Sending LinkedIn InMail Or Connection Requests – What’s Best?

Linkedin is the best platform for bringing businesses together, indeed!

This business platform has so many tools and features you can use for networking and lead generation, though the most used and effective ones are connection requests and InMails.

But among these two, which is the best for generating new leads? And which feature experts recommend to grow your network sales on LinkedIn?

Though these features are effective in making new connections, there are some major differences between LinkedIn InMail and connection requests, and we will show you those in this read.

A brief intro of InMail and Connection Requests

To determine whether you use InMail or connection requests, let’s check out what these key features mean.

What is LinkedIn InMail?

Sponsored InMail is LinkedIn’s paid and premium messaging feature. InMails are promoted messages that you can send to other targeted LinkedIn users based on demographics and other elements.

Rerad more about InMail: What is InMail?

The tool is only available with LinkedIn’s premium account. Furthermore, the feature makes it simple to do various tasks like sending connection requests, dealing with your network, and generating a consistent source of business leads.

Lately, LinkedIn changed the name of the InMail service to Message Ads. However, the term ‘InMail’ is still used by industry experts and other users.

What is a connection request?

In simple words, a LinkedIn connection request is an invitation that you send to connect with others on the platform. You can send connection requests to a variety of people on your present network. Moreover, if any of your invitations get accepted, they will be among your 1st-degree connections.

For standard LinkedIn members, this is the first way of growing your reach and network on the platform. It allows you to build connections with different people and accounts.

Unlike InMail, no need to have a premium LinkedIn account to use the connection request feature. Thus it is more common and works best for new LinkedIn users.

InMail vs. Connection Request Prominent Features

Both of these functions have their advantages and downsides, but both are highly effective for various purposes. However, it can be confusing to determine which option is more suitable for expanding your network and generating fresh business leads.

To give you a better understanding, we have broken down all the primary features of both LinkedIn connection requests and Message Ads. Have a look:

Connection Requests

As stated above, LinkedIn connection requests work as invitations, and you can use them to connect with other LinkedIn members and ask them to join your network. After requesting the request, they will become a 1st-degree connection.

Some key features of this method are as follow:

  • You can reach out and connect with 2nd- and 3rd-degree connections.
  • Quick and simple to use.
  • LinkedIn features a ‘Grow Your Network’ page that offers a consistent flow of new connections.
  • After obtaining their email address, you can get in touch with them directly.
  • You can find the users and their profiles you personally know.

As you can see, the feature has a lot to offer, and anyone with a standard LinkedIn account can use connection requests without upgrading the membership.

InMail/Message Ads

Available in LinkedIn’s premium account, you can use InMail/Message Ads to reach all sorts of people and profiles on LinkedIn. The tool is handy, but there are some limits that you need to know.

Below are some notable features of the tool that make it the most effective:

It is the best feature for targeted messages. Plus, there are no character limits or other similar restrictions. The tool allows you to target your InMails to like-minded users and reach out to your target audience.

The tools bring more and stronger engagement. Using InMail can seamlessly cut through the noise in the prospect’s inbox and represent you and your business.

Additionally, you can send an InMail to almost all LinkedIn users. You can send messages to the people within your network and outside of your network.

LinkedIn also has various tools and metrics that you can use with InMail/Message Ads.

All these are exceptional features that you can use to generate business leads. However, all this is only available for premium LinkedIn accounts.  

Standout Features

Now that you have all the info regarding InMail and connection requests and how they work let’s look at which is the best feature to generate leads. Below, we will compare these features to determine which is more beneficial for sales.

The primary differences between InMail and a Connection Request:

Let’s explore and compare the main features of InMails and connection requests and how they vary:

Cost: LinkedIn connection requests are free, while InMail is not free and only available for premium members. Usually, the InMails costs between $30.00 to $119.95 monthly.

Reach: Via connection requests, you can reach those users who are in your network, not all. On the other hand, LinkedIn InMail allows you to send messages to anyone on the platform.

Limit: Connection requests are unlimited, and you can send as many as you want, but that’s not the case with InMail. You will get limited credits for InMails as per your subscription, between 15 to 60 per month. However, you can purchase more if needed.

Value: Standard connection requests can hit or miss as they are dependent on who you are trying to connect with. Conversely, InMail recipients have an open rate of up to 50% due to their targeted and stand-out nature, and the acceptance rate is also higher than standard requests.

Extra tools: You won’t receive extras with connection requests. However, LinkedIn Premium Account offers various analytics tracking too that help to measure how effective your InMail is.

Final thoughts

Evidently, both of these LinkedIn features are handy and help in generating business leads. To some extent, both of these are essential for your business’s growth.

To simplify, if you want to adopt a more targeted approach, InMail offers a unique opportunity. However, you have to manage InMail credits, and you will need a Premium LinkedIn account to use the feature.

On the other hand, you can use the connection request feature for free; however, you can only send requests to your network, not to all LinkedIn users.

Hopefully, now that you know all the difference between LinkedIn’s connection requests and InMails. Thus you can decide which one you should use for lead generation.

Co-founder and CEO at Closely – Lead Intelligence and Sales Automation Platform.