Why LinkedIn InMails Are Becoming the Preferred Choice for Cold Outreach in 2023

Created On
October 8, 2023
Why LinkedIn InMails are preferred for cold outreach

Why LinkedIn InMails Are Becoming the Preferred Choice for Cold Outreach in 2023

LinkedIn InMails are special DMs that you can send to LinkedIn members even if they are not your connections, available for LinkedIn premium and Sales Navigator users only. 

People send InMails on LinkedIn for networking, recruiting, and prospecting

If you’re reading this, I am sure you are aware of the ongoing craze about InMails, especially if you’re in the B2B space. People are talking about it on LinkedIn posts, articles, Twitter, YouTube: literally everywhere. Many are claiming LinkedIn InMails are the best cold outreach channel. 

Now, the question: why though? Wasn’t the email the king of cold outreach? 

Well, I have written this article to answer the very same question. So, let’s get on with it. 

Why Marketers Prefer LinkedIn InMails for Cold Outreach?

Email has been the unrivaled outreach solution for quite some time. In the ongoing debate of email v/s LinkedIn InMails, it’s interesting that people prefer InMails. Is it bringing the best outcome? 

Let’s find out. 

InMails Offer 3 Times Higher Open Rates than Email

Cold email outreach is a risky game. The major worry is: will the recipient even read your message?

Marketers try hard to catch the recipient’s attention. They do all sorts of things like adding emojis, personalization to craft subject lines that increase open rates.

LinkedIn InMails, on the other hand, are famous for high open rates. According to a LinkedIn article, it provides three times higher open rates than email. 

And, that’s something that SDRs have always wished for. 

High open rates is one of the major reasons why marketers are preferring LinkedIn InMails for outreach. 

No Spam Filter

ESPs are notorious for their strict spam filters. An email subject line with little to no sales-y words can alert the spam filters and end up ruining the entire email campaign and also the sender reputation.   

Unlike emails, LinkedIn InMails don’t go through the risk of landing in spam. They reach the prospect’s inbox directly. 

This is another reason why SDRs are preferring InMails for prospecting. 

Targeted Outreach

LinkedIn, as a platform, boasts of 65+ million professionals who are decision makers of various businesses. It means 4 of 5 members are responsible for business decisions.

This fact alone makes LinkedIn the perfect platform for B2B outreach. 

Unlike cold calls and emails, LinkedIn outreach allows marketers to launch targeted campaigns. All they need to do is use search filters on LinkedIn and find hot leads. 

The ability to launch targeted campaigns make InMails a better outreach choice for SDRs. 

Prospects Trust LinkedIn Profiles

Cold emails are sent to 1000s of prospects who are complete strangers to the marketer. The recipients are mostly likely unaware of their business and product. This creates a trust barrier for the prospects and makes conversion harder. 

Contrastingly, a prospect receiving InMails can always click on the sender’s profile and checkout their company page. This direct conversation increases the chance of conversion.

This is another reason why marketers are preferring InMails over other outreach channels. 

Recent Lead Database

Having accurate and current data is crucial for cold outreach. Sending a cold email to wrong prospects often leads to low reply rates and high spam rates.

This is where InMails shine as the preferred choice for savvy marketers in 2023. LinkedIn, in essence, functions as a dynamic and ever-evolving lead database that's continually refreshed by its active user base.

Unlike lead lists acquired from databases like Apollo, one can easily find active leads on LinkedIn, as the users regularly update and maintain their profiles. 

This is why the data quality on LinkedIn remains consistently high. 

As professionals switch jobs, acquire new skills, or update their contact details, LinkedIn users promptly reflect these changes on their profiles. The beauty of LinkedIn lies in its real-time data updates, making it a goldmine of up-to-date information for outreach campaigns.

This is why outreach marketers prefer LinkedIn InMails over other outreach channels. 

Cold Emails still the Best Outreach Choice…Why?

Although InMails provides higher open and conversion rates, cold emails still remain the best outreach choice for the following reasons:

You can reach 1000s of prospect per day

To send InMail, you need a Core Professional account of Sales Navigator. Even with this subscription you get only 50 InMail credits, which means you can reach only 50 prospects per month.

In case of cold emails, with a software like Smartlead, you can send 1000s of emails per day without facing any deliverability issues. 

Cold emailing is cost effective

A Core Professional Sales Navigator account costs you $79.99/month. It means you’re spending $1.60 per InMail. If the prospect doesn’t respond, you’re just letting $1.60 go down the drain. 

Unlike InMails, all you need is a cold email tool to reach thousands of prospects every month. And cold email softwares is way more budget-friendly. 

For instance, Smartlead offers a Base plan for just $33 per month. In this plan, you get to send 6000 emails a month. If you want to compare the cost with the Core Professional Sales Navigator account, you get the Custom plan in Smartlead for just $78.

Not to forget, you can send as many as 150,000 emails per month with the custom plan. 

You can automate cold email campaigns

With InMails, the entire process is manual. Suppose you’re on a vacation and the prospect for whom you spent $1.60 just replied. Chances are you will miss to get back to them on time and lose a sale. 

With cold emails, all you need to do is subscribe for an AI-driven software. You can create scenario-based email sequences and automate the replies. 

This way you can still finish your drink relaxing at the beach and let the AI take the call on behalf of you, literally. 

You can follow-up on cold emails

Research says it takes more than five follow-ups, at least, to make a sale. With InMail, you get one shot only. 

If the prospect is having a bad day when your InMail reaches their inbox, you don’t get a second chance. With InMails, the worst part is there’s no “better luck next time”. 

But with cold emails, you can keep following up as long as you want. You can use an AI-driven tool to automate the follow-ups, so that you can focus more on closing deals that follow-up up on a not-so-sure lead. 

Final Thoughts!

If you are still thinking why is LinkedIn InMail better than email for outreach, here are the points why marketers like it so much:

  • Higher open rates
  • No spam filter
  • Prospects trust InMails better than emails
  • Recent lead database

There are definitely outreach benefits of using LinkedIn InMails, but the drawbacks are unignorable. 

❌ InMails are expensive
❌ You get only 50 InMails per month by spending $79
❌ No follow-ups
❌ No automation

Outreach is most of the time shooting in the dark, even if you’re targeting hot leads because you never know who is “ready” to buy your product. 

This is why emails are still the best cold outreach medium. Even though everybody is talking about InMails, cold emails still bring bigger numbers than InMails. 

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Author’s Details

Rajnish Das

Rajnish Das is an in-house writer at SmartWriter and SmartLead. She writes product-oriented, data-driven content for B2B SaaS audiences and educates them on marketing and sales topics. Her expertise includes outbound marketing techniques like cold emailing and LinkedIn outreach.


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