Top 6 Best LinkedIn Prospecting Message Templates

Jan 23, 2023
Candyce Edelen shares her top six LinkedIn prospecting messages templates.

You came to this page to find LinkedIn prospecting message templates that work to start conversations with prospects. I’ll provide several templates below, and we’ll examine their usefulness. But before we get to that, let’s talk about some of the risks of using templates for direct messages on LinkedIn. 

I always recommend crafting each message from scratch, personalizing it by adding a nugget you find in the recipient's profile. This human-to-human approach that I teach my clients leads to 26 meetings booked for every 100 targeted connection requests. If you’re curious about my approach, I describe it in this video. 

This human-to-human approach to prospecting does require a bit more time per prospect (about 5-10 minutes per lead). One way to speed that up is to start with a template. Below, I'll provide several LinkedIn messaging templates that are a good starting point for you to start crafting a message. But always keep in mind that you should personalize it with a nugget you find on the prospect’s profile. 

Contents

This is a long-ish article, so if you're short on time, you can click the hyperlinks in this table of contents to jump to topics that interest you. 

What is a Good Introduction Message on LinkedIn?

Three Reasons Why Most LinkedIn Templates Don’t Work

  1. They start with the wrong objective.
  2. They focus on efficiency instead of effectiveness.
  3. They have wrong expectations of what’s possible.

Human-To-Human Engagement Is More Effective

Examples of LinkedIn Prospecting Message Templates

Begin with the End in Mind

Imagine Using Your Template in Real Life

6 LinkedIn Prospecting Message Templates that Don’t Work and What to Use Instead

Faking Interest

Direct Pitch

Trying to Book a Call

Invitation to a LinkedIn Group

Invitation to an Event

Share a Resource

TL;DR - 3 Principles for Using LinkedIn Prospecting Templates 

 

What is a Good Introduction Message on LinkedIn?

When you send a connection request or a DM on LinkedIn, your goal should be to start a conversation, not just get a connection. And this can be challenging to accomplish.

Most people use templates on LinkedIn and send the same messages to 100’s or 1000’s of people. To do this, the message templates have to apply to a broad selection of prospects. 

Problem is, every profile is unique. It's extremely difficult to create a template that works universally for a broad group of leads. 

Therefore, the template has to be vague so it can apply more broadly, or you risk sending very awkward messages to a large portion of your target audience. Either choice results in messages that come across as insincere. 

It’s important to make a great first impression with prospects. Insincerity does the opposite. It’s hard to recover and get a conversation going when you make a bad first impression with a cold lead on LinkedIn. 

The best way to write a LinkedIn message that works to start a conversation is to customize it to the individual after researching their profile and finding a nugget of information you can use to start a conversation. 

Three Reasons Why Most LinkedIn Templates Don’t Work

I hear from a lot of people that they struggle to generate leads on LinkedIn. I think there are three core issues that result in ineffective outreach. 

  1. They start with the wrong objective.
    Most people use prospecting message templates on LinkedIn to sell their products or services. But that’s the wrong objective. When you’re reaching out to a cold lead, your first goal should be to start a CONVERSATION, not make a sale. 

    Remember, when you’re first reaching out, you don’t yet know if your cold lead has a need you can help with. So it’s premature to try to pitch a solution. Slow your roll. Get a dialogue going first.

    Once you get them into a conversation, you can begin asking open-ended questions to help you figure out if they have a need. Slow down in order to speed up results. 

  2. They focus on efficiency instead of effectiveness.
    Using templated LinkedIn prospecting messages feels efficient. There’s an assumption that you can send 1000’s of messages at once, personalizing them just enough to get your prospect’s attention and make them want to engage with you. 

    But efficiency is not the same as effectiveness. Templated messages sent in mass rarely work because they come off as impersonal, lacking in genuine interest.  

    When your recipient feels like they’re part of a mass messaging campaign, when they feel like they’re just a number to you, then they’re far less likely to respond or engage in a meaningful way.

  3. They have wrong expectations of what’s possible.
    Most people approach LinkedIn prospecting the same way they approach cold calling and cold email. A really good cold caller will get 2-3 conversations and maybe one solid lead out of 100 dials. Cold email has even lower response rates, especially if the emails are being sent to large lists. 

    When you assume a 1-3% response rate, then efficiency matters…a lot. 

    But that’s the wrong expectation on LinkedIn. 

    I consistently get meetings with 71% of the people I start conversations with on LinkedIn. People in our Prospecting Accelerator consistently get 26 meetings for every 100 connection requests. That’s because we take the time to engage with leads personally, using human-to-human communication. 

    Many people claim that I’m being inefficient when I research leads so I can write unique and personal messages to every individual I approach. But the fact is, this approach consistently works to get meetings. My approach is very effective. That means I need to reach out to far fewer people in order to meet my sales goals. I’ll take effectiveness over efficiency any day!


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Human-To-Human Engagement Is More Effective

This is what I mean when I talk about human-to-human communication on LinkedIn. When you take the time to treat a person as an individual, to treat them with respect, they’ll respond. But this requires an individualized, human-to-human approach on LinkedIn.

Examples of LinkedIn Prospecting Message Templates

Now that we’ve discussed the strategy behind prospecting on LinkedIn, let’s look at some LinkedIn messaging templates. We’ll explore why they don’t work and how you can adapt them to a more personalized, human-to-human approach that can actually get a dialogue going. As we discuss the templates, here are two principles to keep in mind: 

Begin with the End in Mind

As we explore these templates, remember that your objective should be to start a conversation, not make a sale. You can’t make a sale if you don’t uncover a need. You can’t uncover a need if you don’t have a conversation. That’s why we focus on conversation first. If you hold tight to this mindset, you’re half way to cracking the code to effective prospecting on LinkedIn.

Imagine Using Your Template in Real Life

As we go through these examples, I’d like for you to try an experiment. 

Imagine that a complete stranger approaches you without any introduction or preamble, and speaks your templated message to you. Would it feel awkward? If so, you need to work on the message.  

For example, what if a complete stranger walked up to you at an industry conference and said, “Hi [your name], I noticed that you’re at this conference and therefore are probably in [industry]. Would you like to schedule time to discuss how we could potentially work together?"

How awkward would that be if it happened in person? Would you dodge that person for the rest of the conference?

That’s how it feels to your prospect when you use a similar strategy on LinkedIn. So don’t be that person. 

6 LinkedIn Prospecting Message Templates that Don’t Work and What to Use Instead

Let’s examine a few of the most common prospecting templates being used on LinkedIn right now to see why they don’t work. After each example, I’ll provide a suggestion for how you might adapt the template to successfully start a conversation with a prospect. 

Faking Interest

"Hi [Name], I hope this message finds you well. I came across your profile on LinkedIn and was impressed by your experience in [industry/position]. I'm reaching out because I believe you could benefit from [product/service] at [company]. Would you be open to discussing how we could potentially work together?"

This message is a pitch-slap couched in fake interest. The sender pretends to “be impressed” by the recipient’s background, but doesn’t mention anything specific. It’s pretty clear to the recipient that the sender is only interested in selling to them. 

In many cases, sellers use automation to send messages like this, and that can be a recipe for disaster. People’s titles rarely fit into the template’s sentence structure, creating a very awkward message. 

Instead of this insincere expression of interest, take the time to actually look at the prospect’s profile. Find a nugget of information about their background and mention it. Make the conversation starter about them instead of about you and your offering. 

For example, let’s say you’re targeting executives in the automotive industry. You find the profile for Joe, who has a 20-year career in the automotive industry and has worked at 5 major parts manufacturers with increasing responsibility. 

Here’s how you might start a conversation: 

"Hi Joe, I just came across your profile and noticed that you’ve been in the automotive parts industry for a long time. Has focusing on one industry for your last five positions played a big role in your career trajectory?"

Note, this message is very specific and will only work for this one person, Joe, who has had several jobs in the automotive industry. My goal in the message is not to sell anything. It’s to start a conversation. I’m asking a question that Joe can answer with a simple response, but it allows me to get dialogue going.  

You can use this message as a rough template, but customize it to each individual you’re contacting, so it comes across as personal and sincere. 

Direct Pitch

Here are two variations of a more direct pitch: 

"Hello [Name], I noticed that you're a [industry/position] at [company] and I thought you might be interested in learning more about [product/service] that we offer at [company]. Can we schedule a call to discuss how it could potentially benefit your business?"

"Hi [Name], I'm reaching out because I saw that you're a [industry/position] at [company] and I believe you could benefit from our [product/service]. We've helped other companies in your industry achieve [results/benefits] and I'd love to discuss the possibilities with you. Would you be open to a brief call to see if there's a fit?"

In these two templates, the sender doesn't bother pretending to be interested in the recipient. They’re straightforward pitch-slaps. The sender might get a response from 1 out of 500 recipients. 

The problem with this approach is that the other 499 recipients might not be looking, but they still potentially have a need the sender can help with. But the seller will never find that out, because they didn’t start a conversation that would create an opportunity for discovery.

An alternative approach might be to do a search for people in automotive manufacturing who are connected with someone at one of your clients. If you have a common connection, you might take this approach: 

"Hi [Name], I noticed that you’re in the automotive parts manufacturing industry and connected with [common connection’s name] at [connection’s company name]. We had the opportunity to work with [him/her] on a project to improve [outcome from reference project]. Do you by chance know [connection name]?"

This approach works best if you use LinkedIn to search for 2nd degree connections to individuals at your client. But you will need to take a very individualized approach to each message. 

Note that I again asked a question that only requires a 1-word response. This makes it easy for my prospect to respond. Regardless of whether they answer “yes” or “no”, I now have an opportunity to start a conversation. 

Trying to Book a Call

I get a LOT of cold outreach that tries to go directly to booking a meeting. 

"Hi [Name], I hope this message finds you well. I came across your LinkedIn profile and noticed that you have a lot of experience in [industry/position]. I'm always looking to connect with professionals in my field and I thought you might be a great person to chat with. Do you have time for a brief call to discuss [industry/position] and learn more about each other's businesses?"

This approach attempts to be more subtle. Instead of pitching, it’s trying to get the prospect on a call. The sender expresses admiration for the recipient (although it’s pretty vague and insincere). They’re suggesting a call for the vague purpose of “learning more about each other’s businesses.”

This approach might work occasionally, but it’s unlikely to lead to a qualified sales opportunity. People who take these calls are often early in their careers, unemployed, or getting ready for a job change. 

The prospects that most sellers want to reach are very busy people. They have meetings all day, heavy workloads, and little free time. That’s not to say they don’t have time for a call, but they’re not going to carve out time to talk with a random stranger with a vague agenda. 

So if you want to get a call booked with someone who can actually buy what you sell, you’ll need to find a good reason for them to carve out time. And that takes a conversation. It’s rarely going to be accomplished with one message. 

That said, I have been able to book meetings with cold leads very quickly. 

I’m a writer and often write articles focused on specific industry trends. I find that it’s pretty easy to get people to meet with me to discuss topics I know they have interest in. 

For example, let’s say I’m working on an article about the problems with supply chain for chip manufacturing and how this is impacting the automotive parts industry. 

I might say something like this: 

"[Name], I’m working on an article about supply chain problems in the automotive industry created by the shortage of chips. I’ve had conversations with 5 other executives in the parts manufacturing industry. Given your background, I’d like to share what I’ve learned and get your take on the issues. Interested in a conversation?"

Of course, I’ll need to carefully review the person’s profile to make sure that this message is directly relevant to their role. But I’ve booked hundreds of calls using this approach. I use the conversations to capture info for an article. Then I can get back in touch with them to get approval to quote them, which gives me another opportunity to talk with them. It establishes a positive relationship from the start. 

Of course, I link my articles to the services I provide, so it sets me up for an easy transition to asking questions about their potential needs.

Invitation to a LinkedIn Group

Some companies have created LinkedIn groups focused on their target industries. I’ve seen a few LinkedIn templates that invite people to join these groups.  

"Hello [Name], I hope this message finds you well. I saw that you're a [industry/position] at [company] and I thought you might be interested in joining a LinkedIn group I recently started for professionals in our field. The group is called [group name] and we discuss [industry/position] related topics and share resources. Would you be interested in joining?"

This approach might be effective if it’s well-targeted. Joining a LinkedIn group is a low commitment action, so you might get some new members. However, I’d recommend having a plan in place for what happens once they do join. If you’re just adding numbers to your group without a plan to engage them, what’s the point?

I do have some suggestions for how to improve on this message template. 

I think you’d get better results by splitting this into a sequence of at least two messages. First let them know why you started the group, who it’s for, and why you think they might find it relevant. 

Then in a second message, ask if they have interest in a specific topic that’s currently being discussed in the group. You might even encourage them to share their point of view in the group. 

If you can start a conversation with the recipient, it’s more likely that they’ll take future action to engage with you.

For example, here’s a 2-message sequence I might use: 

"Hi [Name], I recently started a LinkedIn group for supply chain professionals in the automotive parts manufacturing industry and thought you might find it useful. Our goal is to discuss issues and find solutions to common supply chain challenges."

"Hi [Name], in our supply chain group, [name of member] recently asked a question about [discussion topic]. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Care to jump into the conversation? [include link to group]"

Your goal for this exchange should be to get the person to not only join, but engage with the group. 

Invitation to an Event

Here’s a template inviting a prospect to a live or virtual event. I’ve had great results using LinkedIn to invite people to events. But this particular message template is just terrible! 

"Hi [Name], I hope this message finds you well. I noticed that you're a [industry/position] at [company] and I thought you might be interested in attending a virtual event I'm hosting next week on [topic]. The event is called [event name] and it's designed for professionals in our field to learn about [topic] and network with each other. Would you like to register?"

First, eliminate “I hope this message finds you well.” Research has found that this kind of salutation can lower response rates. It’s just noise. (BTW - this is true for ALL the message templates we’ve discussed. Get rid of the noise. Keep it brief and to the point.) 

Second, eliminate “I’ve noticed that you’re a [industry/position] at [company]” This makes you sound like a bot or a very inexperienced salesperson. 

Instead, think about the event and the target audience who would be interested in the event. 

Then say something like this:

"Hi [Name], Next week, we’re hosting an event talking about the effect that chip manufacturing supply chain issues are having on parts manufacturers. [key speaker] will talk about [mention a specific takeaway from the event]. Interested?" 

Your goal in this message is to link takeaways from the event to their job. Asking them a simple question, “interested?” allows them to tell you yes or no. Either way, you’ll get a chance to start a conversation. 

Note: Do NOT provide a link to the event until AFTER they express interest. It’s a much more human-to-human way to engage them and get a dialogue going.

Share a Resource

Lots of people try to share free resources via LinkedIn message templates. Even though it’s free, these offers can be annoying if the content is not super relevant to the individual. Here’s an example: 

"Hi [Name], I hope this message finds you well. I saw that you're a [industry/position] at [company] and I thought you might be interested in a new resource I recently came across that could be helpful for professionals in our field. It's called [resource name] and it covers topics like [topic]. Do you have a few minutes to chat and learn more about it?" 

In this case, if the resource is relevant to the person, they might respond. 

However, I’d modify the message so it sounds less like a template. 

Also, asking them for “a few minutes to chat and learn more about it” is a step too far. Instead, you could just ask, “would you like a link?”

Here’s how I might approach this: 

“Hi [Name], I just came across an article called [title] about [topic] and thought you might find it useful. Would you like a link?”

Note: It’s tempting to just include the link with this message. That seems efficient, but it’s not effective. 

Including a link too soon is like standing on a street corner handing fliers to everyone who walks by. 

You’ll be much more likely to get a response by asking if they want that link before sending it. And it also gives you a chance to…wait for it…start a conversation. 


Ready to Take Control of Your Sales Pipeline? Check Out Prospecting Mastery

TL;DR - 3 Principles for Using LinkedIn Prospecting Templates

To wrap up, it’s ok to use message templates as a starting point for prospecting on LinkedIn, provided that you take a human-to-human approach. But keep these key principles in mind:  

  1. Conversations before sales.
    You can’t sell to someone if they don’t have a need, and you can’t learn about their needs if you don’t start a conversation. So your objective should always be to start a dialogue. 
  2. Efficiency ≠ Effectiveness.
    Take the time to research your lead and write messages that are directly relevant. Human-to-human approaches will always out-perform templates. 
  3. Come with the right expectations.
    You should be able to get meetings with close to 50% of the people who engage with you. With results like that, it’s worth taking the time to personalize and start conversations.

If you’d like to learn more about how to get meetings with cold leads on LinkedIn, check out our course, Prospecting Mastery. It gives you a comprehensive approach to mastering LinkedIn for social selling. 

I also publish a LinkedIn tips email series. Click here to subscribe.

The PropelGrowth Prospecting Mastery course helps entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, business owners and sales teams learn how to reliably and predictably generate qualified sales leads using LinkedIn.

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