail limit of 200 for the first calendar week. 

All of these are LinkedIn’s ways to encourage its users to make meaningful connections on the platform and to compose compelling, relevant messages when reaching out to other members. 

LinkedIn InMail credits vary by the LinkedIn subscription plan, and they cannot be transferred when changed to another LinkedIn subscription. They also renew after a different period depending on the plan. 

LinkedIn Premium and Sales Navigator InMails credits will roll over for 90 days, while all Recruiter plans’ InMail credits roll over for 120 days. The renewal of both free and paid InMails is not on the first of the month but the first day of your billing cycle.  


Downloadable PDF – Paid InMail Credits According To Your Subscription Plan


Paid InMail credits according to the subscription plan

We put the plus sign next to LinkedIn Recruiter plans because these are the only LinkedIn plan subscribers that can have additional paid InMail credits.

Recruiter Lite subscribers can purchase additional paid InMail credits, while the other 2 LinkedIn Recruiter plans can make a deal to purchase additional paid InMail credits while upgrading their plan.


How To Check LinkedIn InMail Credits According To Your Subscription

This is how you check the number of available Paid InMails for LinkedIn Premium, Sales Navigator, and Recruiter Lite users.


LinkedIn Premium

Choose Premium features


Check LinkedIn InMail credits for LinkedIn Premium, the Premium features options

Down below, you will find all details regarding the number of your remaining paid InMails.


Check LinkedIn InMail credits for LinkedIn Premium, the Recommended for you options

Sales Navigator

Click the Sales Navigator icon on your right.


Check LinkedIn InMail credits for Sales Navigator, the Sales Navigator icon

Click on your profile image, and then Settings.


Check LinkedIn InMail for Sales Navigator, Settings

These are your available paid InMail credits.


Check LinkedIn InMail credits for Sales Navigator, InMail credits

Recruiter Lite

Click on the Recruiter icon on your right.


Check LinkedIn InMail credits for Recruiter, the Recruiter icon

Click on your profile picture and then choose Product Settings.


Check LinkedIn InMail credits for Recruiter, Product Settings

Check the Usage Overview section.


Check LinkedIn InMail credits for Recruiter, Usage overview

LinkedIn InMail Cost: How To Purchase Additional InMails

Each plan has a certain number of Paid InMails included in the package (see the next section for details), but only Recruiter Lite users can purchase additional InMails. The number of LinkedIn InMails that the Recruiter Lite subscribers can purchase is also limited.

LinkedIn Premium and Sales Navigator users cannot buy any more InMails outside of what’s offered within the plan.

The cost of each additional LinkedIn InMail is around $10, but it varies on your geographic area.

If you wish to purchase more InMails, here is how you do it. 

Click the Recruiter icon. 


How to purchase additional InMails, LinkedIn Recruiter, the Recruiter icon

On the right, click on your profile picture and then choose Product Settings


How to purchase additional InMails, LinkedIn Recruiter, Product Settings

Check out the “Purchase monthly InMails Credits” section. The cost depends on your area. In the case of a Recruiter Lite, you can buy 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, or 70 additional InMails.


How to purchase additional InMails, LinkedIn Recruiter, Manage Account

You can choose to purchase the set of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, or 70 InMail credits. 


How to purchase additional InMails, LinkedIn Recruiter, purchase InMails

LinkedIn InMails For Better Outreach Results   

Use LinkedIn InMails as the last resource to connect with busy decision makers and your 3rd-degree connections. 

Just think about it. 

Busy decision-makers get tons of regular LinkedIn messages and connection requests daily. On the other hand, you have no LinkedIn members in common with your 3rd-degree connections. Therefore, the chances of your connection request getting rejected are higher than usual. 

Unlike other social media, LinkedIn still cares a lot about who you are connecting with and how. It encourages you to have a concrete reason to reach out to another LinkedIn member and makes you think twice about how to approach them. 

In our Sales E-Book, available for free download, you’ll get examples of multichannel outreach sequences and tactics where we used InMail as the last resource to reach leads. You will also find authentic and ready-to-use templates for each step of the sequence that our Sales Team used to level up Skylead and grow from 2500 to 10 000+ users in 9 months. 


image of skylead's sales e-book


How to send an InMail on LinkedIn? 

There are two ways to send an InMail on LinkedIn: 

#1 Navigate to the profile of a LinkedIn member you would like to send an InMail to. 

Click Message


How to send LinkedIn InMail?

If this LinkedIn member didn’t set their profile to Open profile status, you will see how many InMail credits you have left in the bottom right corner. 


Paid InMail example

If the LinkedIn member has their profile set to Open profile status and can receive free InMails, it will say Free message in the bottom right corner.


Free InMail example

#2 You can do the same from your LinkedIn Inbox. Click Messaging.  


How to send LinkedIn InMail, option 2

Then Create a New Message


How to send LinkedIn InMail, option 2, step 2

Type in the name of the lead. You will get a drop-down menu from which you can choose. In case you pick a LinkedIn member that is not part of your network, LinkedIn will automatically redirect you to send them an InMail. 

The message box will look the same as above indicating whether the InMail you’re sending is a free or a paid one. 


How To Put InMails On Auto-Pilot To Reach Leads Faster

Skylead is a LinkedIn automation and cold email outreach software that helps you reach your leads in the fastest and most effective possible way. 

How? 

Skylead’s Smart Sequences allow you to combine all elements of LinkedIn outreach with email outreach, providing, among other things, all the necessary information for successful lead generation, such as, for example, discovering and verifying your lead’s business and personal email addresses.  

When talking about Skylead’s Smart Sequences and InMails as a LinkedIn feature, the main benefits lie in the algorithm being able to recognize whether a lead has set its profile to Open profile status or not and decide for your whether to use a paid or free InMail credit to reach them out. 

All you need to do is move the toggle button to the right and allow Skylead to use paid InMail credits as well. 


Paid InMails Skylead

Here’s an example of Skylead’s Smart Sequence, AI-powered algorithms that choose the best and shortest possible path to your lead by following the instructions you previously set, where InMail is used as the last resource to reach out to leads. 


Smart Sequence, Skylead

How does a Smart Sequence work? 

When the sequence arrives at the If has verified email by the platform step, it will do 2 things. If the lead has a verified email address, the sequence will proceed and send a regular email message. If the lead doesn’t have a verified email, it will first check if your lead has set their profile to Open profile status or if they can receive only paid InMails. Once that has been established, it will proceed with a paid or free InMail depending on your lead’s profile status and your remaining paid or free InMail credits. 

When you’re composing an InMail in Skylead, know that Skylead gives you the character limit estimated to be optimal to get the lead to open your InMail and respond.

Subject line for InMails in Skylead (variables included): up to 200 characters 

Body copy for InMails in Skylead (variables included): up to 1850 characters


Summary 

Despite its limited monthly allotment, LinkedIn InMail is a highly effective LinkedIn feature that can boost your acceptance and response rates, and ensure quality connections on the platform. 

Furthermore, it motivates you to write compelling messages, and do your research before personalizing your InMails, all of which leads to higher chances of closing the deal as well. 

Bare in mind, also, that LinkedIn members with the all-star profile status grow their networks faster and therefore, have more credibility on the platform. 

Going back to LinkedIn InMails, it is important to understand this LinkedIn feature, and know when, how, and to whom to send them to make the most out of it. If you want to put your InMails and outreach overall on autopilot, test our Skylead for free for 7 days, and see how it can speed up your outreach processes in a few clicks.

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LinkedIn InMail: Everything You Need To Know 
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