5 Reasons Why Your LinkedIn Inmail Subject Lines Aren’t Working

Created On:
October 27, 2023
Updated On:
March 13, 2024
Reasons Why Your LinkedIn Inmail Subject Lines Aren’t Working

LinkedIn InMails are growing popularity as an outreach option. With more and more people sending LinkedIn InMails everyday, you need to learn what works and what doesn’t. To ace LinkedIn prospecting, you need to be aware of reasons why LinkedIn InMail subject lines aren’t working. So that you can work on your campaign accordingly.  

In this article, I will list down the five key reasons behind ineffective InMail subject lines. From the absence of personalization to sales-driven language, I have covered it all.

Let’s dive in. 

5 Reasons Why Your LinkedIn Inmail Subject Lines Aren’t Working

#1 Lack of Personalization

When it comes to LinkedIn InMail subject lines, there’s only one rule—personalize or perish. The most common reason why InMails performs poorly is generic, one-size-fits-all subject lines. 

Your subject line is the first impression you make, and "Increase your revenue with XYZ Company" isn't exactly a head-turner. Generic subject lines often trigger the delete button faster than you can say 'missed opportunity.' They fail to engage because they lack the essential element of personal connection. 

To stand out from the crowd, research the prospect and use the info in your subject lines. Draw inspiration from mutual connections, shared interests, or recent achievements. 

For instance, "Read your article on lead generation" instantly forms a personal connection. You can also refer to their previous projects/jobs, hobbies, or even recent accomplishments. 

Your response rates will soar when you master the art of personalization. Remember, your InMail subject line is your foot in the door – make it personal, and you'll be welcomed with open arms.

#2 Overly Salesy or Spammy

One of the major reasons behind unsuccessful LinkedIn InMail campaigns is the use of subject lines that come off as overly salesy or downright spammy. When your subject line screams "BUY NOW!" or "HUGE DISCOUNTS," it's like setting off a red alert for your recipients. LinkedIn users are experienced professionals who value meaningful connections and genuine interactions. They can spot a sales pitch from a mile away.

If your subject line resembles a generic promotional email, chances are it will be swiftly ignored or even marked as spam. Nobody wants to feel like they're just another name on your sales list. Instead, opt for subject lines that focus on creating curiosity, offering value, or sparking a genuine conversation.

For instance, rather than pushing your product or service, consider a subject line that highlights a common industry challenge or asks a thought-provoking question. Such as:

  • Quick question on b2b lead generation

This approach invites engagement and opens the door to more authentic conversations, increasing your chances of a positive response. Remember, on LinkedIn, building relationships takes precedence over making quick sales.

#3 Lengthy 

Lengthy subject lines are like those never-ending stories your grandpa used to tell—they miss the point and often bore the recipient to the point of ignoring your message.

Imagine you open your inbox, and there it is: an InMail with a subject line so long you have to scroll to read it all. You're probably thinking, "Ain't nobody got time for that!" 

Here's the deal: people are busy. They skim through their messages, and if your subject line is a novel, it's going straight to the 'ignore' pile.

For instance, consider these two subject lines:

  • "Revolutionize Your Cold Emailing Strategy with Our Feature-Rich Platform Designed to Boost Your Outreach Efficiency and Open Rates"
  • "Struggling with High Bounce Rates? We've Got Your Solution!"

Which one catches your eye? The second one, right? Short, sweet, and to the point.

Keep your LinkedIn InMail subject lines concise to bag more responses. 

#4 Ineffective Profile Representation

An unoptimized or unprofessional LinkedIn profile can be a major hindrance when it comes to getting those inmail subject lines to work their magic. 

Your LinkedIn profile is like your digital business card. It's often the first impression you make on potential connections and employers. If it's incomplete or looks unprofessional, it can leave a negative impression right from the start. Incomplete profiles with missing information or outdated photos can make you appear disinterested or out of touch with the platform.

Psychologically, a well-put-together LinkedIn profile signals to others that you're serious about your professional image. It shows that you take your career, networking, and personal branding seriously. On the flip side, an incomplete or unprofessional profile may lead people to question your credibility and commitment.

To optimize your LinkedIn profile,

  • Start by updating your profile picture with a professional and current image.
  • Fill out all relevant sections, including your summary, work experience, and skills. 
  • Use a professional headline that summarizes your expertise.
  • Ask for recommendations from colleagues. 
  • Regularly share valuable content and engage with your network to show your active presence.

In short, your LinkedIn profile is the foundation upon which your inmails and networking efforts stand. So, before you dive into crafting those subject lines, take some time to make sure your LinkedIn profile is the best it can be. It's the digital suit and tie that will make those subject lines even more effective.

#5 Too Vague

A subject line that lacks clarity can be a major stumbling block when it comes to getting your LinkedIn InMail messages opened and read. If your subject line isn't crystal clear about your intentions, chances are, your message might get ignored. It's like sending your message into the abyss of unread messages.

Some of the vague InMail subject lines are

  • "Hello - Regarding Your Recent Article"
  • "Question About Your Expertise in AI"
  •  "Marketing Manager Position - Let's Talk!" 
  • "Let's Catch Up and Discuss Our Mutual Projects"

To captivate their attention, be a little more specific than the above examples.

Instead of saying "Hello - Regarding Your Recent Article", you can say “Quick question about your article on B2B lead generation”.

Don’t make the recipient do guesswork before opening the InMail. Be specific in the subject line about the content of the InMail. 


The bottom line is—subject lines matter the most. You InMail subject line will the reason behind open rates. 

To ace crafting subject lines, personalize your approach, avoid salesy tactics, keep it concise, optimize your profile, and be clear and specific in your subject lines. 

In the world of LinkedIn InMails, meaningful connections matter. Apply these insights, and watch your outreach flourish, making a lasting impact on your growing network.

What’s a Rich Text element?

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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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