Looking for leads? Ever heard of LinkedIn prospecting? It’s about time you do!

If we know that LinkedIn is the largest professional social media network in the world, with a staggering 1 billion users, of whom 65 million are decision-makers, then it’s safe to say that it is a place to be for prospecting. Our complete guide on LinkedIn prospecting will cover:

What is LinkedIn prospecting? 

By definition, LinkedIn Prospecting is the practice where salespeople and recruiters leverage LinkedIn as a part of their social selling activity to identify and engage with potential customers among platform members. Their goal is to build professional relationships and offer products or services that best meet their needs.

What does LinkedIn prospecting mean? 

LinkedIn is a professional network ideal for B2B (business-to-business) interactions, where salespeople can find and nurture potential business clients. It’s all about identifying the right target audience and fostering relationships with them, using the platform's features to manage the entire process.

But how does it work? LinkedIn helps you spot new prospects by providing insights into members' job titles, company information, and some personal information—key data for your outreach. Look at your prospect's LinkedIn profile as a gold mine of information, crucial for deciding if they're a fit for your product so you can plan and personalize messages and follow-ups.

Before reaching out, we believe that studying your prospect's profile is essential. Connecting is only the start; understanding how your product can help them and genuinely caring about their business is what can keep the conversation going. This process is gradual and involves patience, thoroughness, and constant optimization.

Now that you’ve found and studied your target audience, we get to initial contact. Cold outreach on LinkedIn involves contacting potential clients you haven't met before, aiming to pitch your product or service. But it's not just about the pitch; it's about building relationships and understanding their needs.

Remember: LinkedIn prospecting isn't a one-size-fits-all formula. It's complex, demands a solid strategy, and depends on many factors. But there's a reason LinkedIn is a top pick for social selling and online prospecting, as you’ll come to learn while you go through this blog.

Why LinkedIn prospecting? 

LinkedIn differs from other social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter because it's focused on B2B relationships. It's a one-stop shop for finding business contacts. Plus, it supports both prospecting and lead generation.

We need to clarify something: Prospecting and lead generation are not the same. Prospecting is about identifying and nurturing potential customers, while lead generation attracts and converts customer interest. A prospect is a qualified contact, whereas a lead is unqualified.

In recent years, the pandemic shifted these activities to the online world. This was when social selling became a thing - the practice of using social media to find and build relationships with prospects to meet sales goals. LinkedIn, being a professional, B2B-focused platform, has thus gained more advantages for social selling, as it supports all stages of the sales process.

However, success on LinkedIn isn't easy. Sales teams face the challenge of identifying the right business contacts among many, and decision-makers on LinkedIn are flooded with LinkedIn connection requests, regular messages, and InMails. But don’t worry! There are strategies to stand out and connect effectively with potential clients, which we will cover later in this blog.

Image of CTA banner 2 for watching Skylead - LinkedIn automation and cold email software demo

How to get started with LinkedIn prospecting? 

1. Define your Ideal Customer Profile & Buyer Persona 

An ideal customer is someone who will benefit from the product or service on many levels and has also shown interest in it. In marketing and sales, we call that a qualified prospect

Defining your ideal prospects helps focus your sales and marketing on the most promising leads. In B2B, this means understanding the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) for target companies and the Buyer Persona for their decision-makers or a person who will use your product. 

Knowing these details improves how you identify and approach them on LinkedIn, making your social selling more effective while saving time in future outreach efforts. In fact, our Head of Sales, Andrea, says that if you define your ICP and Buyer Persona right away and you do it correctly, you won’t waste time on bad results. 

Let’s go over them. 👇

Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) describes companies that benefit most from your product or service. These companies typically have:

Buyer Persona is a detailed profile of your ideal customer, encompassing behavioral, demographic, firmographic, and psychographic traits. This persona represents someone who:

Note: Each company that fits your ICP can have one or more than one Buyer Persona for you to target. In short, ICP represents the company profile, while the Buyer Persona focuses on the particular type of person’s profile within that company.

2. Find potential customers 

Once you’ve defined your Ideal Customer Profile and Buyer Persona, it’s time to find them on LinkedIn. You can use LinkedIn to understand their pain points and keep all communication in one convenient place, from initial contact to follow-ups.

But that’s not all LinkedIn does. It encourages a series of behaviors through certain features that we can use to find ideal prospects and build B2B relationships.

  1. LinkedIn allows networking among the members attending the same LinkedIn event despite some members not being connected. 
  2. LinkedIn awards posting relevant content by giving these members greater exposure on the platform. 
  3. LinkedIn gives you options to join LinkedIn groups of your interest. Use Sales Navigator to target members of a LinkedIn group.
  4. Reach busy decision-makers through paid and free LinkedIn InMails 
  5. You can use numerous filters to find your ideal prospects. 

You will find strategies on how to effectively find more prospects later in the blog.

Image of CTA banner 2 for Skylead salesbook - ready-to-use outreach template that can be applied to our LinkedIn automation and cold email software

3. Structure your campaign 

Effective LinkedIn connections go beyond just sending requests to users matching your Buyer Persona. It involves a detailed outreach plan, including:

We know, it’s a lot to keep track of: conversations, relationship stages, and buyer's journey positions for multiple prospects. This is why we recommend you use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software for your LinkedIn leads. It organizes customer data and streamlines lifecycle processes, replacing countless spreadsheets and documents.

4. Reach out & follow up

Once your LinkedIn outreach campaign is structured, start connecting with potential customers. Remember, first impressions matter in social selling. Look at it like this: your profile is your business card; members will take a peek and focus on your profile picture, cover photo, LinkedIn headline, and LinkedIn summary.

An all-star-status profile increases views and connections due to higher search visibility. When reaching out, ensure every message, whether a connection request or InMail, is personalized, showing you've researched the recipient and leaving room for conversation.

Set up your LinkedIn profile compete guide banner with text: Earn the LinkedIn all-star status

Follow-ups are key in outreach. Not all potential customers will be immediately responsive, especially busy decision-makers with a ton of requests. Be persistent but also recognize when to pause with outreach and wait for a better opportunity to re-engage. Also, be sure to try templates.

5. Automate your LinkedIn outreach 

We’ve come to our favorite part: outreach automation. ✨
LinkedIn automation tools can be the secret ingredient to your business success. With these powerful tools, you can streamline almost all outreach tasks, such as:

Automation tools save time, allowing more focus on crafting sales messages and closing deals. When it comes to the type of automation, cloud-based automation is the way to go. They are safer and can operate independently of your computer, unlike Chrome extensions or desktop apps, which can lead to account bans and you ending up in LinkedIn jail.

The good news is that advanced tools like Skylead use smart algorithms for efficient prospecting and add cold email outreach to the LinkedIn outreach equation. By offering multichannel outreach, a Smart sequence builder, hyper-personalization, and an email discovery & verification feature, Skylead gives its users safety, efficiency, and the ultimate outreach experience. 

6. Combine cold emailing with your LinkedIn outreach 

A cold email is an unsolicited email that is sent to your prospect without prior contact as part of your cold outreach strategy. It could also be defined as the written equivalent of cold calling. Cold email outreach, just like LinkedIn outreach, aims to make contact with prospects and build professional relationships for the sake of sales as an end goal. 

Since sales processes moved mostly online, the combination of LinkedIn outreach and cold emailing has given the best results. From our experience, we believe that combining LinkedIn with cold email outreach will increase your chances of getting to your desired prospects and converting them. Pavle, our sales executive, used a multichannel sequence to reach a 35% reply rate.

The 18 most effective LinkedIn prospecting strategies

As promised, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to, and now we present the 18 most effective LinkedIn prospecting strategies that are likely to bring qualified prospects for your business. Let’s review the list.

1. Use the Boolean search to narrow down your prospects

LinkedIn Boolean search allows you to combine words and phrases using the Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT to limit, broaden, or define your lead generation target. Both LinkedIn and Sales Navigator filters support this type of search. 

Keep in mind that the Boolean search can help you focus your prospecting efforts on ideal potential customers of a niche market that works best for your business. 

2. Target LinkedIn event attendees 

Event Attendees on LinkedIn, Event example

LinkedIn event attendees might not all be connected, but what connects them is what your sales pitch might be. To target prospects at LinkedIn events, focus on events your ideal audience attends. This approach not only groups them in one place but also offers insights into their needs and perspectives, which you can use to get to know them better and connect.

3. Use LinkedIn groups for prospecting

Yes, we know. Most of the LinkedIn groups are dead. However, their members are still there, despite being inactive, gathered around a common interest. This is why targeting LinkedIn groups for LinkedIn prospecting is recommended. 

However, if some of these communities are active, make sure you take time and genuinely engage with them. Ask questions, offer advice, share your experience, and answer and comment on posts. Aside from high-quality prospects, you might gain valuable insights into your Buyer Persona’s problems and needs. 

Remember: LinkedIn allows you to send a direct LinkedIn message to each group member without being connected to them. This is how you find groups of your interest. 👇

Option 1 - LinkedIn basic and Premium users 

#1 Run a blank search or enter a keyword in the LinkedIn search engine. Use other available filters if needed.

Find LinkedIn groups on LinkedIn

#2 Choose your ideal LinkedIn group and click “Request to Join.”   

Request to join LinkedIn group

#3 Once you get accepted, this is where you find the list of members - or your prospect list. 😉 

See LinkedIn group members

Option 2 - Sales Navigator filters: Group filter  

You can find members of different LinkedIn groups through Sales Navigator filters. Unlike other LinkedIn users, you can narrow down LinkedIn group members further to fit your search criteria even better by applying other filters.

#1 Open Lead Filters

#2 Scroll down to the “Groups” filter. Put in a keyword or the exact name of the LinkedIn group. 

Sales Navigator filters group filter

#3 Sales Navigator will suggest other similar groups. 

Suggested groups, group filters, Sales Navigator filters

Note: Once you’ve chosen LinkedIn groups of interest, use other Sales Navigator filters to narrow your search results. 

4. Take full advantage of free & paid InMails 

LinkedIn InMail message 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.

If you’re not yet connected with your prospect, you can still send them messages, and this is where InMails comes in. Make sure to combine both free and paid InMails for a more effective outreach. However, our experience has shown that it is more effective to use InMails as the last step of the sequence in outreach if LinkedIn and email combined do not give results.

5. The People Also Viewed feature 

As you may know, the LinkedIn People Also Viewed feature displays a list of LinkedIn members that the platform’s algorithm found important for your LinkedIn experience, whether you are using the platform for networking, job search, or lead generation. Use the algorithm to your advantage and better target your audience.

6. The People You May Know feature 

Unlike the People Also Viewed feature, People You May Know suggests LinkedIn members for you to connect with based on commonalities between you and those LinkedIn members. 

LinkedIn recommends members who may have shared connections have similar profile information (experiences, company name, company size, industry, or attended the same school). You will see these profiles on the right rail of your LinkedIn profile.

People you may know section LinkedIn

Leveraging mutual connections on LinkedIn is a strategic way to grow your network and connect with potential prospects. Mentioning a common connection can go a long way. It boosts acceptance rates, overall trust and helps build new professional relationships.

Note: Keep in mind that the better your LinkedIn profile is optimized, the more accurately algorithms will suggest members that fit your prospecting preferences.

7. Check your prospects’ Contact Info 

We’ve already said that your prospects’ profile acts as a business card. Contact info sections usually contain everything you need to know to reach out. It’s available only for your 1st-degree connections.

“Contact info” can contain your prospects’ business email, private email, phone number, company website, and LinkedIn profile URL. However, not all of this information has to be filled out.

Here’s an example 👇

Contact info, Relja

In this case, we see our lead’s business email, company website, and even phone number.

LinkedIn contact info

Some LinkedIn automation tools, such as Skylead, collect this publicly available information for you. All you need to do is move the toggle button to the right before creating your sequence. Skylead will collect all of your prospects' publicly available data and allow you to use it at any moment.

Skylead collect contact info section

8. Follow job changes on your feed

If your 1st-degree connection changes jobs, you will get a notification. 🔔

Follow job changes on feed, notifications

It will show up in your feed as well. If your 2nd-degree connection changes jobs and the mutual connection reacts to it or posts a comment, you will also see it in your LinkedIn feed.

New job alert on LinkedIn feed

Regular updates on job changes are crucial for the LinkedIn prospecting process because a member's new job title may align with your ideal prospect profile. Additionally, leads in new decision-making roles are often more receptive to sales pitches, so you can use this moment to introduce your product/service to them.

9. The new job position alert

Setting job alerts for specific positions in companies is a long-term LinkedIn prospecting strategy. You'll get notifications about new openings, indicating company growth, investment in departments, or increased demand for their products or services. You can use these signals as an intro for your outreach efforts. 

Seems convenient? This is how you set the New Job Position alert on LinkedIn 👇

#1 Write the job position or a keyword you wish to get altered for in the search bar. Then, click “Jobs.” Let’s say you are interested in the “Sales Manager” position opening.

Set up a job alert

#2 Set up the location (mandatory) first. Then, use any other filter under the “All Filters” option that will get you as close to your ICP as possible.

Set up a job alert filtering options

#3 Finally, turn the alert on.

Set up job alert alert on

However, if you have a list of companies you would like to set alerts for, you can manually insert them here. This way, you will create job alerts for those companies only.

Set up new job alert companies

#4 Once you’ve set everything, turn the alert on and receive alerts for multiple companies or a single alert for multiple companies.

10. Target specific job openings

This hack involves searching for job openings and functions, listing companies in a spreadsheet, and contacting decision-makers. It targets current job openings, unlike the long-term strategy of setting alerts and waiting, which offers immediate search results to work with.

This is how you find leads by targeting specific job openings 👇

#1 Put the keyword in the LinkedIn search engine. For example, search for a “Sales Manager”. Set all filters to get as close as possible to your ICP. 

Target specific job openings

#2 Manually add each company (or handpick your target companies) into a spreadsheet. Then, find decision-makers within these companies and outreach away! ✨

11. Target your competitor’s network

Targeting your competitor’s network on LinkedIn can be an effective prospecting hack, as their connections are likely qualified leads already interested in similar products or services. To put this hack into practice, you have to connect with competitors, as it applies only to your 1st-degree connections.

Option 1 - Go to your competitor’s LinkedIn profile and find their connection list 

#1 Go to your competitor’s profile and click on their connection list.

Image of how to target your competitor's network

#2 Once you click, you will be able to filter your leads further. You can then handpick them or copy-paste the link of your final search result to a LinkedIn automation tool, such as Skylead.

Filter your competitor's network

Option 2 - Search for your competitor’s connections through LinkedIn filters 

#1 Type a keyword into the search bar or run a blank search. Click “All filters”.

Find your competitor's connections through LinkedIn filters

#2 Scroll down to the “Connections Of” filter. You can target one competitor or multiple competitors’ connections. Filter your search results by using other LinkedIn filters. 

Connections of filter

12. Reach out to people who endorsed your competitor or ICP

Keep in mind that people often connect with those similar to themselves in lead generation. Explore the "Skills" section on LinkedIn profiles, both yours and your competitors', to find potential leads through shared connections and endorsements.

#1 Scroll all the way down your potential prospect’s profile.

LinkedIn skills section endorsements

#2 As you may see, there’s a total number of people who endorsed your prospect for a certain skill. LinkedIn automatically shows only those who are categorized as “highly skilled.” 

Note: When you have many connections that endorse you for a particular skill, LinkedIn marks you as “highly skilled.” Click on the link as marked above. 

This is how it looks 👇

Skills section on LinkedIn highly skilled section

You can target everyone from the list or just the individuals marked as “highly skilled.” They are most likely to be from the same industry or use the services of your prospect.

Note: From our 5-year experience in the market, we found that endorsing someone on LinkedIn doesn’t have the same weight as writing a recommendation. The LinkedIn members you find through the Recommendations section are more likely to be high-quality prospects.

13. Target leads who wrote or received a recommendation

As mentioned above, checking the recommendation section of a prospect's LinkedIn profile is a smart move. It reveals members who have written or received recommendations, along with their names, current titles, and relationship to your prospect. This provides immediate insight into their business connections.

Let’s look at an example 👇

Recommendations section on LinkedIn

You can check out both your prospect’s recommendations and the ones your prospect wrote for others. 

Recommendation section - received and given

When leaving recommendations, you need to specify the type of business relationships you had with that LinkedIn member, as well as the position you held at the moment. 

Recommendation section - relationship

Note: The type of relationship will be displayed together with your recommendation. 

Recommendation section - position at the time

14. Target members who commented or reacted to your ideal prospect's LinkedIn post

For LinkedIn prospecting, only target posts relevant to your business and engaged by members that fit your Buyer Persona. Focus on posts from your industry, similar businesses, or those shared by people targeting or engaging your Buyer persona.

Here are two ways to find a LinkedIn post ideal for prospecting.

Option 1 - Find a LinkedIn member whose posts you want to target 

#1 Scroll down through their profile and check out the “Activity” section. Click “See all activity.”

Followers list in Activity on LinkedIn

#2 Click “Posts” to see only content posted by that LinkedIn member. 

Image of how to see all posts of LinkedIn users

#3 Choose a post that you want to target. If you are doing outreach manually, click here to see who reacted and commented on this particular post. 

LinkedIn post engagement

#4 If you’re using a LinkedIn automation tool, this is where you copy a link to a post. 

Note: The majority of LinkedIn automation tools can target only members who reacted (not commented) to a certain post. 

Copy link to post - LinkedIn content

Option 2 - Find a LinkedIn post by using LinkedIn filters 

#1 Use LinkedIn's search bar to find posts containing your keyword that interest your ideal prospects. 

Find a LinkedIn post via filtering options

#2 Filter your posts further if necessary. 

Filtering options LinkedIn content

#3 Collect prospects either manually or by using a LinkedIn automation tool.

15. Reach out to people who reacted or commented on your post

Using LinkedIn content for prospecting allows you to create tailored posts, articles, or LinkedIn polls to attract qualified prospects. Engage with them by asking questions, starting discussions, or teasing about new releases, and then identify potential leads manually or with a LinkedIn automation tool.

16. Check your company’s LinkedIn page followers 

Running out of places to look for prospects? Why not target individuals who follow your LinkedIn company page but don't use your services or products? They might be in related industries, seeking information, exploring options, or staying updated just in case they need you someday. The best way to understand their interest is by reaching out to them. 

Option 1 - Check out your company page as an admin 

Step #1 You need to be your LinkedIn company page admin to see the list of your followers. 

Skylead Page followers, LinkedIn

This is how the follower list looks like 👇

All followers, LinkedIn

Option 2 - Sales Navigator spotlights filters: Leads that follow your company page

Step #1 Go to Sales Navigator Filters. Click “Lead Filters”.

Sales Navigator leads

Step #2 Choose the “Spotlight” filter. Click on “Leads that follow your company on LinkedIn”. You can use other filters to narrow down your search results.

Spotlights filters - following your company

17. Check out the Who’s Viewed Your Profile feature

People view your LinkedIn profile for various reasons. You appeared:

This indicates potential interest and a good sales rep will take any signal and turn it into a valid reason to reach out. Now go try it out!

This is where you can see who viewed your profile on LinkedIn. 👇

Option 1 - Check your notifications

Who's viewed your profile notifications

Option 2 - Check out the Analytics section

The LinkedIn Analytics section is right below the section with your profile picture, name, headline, and other info. 

Step #1 Find the “Analytics” section.

Analytics section LinkedIn

Step #2 Check out who viewed your profile. 

You’ll find the list of LinkedIn members who viewed your profile. You can use the available filters to narrow down your list.

Who's viewed your profile filtering options

Interesting Viewers is a category of profile views that LinkedIn's algorithm assumes you'd be most interested in talking to. Aside from that, LinkedIn will categorize certain contacts according to their company, industry, occupation, etc. This can be useful for LinkedIn prospecting.

18. Activate the Bell feature 

Did you know you can get notified if your prospect makes an action on their LinkedIn profile? If you activate the Bell feature, you won’t miss an opportunity to talk to your prospects, plus you can learn about their pain points and use that for your outreach messages. How to get the bell to ring? Follow the steps below 👇

Step #1 Go to your prospect’s LinkedIn profile. If you are not connected, click the “Follow” button first, and then turn the bell on. If they are your 1st-degree connection, just click the “Bell” button.

Activate the bell feature on LinkedIn

Step #2 You’ll get a notification each time your lead publishes something. It looks like this.

The bell feature notifications

LinkedIn prospecting: Top 3 tools to use

Now, when it comes to LinkedIn prospecting, strategies are good, but what if we told you some tools could help speed up the process? Before we get into the examples, let’s review some basic knowledge about LinkedIn automation tools.

What you need to know is that automation tools come in many shapes and sizes, but their type is what needs to be one of the first things to look at. We have three types of automation tools:

  1. Browser extensions - Browser-based LinkedIn tools need an extension download to work. To use them, all you need to do is open LinkedIn and activate the extension. The tricky part is that it is less safe to use because it injects a code into LinkedIn, making it noticeable to LinkedIn’s algorithms that search and ban suspicious, non-human behavior.
  2. Desktop apps - Desktop-based tools require a PC download to work. They act like desktop apps, and they need to work in the background at all times for the automation to happen. Apart from that, all data is stored on your computer. However, you can’t turn your PC off if you want it to work, and it is detectable by LinkedIn, so it’s a safety concern right away.
  3. Cloud-based - Finally, cloud-based tools use a dedicated IP address that serves as a proxy and shields from all automated activity, so LinkedIn won’t notice the automation happening. Your data is stored in a cloud, which makes it even more safe, and it also runs even when your computer is off.

So, when picking a tool, it’s easy to conclude that cloud-based is the way to go! Now let’s look at the tools 👇

1. Skylead

Skylead interface screenshot

As we’ve mentioned a bit earlier, Skylead is a LinkedIn automation and cold email software, and since prospecting comprises of two parts, finding and nurturing the clients, our tool will help with the outreach and nurturing part.

The LinkedIn automation solution helps you automate LinkedIn action and email. Plus, by using Image & GIF personalization, you can personalize all messages in a follow-up sequence, not just the initial one.

Lastly, our first-to-market Smart sequences help combine LinkedIn with unlimited email automation, thus covering all user behavior actions and reaching prospects one way or the other. Remember - multichannel sequences are the future of outreach!

Smart sequence example

2. LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Sales Navigator interface screenshot

Sales Navigator is LinkedIn’s premium platform created for B2B sales and marketing professionals to prospect and generate leads for their businesses. Every Sales Navigator feature is prospecting-oriented and aims to give you the most relevant information and insights into your desired companies and their decision-makers. 

Sales Navigator benefits:

Also, when you subscribe to one of 3 Sales Navigator plans, you can still enjoy all the benefits of LinkedIn Premium without additional charges.

3. Hubspot

Hubspot screenshot

Another tool that you probably heard of used for prospecting and lead management is Hubspot. It’s a free CRM solution that helps sales reps monitor their prospect lists and outreach stage. 

This CRM helps you take complete control of your entire sales process, starting with creating your prospect lists. Once you import new prospects, Hubspot offers an enrichment feature that will get you crucial company insights.

Hubspot’s paid version, for $500 per month and a minimum of 5 users, includes the following features:

LinkedIn prospecting: The 4 do’s of sales prospecting 

Here are the top 4 LinkedIn prospecting tips and best practices to have in mind when prospecting on LinkedIn.

1. Connect on a human level 

Successful salespeople remember that prospects are humans and center their sales process, from prospecting to pitching, around this. Social selling, especially on platforms like LinkedIn, is challenging as is and requires frequent follow-ups. 

To connect with prospects on a human level, it's important to show genuine care, share personal business struggles or advice, and respect their decision-making time. This approach leads to more positive returns and respects the human aspect of sales. LinkedIn prospecting gives you an insight on what your prospect is all about so you can connect on a deeper level, even online.

2. Provide value 

Sales reps should focus on providing value in social selling, both through content and interactions with prospects, regardless of their response to sales pitches. Sharing industry knowledge on LinkedIn positions you as an expert, making prospects more likely to choose you over others. 

Also, offering value through direct messages, like recommending resources, sharing ebooks, or giving advice about something they actually need, builds appreciation and trust, no matter their purchase decisions.

3. Personalize 

Personalization is crucial in prospecting, and it goes beyond just using the prospect's name. It involves in-depth research to understand and segment prospects. LinkedIn automation tools can automate this process using variables for personalization and CSV files for scaling. 

Image & GIF personalization is another effective technique, using customized images with the recipient’s data to capture attention. Tools like Skylead offer image personalization as a feature, allowing you to customize images for each recipient to enhance LinkedIn inbox visibility.

Image of CTA banner 2 for watching Skylead - LinkedIn automation and cold email software demo

4. Be patient

From what we’ve seen in sales, it’s safe to say with absolute certainty that you shouldn’t be pushy or aggressive with prospects, despite the pressure of monthly or quarterly quotas. Sales reps who focus on nurturing prospects and understanding their stage in the buyer's journey tend to meet their sales quotas more. 

Prospects actually value the space to make decisions and appreciate sales approaches that aren't solely focused on closing a sale at any cost, so keep that in mind when reaching out.

LinkedIn prospecting: The don’ts of sales prospecting

Here’s what you should avoid at all costs when prospecting on LinkedIn. 👇

1. Overlooking Profiles Before Reaching Out

Not taking the time to research and go through your prospect’s profile thoroughly before reaching out can lead to irrelevant or inappropriate offers. You need to understand their interests, experiences and needs to help tailor just the right message.

2. Not Following Up 

Always keep in mind that messages can be missed or forgotten. Not following up can be a huge mistake and lead to potential client loss. Sometimes, prospects need a little push before they do what you want them to. When writing a follow-up email after no response, make sure not to be too aggressive or pushy.

3. Neglecting LinkedIn Etiquette

Like in the real world, LinkedIn also has a set of rules you need to follow when communicating with people online. Neglecting LinkedIn etiquette could include endorsing people you don't know for skills, joining groups and immediately spamming them with your offers, or not respecting people's time and interests. 

4. Ignoring Analytics and Feedback 

Lastly, not tracking the performance of your outreach efforts (like response and open rates) could lead to bad outreach results. If you’re not adapting constantly based on real-time metrics and optimizing, you won’t reach any sales goals. So, remember to always look at the numbers and optimize accordingly.

Frequently asked questions about LinkedIn prospecting

How do I measure the success of my LinkedIn prospecting efforts?

Measure success by tracking metrics like connection acceptance, response rates, meetings arranged, and conversion rates. Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Skylead or CRM tools for analytics. Consistently analyzing these metrics will help you understand the effectiveness of your strategies and make necessary adjustments to improve your prospecting efforts.

How can I ensure my LinkedIn outreach messages stand out from the competition?

Personalize your messages by referencing specific details from prospects' profiles. Create engaging, value-centric messages that invite a response. Tailoring your outreach to each prospect's interests and needs enhances the likelihood of initiating meaningful conversations, fostering professional relationships, and ultimately achieving successful connections.

What are the common pitfalls to avoid in LinkedIn prospecting, and how can I navigate them?

Avoid common pitfalls by steering clear of mass, impersonal messages and neglecting profile optimization. Focus on crafting tailored, value-driven outreach messages and maintaining a professional, up-to-date LinkedIn profile. Personalized communication combined with a polished online presence is key to sidestepping frequent errors and succeeding in your prospecting endeavors.

How to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator for prospecting?

Use Sales Navigator and its multiple features, such as advanced search and filtering, lead suggestions, and advanced notifications to search for the right audience - your ICP and Buyer Persona, then implement an outreach strategy, preferably using multiple channels.

How do you use LinkedIn for sales prospecting?

Optimize your LinkedIn profile, use LinkedIn or LinkedIn Sales Navigator to target specific leads, actively engage in relevant groups, consistently share insightful content, and effectively use InMail for personalized outreach.

How do I use LinkedIn for prospecting?

First, you need to define your Ideal Customer Profile. Then, identify companies matching it. Lastly, find your Buyer Persona within those companies. Use LinkedIn and Sales Navigator search filters to find qualified prospects. In this blog, we listed 19 additional strategies to find prospects on LinkedIn.

Does LinkedIn work for prospecting?

Yes. LinkedIn is a gold mine for finding qualified prospects for the majority of businesses. With the help of advanced search on LinkedIn and Sales Navigator, you can study prospect information to build qualified lead lists and proceed to implement your sales strategy with better results. 

Ready to use LinkedIn prospecting for outreach?

If your goal is to grow your business and your business is outreach, LinkedIn prospecting should be an integral part of your outreach strategy. Although it is complex, LinkedIn prospecting shouldn’t be such a hassle, thanks to advanced tools that can relieve some of the workload. 

That’s right, we’re talking about LinkedIn automation tools. Let’s look at the benefits one more time:

But how do you get to enjoy all these benefits?

You can try Skylead, of course! 🤩 Simply register for a free trial today and watch how an all-in-one tool can turn something as complex as prospecting into an easily manageable task that produces results.

Launch your first outreach campaign today!
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LinkedIn is a social media for professionals, and it’s classified as the number #1 choice for lead generation. This is because it now counts more than 900 million LinkedIn users. Moreover, 4 out of 5 of these members drive some business decisions. So no wonder that marketing, recruiting and sales teams make LinkedIn outreach part of their daily work routine.

LinkedIn outreach is a vast topic, and there are many misconceptions and good tips on how to do it. That is why we decided to create a detailed LinkedIn outreach guide that uncovers the following:

Let's do this meme

What is LinkedInoutreach?

LinkedIn outreach is a process of sending connection requests and messages to your potential clients via LinkedIn. It’s the best way to expand your network, get in touch, warm up, and build positive relationships with your leads.

The main benefits of Linkedin outreach

It’s not just about the ability to send a connection request, InMails, or other LinkedIn messages, but what you will accomplish with them. Here are the benefits you can expect if you use LinkedIn and every aspect of it in the outreach process.

1. Reach high-quality B2B leads with ease.

LinkedIn has over 900 million professionals from every industry in the world. So it's no wonder this audience has twice the buying power of the average web audience (LinkedIn). Therefore, sales teams can rest assured that with the right filters and top LinkedIn lead generation strategies, they can find the most qualified business-to-business leads for their business. 

2. Increased reply rate.

LinkedIn is, first and foremost, a social media platform where you can find various information about your leads. That said, the secret to LinkedIn outreach is personalization and genuine conversation. That said, by looking at your lead's profile, you can search for any information to personalize your message. Whatever you find, be it a mutual connection or a post they shared, you can reference that in your outreach message and thus increase your acceptance and reply rate.

3. Target B2B leads with more precision.

Marketers no longer need to struggle to find professionals on Instagram or Facebook. Instead, they can find and reach out to their potential leads easier with targeting and retargeting options via LinkedIn ads. Moreover, they can generate greater awareness for their product or service. LinkedIn marketer can also easily contact their target audience via sponsored InMail ads and experience 2x more conversions

4. Find ideal employees.

One of the best perks of LinkedIn is that recruiters can publish job posts for free. However, they can also find the best employee for their business by tapping into a larger pool of talent and headhunting the ideal candidates directly.  

5. Break the wall and reach out to recruiters.

By using job posting websites, you can’t get a hold of recruiters. However, LinkedIn allows you to find, send a connection request and reach out to the hiring managers in your ideal company. This way, you can explain why you are perfect for the job or get feedback on your application, all of which you cannot do on other platforms. 

LinkedIn vs email outreach - Which one is better?

Both LinkedIn and email channels are used extensively for outreach. However, there is a "slight" advantage to LinkedIn. 

The thing is, the social media nature of LinkedIn allows more genuine communication between its users. On the other hand, cold email outreach is distant and often perceived as spammy since, among other things, you cannot always see and find out more about the person behind the cold message. 

And the end result can be measured shown in numbers.

For example, according to the official LinkedIn learning courses, InMails have an average response rate of 18 to 25%. On the contrary, cold emails have only a 3% average response rate, and this happens for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, LinkedIn outreach is more transparent since potential leads can see your LinkedIn profile, work history, bio, or posts. In other words, what they are all about. 

Secondly, LinkedIn sends a couple of alerts and reminders when the prospect receives a message. In addition, if the leads have a LinkedIn app installed, they will also receive a notification on their phone. What's more, if you send a follow-up message, LinkedIn will send the same amount of alerts, making it harder for your prospect to forget to reply or ignore. 

Lastly, if you use LinkedIn, you can find your ICP and people who work in it in the blink of an eye. This way, you can easily reach out to your potential customers without navigating multiple platforms. 

However, with LinkedIn's power, we must recognize email as the outreach channel simply because some users prefer email communication or are inactive on LinkedIn

That said, it's best to use both LinkedIn and email outreach for optimal results. So, we will discuss it in the LinkedIn outreach rules section below.

Image of Free Trial CTA banner with Skylead's smart sequence that demonstrates multichannel outreach using LinkedIn automation and email steps with if/else conditions

LinkedIn outreach methods

LinkedIn offers multiple ways you can use to reach out to your potential customers.

Connection requests

The first outreach action in line is a LinkedIn connection request. You can send a connection request to your 2nd and 3rd degree connections along with your first message. 

This cold message comes with a restriction of 300 characters, so try to keep your personalized message short and sweet. For example, you can reference a mutual connection or that you’d like to discuss the event they attended and wish to connect.

Direct messages

Once the lead accepts your invite, they become your 1st degree connection, and you can send them a direct message. This message acts as both chat and email since it’s delivered straight to your lead’s inbox along with the notification. In addition, direct messages can be 8,000 characters long or somewhere between 1142 and 2000 words.

InMail messages

If your lead ignores your connection or leaves it pending for a long time, you can always send LinkedIn InMail. These InMail messages are structured as emails and can have up to 200 characters of the subject line and a body of up to 1900 characters. However, keep in mind that shorter InMails get a better response rate.

Image of InMail statistics, Response rate vs length of an InMail

As mentioned before, LinkedIn InMail gets far better results than emails. Especially if you write a message that will generate a high response rate. If you are not sure how to write such messages, here are a couple of LinkedIn InMail templates to get inspired. 

You can send InMails to your 2nd and 3rd degree connections. However, depending on your subscription plan, you will have different amounts of Inmail credits per month. For example, a LinkedIn premium subscription grants you 15 paid InMail credits. On the other hand, the Sales Navigator account offers 50 paid InMails per month. If you pay a Recruiter subscription, you will have 30 paid InMail credits a month. 

Apart from paid ones, you can also send 800 free InMails per month. The trick is to find people with their LinkedIn profile set to Open. The easiest way to find people with an open profile is by going to your 2nd or 3rd-degree connection’s premium profile. Then click the Message button. If you see the text Free message at the bottom, that person has an open profile.

Image that demonstrates how to see if you're sending free InMail

View profile and follow features

And if your outreach falls behind, you can always stop by your lead’s LinkedIn profile to view or follow them. The leads will receive a notification of whichever action you perform. In other words, it will almost always remind them of your message and give them a nudge to respond to you.

LinkedIn outreach in 6 easy steps

1. Define ICP and buyer persona

The first step to finding qualified prospects & leads is creating an Ideal Customer Profile and Buyer Persona.

These documents represent the aspects of your perfect leads and the company they work in.  They are the basis for quality lead generation and usually contain specifications such as: 

ICP and Buyer Persona are best created based on your current customer data, such as who:

In addition, try to keep these documents actionable. In other words, create the specifications so you can use them either for

2. Find leads using LinkedIn search & creating lists

The next step is finding prospects that match your ICP and Buyer Persona.  

If you use LinkedIn Sales Navigator or Recruiter for lead generation, you are probably familiar with various advanced search filters. Simply use these filters and import all specifications from your ICP or Buyer Persona documents. Then, save the search URL, or create a list of prospects for the next step.

Sales Navigator masterclass banner with the quote from the Professionals movie.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn Sales Navigator account, no worries. You can still use basic filters to find your ideal leads. Or you can use some of these top LinkedIn lead generation strategies.

3. LinkedIn outreach automation: Setup your campaign 

In today’s day and age, we use various tools to help us in our mundane tasks. Therefore, it’s natural for sales, marketing, and recruiting specialists to do the same. 

One of those solutions is the LinkedIn automation tool. These tools help you streamline time-consuming outreach tasks, so no wonder they become a must-have for many experts.

To set up your LinkedIn outreach campaign, let’s take our outreach automation tool, Skylead, as an example. 

First, go to your Skylead account dashboard and click Create a new campaign.

Image of how to create LinkedIn outreach campaign, step 1

Next, choose the source of your leads. Then, paste LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Recruiter, or basic search URL. Or you can import your CSV file.

Lastly, choose the connection degree you wish to reach out to and click Next.

Image of how to create LinkedIn outreach campaign, step 2, choosing the lead source

Now here is where you define the operative part of your campaign. Choose which options you want and set up the start and end date of your campaign.

Image of how to create your LinkedIn outreach campaign, step 3, campaign settings

4. Create an outreach sequence

Moving on. We’ve come to the Smart Sequence builder.

By creating the Smart Sequence, you actually create an action path that Skylead will follow to outreach your leads. In addition, what makes the sequence unique is the if/else condition, such as If connected. Thanks to these conditions, you can create countless scenarios, and Skylead will perform the scenario corresponding to the lead’s behavior.

That said, to create your coherent outreach sequence, simply drag and drop different actions and conditions. Here is an example. 

Image of how to create LinkedIn outreach campaign step 4, smart outreach sequence

5. Craft your LinkedIn outreach message

LinkedIn outreach is all about how you craft your messages. So, here is a nifty hack for you. In general, every message, be it a connection request, InMail, or email, should contain one of the following: 

And aim for the following structure:

Image of CTA banner 2 for Skylead salesbook - ready-to-use outreach template that can be applied to our LinkedIn automation and cold email software

6. Nurture & engage

Once the lead responds, it’s your job to engage and nurture them to conversion. People skills play a significant role here, so here are a couple of pro tips that will help you:

  1. Be empathetic so you can understand their problem and how they feel about it.
  2. Don’t pitch first. Instead, ask them about their specific problem and customize your pitch.
  3. Be confident.
  4. Listen actively.
  5. Read between the lines.
  6. Understand body language and voice tones when you jump on a meeting.
  7. Be an expert at what your company does.

Top 8 LinkedIn outreach strategies

Less is more

When you write your outreach messages, it’s crucial to understand that people’s attention span is, on average, 8.25 seconds (The Treetop Therapy). That said, longer sentences and texts that cause TLDR are a no-go. So our first LinkedIn outreach strategy is approaching your leads with fewer words

Try being straightforward with your LinkedIn messages and avoid fillers such as:

And so on. 


This is the essential LinkedIn outreach strategy. By writing personalized messages, we connect on a deeper level with the people and remove any generic communication. This is a perfect base for social selling and securing the path for better response and acceptance rates.

You can personalize your LinkedIn outreach messages with their first name or job title. However, there are more detailed ways to do it, and we will mention them below. 

Send free resource

Avoid pitching in your first message. Instead, start your conversation by asking about the lead’s workflow and pain points. Then send them a free resource that helps them solve the problem they mentioned.

If you start your sales outreach this way, you will have more significant success, as you do not appear intrusive. In return, you get the necessary information to tailor your pitch accordingly.

Leverage your connections

The more you have in common with your target audience, the more honest and reliable you appear. That said, how you seem to be can make or break your LinkedIn outreach.
One of the ways to bring similarity to your LinkedIn messages is by leveraging your mutual connections. For example, people are more open to accepting your invitation if you refer someone they know. Here is an example:

Hey {{firstName}}, {{mutualConnectionName}} sent me your profile as they think you are the right person to help me out in my research about {{Topic}}. So let’s connect and talk if you’re up for it.

Leverage LinkedIn Groups

Another way to discover leads for LinkedIn outreach is by leveraging groups. Even though they are not that active anymore, you can still use them to find and reach out to people who are still in these LinkedIn groups.

Find the LinkedIn group your leads are most likely a part of, and click Show all to see all members.

Image of how to find members of LinkedIn groups for the outreach

In addition, you can reference a LinkedIn group post in your outreach and ask them about their opinion about it.

Turn events attendees into your leads

LinkedIn lead generation lets you get creative with finding your most qualified leads. One of those creative ways is reaching out to event attendees.

You can find LinkedIn events that focus on the exact problem your company solves with a product or a service. This way, you can target people who are already warmed up for your outreach message.

To get to event attendees, search for the events and click the Attend button. 

Image of how to find members of LinkedIn events for the outreach

After you've attended, you can check for the list of LinkedIn users who attend this event by clicking Attendees. 

Image of how to find list of event attendees for LinkedIn outreach

You can then go through the list and create leads in your CRM. Or, you can grab this LinkedIn search, paste it into Skylead and prepare a LinkedIn outreach campaign.

A true hack for LinkedIn outreach here is that you can write personalized messages such as this one:

Hey {{firstName}},

I’ve noticed that you attended {{eventName}}. What did you think about {{eventTakeaway}}? Let’s connect on this.

Contact companies that are hiring

Companies currently hiring or experiencing some change are more likely to be willing to test new products. In other words, these companies emit some buying signals.

Here’s how to find them for the LinkedIn outreach.

If you have a Sales Navigator, finding these companies is a piece of cake. Simply go to Account filters, and under Spotlights, select Job Opportunities.  

Image of how to use job opportunities filter in Sales Navigator to find people for outreach

LinkedIn Sales Navigator will then list company names. You can also narrow your search by selecting other filters, such as Company size or Technology used. This advanced search will help you find your ICP with the buying signal.

If you are a free or Premium LinkedIn user, you can find these companies by navigating to the LinkedIn search field. Type in the job title, select Jobs and use other filters to narrow your search. Then, go through company names and mark them down in your CRM to find key decision-makers later on.

Image of how to find companies that are currently hiring on LinkedIn for the outreach

You can then reach out to the decision-makers in these companies by sending them a connection request such as this one:

Hey {{firstName}},

I noticed you are looking for a new {{Occupation}} in your company. Do you plan to change the workflow as well? If so, I have an idea that can help you improve your team's productivity and would like to connect with you.

Engage with people who reacted to a post

You don’t have to reach out only to the leads you found via LinkedIn search. If you find time, scroll through your feed or notifications and check reactions to posts. Then, whenever you see your potential lead engaging, take that opportunity to start the conversation. After all, this is one of the most natural ways to start building relationships with your network and leads.

7 LinkedIn outreach rules you need to consider

1. Have an optimized profile before you start

Before using your LinkedIn account for cold outreach, you need to sort out your LinkedIn profile and optimize it. In other words, setting up your profile includes:

If you do it thoroughly, people will be more prone to accept your connection request or respond to your InMail message.

Set up your LinkedIn profile compete guide banner with text: Earn the LinkedIn all-star status

2. Use safe automation tools

If you use some kind of LinkedIn automation tool, you should know that there are 3 different kinds:

Chrome extensions are the least safe tool to use since they inject the code into the LinkedIn platform. This action sends LinkedIn an instant alert, and you risk getting your LinkedIn account restricted.

Desktop apps and web browsers are a bit safer. However, they don’t have a dedicated IP or the option to mimic human-like behavior. Moreover, you must have your PC turned on to keep your campaigns running. 

Unlike other solutions, cloud-based LinkedIn automation tools are safer, as they do not inject the code into the LinkedIn platform. Moreover, you get a dedicated IP address that shields your activity, and they mimic human-like behavior making it impossible for LinkedIn to detect.

That said, choose carefully which LinkedIn automation tool you will use. For example, to keep your account safe and secure, we at Skylead have 3-layered protection for your LinkedIn account:

3. Think multichannel

Did you know that companies with omnichannel engagement strategies retain 89% of customers (invesp)? Then, don’t just stop at LinkedIn outreach; for the best results, include email outreach as well since it’s still an essential means of correspondence. 

This way, you are showing your target audience that you care and that you are expanding your reach. What’s more, you increase the chances of getting a hold of your leads who are not active on LinkedIn. Or in case your lead leaves your invite pending for a long time.

4. Don’t be too salesy 

Nowadays, LinkedIn prospecting and cold outreach can’t do anything if your approach is too salesly or spammy. In other words, don’t talk only about your company or a product. Instead, take a legitimate interest in your target audience, build the relationship first, and connect on a human level. It’s the only way without sounding too salesy and a part of the tremendous social selling. So always choose a more genuine approach to nurturing leads. 

5. Provide value

Consistently provide value in the form of educational content or throughout the meeting. The pro tip here is to do it after you’ve asked your leads about their pain points. This way, you’re ensuring you are tailoring your value according to what they precisely need and want.

6. Follow up consistently

Leads often do not respond to your message, and it’s not always because they are not interested. Maybe they forgot or were busy at that time. 

Suppose your prospect doesn’t respond to your LinkedIn outreach message or email. Send them a follow-up one. After all, if you do, you will increase your chances of receiving a response by 25% (invesp). So why waste it?

To help put your follow–up message together, check out our templates to send follow up emails after no response and get inspired.

7. Revoke old requests

One of the main rules people doing LinkedIn outreach stick by is canceling their LinkedIn invites

There is a common fear that LinkedIn won’t allow you to send new requests if you accumulate unanswered ones. Unfortunately, the fear is legitimate, as quite a few people have experienced this restriction. 

If the lead doesn’t answer the LinkedIn connection request or follow-ups in months, chances are they are not interested anyways. So be sure to lean up your LinkedIn invites regularly.

5 Best LinkedIn outreach templates [Our best picks]

Linkedin outreach message templates for sales

Sales outreach is about the initial impressions, so your first message should contain at least two of the points we mentioned in the last step of LinkedIn outreach. That said, here are a couple of templates that demonstrate those exact points.


Hey {{firstName}},

I came across your LinkedIn profile and was so inspired by your background in {{industry}} and your passion for {{workAreaOfInterest}}. I’d like to connect and exchange ideas in both areas.

LinkedIn connection request example

LinkedIn outreach connection request message example 1

Bonus points if you can reference mutual connection. And if you feel like being humorous, you can spice up your invite with an industry-related joke, such as this one:

How many {{leadPositionTitle}} does it take to screw in a light bulb? None – they’ve automated it. 🙂 Just kidding, {{firstName}}.

But if you really wish to automate almost every part of your {{leadSectorName}} workflow, let’s chat. I’d like to show you something that would make your life easier. Let’s connect.

LinkedIn connection request example

Image of LinkedIn outreach message example, connection request 2

However, if all fall short and your lead doesn’t accept your invite, you can always send a LinkedIn InMail such as this one:

Subject line: There is a key to solving {{painPoint}}

InMail message:

Hey {{firstName}},

My name is {{yourName}}, and I tried reaching out and connecting via LinkedIn invite. It appears that we didn’t get the chance to connect.

I was very much impressed with your LinkedIn profile. So, I believe your experience and dedication to {{workAreaOfInterest}} make you the perfect person to introduce you to our groundbreaking {{toolSpecification}} tool {{yourSoftwareName}}.

Our tool is created by {{leadPositionTitle}} for {{leadPositionTitle}} and it helps you:

1# {{Benefit }}

2# {{Benefit}}

3# {{Benefit}}

4# {{Benefit}}

I'd love to offer a personalized demo, so you can see hands-on how it works. Let me know if you're up for it, and we'll schedule a 15-minute call asap.

Best, {{yourName}}

InMail example

Image of LinkedIn outreach message example 3, InMail

LinkedIn outreach message templates for recruiters

For example, let’s say you wish to reach out to your perfect candidate for the job in your company. Your LinkedIn connection request can sound like this:

Hey {{firstName}},

My name is {{yourName}}, and we’re currently seeking a {{Occupation}}, and I truly believe that this role offers you a platform to leverage your skills and make a significant impact at our company. I’d be happy to share more details about the role and benefits we offer.

LinkedIn connection request example

Image of LinkedIn outreach message example 4, connection request

If, however, your ideal candidate doesn’t reply, use InMail format to land straight in their inbox.

Subject line: Exciting job opportunity at {{yourCompanyName}}

InMail message:

Hey {{firstName}},

I understand that you may not be actively seeking new opportunities at this time. Still, I truly believe that this role provides you with a platform to leverage your {{Occupation}} skills and make a significant impact at {{yourCompanyName}}.

{{yourCompanyName}} is a {{shortDescription}}, where we take care of our employees and offer the very best, including:

1# {{Benefit 1}}

2# {{Benefit 2}}

3#{{Benefit 3}}

If this opportunity piques your interest, I would be happy to share more details about the role over the call. So let me know, and we can schedule an initial meeting at your earliest convenience.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Warm regards, {{yourName}}

InMail example

Image of LinkedIn outreach message example 5, InMail

LinkedIn outreach message template for job search

We’ve all been there at one point - reaching out to companies and trying to get ahold of recruiters. Thankfully, you don’t need to search for their email addresses, as LinkedIn allows you to contact a recruiter from your ideal company directly. However, if you really wish to catch their attention, use this connection message template.


Hello {{firstName}},

I have been following {{companyName}} and I’m impressed by your values, and dedication to innovation. As a skilled {{Occupation}} and enthusiast for {{companyIndustry}} I believe your company could benefit from my background. Let’s meet each other and talk about it.

LinkedIn connection request example

Image of LinkedIn outreach message example 6, connection request

Moreover, if you have a LinkedIn Premium account, even better. You could send them an InMail that looks like this:

Subject line: Proactive and passionate {{Occupation}} ready to make a difference at {{companyName}}

InMail message:

Hey {{firstName}},

My name is {{yourName}}, and I am a skilled {{Occupation}} with extensive experience in {{companyIndustry}}. I have been following {{companyName}} for some time now, and I am incredibly impressed by your {{Achievement}}, values, and dedication to innovation.

As someone really passionate about {{companyIndustry}}, I believe my background and skill set make me an ideal candidate to contribute to your team’s ongoing success.

I have achieved {{specificAccomplishmentOrResult}}, which has led me to {{quantifiable outcome}}. In addition, my expertise in {{specificSkill}} has allowed me to make a significant impact on my team’s performance and overall business growth.

I am excited about the prospect of bringing my skills and enthusiasm to {{companyName}}. I have attached my resume for your review and would be grateful for the opportunity to speak with you about how I could contribute to your team.

If there are any open positions or upcoming opportunities that align with my background, I would appreciate your consideration.

Thank you for taking the time to read my message, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best, {{yourName}}

InMail example

Image of LinkedIn outreach message example 7, InMail

LinkedIn outreach stats

1. Users who have 70+ SSI have 45% more opportunities and are 51% more likely to hit sales targets. Moreover, it will grant you 20% more reach. (Tribal impact)

2. LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation, far more than platforms like Facebook and Twitter. (HubSpot)

3. 92% of potential clients are willing to engage with an industry thought leader, making the thought leadership LinkedIn lead generation strategy very effective (CH Consulting Group). 

4. Marketing managers experience up to 2 times higher conversion rates on LinkedIn. (LinkedIn)

5. Sending a personalized InMail will increase your response rate by up to 30%. (LinkedIn)

6. Lead conversion rates on LinkedIn are 3x higher than other ad platforms. (LinkedIn)

7. Audiences exposed to brand and acquisition messages on LinkedIn are 6x more likely to convert. (LinkedIn)

Frequently asked questions about Linkedin outreach

Those were some fascinating stats, ha? 🙂 Before we conclude this blog, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about the topics we didn’t get the chance to mention above.

Is prospecting on LinkedIn worth it?

Yes. LinkedIn prospecting helps you find your ICP and Buyer Persona with filtering options such as company size or industry. Moreover, the lead’s LinkedIn profile usually contains publicly available contact information, such as phone numbers or email addresses, that you can use to contact your leads outside LinkedIn.

What is the success rate of LinkedIn outreach?

LinkedIn outreach success rate depends on your goal and personalization level, but it’s usually high overall. For example, one of our sales team’s campaigns has the following result: out of 2782 connections sent, they experienced a 33% acceptance rate and 17% response. In some cases, the results go even higher.

Image of outreach success rate result on LinkedIn

What is a respectable number of LinkedIn connections?

You can have up to 30,000 connections, but the respected number depends on what you want to achieve. For example, for salespeople and recruiters, it’s essential to connect with as many people as possible to expand their network, thus reaching people outside of it and getting more leads.

Is it better to have followers or connections on LinkedIn?

Followers and connections are equally important, so it depends on your goals. For example, if you are a LinkedIn marketer and wish to focus on sharing content, gaining followers might be better for you. However, salespeople benefit better from the connections, as building relationships is the basis for successful selling.

Ready for LinkedIn outreach?

That’s a wrap-up for LinkedIn lead generation! This has been a wild ride.

Naturally, you can’t memorize everything from this article. Therefore, make sure to bookmark it, so you can return to it and remind yourself about best practices for LinkedIn lead generation.

Just remember to follow these 6 steps to start your outreach campaign:

If you need more inspiration on how to write your messages, feel free to use templates we have listed in this blog and throughout other blogs.

And don’t forget about the golden LinkedIn outreach strategies and rules we’ve mentioned in this article. You’ll experience a surge of qualified leads if you truly follow them.

Happy outreaching!

LinkedIn outreach success gif

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You already have your marketing agency and a few prosperous clients. Lately, you’ve been thinking of expanding your service list and offering more. What is it that would fit your clients’ needs best and still be in line with your industry? It’s outreach. Here’s why. 

If you already offer social media management, content writing, copywriting, SEO, web development, or similar, it is high time to start thinking one step ahead of your competitors. By adding outreach, you will undoubtedly keep up with the times and give your customers a valuable reason to stick around longer. 

Not only. 

There are a series of reasons why incorporating outreach into your Lead Generation Agency would be the right call. Here are a few. 

Customer loyalty

By adding the service of identifying and nurturing potential customers for your client’s products or services, you will be covering probably the most important segment of their prospecting. If they confide in the way you do their outreach, the chances of them staying loyal to your Lead Generation Agency increase, as you are controlling an additional sales channel of their business.

Furthermore, incorporating outreach in your marketing business will give your clients a well-rounded experience of generating leads on LinkedIn or via other methods. 

Outreach as a new marketing segment 

Adding outreach to your service list can also be a great way to attract new customers. Initially, newbies might only be interested in you identifying and nurturing their potential clients. However, if satisfied with your way of doing business, they might extend their request to other services that your Lead Generation Agency offers. 

Additional revenue growth 

By introducing a new marketing segment, you are raising your revenue stream.

Simply, adding an extra service means company growth. It also implies greater economic security, as your Lead Generation Agency doesn’t depend only on one or a few services. 

Stand out in the lead generation industry

By incorporating outreach into your Lead Generation Agency, you might be making one step ahead of your competitors. 

In case they thought of it first, draw attention to yourself by offering an impeccable, high-quality service. Better service attracts and retains better clients. 

Also, think about your and your competitors’ Value Proposition. What is it that makes your outreach service stand out in comparison to your competition’s?

Outreach is easy to incorporate 

You are probably already doing outreach to get more clients for your Lead Generation Agency. Therefore, you are familiar with the entire process of attracting new prospects and nurturing the old ones. All you need to do is expand your expertise to your clients. The more you develop this service for yourself, the better it will become for your customers as well. By growing your Lead Generation Agency, you will be growing an entire service within. Also, the better you become at doing outreach, you will most likely attract more clients for your Marketing Agency as well. 

Minimal cost

The only things that you need for outreach are a laptop and internet connection.

Create your client’s ICP (Ideal customer profile) and a cold outreach template with several follow-ups, and you can already start.

However, if you want to make this process far easier, you will need an Automation Tool, Scraping Tool, and an Email Finder. 

Luckily for you, there is a Sales Engagement Software that has all of these incorporated for as low as $100 per month. Long story short, it will save you both time and money.

Namely, Skylead combines LinkedIn Messages, LinkedIn InMails, and Emails scrapes publicly available emails of your 1st-degree connections, has an “Email Discovery & Verification” feature for discovering and verifying your leads’ business emails, as well as “Image and GIF hyper-personalization” tool in case you want to do a bit of an unconventional outreach. 

Therefore, Skylead contains an Automation Tool, Scraping Tool, an Email Finder, and more. 

All i do is win Meme

If you would like to know more about Skylead, feel free to schedule a demo call with our team specialist.

White-labeling a solution 

Think about white-labeling the Sales Engagement Tool that you are using. 

A white-label product is a product or service produced by one company that other companies rebrand to make it appear as if they had made it.

By white-labeling the Sales Engagement Tool of your choice, you will:

Yes meme

That being said, know that you can white-label Skylead. To know more about this option, schedule a demo call with our team specialist. 

How to start implementing your outreach?

Start with offering your service to the most loyal customers first 

The advantage of offering your new service to the already existing and most loyal customers first is that you are very familiar with their business. That is, by handling other marketing segments for their companies, you have already gained a major insight into their business goals, targets, and preferences. This allows you to do prospecting on LinkedIn and outreach leads with major precision and manage their outreach with more efficiency.

Furthermore, your already-established business relationship and cooperation will most likely reinforce. Upgrading your customers’ service package increases the possibility of enhancing their loyalty to your marketing agency. Additionally, you will be giving them a well-rounded Lead Generation experience.  This approach, often adopted by top advertising agencies in the US, ensures that your clients receive a comprehensive service.

Attract your new customers by offering outreach first 

In case you don’t want to introduce a new service before “testing it out”, try attracting new customers by using outreach as a bait. This way you don’t risk losing loyal customers in case something doesn’t go as planned. Additionally, you have space to learn, grow, and perfect your service before you offer it to your long-time clients. 


In conclusion, incorporating outreach into your Lead Generation Agency has more upsides than downsides for sure. 

By deciding to go for it you will:

Additionally, you have the option of making your life easier by going for a Sales Engagement Tool that has all the necessary features for a top-notch outreach.

Why Skylead?

For as low as $100 per month, with Skylead you can have an Automation Tool, Scraping Tool, and an Email Finder, all in one software. 

Furthermore, thanks to the implementation of Smart sequences, Skylead allows you to create the highest number of personalizable touchpoints with your prospects. 

Five times more in comparison to other tools, to be precise. 

It gives you the chance to combine LinkedIn Messages, InMails, and Emails with other LinkedIn features such as View, Follow, and Invite to Connect. Additionally, it has an Email Discovery & Verification feature. Therefore, no need for a separate Email Finder or Scraping software. 

Actually, white-label it and make it your secret weapon!

To know more about the advantage of Skylead over other Sales Engagement Tools and to get to know its features, schedule a demo call with a specialist from our team.

If already our customer, feel free to reach us out on the Support Chat or schedule a success call with our Customer Support and Success Manager. Improve your service by knowing Skylead better. 

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Oh, hello there and welcome! 

We are so glad you joined our community of LinkedIn Lead Generation enthusiasts who are always striving to grow and keep up with the latest business trends. 

Now that we are together in this, let us take a moment and introduce you to building your first campaign with Skylead. 

You might be stumbling in the dark at the moment, but, trust us, nothing is as complicated as it seems. 

Let's get down to business meme

When you don’t know where to start… 

Choose LinkedIn. 

Jokes aside, in this blog we will make a LinkedIn search-based campaign to ease you into the entire Campaign Creation process. 

However, you should know that, when it comes to Skylead, options are far more extensive. Aside from LinkedIn, you can target leads from a Sales Navigator regular search, Sales Navigator Leads List, a CSV-imported file, and a LinkedIn post (Post Engagement Campaign). 

That being said, let’s open LinkedIn and target our audience first. 

Targeting your audience: A step-by-step guide

Start by typing a keyword in the search area. 

We went by a job title. 

Target Audience LinkedIn Search

After you clicked on “People”, choose the LinkedIn connection type you want your campaign to be aimed at. 

Target Audience LinkedIn Search Keyword

1st-degree connections are members that you are already connected with on LinkedIn. It is perfect for running a LinkedIn Message campaign. 

2nd-degree connections are best in case you want to expand your network. Those are leads you need to connect with first or reach out via LinkedIn InMail or Email (if Skylead discovers and verifies it).

The same applies to 3rd-degree connections. They are for expanding your network as well. The only difference is that they are not advisable to be reached out through Connection Requests on LinkedIn, but exclusively via Emails and/or InMails (whether Free or Paid).

Furthermore, you can choose other filters as well to narrow down your audience search as much as possible (see “All Filters” option on the right). 

Target Audience LinkedIn Search All Filters

Have in mind that you can include up to 1000 leads in case of a LinkedIn-search-based campaign, therefore it is highly recommended to narrow the list down as much as possible. 

First campaign creation - Where to start?

After you've done the prospecting on LinkedIn and chosen your audience successfully, open your Skylead account.

Click on “Create New Campaign”. 

Copy - Paste the LinkedIn search URL to Skylead’s Campaign Creator Page.

Skylead Copy Paste LinkedIn Search Url

Insert your Campaign name, paste the LinkedIn Search URL.

Skylead Manage Campaign Page

Under the LinkedIn URL, there is a type-of-connection button. Skylead automatically recognizes from the pasted URL which degree of connection you are targeting. 

Click “Next”. 

Campaign settings

Skylead Campaign Settings Page

By turning on/off the above options, Skylead will automatically:

Premium LinkedIn accounts only - single out only leads that have LinkedIn Premium account; 
Open InMail discovery - select only leads whose profiles are open to InMails;
Include People you already talked to - include/exclude leads that you have a chat history with on LinkedIn; 
Collect Contact Info - collect all the available information from the lead’s LinkedIn profile. This option implies a “View Step” (which you don’t need to add, it will be executed in the background) so that Skylead can visit the lead’s profile and collect all publicly available data. 

Skylead Campaign Settings Advanced

Skylead will:

Only unique leads - include/exclude all leads that exist in any other Skylead campaign;
No pending connections - not choose leads that already have a pending LinkedIn connection;
Track link clicks - track if the lead clicked on the link in the email (in case your email contains any);
Track email opens - check if the lead opened an email.

Skylead Schedule Campaign Option

Skylead gives you options of choosing the start date, start time, and your time zone. 

NOTE: Take into consideration whose account you are leading - yours or your client’s, who is maybe in another time zone

If you click on “Only Discover Leads”, Skylead will just export discovered leads in a CSV file.

Click “Next” and choose “Smart Sequence”. 

Skylead Choose Smart Sequence

First campaign: How to create a smart sequence 

This is what your dashboard will look like at first. 

Skylead Smart Sequence Dashboard

As you may see, on your right there are elements and conditions. 

Drag them one by one to the workspace dashboard and connect them in a coherent way to create your flow! 

Know that for each personalizable element, there is an option of inserting the message, using all the variables you need, making the most out of the Image and GIF hyper-personalization feature, and of setting up after how many days and/or hours you want a certain element or condition to be executed. All in one place! 

Skylead Smart Sequence Message

As complicated as it may seem, it is actually quite intuitive! 

You don’t believe us?

Check out this video tutorial on how to make a Smart Sequence and see for yourself! 

Furthermore, take a peek at several examples of Smart Sequences that our team of experts made (and tested) for you. These are templates with real data that you can use immediately.  

What is so special about Smart sequences? 

As Multichannel Outreach is currently the most effective way of generating leads, Smart Sequences represent a groundbreaking realization of that path! They allow you to create different scenarios for your workflows depending on the prospect’s behavior. 

Namely, it is the “if/then (condition)” step that makes the difference. 

To explain it in the simplest way possible, check out the type of sequence that other tools use to generate leads. 

For example, one (very simple) flow goes this way: Connection Request – LinkedIn Message –  (follow-up) LinkedIn Message. If everything goes as “planned”, not a problem. However, in case the prospect doesn’t accept your Connection Request the rest of the flow goes down the drain. 

Skylead Linear Sequence Example

With Smart Sequences, the same flow could be put in the following manner – “If Connection Request Accepted” then “Send Message”, “If Connection Request Not Accepted” then – a whole bunch of other options, such as “Email Discovery & Verification” – “If Email Found” - “Send Email”, etc. 

Skylead Smart Sequence Benefits

As you may see, your Smart Sequence will not just stop. It will proceed with other available/possible paths to your lead completely bypassing LinkedIn if necessary.


Hopefully, we demystified a bit the entire process of building a campaign on Skylead! 

If we got you interested and you’ve already realized that the campaign creation is far simpler than you thought, what are you waiting for?

Take the leap! ??

If not a user yet, schedule a demo call with a specialist from our team. Discuss how you can make the most out of our tool! 

If already our customer, feel free to reach us out on the Support Chat or schedule a Success Call with our Customer Support and Success Manager. 

We are waiting for you!

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Whether a newbie or an experienced Sales Engagement Tool user, you might have never thought that View & Follow features could become your main Lead Generation source. 

It just sounds too simple, right?

To be honest, with the newest LinkedIn Limits we all need to get really creative in our outreach and use every feature at our disposal, once we've done with the right LinkedIn prospecting effort. 

Otherwise, we are risking jails and bans on LinkedIn or simply a far lower efficiency when it comes to Lead Gen. 

So, let’s think outside the box, shall we? 😁

What is the main difference between Connect & Follow on LinkedIn? 

When you connect with someone on LinkedIn, you can see each other's profile updates, shared posts, and send LinkedIn messages to one another. 

When you follow someone on LinkedIn, you will only see their posts on your feed. A lead who doesn’t follow you back will not be able to have an insight into yours. You are interacting with his or her shared content rather than with the prospect whose profile you are following. 

The Follow option helps you reach a broader audience without being bombarded with Connection Requests from someone interested only in your content or vice-versa.

However, what you maybe did not know is that you can use… 

View & Follow as a lead generation strategy

Go on Meme

Believe it or not, some people base their entire LinkedIn Lead Generation campaigns just on the LinkedIn “View Profile” option. Instead of trying to connect right away, they visit profiles of their interest, and those prospects, in most cases, respond with a Connection Request!

Aside from being a very non-invasive way of Lead Generation, it can also be a solution in case your profile, for any reason, has a history of jails and restrictions and you don’t want to compromise it furthermore. 

And, yeah, FYI, you can also use a Sales Engagement Tool for reaching (viewing, to be precise) a major number of leads’ profiles. Some users base their entire campaigns on this strategy. 

The same rule applies to the “Follow” feature. Additionally, this one can be a great substitute for unresponded Connection Requests or different unsuccessful outreach tries. 

View & Follow as part of the Smart Sequence 

Skylead is, as always, one step ahead when it comes to Lead Generation and Sales Engagement Industry in general. 

That is why View & Follow have become important features of our Smart Sequences.

As you may see below, the “Follow” feature can be a backup option in case your lead does not accept the Connection Request or his/her profile is not open to free LinkedIn InMails. It becomes a useful part of your sequence, as it does not necessarily exclude the possibility of the same prospect wanting to connect with you eventually. Since the lead gets a notification about being followed on LinkedIn, this option can be a subtle reminder of your attempt to connect. As mentioned earlier, it is not rare that a followed lead answers back with a Connection Request at some point. 

Check it out!

Skylead Smart Sequence Example

Anyhow, as you may see, View & Follow features can be a quite creative way of generating leads. 

Told Ya Meme

Don’t take them for granted, whether part of the Smart Sequence or individually. 

Experiment and see what option works best for you! 

You would be surprised.

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What is hyper personalization and why is it so important nowadays? 

Explained in a simplified way, hyper-personalization is the use of data to ensure more targeted and meaningful interactions with customers that lead to delivering relevant content, products, and service information to each user. 

In a world where automation started to result in generic and impersonal outreach, personalization helps you differentiate from your competitors and connect to your future leads and/or clients on a higher level. 

That being said, Skylead goes far beyond mere automation software. It takes personalized marketing a step further and helps humanize one-to-one communication.

Wanna know how? 

1. Define who you are trying to communicate with. 

Targeting is the first and most crucial step of every personalized outreach, LinkedIn lead generation, and finally a successful campaign. 

Skylead is no exception to that rule. 

So, define your audience to start with!

LinkedIn, Sales Navigator and Recruiter give you a rather convenient option for filtering your potential leads and perform prospecting on LinkedIn. You can do it by any keyword, geography, postal code, first and/or last name, school, seniority level, years of experience, etc.

Sales Navigator filters image

However, there is more to it! 

Let’s say you have your private lists of contacts and their email addresses and/or LinkedIn profile URLs. These people are your target group and you want to take advantage of the existing files. 

No problem! 

Skylead supports importing CSV documents and it automatically extracts all the necessary information for your campaigns. 


No need to insert that super long list of names and other info manually! 

2. Now use Skylead to conquer that personalized mass outreach! 

Once you have identified or imported your target audience, it’s time to choose among numerous variables and personalize the first wave of your mass outreach.

How do you do that? 

There are 8 basic variables to insert and combine in your messages:

However, if your CSV document contains extra data on your leads, use them as custom variables when reaching out. 

You write out a message, insert basic or custom variables where you need them, and information gets automatically pulled from the selected accounts/CSV files. 

In case some of them are not available, there is an option of manually filling in the replacement.

See? We have a solution for everything! 

Filter Your Search Sales Navigator Gif

3. New emailing feature alert! New emailing feature alert! 

Aside from sending connection requests with personalized messages, follow-ups, LinkedIn InMails, Skylead now has the option of reaching out by email in case your contacts don’t reply on LinkedIn!

You can run, but you cannot hide! 

Set up one email template, personalize it like you would have done it with LinkedIn messages and InMails, and just like that create workflows for different scenarios

Plus, if you don’t have your target audience’s emails, thanks to Skylead’s Discovering Emails Feature, there is always an option of automatically extracting their emails and building your own extensive contact list of potential clients.

Let’s sum it up for a moment. 

Now you have the option to: 

4. Unless you want to be taken for a creeper, timing is everything! 

Whether you are reaching out to your clients for the first time or you are following up with them, set up a reasonable time in between messages. Not only will it give the impression of manually-performed communication, but you won’t seem pushy and obnoxious. You want your future leads to confide in you and your product/service, not to try running away from it as far as possible. 

Extra tip!

Pay attention to your and your client's time zone, work hours, holidays, and similar. It will give that extra touch of manually-performed communication. 

Fortunately for you, all of this can be automated on Skylead. Several clicks and you won’t need to keep track of it on the side. 

Skylead Time Zone Settings

Skylead Run On Weekends Settings

5. Stand out with Image and GIF hyper personalization.

Are you in a creative business? Or do you just want to spice it up and break the monotony of the dull, old-fashioned messaging?

If yes, we, of course, have a solution for that too!

Obviously Meme

Whether you would like to wish your clients happy holidays or make a fun campaign/job opportunity announcement, your interaction can get more interesting and appealing by adding hyper-personalized Images and GIFs.

Why do we call them “hyper-personalized”, you wonder? 

Because it is such a flexible tool that can import and include the previously-mentioned basic and custom variables and place them on Images and GIFs. These appear right after the text and are there to spice up the message, make your recipients smile, feel taken care of. 

Show them you went that extra mile for them! 

Skylead Image Template Example

Can you imagine how much you would stand out virtually in the always more competitive world of marketing and communication?

Go On Meme

Wanna know more about how Skylead will help your business skyrocket? 

Feel free to reach us out on the Support Chat and we can schedule a Success Call to discuss how you can benefit from Skylead the most.

In case you are our new potential user, chat with our Customer Support Team and they will be more than happy to find a solution that fits your needs best.

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