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Cold Messaging on LinkedIn: 10 Tricks to Improve Response Rate

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

Cold Messaging on LinkedIn: 10 Tricks to Improve Response Rate with OneShot

Cold messaging on LinkedIn. The dread! The anxiety! The uneasiness!

It’s difficult to have a good engagement rate. We go to work. We turn on the computer. We maybe have another cup of coffee. We open the browser and click on the LinkedIn icon. We cry inside when we see that our inbox has no new messages. Prospecting is tough! Cold messaging is tough!

Fear no more! These 10 tricks will help you write the best cold messages on LinkedIn and, hopefully, pump your engagement rate.

1-Optimize your LinkedIn profile

We know… You’re probably eager to start messaging. Big mistake! First things first.

Optimize your LinkedIn profile, so your prospects will have something interesting to explore and hopefully be motivated to connect and engage.

There are a few essentials such as a clear profile picture and an interesting cover photo. A strong “About” section is also key. It should state your mission and what matters to you as a professional.

After you’ve taken your time building that first part of your profile, detail your Experience with things you’ve learned and achieved in your current and previous roles. Finally, having your educational background is also important.

Skills and Endorsements are a great extra to help strengthen your page. If you want to know how to get the best out of each section, take a look at our LinkedIn Optimization Guide.

Ok, you have an exemplary profile, is time to explore and build a good network. Be an active participant in your industry. A good presence is essential when cold messaging on LinkedIn.

Expand your network by adding key industry players and engaging with them, see what groups and pages they are following, and see if they’re of any interest to you. If so, follow them and engage with their content by leaving a few pertinent comments.

2-Know your audience and define your ICP


Okay, we need your full attention now. Seriously, this step is probably the most important thing in all things prospecting-related.

An Ideal Customer Profile aka ICP maps out the organizational, technological, demographic, and other characteristics of companies that you’d like to turn into customers. To define it, you need to ask yourself important questions such as:

  • Are we talking about a Tech-savvy or a Tech noob audience?

  • What kind of literacy does your product require?

  • How does the buyer company fit in the business ecosystem?

  • What key attributes do they have? Budget? Revenue? Purchase process?

Why is defining your ICP so important?

1. ICP optimizes your resource utilization: It ensures that you invest your energy in people and organizations that will turn out to be the right fit for your business.

2. ICP provides you with direction: Creating an ideal customer profile will make sure you are aligning your resources in the correct direction.

3. ICP brings clarity to your processes: Knowing whom you’re trying to sell to helps you review and improve your own promotional processes.

In sum, defining an ideal customer profile (ICP) can help you identify a good-fit prospect. It helps you with targeting, providing direction, and narrowing down prospective buyer options, which is of great importance when you only have 100 connection requests due to the new LinkedIn Weekly Invitation Limit. Learn more and read our dedicated blog on how to define your ideal customer profile.

3-Look for companies that fit your ICP like a glove

You have a well-defined ICP. Good job! It’s time to find the companies that actually fit the criteria you’ve defined. There are a few sales tools that can help you with that, but probably the best one out there is part of LinkedIn… That’s right, Sales Navigator.

Sales Navigator is a LinkedIn paid subscription service that aims to elevate the overall user experience. The tool takes to new prospecting heights those who have a well-defined ICP, allowing them to find key companies, conduct personalized outreach, and develop relationships over time.

You can use LinkedIn’s premium tool (that’s right, you need to have a Premium account) to narrow down your search, it has almost 50 filters at your disposal. It allows you to play with things such as company type and headcount, industry, geography…

If you want to know more on how to take advantage of all Sales Navigator’s features, read our quick guide.

4-Research your prospect before sending that connection request

Researching your prospects before starting your cold messaging spree is essential. Information is power so make sure you take some notes before the connection request.

Head to your prospects’ profile page and collect useful information. Read their “About” section, go through their professional experience and academic background, and maybe have a look at the skills and endorsements. Look for common ground or things that you value as a professional.

You should then move to their feed. Go through what your prospects have published recently, a prospect’s LinkedIn feed is one of the best sources of information you can use to write kickass cold messages on LinkedIn.

Ok, but you ask “what if a prospect is super private and doesn’t like to share a lot on social media?“. Very good question!

Well, in these cases where a prospect’s profile doesn't have the yummy information you need for your cold messaging on LinkedIn strategy, move to the company’s LinkedIn page or website. Focus on their latest achievements and core values. People enjoy being acknowledged and a company’s ethos is usually quite relatable.

BONUS TIP: You might also want to check out other free resources like Crunchbase and review websites while foraging for company information.

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5-Engage with your prospect’s content before sending a cold message on LinkedIn!

Cold messaging on LinkedIn. The name says it all. Connecting with prospects implies breaking some ice.

A good trick to help your chances is engaging with your prospects before you add them and send the essential personalized note.

Look through their content, see what resonates and leave some reactions and honest comments. This will warm them up and contribute to whether they’ll accept you or not.

6-Personalize your LinkedIn connection request message

Have you been personalizing your connection request messages? It’s pivotal when cold messaging on LinkedIn.

A personalized connection note will contribute to warming up your prospects, which can get you a higher engagement rate. 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging.

Want to know how to send a cold message on linkedin?


You can create hyper-personalized messages with OneShot, in a matter of seconds, without having to do all the heavy lifting or you can write your own cold messaging templates considering three key points:

  • Introduce yourself – Let your prospects know who you are and what company you work for.

  • Mention common ground and/or compliment their work – You should then show you’ve done your research and personalize your message. Studies reveal a 46% increase in message response rate when there’s a shared interest, skill, or industry group, so if that’s the case, make sure to mention it. In the absence of similarities between you, choose to send a message with a complimentary tone, praising a specific skill/post/comment.

  • Make your intentions clear – Outline the purpose of your connection request. No frill. Being clear about what you intend to get out of the connection is a good way to set the right expectations.

The result should be a short (you only have 300 characters) empathetic message with a clear call to action.

BONUS TIP: You can create a few templates. Try different openings/calls to action, different personalization material, or praise distinct factors such as working experience, latest achievements, or published content. After having a few cold messaging customizable templates, A/B test them and analyze what works best.

7-Be original in your follow-ups

Why follow up messages are importing when doing cold messaging on LinkedIn

Warming up to leads can take some time. Well, it does definitely take some time. 80% of sales require an average of five follow ups to close a deal.

Setting a sequence of touchpoints aligned with the prospect’s feedback, goals, and timeline is pivotal, turning cold messaging into a warm buying experience.

According to Forrester, companies that take the time to properly engage and nurture leads improve their sales outreach at a rate of 50% while spending 33% less!

Engaging with your prospects regularly by having meaningful follow ups is key when cold messaging on LinkedIn! Being original will also help you be memorable. How? Have you heard of LinkedIn voice notes?

LinkedIn allows you to record a voice note of up to 60 seconds that you can instantly send through its mobile app, and it has great three great advantages:

  • Allows you to message on the go.

  • A good alternative to calling (less intrusive).

  • Personality comes through.

  • (Relatively) New addition to LinkedIn

Using voice notes is a good way of letting your leads know that you know your business and by being an early adopter, you’ll be standing out from all the noise of cold messaging

Would you like to know how to create the best LinkedIn voice notes? Visit our article and learn all about it!

8-Create and share valuable content

How to send a cold message on LinkedIn and best practices

How can content have anything to do with cold messaging, you may ask. Legit observation…

We’ll answer that with some stats:

  • 47% of buyers view three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.

  • 9/10 B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on purchasing decisions.

The right content will lead buyers to engage with you and eventually be more interested in what you have to sell.

Some easy rules for you to follow are to keep the content simple and easy to read. That way, the majority of LinkedIn users will be able to follow your thoughts easily. While your paragraphs should be short, stick with long-form content when publishing your posts.

Trends, new developments, stats, polls, testimonies, personal experiences worth sharing are great examples of content you can create/share. Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes, what would you like to read?

Maybe you have no one supporting your content creation or you just find it difficult to put into words some of your thoughts and opinions.

A good way to still dynamize your profile is by re-sharing posts which resonate with you! Follow some names like Daniel Disney or Morgan J. Ingram, they have insightful content and you’d be getting inspiration from the best in the industry.

When re-sharing a post, it’s important to give it a personal touch. Make sure to write how you feel about the content and why is it relevant.

Another thing you can do is ask your followers to engage with that piece of content. You can achieve this by just ending the post with a question, this will encourage an exchange of ideas and maybe start a conversation in the comment section.

Keep in mind that what you publish, and share will partly determine whether your prospects regard you as an authority in your space or not.

9-Automate repetitive tasks

How automation can help sending the best cold messages on LinkedIn

Prospecting and cold messaging can involve a lot of effort. Your outbound strategy may benefit from automated LinkedIn messaging, enabling you to reach out to more prospects in less time, fueling up your lead machine.

However, the wrong automation tool will spam your audience with bulk messaging and get your LinkedIn account suspended, so look for something that will help you find relevant leads and engage with them, send follow-ups and track success rates.

Cold messaging on LinkedIn should not be about quantity, but quality. Solid connections and insightful chats are good ways to build rapport with leads, which is why personalization is key. The tool you choose should allow you to focus on that.

You can get high response rates on LinkedIn, so don't waste that precious opportunity by spamming your prospects with email-style formal messages!

Choosing a tool that lets you send messages at intervals that mimic human actions is also crucial. We advise 20-25 messages per day, no more than that.

BONUS TIP: Tiering your prospect lists will allow you to automate cleverly, personalizing more thoroughly on the top tier and applying the right automation on the lower tiers.

10- Ask for feedback after your cold messaging on LinkedIn

Feedback is always much appreciated, allowing you to evolve in your cold messaging efforts, and subsequently providing growingly better experiences to your prospects.

You can create a quick form in Google (very quick, just with a handful of multiple answer questions) and send it to prospects with whom you’ve been in contact the longest. This will provide you with valuable insights which you can use to upgrade your outreach strategy.

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Want to know how to successfully approach prospects and conduct follow-ups? Read all about it here to find out!

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