Should You Send Blank Connection Requests on LinkedIn?

Jun 14, 2022
Are blank connection requests effective on LinkedIn effective? Candyce Edelen weighs in.

Lots of people on LinkedIn argue that blank connection requests work just as well as those including a note.

Actually, they work much better than a note that contains a sales pitch.

So should you stop putting all that effort into writing a personalized connection request?

I think this really depends on what you're trying to do next with that new connection. If you're just building your network and playing the numbers game, then yes, it's easier to just send a blank connection request and get on with your day. But ask yourself, what's the point of this? Network size is often just a vanity metric, especially if you're trying to win business with people on LinkedIn.

Want to Engage Your LinkedIn Connection in a Conversation?

If you want to start an actual conversation via DM and hopefully get a meeting with that new connection, then sending a blank request is counterproductive.

I find that it's MUCH harder to get a new connection engaged in a conversation via DM after they accept. But if you start the conversation in the connection request, they'll often reply immediately upon accepting your invitation to connect.

Personalize Your Connection Request with a Conversation Starter

Personalizing the connection request with a conversation starter increases the likelihood that the connection will respond by more than 50%. This my experience, but it's also what we see with members of my 90-Day Prospecting Accelerator, who are reaching out to many different target industries. 

I'm booking meetings with 71% of the people I approach when I personalize the invitation to connect with a conversation starter. But that drops below 10% if I send a blank request. So I'm not talking about minor performance improvements. 

When Connections Engage, They'll See More of Your Posts In their Feed

If your new connection engages with you via DM (meaning they REPLY), this increases the signals to the algorithm that they're interested in your content. That dramatically increases the likelihood that your posts will show up in their feed. But it has to be reciprocal engagement. (This isn't theory. LinkedIn's engineering team wrote about this several months ago).

Always Begin With the End in Mind

When composing a connection request, I always begin with the end in mind. 

If I just want them in my network, blank is fine.

But in most cases, I want to engage with my connections and actually build a network. And I want to book calls to get acquainted with them and find out if they have a need for the services we offer.

I can't do that if they don't engage with me.

Don't Pitch-Slap

Now this is all based on the idea that the connection request and DM that are not salesy. All this advice goes out the window if you get in a hurry and lead with a sales pitch.

At the end of the day, we're humans engaging with other humans. So be human.

Got Questions About LinkedIn? 

Reach out to me. I'd love to hear from you and will be happy to answer your questions about LinkedIn. You can click "contact us" at the top of this page, or send me a LinkedIn connection request or DM.

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