LinkedIn InMail VS Message — Main Differences

If you’re using LinkedIn for outreach, chances are, you were wondering, are LinkedIn InMails worth it?

Linkedin InMail vs Message

LinkedIn InMail is a paid message that is available within a premium subscription of LinkedIn. As you know, LinkedIn limits users in a number of connection requests they can send per month. As of 2023, you can send around 100 connection requests per week. So, an average of 20 invitations per day.

Not that many, especially if you don’t use multiple LinkedIn accounts. So, you’re sort of stuck with what LinkedIn dictates you to do.

The more people you connect with, the more leads get into your sales funnel, so it’s kind of bummer.

That’s why it’s paramount to find new ways of growing your network. Some sales reps consider InMails an appropriate solution for growing their network. InMail message lets one send messages to LinkedIn users directly, without the need to send a connection request first.

So, how does InMail work?

If you have LinkedIn Premium, you can message any LinkedIn user right in Sales Navigator’s interface.

Just find the needed prospect, and the message button will be there for you.

The number of messages you can send to your prospects per month is not limitless. It can be 10, 30, 60, 90 messages per month, depending on your subscription.

Here is more info on LinkedIn premium plans.

  • Linkedin Sales Navigator: 50 InMail credits/month
  • Linkedin Recruiter: 150 InMail credits/month
  • Linkedin Premium Career: 5 InMail credits/month
  • Linkedin Premium Business: 15 InMail credits/month

60 new credits will cost you around $100. Paying 100 bucks for 60 potential connections may be a bit reckless.

Besides, you don’t really know whether your paid LinkedIn message will reel in hot leads. 

So, it only works in case you’re definitely sure that you’re reaching the right people with the right message. If you’re almost sure that they will get interested — then the juice is worth the squeeze. In case of mass cold outreach, InMails of course, aren’t worth it.

By the way, you can issue a refund for InMails that are not accepted within 90 days. Here is what LinkedIn says about this:

Every InMail message that is accepted/declined or responded to directly within 90 days of it being sent is credited back”.

Linkedin InMail vs Message — Main Differences

Here is a comparison table for these two types of LinkedIn messages.

LinkedIn InMailRegular LinkedIn Message
Additional credits can be purchasedLimited, you cannot buy credits
Has subject lineNo subject lines

There is also no evidence whatsoever, that people react more enthusiastically to paid messages. Sometimes it can even create opposite effect — similar to the one that we have with Google ads (we tend to skip websites that bought their first lines in Google search results because we know it’s ad and, ergo, nothing meaningful there). So, when we see a paid message in our LinkedIn Inboxes — our eye may turn blind to it, since paid message is generally associated with spam.

There are cases when LinkedIn InMails can work — for instance, recruiters might benefit from it, if they add respective subject lines to their messages. However, for sales, InMails are probably the last resort option, when you really desperately need to message some decision maker, and you’re out of connection requests.

Is there another way to expand your network without paying for LinkedIn Premium?

Yes, there are several ways. They’re listed below.

  1. Connect with LinkedIn group members

Being a member of the LinkedIn group, you can message 2nd and 3rd degree connections without sending a connection request first, completely free.

Just join any LinkedIn group and click on “Show all”.

All the members will be listed. You can freely message them, without the need to send a connection request.

  1. Use multiple LinkedIn accounts 

One of the ways to expand your network is to use multiple LinkedIn accounts. You can even connect a few accounts of your sales team within one LinkedIn automation tool.

By connecting several LinkedIn accounts for your LinkedIn outreach, you sufficiently improve the speed of your outreach, and can reap much more benefits if you plan to use LinkedIn as an acquisition channel. The more accounts you’ve got connected — the quicker the messages are sent and the faster you grow.

Learn how to connect a LinkedIn account to Closely.

Connecting multiple accounts with your automation tool is a sure-fire way of growing your network and improving cold outreach efforts.

In Closely, you can build up and launch your LinkedIn outreach campaign, targeting different groups of leads and using various personalization types.

Simply upload a file with LinkedIn profile URLs of your prospects or provide a link to LinkedIn search results, events, groups or posts — the tool will scrape (collect) the audience from those places and build a lead list for your automated campaign.

Your campaign can consist of a connection message, follow-up message, post likes, skill endorsement, and profile views.

Watch a detailed instruction to how to build your LinkedIn outreach campaigns in Closely:

Email Outreach Campaigns 

In Closely, you can run email outreach campaigns along with LinkedIn outreach campaigns. Your email outreach campaign can consist of any number of follow-ups.

You can also look up emails of your prospects in our 143-million-record database of business contacts.

The takeaway

So, are LinkedIn InMails worth it?

Frankly, only in case you’re sure you’re targeting that very hot lead, and that your product is something your target audience is looking for right now — then it might be worth spending additional budget on LinkedIn paid messages.

For mass cold outreach, LinkedIn InMails won’t probably yield the desirable results. We’ve listed a few more other options to expand your LinkedIn outreach without the need to pay for InMails.

Want to learn more hacks? Book a quick call with our LinkedIn growth expert, Maria. Click on “Book a demo” on the home page.


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