150 more outbound leads using this simple Linkedin feature vs. cold email

Not getting the email reply rates you need to fill your pipeline? It might be time to add an additional channels to your sales development strategy. Prospects are getting really good at spotting and ignoring templated emails in their inbox, and spam filters are getting smarter as well. Not only that, but prospects are spending more time outside of email as well.

We started exploring Linkedin as a supplemental channel when the COVID pandemic hit, and actually started using it as our preferred outbound channel! 

Pros of Linkedin outbound

  • Linkedin sessions rose 26% since COVID began. More eyeballs.
  • Ability to humanize your message with the context of your profile.
  • Linkedin notifications alert prospects in multiple ways.
  • Less restrictive inboxes

Leverage targeting to define very specific audiences

You can use simple search filters available to all basic Linkedin accounts or get even more granular with Linkedin Sales Navigator. We obviously recommend using the additional filters in Sales Navigator to get precise as possible. We segmented our audiences by title in order to call it out in our copy. If you don’t segment by title, at least segment by industry or geography in order to personalize your Linkedin message.

Take advantage of the connection request + message feature

There are lots of paid features to utilize on Linkedin but we decided to start simple and use the free tools available to us, so we chose to use the connection request + message. These connection requests alert a user, show as a notification icon, and send a message to their chat feature after they accept the request. Three super valuable features for getting attention in one!

Personalize your message

With Linkedin connection messages you have a tiny amount of real estate to work with so you need to make this count! We tried a few messages but found that stating our value and why it’s relevant to them in a single sentence worked the best.

Message Dos
  • State something of value. Why should they respond?
  • Be casual. People will recognize formal scripted messages.
  • Ask a question to prompt a response. 
  • Include their role and/or city they live in in your message. Let them know this is targeted.
  • Follow up after a day if they accepted your connection request but did not answer your message.

Message Don'ts
  • Don’t state who you are or how you found them. This is a waste of real estate.
  • Don’t write a message with more than two sentences.
  • Don’t include a scheduling link. This is an immediate red flag. 

Ask for an email address

Because the Linkedin message center and notifications section can bury messages quickly, ask for an email address from prospects that reply as interested to move the conversation to email. An email address also lets you target the prospect in ad campaigns and track interactions they have on your website. Email also lets you send marketing collateral and a place for more in-depth content.

Automating Linkedin connection request + message

You can imagine that doing this manually is pretty tedious, and it is. We used a simple tool called We-Connect to automate this campaign. We-Connect connects to your Linkedin profile and is able to send up to 150 connection requests + messages a day. 

Here’s how it works:
  1. Use Linkedin Sales Nav or basic account search. Define your audience and click “search”.
  2. Copy and paste the search url into We-Connect. It then builds an audience from that search.
  3. Create a connection request + message campaign. Add your personalized copy and even include follow up messages!!! (Great if a prospect accepts your connection request but doesn;t respond to your initial message).
  4. Launch your campaign.

It’s important to remember you want to set up a We-Connect campaign for each of your audience segments. By segmenting your audiences by campaign, you can reference their role and geographic location in your personalized message to make it extra sticky.


Compared to traditional outbound email campaigns we crushed it with our Linkedin strategy. Not only did we get more replies, we booked more meetings and closed more deals at the bottom of the funnel. We hypothesize the context that Linkedin provides to who you are and your background is helpful in putting a face on who you are. It’s also a platform designed for networking, so reaching out with a friendly note and ask isn’t uncommon. 

Need some help setting up your Linkedin outbound campaign?

We can help and run Linkedin campaigns for SaaS teams every single week. We've sent tens of thousands of messages and can even help you schedule interested responses for demos or Zoom calls.

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