LinkedIn Messaging – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

There is a lot to using the Messaging Section of LinkedIn properly, some of the practices leave a lot to be desired but many can make a big difference to your business. Let’s go over the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of LinkedIn Messaging.

The Good 👍

  • Start off the first message with each person properly and personalise the message request
  • When you receive a personalised message inbound it’s a great idea to actually respond!
  • When sending the first few messages it’s good to give them the context of your message, what content you liked of their’s, what stood out to you on their profile. Essentially make it about THEM not you
  • Nobody likes to sold to straight away without so much as a ‘how are you’, so it’s a great practise to not include your contact details in the first message (remove your phone, number and website). If they are interested it’s right there on your profile.
  • Messages are conversation starters first and foremost
  • Establish if there is a need for your product or service as you go, don’t propose on the first date!

The Good About Messaging from a User –Perspective

  • When you believe a conversation has concluded archive it. If the other party messages you again in the future the message thread comes straight out of archives and pops up to the top of your inbox again
  • The search function when you are looking for someone works quite well as long as you get the spelling of the entire name right. Unlike most email searches that suggest people as you type each letter. LinkedIn relies on you getting the entire word right before you hit the search. So it’s good but not great.

The Bad 👎

  • The bad is definitely the when people use LinkedIn like Tinder “oh you are so beautiful” etc [vomit, vomit, gag 🤮]
  • These kind of comments are inappropriate enough but I have also heard of people sending inappropriate photographs of certain body parts by men in some vain attempt to ‘hook up’ via the platform
  • Bad messaging is also when the content is completely mismatched with the receiver. I got a message just days ago stating that they wanted to connect with people like me who are in the fitness industry? Wait what??? Never even had a past position in that industry, and I’m definitely not fit!

The Bad – from a User Perspective

  • It would be a miss to not mention how clunky the entire message section is on LinkedIn, there is no way to organise messages into folders at even a basic level
  • Yes you can sort by certain parameters such as InMail, Archive, Unread, Spam and my favourite My Connections. I mean if it’s a message, isn’t it a connection? If they weren’t a connection it’s an InMail. This confuses me no end
  • Once someone gets to be in large volumes of connections the InBox gets virtually useless. Think back to when you may have had congratulations for a new job, anniversary or birthday and your inbox is flooded. Can you imagine if this was daily? Without anyway of prioritising your connections in the messages section the inbox it filled with a time priority not a connection priority
  • The Spam folder is also highly questionable. Mine only has 5 blatantly obvious spam messages so why do so many others come through?

The Ugly ☠️

  • Something I find extremely amusing is the AI responses of predictive text choices in the mobile app. Although this has been improving over the last few months, I do find they still miss the mark often
  • The massive overuse of the standard suggested responses

o  Congrats on the new job!

o  Happy Birthday etc

It’s a massive missed opportunity to stand out from the crowd and show someone you care about what they are doing and what they are up to, don’t use canned reponses

  • The use of 3rd party bots for messaging

o  Even thought 3rd party bots are against Terms & Conditions many people still use these. In theory I don’t have a big issue with them personally. In theory! Time saving is one thing but probably 80% of people use them incorrectly and just spam everyone in their network.

o  I had an event coming up for example that I wanted to invite past clients from a different event. There were only 110 people who I would like to message about it. A bot would save some time on this task. However, most people message their entire connection network and make it a numbers game. And that’s why they are and should be banned

  • Outsourcing your LinkedIn profile outside your organisation

o  Along the same lines, outsourcing your entire campaign to a 3rd party company offshore does not work well.

o  Many get generic content that is not unique and doesn’t work well, plus how does and outsourced company get photos of your staff and be able to tag them all accurately

The Ugly – From a User Perspective

  • The Sales Navigator is a separate InBox from ‘normal’ LinkedIn. So if you are talking to a customer that you messages via Sales Nav then speak later via LinkedIn you have two message threads
  • I also wonder if you loose all your messages if you unsubscribe from Sales Nav in the future?!
  • The removal of the notes and ability to tag made it very hard to target connections when messaging. It was a great feature to not waste anyone’s time, now it’s very difficult to do this.
  • The ability to message everyone in a group is also gone. I do understand that this was removed as it was being abused. Shame it’s always the 1% that spoil it for everyone else.

Messaging Tips

  1. Most in B2B use messaging for sales. However, many on LinkedIn seem to use the InMail system. This is pretty mental when you consider as a subscriber you only get 30 per month (and as a basic you only get 5). People also assume an InMail is going to be a spam letter so mostly ignore them. Many also buy extra InMail’s for around USD $4.99 each! The alternative of course is messaging a connection for free. You can build up this number over time but you can start at sending out 50 new connection requests per day. That’s a lot different from 30 a month.
  2. A nice soft sell to establish a new relationship is to simply send a LinkedIn message with a link to an article rather than a sell sell sell call to action message. You simply provide the link to the article or post and let them know you were thinking of them when you wrote this (even if you were thinking of 100 people).
  3. If using Sales Navigator I suggest you message people through LinkedIn rather than Sales Nav. It keeps everything together in one thread and you don’t risk losing it if you unsubscribe in the future (not 100% it does but I wouldn’t put it past LinkedIn as a way to keep you subscribed). It’s a little more fiddlier to keep switching between the two but well worth the effort.
  4. If you are sending work anniversary or happy birthday messages always change the default message. I recently received 321 messages for a work anniversary and less than 10% altered it. Who do you think I remember?

If anyone from #LinkedIn reads this there are some really basic functions that I’m sure we’d all love to see. Pinning a message that needs action to the top, the ability to place related messages into folders, even the ability to make a list of VIP’s so when their message comes through it is highlighted in some way. Fingers Crossed. 🤞

#LinkedInTips #TheLinkedInChallenge #LinkedInNinja

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