Time to read: 3.5 minutes. What’s the common trait of effective LinkedIn InMail messages? The structure of the content. Not the words themselves. Rather, HOW words are used to trigger response: Customized, relevant, short-n-sweet. All with a clear call to action. In 3 steps, here is how you can open the gates—create effective LinkedIn messages or InMail subject lines that get more response.

  1. Research trigger words your buyers use & desires they have;
  2. Prove you’re worth listening to, then create curiosity in the reader;
  3. Ask for a decision to be made—an immediate response.

Would you like to learn this process? You might be interested in my LinkedIn InMail Writing Clinic.

Step 1: Research “trigger” words & desires

Earning leads depends on how and when you share advice—not so much what you share. Avoid the biggest mistake most sales people make when writing InMail messages.

Beware of over-focusing on what to say. Instead, focus on how and when you use words. What words?

LinkedIn reveals what is important to your prospects. Fast and easy. “What matters most” to buyers is found in articles they share in Groups and via Profile updates. Start right now by:

  1. Identifying a list of target prospects and scan latest updates for clues
  2. Scroll down to view Groups they participate in and click each Group
  3. Within the Group click the Search tab
  4. Type your prospect’s name into Search and click on any photos that return
  5. View recent discussions started and commented-on by the prospect

This will help you discover “triggers”—urgent pains, fears or objectives buyers need resolved. These are gateways to getting attention, engagement and serious consideration.

How do you decide on the desire to focus on?

The rule is simple: The greater the degree of urgency, intensity, or demand the stronger the desire. Don’t just listen for things that can immediately connect to what you’re selling. Stay open-minded.

Focus your LinkedIn message or InMail directly and obviously to what you discovered. Present the solution to their problem.

Social media gives us many “instant” ways to create personal relevance. Take the time to discover what REALLY matters to prospects. Monitor their comments in LinkedIn Groups. Listen for pain, fear, worry, need. Do this and you’ll be writing effective LinkedIn messages quickly and easily.

Step 2: Spark curiosity in the buyer

Say something that makes them think, “hey, THAT took some effort on the sender’s part.” Can you do this in the Subject line? Even better. The idea is to be relevant AND create an intense curiosity in your prospect.

I write subject lines like, “Your blog post on _____” or “Your LinkedIn discussion/comment on ______.” Rise above all the CRAP in your prospects inbox in dramatic form.

Prove to the message recipient how you’ve already invested in them—beyond scanning their LinkedIn profile.

Would you like to learn this process? You might be interested in my LinkedIn InMail Writing Clinic. Otherwise …

Can you solve a problem? Can what you sell give buyers closer to reaching a goal or give them a shot-cut? Let them know you’ve got a sample of it waiting.  All they need do is respond. Politely tease them a little. Dangle a carrot.

When you’re writing the goal is to help them think, “I wonder what, exactly, he/she means by that?”  This part is tricky but REALLY works. It’s tricky because you’ve got to be BOTH credible and provocative. You’ve got to be respectable and mysterious.

I get the most response when I present myself as a “pain reliever” to someone who just expressed a pain. Then, I get to work saying just enough about my remedy to create curiosity.  My promise about the remedy is—above all else—BELIEVABLE. I work really hard to make them wonder, “this guy did his homework, knows about my specific pain… I wonder if he can actually help me… hmmm… I wonder….” That’s the spark of curiosity you’re going for (and how to go about getting it).

That’s how to boost your LinkedIn InMail response rate. That’s how to start writing effective LinkedIn messages without the pain.

Step 3: Ask for a decision to be made

This tactic increases response rate. It’s an old cold calling tactic of mine.

By inviting the prospect to say “no” you’ll get immediate access to the true potential of closing the prospect.

Why and how can you do this?

Hardly anyone does it. Only the high-performing sales people are smart enough to know: Honoring the time of the prospect is key to getting their immediate, honest response.

Here’s how you can apply it:

“In the interest of your time, I would like to decide if there’s a focused conversation for us to have—or not…”

This is what I use. Rip me off! Let prospects off-the-hook right in the email. Why? Because it works. They’ll respond!

Remember: A negative response is GOOD. This lets you move on … invest time in better prospects. I learned this the hard way. Take my advice and avoid the headaches!

Give your prospect a way to do what they’re already looking to do—escape your email.

I’ve given you my best tips on writing effective LinkedIn messages without the bull. Put them to work for you. Don’t wait. Do it today!

Would you like to learn this process? You might be interested in my LinkedIn InMail Writing Clinic.

In 1999, I co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc. where I helped secure 2 rounds of funding and built the sales team. I've been selling for over 2 decades.

After this stint, I returned to what was then Molander & Associates Inc. In recent years we re-branded to Communications Edge Inc., a member-driven laboratory of sorts. We study, invent and test better ways to communicate -- specializing in serving sales and marketing professionals.

I'm a coach and creator of the Spark Selling™ communication methodology—a curiosity-driven way to start and advance conversations. When I'm not working you'll find me hiking, fishing, gardening and investing time in my family.

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