Steve Momorella

Online Public Relations
Phone: 734-945-7790
09 January 2015
If you’re still thinking of LinkedIn as a place to build your career rather than your business, you’re missing out on what the professional networking site has to offer—LinkedIn has become an increasingly important content marketing platform, especially for B2B companies. Now, as Julian Chow reports in Hypertext, a change in LinkedIn’s InMail policy makes the site an even better place for creators of quality content marketing.
InMail, LinkedIn’s email service, allows users to contact just about anyone with a profile on LinkedIn, even if there’s no formal connection. Depending on your subscription level, you could have as many as 25 InMail credits available to use per month. Prior to January 1, 2015, if you sent an InMail and got no response, LinkedIn would nullify the credit charge, essentially giving you a “free” credit because the person you pursued didn’t respond. But the social network flipped the script, penalizing correspondences that don’t get a response and rewarding those that do.
Sankar Venkatraman, a senior product marketing manager at LinkedIn, explained the policy change in a recent blog post, indicating that the old system encouraged people, especially recruiters, to send generic InMails, creating a poor member experience and reducing the likelihood that members will be responsive to other InMails. The average InMail open rate is unknown, though some speculate that it is between ten and twenty percent. LinkedIn hopes that rewarding its InMail users will encourage them to develop quality content for prospecting campaigns, thus increasing open rates.  
So, as Chow notes, ‘the obvious question is, “How do I craft InMails that generate more responses?”’ He offers four simple tips, all of which fall under the rubrics of “good writing” and “good marketing”:
  • Make your headline relevant to your audience, whom you can know well thanks to LinkedIn.
  • Share content—don’t just hard sell. The content could be your own or something you read that would interest your audience.  
  • Use action-oriented keywords (e.g., such as “download,” “read,” “experience”) in your subject line.
  • Personalize each InMail instead of just copying and pasting the same message to different prospects.  
Over the last few years, LinkedIn has become the dominant social media platform for professionals; in fact, it’s been so successful that Facebook is planning to create a network of business profiles separate from traditional Facebook pages. In our 2014 Social Media News Survey, we likewise found a huge spike in the usage and importance of LinkedIn, suggesting that LinkedIn is becoming a key platform for sharing and spreading business news and information among working professionals. To learn more about the latest trends in social media, download our 2014 Social Media News Survey Report Today.
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