As you know, LinkedIn is the platform you need to use to consistently get high-quality prospects. 830 million members across 200 countries use LinkedIn. According to LinkedIn, marketers see 2x higher conversion rates on LinkedIn. It has never been easier to connect with companies and their decision-makers. That said, it is also easy for everyone else to send sales LinkedIn messages. How do you stand out?


In this article, we shall take a look at the mistakes you need to avoid while sending a LinkedIn sales message, types of LinkedIn messages and how to write them, tips to write LinkedIn sales messages that work, and ready-to-use templates. 


Eliminate the guesswork

Know which leads are most interested : track prospects, email opens etc


How to avoid mistakes while writing LinkedIn sales messages


Here are a few common mistakes that should avoid: 


1. Not completing your LinkedIn profile

Completing your profile is the first thing you need to do. Stop whatever you’re doing, go back to your profile and pause your prospecting until you get this done.

Given how your prospects probably have tons of messages coming in from different people (including your competitors), they do not have the time to run a background check to verify your authenticity.

Instead, they will go off on their first impression, and that’s what completing your LinkedIn profile is about - making an excellent first impression.


  • Use a high-quality photograph as your profile picture
  • Fill up all the fields in your bio
  • Make sure you do not have any grammatical, punctuation or spelling errors in your profile
  • Maximize your credibility with the best content in your featured section


2. Not researching your prospect

This is another common, yet significant mistake people make while prospecting. If you do not know your prospect’s goals, pain points, and objections, what do you plan on selling them? Before you race off to send a batch of messages to every prospect on your list, take some time out to find out what they need.

It’s not about what you have, it’s about what they want. You can check their:

  • Company website
  • Social media accounts

You can also look at what people have to say on popular websites like Reddit and Amazon. The 5-star reviews will tell you what people like about your prospect’s company (or product), while the 1-star reviews will tell you where they need to improve. Leverage this information and show them how you can help them. 


3. Writing long messages

Writing long, fluffy messages that do not quickly tell the reader what you want is a big no-no. Most people do not have time to sift through messages to check if they’re worth their time. Instead, keep your messages short, straightforward, and spaced out so that they are easy to read. 


4. Not following up

As you already know by now, your prospect already has many people messaging them on all their social media platforms. They may intentionally or unintentionally not reply to your message.

Often, it’s because your message wasn’t intriguing enough or they forgot to reply to your email. The best thing you can do if you do not get a reply is follow up two more times in a polite, non-confrontational way.

If you fail to get a reply even after three follow-ups, move on to the next prospect. 


How to send a LinkedIn sales message

There are three types of LinkedIn sales messages that you can send, namely:

  • Direct Messages (DMs)
  • InMails
  • ‘Add a note’ (when you send connection requests)


Direct Messages

DMs are messages that you can send to people you are already connected to on LinkedIn. There is no limit on the character count or the number of messages that you can send. This makes DMs the deal form of sales messages to send. 

While there is no character count, we still recommend you send short, concise, straightforward, and personalized LinkedIn sales messages to boost your chances of getting a reply.  

Also, be sure to keep your outreach efforts to under 250 to avoid getting categorized as a spammer by LinkedIn’s algorithm. 



InMails are messages that you can send to people who are not in your connections list. Unlike LinkedIn DMs, InMails have a limit on message and subject line character counts.

Subject Line - 200

Message - 1900

Also, unlike DMs, InMails are not free. You can avail of this feature by purchasing credits. Consider picking up the LinkedIn Sales Navigator Core plan to get more credits and reach out to up to 50 prospects a month. 


Connection request messages

You could either send a connection request, wait for them to accept, and then send them a DM or you could send them a message with the request itself. Connection request messages give you the least leeway of all, with a character count of only 300 per message. While this outreach method isn’t as efficient as the first two, you stand a better chance of having your connection request accepted if you send them a short, value-packed message that is relevant to them. 


How to set up your LinkedIn profile

As mentioned earlier, not completing your LinkedIn profile is one of the most common mistakes that people make. Before you do anything else, you need to create a LinkedIn profile that stands out. Here’s how you do it: 

  • Use a high-quality profile picture
  • Create an eye-catching headline. You need to be able to explain what you do and what value you can provide in one line
  • Include your professional experience - past and current roles, certifications, educational qualifications, etc.
  • A personal summary to help cement your identity online. Again, make sure you mention what you bring to the table and how you have helped different clients and companies. 


How to get more replies on LinkedIn

Now that you know the different types of LinkedIn messages and the mistakes you need to avoid, let’s take a look at what you should do to boost your reply rate: 


Keep your messages short

Your message needs to be short, crisp, and straightforward. You need to tell the prospect exactly what you want in as few words as possible. You stand a better chance of getting your prospect to pay attention and read the entire message if you keep it short. 

Personalize your messages

Personalization is everything in today’s world. People want quick, easy-to-follow solutions that are tailored to their problems. So, if you want to stand out from all the other salespeople in your prospects’ DMs, consider giving them what they are looking for. In other words, you need to do your research and figure out precisely how you can help them and communicate this to them. 

Become a thought leader

While this article is primarily about methods and templates to optimize your LinkedIn outreach efforts, we feel the need to emphasize the importance of becoming a thought leader. Consistently creating valuable content and aiming to become a thought leader in your space can help you generate inbound leads AND help you get more replies due to your credibility. 

Always add a Call-To-Action (CTA)

Assuming your pitch is short, grammatically correct, non-clickbaity, and is relevant and valuable to the prospect, you will still not get very far without a CTA. At the end of your message, be sure to give them the next steps, prompting them to take action. Here are a couple of examples: 

  • Do you have time for a quick call this week?
  • Would love to connect with you for a quick chat

Leverage your mutual connections

Most people do not trust salespeople. While you should still reach out to cold prospects on LinkedIn, you stand a better chance of getting through to them if you have mutual connections with your prospects. Having a mutual connection will most likely cause them to at least hear what you have to say.

Plus, if someone they know can vouch for you, you stand a much better chance of getting your prospect to respond and potentially convert them. There are tons of excellent practices you can incorporate to increase your reply rate. However, keep in mind that these practices keep changing. 


LinkedIn message templates to boost your reply rate

Now that you know how to set up your profile, the different kinds of LinkedIn sales messages, mistakes to avoid, and the best practices to employ while crafting the perfect LinkedIn sales message, here are a few sales message templates you can use: 


Connection request template

If you are sending an InMail message to someone in the same industry as yours, consider using this template:

Hi (prospect name), 

I noticed that we both are in the same industry and would love to connect with you. I post content on (topic).

Looking forward to connecting with you.

Best Regards

(Your name)


Mutual connections template

Having mutual connections with your prospects can make it significantly easier for you to connect with them and potentially turn them into returning customers. Here’s a LinkedIn sales message template you can use in your InMails to reach out to your prospects if you have a mutual connection or two:

Hey (prospect name), 

Hope you’re doing well. I noticed that we are both connected to (mutual connection name) and thought I’d reach out to you. I hope you know (mutual connection name) well.

My company just launched a new product and can help you solve (prospect’s pain point).

Do you have a few minutes this week to discuss this over a quick call?

Looking forward to talking to you.

(Your name)


Prospecting message template

Assuming you managed to connect with your prospect without having to send a connection request message, here’s a LinkedIn prospecting messages template you can use to get a reply: 

Hi (prospect name)

Thanks for connecting.

I noticed you were a part of (event or webinar name), but I was unable to connect with you then.

I loved your questions (on the topic) and have come up with a few solutions I think you will find helpful.

It would be great to discuss this over a quick call this week. How does Wednesday work for you?

Looking forward to hearing from you

(Your name)


Product/Service benefits template

If you’ve thoroughly researched your prospect and are sure that you have exactly what they need, use this template to let them know how they can benefit from your service or product: 

Hi (prospect name),

Are you tired of having to (pain point)? It can be a tedious process to (describe pain points). 

I run a company called (your company name) and our product (product name) can help solve (mention the prospect’s problems).

Feel free to let me know if you would like a free trial.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

(Your name)


Post-discovery call follow-up template

If you’ve already had a discovery call with your prospect, follow up with them with this template:

Hey (prospect name),

It was great talking to you the other day. We love what you’re doing at (prospect’s company name).

I think we can help you (explain how you can solve the prospect’s pain point).

Let me know if you have any questions.

Best Regards
(Your name)


Advisor template

Sometimes, you’re not sure who to talk to get an opinion or pitch your product. If that’s the case, find someone in the company you’re targeting that might be qualified to answer and ask them to point you in the right direction.

Here’s an example:

Hello (name)!

Hope you’re doing well. I’m from (company name).

I’m looking to connect with (manager or the decision maker you’ve decided to talk to). I have a few questions about (a subject that you know if of interest and relevance to the decision maker) that I wanted to bring up.

Could you point me in the right direction?

Much appreciated.

(Your name)


Competitor comparison template

You can use InMail to compare your product to that of your competitor in a short, concise message that makes it easy for your prospect to understand. Here’s a template you can use:

Hi (prospect name),

I notice you are using (your competitor’s product) for (mention purpose). I’m from (company name) and wanted to introduce our new product (product name), which is similar to (competitor’s product), but with much better (mention advantage).

Without wasting too much time, here are a few features that might be of interest to you:

(Mention features)

(Mention advantages)

Our company is offering a free trial, so you can experience the difference for yourself.

Let me know if this interests you. Looking forward to hearing from you.

(Your name)


Value-add template

You probably already know that people will respond if they think they can benefit. If you have something valuable to offer your prospect, here’s how you can sell it to them:

Hi (prospect name)

I came across your website and found it stunning. I love the design and its ease of use. I decided to carry out a performance test and found one major problem.

Would you like me to share the test with you?

Looking forward to hearing from you

(Your name)


Mutual group connect template

So, you don’t have a mutual connection but your prospect is in the same group as you are. Feel free to message them! Here’s how you do it using InMail:

Hey (prospect name)

My name is (your name) and I’m a part of (company name). I noticed that we both are in the same group and have read some of your posts and comments.

I found them very insightful and wanted to discuss (topic) with you. Are you free for a quick phone call this week?

Looking forward to talking to you

(Your name)


Product/Service introduction template

If you want a no-frills approach to introducing your product, here’s a simple template you can use for your InMail message:

Hey (prospect name), 

Thank you for connecting with me. I’m from (company name) and we’ve introduced a new product that (include the USP).

I thought this might interest you. If not, can you direct me to someone you know who will find (product name) useful? 


(Your name)



To recap, LinkedIn is where all the action is. To maximize your outreach, you need to focus on both - inbound and outbound leads. Becoming a thought leader and posting content to establish credibility is the best way to increase your inbound leads and your reply rate.

As you do this, be sure to follow the tips mentioned and the LinkedIn sales message templates in the article to get more replies. Check out our blog to learn more about sales. 

Get sales tips and strategies delivered straight to your inbox.

Outplay will help you generate more sales right from your inbox. Try our Outlook add-on or Gmail Chrome extension for free, forever!

Hit your sales numbers every month