LinkedIn offers a ton of opportunities for marketers and entrepreneurs who want to generate more leads. It’s the perfect platform for lead generation because it’s a social networking site that is specifically made for professionals.
LinkedIn is different from other social media because it is focused on building professional and business relationships. It is full of high quality leads that are more likely to convert into paying customers. With the right strategies, your LinkedIn outreach can help you find more customers and boost your revenue.
This platform is great for social selling and for establishing thought leadership. But you need to use it right.
Some marketers get overly aggressive and start spamming their target audience. LinkedIn takes notice of suspicious activity and flags these accounts. You don’t want your LinkedIn account to get restricted, especially if it’s your primary source of B2B leads. One mistake and it’s your account on the line.
So here are some must-read tips on proper LinkedIn outreach—and how you can use automation without getting in trouble.
Warm Up Your LinkedIn Account
If you’re totally new to LinkedIn, you may be sending just a handful of connection requests to people you already know. At first you start connecting with only 1 to 2 people per day. But then you use an automation tool and this number suddenly shoots up to 50+ people.
LinkedIn will instantly see this as suspicious activity and recognize the non-human behavior. They may suspect you of spamming other users and suspend your account. Worst case scenario, you can get permanently banned from LinkedIn.
Make no mistake: automation can be done safely. There are social selling and automation tools out there that are much safer—but first, you need to warm up your account. You can’t just fire up a new account and get started with mass selling.
To keep your account safe, you need to keep your outreach within certain limits for the first few months.
Keep Your Connection Requests under a Certain Limit
If your account is only 1 to 5 days old, you should keep your connection requests at around 10 per day. If it’s less than 10 days old, keep it at around 20 connection requests per day.
After two weeks, you can gradually move up to 30 connection requests per day. You can increase that to around 50 requests after three weeks.
These are only estimates, but it’s a good way to gradually warm up your LinkedIn account. You don’t want to alert LinkedIn to any non-human behavior. You should monitor your account as you make this progress.
Depending on the activity, LinkedIn will usually warn people before restricting their account. So just keep an eye out for that. If you warm up your account, you are less likely to end up in LinkedIn Jail—which is just another term for getting your account restricted or banned.
Another thing to remember is that LinkedIn also looks at your acceptance rate. If you send a lot of connection requests that don’t get accepted, your account is at a much higher risk of getting restricted. Try to keep your acceptance rate above 60 percent.
There are ways to write outreach messages on LinkedIn that don’t get ignored. For starters, you should not send the same canned message over and over again to a bunch of strangers.
You should aim your connection requests for around 5 percent of your total LinkedIn connections. So for example, if your connections are at 2,000—keep your requests around 50 per day.
Send too many requests and you risk losing your account. If you don’t send enough, you’re not going to see great results. You need to find the perfect balance between keeping your account safe and doing proper outreach.
Lastly, another factor you should take into consideration is the type of LinkedIn account you have. If you have the basic account—the free LinkedIn account that most people have—keep your connection requests around 30 per day once the account is warmed up.
For those with the LinkedIn Sales Navigator, also known as the Premium Account, you can keep it around 50 to 70 requests per day.
If you are a marketer, we highly recommend upgrading your account to Premium. The Advanced Search feature alone is extremely valuable for finding high quality leads. Sales Navigator is an amazing tool for prospecting. As a bonus, you can even send more connection requests per day with no problem.
Regardless of the type of LinkedIn account that you have, always keep your acceptance rate over 60 percent.
Although there are plenty of effective LinkedIn strategies out there, you should prioritize safety over everything else. If you use a certain LinkedIn tool and you get a warning from LinkedIn, disconnect that tool immediately and stop using it. Most LinkedIn tools go against the Terms of Service.
If you do use a tool, keep things slow and steady. Of course, choosing the best LinkedIn tool wouldn’t hurt either.
Limit Your Direct Messages
Just like how you should warm up your LinkedIn account before sending connection requests, you should apply the same principle to your direct messages.
Direct messages are the messages you send to 1st-degree connections. If your account is new, you should keep this under 30 messages per day. Once you’ve warmed up your account, you can limit this to around 70 per day.
If your acceptance rate is high and you are using a Premium LinkedIn account, you can go up to 100 direct messages per day. That final tier is where you finally start seeing some great results. But you need to know what you’re doing. You can’t just spam everyone and expect a good outcome.
It is important to keep your targeting on point. Identify your target audience before engaging with them. This increases your chances of getting a response because you’re actually messaging people who are interested in what you have to offer.
Another thing to keep in mind is that people hate being sold to. Even on LinkedIn, where there are higher conversion rates, people don’t like getting these types of messages. Avoid selling to your target right away, especially if it’s your first time messaging them. You are a stranger visiting their inbox—use a conversational approach rather than an overly sales-y one.
Your first LinkedIn outreach message should get a conversation going. It’s not the right time to sell. The goal is to get acquainted and set up another conversation or a meeting sometime in the future.
As a side note, the number of searches you can do per month is also limited by LinkedIn.
For new accounts, you can only do up to 30 searches. For warmed up basic accounts, you can conduct up to 300 searches per month. But with Sales Navigator, your searches are unlimited—another reason why you should consider upgrading your account.
Once you’ve properly warmed up your account, you can focus on your outreach and keeping your acceptance rate high.
Delete Old Connection Requests
What many people don’t realize is that when a person chooses “I don’t know this person” on a LinkedIn connection request, it is exactly the same as marking that person as spam. If you receive a lot of this response, you can expect your account to be restricted or suspended.
But in some cases, people don’t accept or decline their connection requests—they simply choose to ignore them. While it’s better than getting marked as spam, you should still delete those old requests. It’s a nice way to keep your outreach campaign tidy and organized. Those connections aren’t likely to accept the request at that point anyway.
Make sure you routinely delete old requests so you can stay out of LinkedIn’s radar. You can clear up your pending requests by going to ‘My Network’ and clicking on ‘Manage’. Under the ‘Sent’ tab, you will find all the invitations you’ve sent. You can delete those old requests that never got a response.
Take note that withdrawing old connection requests will not restore your available invitations for that month. You also wouldn’t be able to invite them again for a certain period of time. This is to prevent users from spamming invites.
If you send connection requests on a daily basis, you’ll notice an increase in the number of pending invitations that are getting ignored.
If this reaches around 1,000 to 1,500 pending invites, LinkedIn might take notice. Delete your old requests regularly. You should keep this number below 500. If your request is more than two weeks old, get rid of it.
Use Personalization to Boost Your LinkedIn Connection Requests
Knowing how strict LinkedIn is when it comes to spam, is automation really worth the risk? With the right tools, you can automate your LinkedIn outreach without putting your account in danger.
Kennected is the best LinkedIn automation tool that gives you smart prospecting on autopilot while keeping your account safe. It gives you a stream of connections, meetings, and appointments, so you can focus on converting your leads instead of wasting your time manually prospecting on LinkedIn.
Kennected is also the safest tool out there because of its heavy emphasis on personalization. Personalized messages are important because they are more likely to be opened by your targets. They are a lot more attractive than the typical templates sent by other marketers. Therefore, they are also more likely to get a response.
You can customize Kennected’s templates or set up your own message. If they don’t answer within a set period of time, Kennected also sends a personalized follow-up. Kennected can send up to 10 personalized follow-ups or until the target replies. This keeps your acceptance and response rates high—which keeps your account out of trouble.
You don’t have to spend days waiting for someone to answer. When a target connects with you on LinkedIn, you can hop right into the conversation and start building that relationship. There’s no need for spraying and praying for a response.
Kennected sends your messages automatically, but not in bulk—as if you were sending them yourself. Your messages will be sent one by one. It only does what you’re capable of doing yourself so LinkedIn won’t detect any unnatural behavior.
But the benefit here is that you don’t have to waste your time anymore. You can just define your target audience using LinkedIn’s data-rich filters, copy and paste the search results into Kennected, and your campaign is ready to go.
With Kennected, you can set up multiple sequences, targeting different audiences at once—all without breaking LinkedIn’s rules.
People respond well to personalization. It makes it feel like you are actually communicating with them rather than sending spam. It gives them more reason to answer. That’s the power of Kennected. We can help you grow your business by reaching everyone in your defined area that has a LinkedIn account.
Craft an offer that is exclusive to LinkedIn and give your leads value so that they respond to you. But remember, you shouldn’t sell right away. LinkedIn outreach is all about relationships. You need to understand their goals and pain points so you can help them properly.
By following these tips, you can keep your profile safe while getting the most out of LinkedIn.
If you want to increase your connection request acceptance rate, use personalization. And if you want to take your LinkedIn outreach to the next level, use Kennected. Book a demo with Kennected today to learn more.