Direct LinkedIn messages offer a unique method of communication that is objectively superior to cold emails. Emails are a cold communication tactic (as the recipient has not communicated with you before), whilst Linkedin messages are warmer in the sense that you’ve already engaged the recipient prior (you can only message connections) and that has some inherent advantages.
In the history of sales and business development, there has no tactic more popular than the classic cold contact. Knocking on doors, posting captivating letters and in our modern age, sending out offers via cold emails.
Now, Cold Emails have a bit of a bad rap for being annoying, or at the worse case, straight up spam. But you can’t deny how effective it can be.
Statistics show that effective cold emails are opened 15.22% to 28.46%, depending on the industry. This means for every 1000 emails that you send, you would have an open rate of at least 150 (If you have crafted the email correctly, more on that below). For those 150 readers, you would expect to convert around 5-10% to active customers, or at most 15 customers.
Advantages of Linkedin Messages:
- You can message the decision maker directly, as opposed to working through a gatekeeper or a generic company email account. Millions of cold emails a day get lost into generic inboxes that are never checked, wasting time and energy. Or worse, they are sent to someone who doesn’t understand the email, rejects the offer and deletes it.
- The open rate of a LinkedIn message is near 100%. Anyone who receives a message on LinkedIn will be notified via email (the message is also forwarded to the recipient’s email account so in a way you are hijacking their inbox as well) as well as a push notification to their phone.
- Not only will they open it, but they will also open it as soon as possible. A LinkedIn message that is unopened and pending will make anyone burn with curiosity. You can expect a potential lead to read your message and take action within the day.
- Linkedin encourages a ‘conversational’ style of messaging. You don’t need to ask the potential lead for a discovery meeting… you are already in the process of discovery with them! Because of the casual ‘chat’ nature of the platform, it’s very easy for a potential lead to quickly reply to your messages (as opposed to answering a more formal email). This can lead to a more fluid and dynamic sales process.
- Lastly, spam emails if proven to be unsolicited (Classified as an Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE)), can actually result in a warning or fine from the FTC. LinkedIn messages are not in any danger of being classified as such because they are on a private platform unrelated to emails. Linkedin loves users sending messages, as it encourages users to engage with their platform more often leading to more revenue.
- Provides more context on the sender. If you receive a cold email from someone you don’t know, it takes time and effort to check who the person is and whether they are of interest and reputable. When you receive a LinkedIn message, you can click on the sender’s profile and easily find out more information. You can see information such as connections and groups in common, which helps the recipient build up a better picture of the sender, as well as any previous interactions you’ve had.
- It’s more personal and less informal. We live in an age where we crave more authentic interactions, which is why LinkedIn is a more suitable platform to contact people, even in B2B industries. You can be less formal on LinkedIn, more chatty, and more personal, which helps you build rapport with prospects quicker and helps with lead generation.
- All communication is stored in one place. When you email someone back and forth over a period of time, you end up with lots of different email chains. This makes surfacing the information you need when you need it a lot more challenging and time-consuming.
- It’s quicker. LinkedIn messages can often be only a couple of sentences –– or even words –– long. People are busy; if they don’t have to put much thought and effort into the message then they’ll be much more likely to reply. It leads to less overthinking about what your response should be, and more just quickly doing.
- All communication is stored in one place. If you use your LinkedIn account to send messages, all your entire conversation history is saved in one stream so you can easily access and review information. You can even add multiple participants to conversations, and save all interactions with them in one stream. Sending and receiving LinkedIn messaging is a similar experience to using a messaging app such as Slack of WhatsApp.
Real World Results – Phone vs LinkedIn vs E-mail
Here is a real world case study that targeted 300 senior executive contacts. The database used for all outreach was comprised of known contacts and all three used similar language in the text or script. These are the results from 300 outreaches using an equal spread of LinkedIn’s InMail, outbound phone calls and traditional e-mail:
- 100 InMails sent generated 67 responses and 44 event registrations
- 100 phone calls generated 32 connections and 20 registrations
- 100 e-mails sent generated 12 responses and 6 registrations
LinkedIn responses outperformed e-mail by 558%
LinkedIn responses outperformed phone by 209%