LinkedIn Lead Generation: The Risks of Automation

no bots prospecting Nov 16, 2022
Automating LinkedIn outreach seems to save time, but can it yield high-quality leads? Candyce Edelen shares the pros and cons.

Sales reps and business development pros should always be looking for new leads. LinkedIn is a particularly attractive platform for lead generation, since it's full of professionals who are typically decision-makers in their companies.

In this blog post, we'll explore the risks of automating your LinkedIn lead generation efforts, and why it's often better to stick to more traditional (and human) methods.

What Is Automated LinkedIn Lead Generation?

When you automate your LinkedIn lead generation, you're essentially giving a machine the task of reaching out to potential leads on your behalf. There are a few different ways to do this, but the most common is to use a bot that will automatically send connection requests and messages to people who match certain criteria (for example, job title, location, or keywords in their profile).

This might sound like a time-saving measure, but there are several reasons why automation does more harm than good when it comes to LinkedIn lead generation.


LinkedIn Automation Damages Relationships

Automated messages and connection requests usually come across as impersonal and even spammy. This can quickly turn off potential leads, especially if they feel like they're being bombarded with messages from strangers. That's a really bad way to start a relationship with your ideal prospects.


Automation Generates Low-Quality Leads

Additionally, automated lead generation tools often result in lower-quality leads. This is because they're not very good at targeting the right people. There are two reasons for this.

  1. Sales Navigator's search functionality is too limited to accurately identify people who would be a good fit for your product or services. So the tools send messages and requests to a lot of people who are not good fits.
  2. These LinkedIn bots generally get a very low connection acceptance rate. So they quickly burn through your ideal prospect lists forcing you to broaden your criteria in order to continue sending connection requests.


Automating LinkedIn Decreases Prospecting ROI

Finally, automating your LinkedIn lead generation can decrease your overall ROI. This is because you're likely to see far fewer conversions when using automation tools than you would doing manual outreach, because the leads you generate are often of lower quality. In addition, automating your prospecting efforts can take away from the time you could be spending developing relationships with potential customers manually.


Automating LinkedIn Lead Generation Violates LinkedIn's Terms

Automating the process of sending connection requests and direct messages on LinkedIn is a violation of LinkedIn's Terms of Service. MANY people have had their accounts restricted or even been permanently banned from LinkedIn for using an automation tool. I know that every automation vendor claims that their product is "safe." But the fact is, LinkedIn is getting better and better at detecting these tools. So it really isn't worth the risk.

Losing your LinkedIn account can have a severe, career-limiting impact on you personally. How will you find your next gig if you don't have a LinkedIn profile? What will you do if you lose the network you've spent years building? It's simply not worth the risk.

LinkedIn is really beginning to crack down on this, after two major wins against automators in court.


Advantages of Manually Generating Leads on LinkedIn 

On the other hand, manually generating leads on LinkedIn has a number of advantages. First of all, it allows you to personalize each message and connect with potential leads on a human level. Human-to-human prospecting always outperforms automation, by a large margin. This helps create better relationships from the start, which can lead to higher conversion rates down the line.


Human-to-Human Outreach Delivers a Better ROI

In addition, manually generating leads gives you more control over who you reach out to. You can target specific individuals who are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer, rather than spraying your messages out to anyone and everyone. This results in higher quality leads overall, which results in a far higher close ratio and a better ROI for your sales and marketing efforts.


Human-to-Human Outreach on LinkedIn Delivers Better Leads

Manual LinkedIn lead generation takes more time and effort than automation. However, this extra investment always pays off in terms of both quantity and quality of leads generated. If you're serious about building your business on LinkedIn, using a human-to-human approach to manually generating leads is usually the best way to go.

If you'd like to learn more about how you can use a manual, human-to-human approach on LinkedIn and get amazing results, reach out to me. Send me a connection request and let me know you read this article. I'll be happy to chat with you. 


Want more on this topic? 

Here's an article I wrote with 7 more reasons why you shouldn't automate LinkedIn

Here's one on the benefits of being human on LinkedIn


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