LinkedIn Cold Message Examples And Hacks For 65+% Reply Rate

In this guide, we’re going to get you through some tactics to pivot your LinkedIn prospecting game. We will provide some cold message examples for LinkedIn that will give you 65+% of reply rate. 

How do we know?

We’ve sent out hundreds of thousands of cold emails and messages and we know things that work. Yes, surely, you’ll have to tailor all these tactics to your audience’s specifics to make the biggest impact. 

This guide is designed to become a guiding light for a good start in LinkedIn outreach. Apply these tactics to your audience’s needs, and revamp your strategy on the basis of the results you get.

Happy experimenting!

Before you begin writing your first cold message

Maria, account executive, Closely

If you’re just starting with your outreach, there is no way you can escape audience research. 

The reason for this is simple: without the appropriate lead-up information, your message lacks context, personalization, and trustworthiness —three important factors when it comes to establishing relationships.

How much research is too much?

Research can be useful or suffocating. 

Depending on your role/industry you may only have a few connections to be made, and in this case, you can spend more time exploring their profiles.

However, If you need volume and are going to automate your outreach, it’s essential to go through a person’s:

  • Name
  • Job Title
  • LinkedIn Summary
  • Name of the company
  • Industry
  • Location

You also must have a good credibility “imprinted” in your profile.

Your LinkedIn profile should tell who you are, what you do, and what is so special about it.

It goes beyond just filling out your summary. To stay fresh in a competitive environment, you should think about how people perceive you or your brand relative to competitors.

Alina, content manager, Closely

I believe that outbound sales rarely function without being in conjunction with marketing.

In this relation, you might notice that many people overlook the role of a brand’s differentiator. 

Whatever you sell, it should be positioned as something different from what others do. 

Even if you do just the same things as competitors, you have to crystallise your unique selling point. Without it, you will just fade into the background.

I also believe that selling is all about inspiring people. Brands with no character and boring communication inspire no one. You don’t have to be better than competitors, but you’ve got to have your own edge.

Start with this.

If your brand (or personal brand) is perceived to be exactly like others on the market, consumers would have no reason to buy it.

  • Your brand’s character is essential because further it comes through in various mediums, like tone of voice, blog posts, LinkedIn summary, product landing and detail pages, etc.
  • Strong brand identity unites teams, bringing everyone to the same page. Sales reps then can convey a brand’s message, apply it to the tone of voice and how they treat customers’ challenges, how they behave around them. It makes your brand authentic and strong in the eyes of the consumer.

How To Find Prospects

LinkedIn recently presented a limit on the number of searches for free accounts per month. They haven’t provided any specific number, but in practice, it’s 100 requests per week.

The first road you can take to find the right people is to perform manual searches according to your ICP (ideal customer profile). You go through plenty of profiles that aren’t the right fit first. 

Looking for people manually always results in a better acceptance rate because you do a more thorough research and speak directly to a person, eye-to-eye.

  • Basically, you start by using LinkedIn search filters to mine someone who might match your ideal customer profile.

There are numerous of filters to choose from even with using a free LinkedIn account, including:

  1. Connections (1st, 2nd, 3rd) 
  2. Name
  3. Company
  4. School/University
  5. Job Title
  6. Location
  7. Industry
  8. Interests
  • You can pay researchers to find qualified leads 

If finding new leads doesn’t fit into your schedule (or if you don’t feel like doing it), you can turn to leadgen experts  — freelancers that are skilled at finding and qualifying potential customers.

You can google and find companies that are specialized in lead generation or find freelance specialists at:

Although it may seem that purchasing leads from a lead generation company is the fastest way to fill the sales funnel, you may end up with irrelevant emails/accounts if you do it without checking the competency of the company/specialist beforehand.

Things to consider when hiring a leadgen specialist:

  • They must provide you with a TON of information to help you make an informed decision
  • You’re interested in generating quality leads (then ones that have the highest chances to convert into an actual sale of your product or service) only, so ask them how they search people and what tools do they use
  • Do they share their insights? Do they provide useful webinars? Check all these on their website
  • Pay attention to their website: a professional agency doesn’t save on design. Also, inspect the sections with their current customers.
Leadgen agency
Leadgen agency, London

A professional leadgen agency should come up with a bespoke lead generation strategy for you. To develop one, they need to know many things about your product and your prospects. Therefore, pay attention to how many and what sort of questions they ask you.

  • Use scrappers

There are some tools that you can use to find relevant people. Some of them are:

Such tools allow you to apply filters like job title, industry, location, according to your ICP and flush out relevant people’s LinkedIn profiles.

Zoom Info – People Search

The main point to remember when it comes to searching people on LinkedIn is that you have to get granular with your ICP. 

It means that you should work it through down to the details like motivations of a person, hobbies, content they like, their goals and struggles.  

There can be more than one portrait of your ideal customer: since you can reach out to each of the groups separately with highly personalized messages, the more ‘clusters’ you get, the better.

Prospect clusters 

Why should you go after multiple prospect clusters? And what is a cluster anyway?

Clusters are groups of customers that are formed based on similar needs or characteristics. 

For each segment, you determine which demographics, lifestyle, motivations and struggles make the segment distinct and identifiable.

Prospect Clusters help to organize and manage outreach for a large volume of prospects.

Ideally, the person who fits your ICP is aware of the pain and already looking for a solution. But it’s not always the case.

Criteria for prospect segmentation

For instance, let’s say you build an integrated marketing automation platform for small businesses.

Then your prospect segments might look like:

  1. VP of sales, SaaS, $200k + ARR, pain points: aware of pain, aware of solution, ready to take action
  2. VP of sales, SaaS, $200k + ARR,  aware of pain, unaware of solution
  3. CEO, SaaS, $200k + ARR,  aware of pain, aware of solution, ready to take action
  4. CEO, SaaS, $200k + ARR,  aware of pain, unaware of solution

ICP (ideal customer profile) is a more detailed portrait of your customer. It includes additional data points, like personal goals, lifestyle, motivations, personal goals, etc. It may include metrics they use in their organization to measure how well they achieve their goals.

Idea customer profile – example

Why is it crucial to address individual needs as well? Because your customer’s feelings and emotions are an important part of their decision-making process. 

In the B2B market, people make decisions for their organizations, which can be quite stressful. Your task is to show them that you care and don’t mean to put any more stress on them. In this relation, it’s important to learn how your customers manage their days, what personal motivations and goals they have aside from those of organization. 

How many people should I reach out to?

Nazar, Head Of Business Development, Closely

It depends on your background and the product. Ideally, you should talk to 8-10 people during the day to book a meeting. Fewer than that and you might not cover enough ground. More than that and its decreasing returns on time and effort. It’s usually the best strategy when you can manually find people, explore their profiles and come up with a striking conversation starter.

However, at some point, you’ll need to scale your outreach. You don’t want to craft and tweak every single message, so your best bet might be to go for automation tools.

Closely – LinkedIn lead generation platform

Closely automates your outreach and provides comprehensive analytics for your campaigns so you can win quicker and better.

That’s where clusters come into play: by knowing exactly who you’re going to reach out to, you can create highly personalized messages with unique conversation starters for each group of people. 

Hone you profile

  • Complete your summary

Your LinkedIn profile is a small version of your website with a touch of your personality. It shouldn’t go too far into your personal life, and at the same time, it cannot be just about the product.

Learn how to create a professional LinkedIn summary.

Also, you should try to be active on LinkedIn and increase your SSI.

  • Post content regularly. Share other users’ posts that you consider interesting, include your opinion, share your thoughts and insights.
  • Don’t post personal or politically controversial topics
  • Work on your brand image. Some believe brand positioning to be a prerogative of large companies. But in fact, it’s a crucial task for any business, however small, as well as for personal branding. 


In the content game, quality is more important than quantity. As competition becomes more severe, only the best content soars to the top.

Which content can be considered of high quality?

  • Usable, readable, actionable
  • Contains images, video embeds, infographics or other media?
  • Is in accordance with your whole marketing strategy

Connection requests

Now when you’ve completed your profile and have a clear brand message that is transmitted through your LinkedIn profile, and so you have a list of people to reach out to, it’s time to start writing your cold message.

Cold Message Templates That Get Up To 65+% Reply Rate

Feel free to copy and use these templates for your LinkedIn outreach.

  • Personalization point: Job title/ Industry


Hey {first_name},
I noticed you are a {your_industry} leader and wanted to reach out.
Always looking to connect with professionals in the {your_industry} space.
Looking forward to learning from one another.


Hello {first_name},
I deeply admire {company} and have a profound respect for your achievements.
Would love to connect.


Hey {first_name}, 
I’m growing my network with strong leaders in
the {industry}. Hope we can learn from each other.


Hey {first_name}!
I deeply admire what you at {name_of_company} do.
I’m a {job_title} at {company_name}.
I also saw we have some mutual connections. Would love to connect and learn from each other.
Regards, {your name}.

Once you come up with a message, you can input it into Closely and start your first campaign 🏒🏒🏒

Automating outreach with Closely

Add placeholders as suggested to customize the message.

  • Personalization point: Common activity (sport)


Hey there, {sport_name} fan!
Nice to meet another like-minded {job_title}.
I admire what you do in {name_of_the_company}. I’ve worked at {name_of_your_company} for {number_of_years} years. 
Would love to connect and keep in touch!
Regards, {your_name}.


Hi {first_name},
I’m also a {sport} fan. I’m also a {role} at {company}.
Would love to see you in my connections.
Best, {your_name}.

  • Personalization point: Location, job title

Hello! I saw you’re a {role} at {company}. I admire your work very much.
My name is {your_name}, I’m a/an {role} at {your_company}. We {specify_what_your_company_does}.
I’ve been to {city} several times. What a great place!
It would be great to connect with you and keep in touch. Next time I’m in {city}, I won’t mind to meet for a cup of coffee and discuss how we can help each other.
You can read more about what we do here: {link}.
Our customers think that {link to review website}.
Have a nice day!

There is a lot more personalization points based on which you can create phenomenal cold messages for your LinkedIn outreach. Each of the personalization points can be added to your messages in Closely.

You can create unlimited number of message sequences in Closely and reach out to up to 350 people per week automatically.


Writing cold messages on LinkedIn seems not that easy task at first: you should avoid being intrusive while managing to spark interest in your prospects. The key to success in LinkedIn outreach is to perform initial research that will let you break down your audience into clusters and create an ICP – ideal customer profile. All these finding should be used to create cold messages with perfect ice-breakers based on personalization — using information that you know about a person. Closely lets you add all personalization points and automate your outreach so you can move to your goals faster. Another great point about working with Closely is that you can instantly track your progress in your analytics dashboards right next to the tab with campaigns. By knowing where your efforts fall short, you can quickly tune your messages, experiment with time delay between messages, learn what your audience like and dislike and stay way ahead of your competition.

Content creator at Closely. I write about marketing & B2B sales. Welcome to our LinkedIn Sales Hacking Universe ;)