How To Write Personalized Cold Messages On LinkedIn: Full Guide

If you want to succeed in sales (actually, it doesn’t matter whether it’s LinkedIn, email, or any other channel), you should be willing to learn about:

  • people’s behavior
  • people’s behavior
  • people’s behavior

We’ve intentionally put it three times in a row so you can understand the importance of knowing how your customers make decisions. 

Basically, it all boils down to always doing research before starting a campaign and learning how to connect the dots between your findings and your company’s value prop.

We can’t just write a post on how to write personalized messages on LinkedIn without mentioning all the important parts of the lead generation process. A great message comes from the whole bunch of actions that you should take prior to starting with prospecting. 

We will go fast through each of the valuable steps and then, we promise, will attach some working templates for you to use. 

The value of research

People are very self-involved.

Just think about your casual subway ride. How many of those sitting on the opposite side of the train actually take their eyes off the phones? 

Very few. To tug a person off their thoughts, something truly valuable must pop up.

The information has to:

  • Hit right into the roots of their current struggles
  • Contribute to their ongoing strategies that lead to achieving their goals

In other words, if the information your audience passes by doesn’t resonate with their current problems/concerns/needs/struggles, it will fly under the radar.

The only way to come up with something that does resonate is taking the time to learn about your audience.

You don’t have to examine everything that is going on in their companies, but you have to know enough about their current situation to be able to offer a solution. 

LinkedIn cold message: sample

Knowing the tools they might use, struggles they might have with them (like the price or lack of important features), things they’re mainly writing about on their LinkedIn profiles — can all contribute to finding the dot of connection. 

Personalization doesn’t mean including a person’s name in every line or mentioning their positions everywhere. It means you look right into their situation, offering the solution that makes them see their problem from the other side.

Kyle Coleman made a great point in his guide to personalized messaging, describing what things to research to be armed for your communication. 

How to reach right people on LinkedIn: research

Sometimes there is a point in including where and how they can apply your solution:

Welcome message on LinkedIn

Further, we will give a brief overview of things that make a good personalized cold message. And right now, let’s proceed to the other essential parts that circle around creating a working cold message.

Find relevant people

All right, nothing is going to work if you send your brilliant messages to the wrong people.

But who are people that might be relevant to you?

Search filters are used to flush out potential customers. Here is a quick guide:

  1. Location

If you target people in the US, for example, there are 50 states and 19, 495 cities where you can find people who might be interested in your product!

If you’re doing it manually, go to “My network” > “Connections” > “Search with filters.”

LinkedIn search: how to find relevant people

Go to “All filters” to the right and scroll down to “Industry” and click “Add an industry.”

Type in the industry of your interest and click “Show results.”

Get the list of people.

Specify your search by adding keywords.

Filter on LinkedIn by keywords

You can also go to Search and type in your keyword and choose “in people.”

Find people on LinkedIn

Filter again by location and get the list of people.

Using Closely, you can do the same thing 2 times faster. 

  • Log in to your account
  • Select “Create Campaign”
  • Go to “Ideal Customer Profile”

Type in the job title of a person, choose location, industry, or import your contacts from CSV.

That’s it! Now you can start creating your first message for the chosen group of people.

Work on you profile

Reaching out to someone in hope to get a reply isn’t only limited to crafting a good sequence based on research.

In fact, you’re selling not just your product, you’re selling the whole picture. 

It includes how compelling your profile is in general: how nice your picture is, the number of connections you already have, posts you share. Your page might look similar to a landing page filled with information relevant to your audience.

When a person reads your message, they don’t just focus on a text: they perceive the complete picture. How you talk, look, at what time you reach out — all make the picture that is either compelling or loathsome.

Below are some things that will help you create a compelling LinkedIn profile.

  • Fill out the information about yourself and tell people about the solution you offer. Be transparent about who you are.
About section — LinkedIn profile

A great example from https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomfgoodwin/

  • Add work experience, education, interests, your USP and what differs you from competitors in your profile headline.
  • Customize your profile’s URL. It always looks more professional than a combination of random numbers and words. Go to View Profile > Edit Public Profile & URL > Edit URL
  • Connect with more people not just to generate leads, but to collect ideas from those who stand out in your industry
  • Use a custom background photo. Since your profile is a strategic tool, as we concluded, use it at maximum to increase recognition of your brand and its competitive differences.

A custom background photo should match with your overall brand identity and be an accurate representation of who you are as a brand. (Read more about the power of consistenct imagery across platforms)

Background image for LinkedIn
  • Choose a nice photo of yourself for your avatar. People always pay attention to who they’re talking to. There are three components of a good LinkedIn profile picture: warmth, friendliness and authority (read more in our full guide, watch link below)
  • Signal simplicity & approachability. Convey a message in only a few seconds. Strive to achieve noise-free & comprehensive communication.
LinkedIn profile examples

How to create a successful LinkedIn profile: full guide (coming soon).

Get started with content

Empty profiles look unprofessional & untrustworthy.

Of course, your content won’t strike immediately. Focusing just on engagement metrics doesn’t make sense — that’s not your aim here. 

When you create content that your existing audience gets engaged with, it will be further amplified and exposed to the new audience. That’s your main goal with content on LinkedIn.

It works like that: you create relevant content > get it in front of your network > people share your post > new people follow you.

Here, Brian Dean spilled the beans on how to build a successful content strategy for LinkedIn. We won’t repeat his claimings, but would definitely suggest you note some things from there.

Use Closely to outreach more people

Now, when you have done your research and dug out relevant people, it’s time to outreach at scale. 

The one and only working way today to do this is to use an automated tool that will help you reach more people without your involvement.

Here is how it works:

  • Log in to your profile
  • Filter your audience
  • Create a message sequence
  • Go to “Final check & start.”

Closely will run the sequences automatically without any supervision, and report back results from campaigns.

How to write a cold message on LinkedIn

Yes, here comes the most interesting part. 

How to write a cold message on LinkedIn

Since you now know your audience’s struggles, you can start creating a message that will talk right to them. 

In a way, you aim at speaking the same language.

We’ve rounded up the qualities of a super-good, non-cliche message that rises above the noise.

So, the good message:

  1. Gets right to the point
LinkedIn prospecting: best tips

It may seem that you have a never-ending field for your message, but it is not true.

You have a limited number of words.

Why? Because your prospects won’t read your impressive message in the depth of vocabulary if it doesn’t pique their interests. Unfocused writing ends up with them holding their arms above the touchpad in an anticipation to close the window and go back to more important things.

That’s why, try to keep it up to 5 paragraphs, 5 sentences each +CTA (if it goes) + greeting and closing, at the most. In them, bring to light what you want from the person instantly: whether it’s reading your content or agreeing for a trial. Explain the value they’ll receive from your offer and don’t irritate people with obvious things of zero value.

  1. Is light in mood 

No one likes grumpy people and too serious writing. 

We like those who brighten our mood. We want to know that things are gonna be fine and welcome those who bring good news.

Conversely, people who burden us with problems, pointing at things that already make us uncomfortable (like drop in sales) get zero attention from us. 

Encourage people to try your product in a light, playful way. Don’t concentrate on their struggles too much: mention them briefly and proceed to the solutions.

Talk about your product not because you want to close this deal but because you understand what values it carries and because you’re sure it will help.

  1. Is easy to read 
Cold message on LinkedIn: tips

No one will read long, cumbersome messages. Escape difficult structures and use simple words to transmit your idea.

The best way to ensure your message is easy to follow is to ask your colleagues to read it. Get a second opinion on your draft—maybe even a third—and then incorporate constructive criticism and suggestions.

  1. Has your personality touch

Although you’re a representative of your company, you have some unique traits that can come in handy when crafting messages. 

It’s hard to build relationships with people if today you sound like Peter’s template, and tomorrow you’re some noted schema from yesterday’s training.

Since sales are all about building relationships, you’ll have to be yourself from the very beginning. It’s quite easy to do if you always use your own words even if transmitting someone’s idea.  

People buy from people, and your prospects will never buy from you if they don’t understand who you are. Be consistent and use your own words and expressions.

  1. Doesn’t sound desperate

Yes, of course, we all want to hear from people we’ve reached out to.

However, a better strategy is to reach out to more people than annoying those who obviously don’t care. Don’t start this game from the very beginning.

That being said, a cold message is the one that doesn’t push a person in any way or make them feel obliged. Forget about those old sales tricks: they don’t work, especially in a world with limitless access to information — customers today define more options across more sellers without even a single encounter with a sales rep.

Cold messages on LinkedIn:tips

Ok, Monica is going to follow us right to the end.

One of the ways not to sound like you’re going to die if not getting a reply is to describe the value of your product without pushing them to take action.

Oh yes, we’re leaving the comfort zone.

Of course, it doesn’t mean that you should leave your copies without CTAs.

It’s just sometimes there is much more sense in dropping the link at the end of your letter without “poking” the person.

  1. Unfolds around a recipient

The problem with a lot of messages on LinkedIn is that they aren’t talkin “to me.”

They’re talking “at me.”

The difference is huge: in the second case the center of the Universe is the writer. 

If you want to close deals, it should be another way around. 

There is a way to make a reader feel that it’s about them: the word “you.”

We like people who talk about us, it’s just human nature. When you talk to someone at a party, you warm up to those who ask you questions about yourself and are all ears when you pour out your thoughts, your concerns.

Aim for three “you” to every “I.” This is the ratio that guarantees your message is more about your prospect than it is about you.

  1. Has smooth transition from a problem to solution

The biggest challenge with writing personalized messages on LinkedIn is to connect the dots between what you know about a person or a company and what you have to offer.

Very often you read something you like and then — bam— the sales pitch barges in.

Before you know, it all comes down to shoving things down your throat, and it’s not about you or your situation anymore. Nor is it about the freedom of choice.

One of the ways to escape sounding like you’re walking them into a trap, is to stop telling people what to do.

Wrap your offer in a way that it sounds like an option, not a direct order. 

  1. Has a least 5 alternative versions

No one has ever managed to succeed at scale with one message template. 

The more versions of a message you test, the more chances you have to produce the one that will generate more leads.

Closely allows you to run tests of several campaigns and make it easy to figure the one that hits them all.

If you know how to write personalized cold messages on LinkedIn, you’re halfway to success. The next step you want to do is to learn how to manage the whole sales process using Closely to cut the time spent on all manual tasks and relocate your resources to achieve better results with nurturing qualified leads.

As we promised, below are templates for cold messages on LinkedIn that worked best for us.

Coming Soon: Best templates for LinkedIn connection request message