LinkedIn InMail vs. Email: Which Channel is better for your outreach?

LinkedIn has emerged as the leader in B2B prospecting since approximately 80 percent of B2B leads originate directly from the platform. However, when it involves outreach, businesses aren’t eager to declare that LinkedIn InMail has outperformed its predecessor, Email.

This article will examine each outreach channel against eight criteria and help you determine the best way to present your product to prospective customers. Before we begin, let’s be sure you’re well-versed in LinkedIn InMail.

What exactly is LinkedIn InMail?

Suppose you’ve ever tried to contact someone on LinkedIn. In that case, you’re aware of how difficult it can be to connect with 3rd or 2nd acquaintances even though you’re confident your interaction will benefit both parties.

In typical situations, you can’t send a message to someone without being associated with them. However, LinkedIn InMail makes communication outside of the network feasible.

InMail is an exclusive LinkedIn feature that lets users contact directly other LinkedIn members who aren’t in your network.

From the standpoint of convenience, contacting a potential client that you’ve discovered on LinkedIn directly from the same platform could be the perfect solution to cut down on time. However, does this mean that you should change from an old friend email in favor of LinkedIn InMail? Let’s figure out the answer.

InMail Vs. Email: Which is more efficient?

There is no doubt that LinkedIn and Email offer advantages and drawbacks. Therefore, rather than reiterating this fact, it’s about time to compare the two channels concerning the essential parameters for cold outreach to B2B.

1. Price

LinkedIn InMail and Email Price

You want to know that one of the first things to think about before making a decision is the cost for your company, right? While Email is a cost-free method for communicating with customers, LinkedIn InMail, as previously mentioned, is a paid feature and is bound to cost you a fair amount.

The most affordable option is to purchase a year-long sales navigator account. It’ll price you $79.99/month with 50 InMail credits (so for every InMail, you’ll be charged $1.6).

According to the LinkedIn policy, it is possible to get credits for messages that received an answer within 90 days from the sending date. In addition, you can accrue InMail credits each month. But, there are limitations to the total amount of InMail credits. The maximal amount you can accumulate in a single month is $150 InMail credits.

2. Follow-up

Making lasting connections and driving your prospects to convert isn’t possible without follow-ups. In general, 50 percent of sales occur after the fifth contact!

If your prospective customer hasn’t replied to your last message, you’ll be able to send your prospect as many follow-up messages as possible at no cost by emailing in contrast to InMail. If you decide to send an email to a potential customer you’ve spoken to previously but who hasn’t replied to your first message, it will cause another credit to be utilized.

3. Analytics

Whatever sales and approach to marketing you select, the actions you take should be driven by data. It is essential to monitor every message you send out to prospects to ensure that you are in constant communication with your team. Also, you should evaluate your performance and refine your communications and outreach strategy for the next campaign.

With Email, it is possible to evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts – various tools can provide valuable information on the effectiveness of your emails.  

In conjunction with LinkedIn InMails, it’s also possible to extract information. For example, you can examine responses and acceptance rates for your InMails and check how many emails were rejected or not received a response. However, unlike the free tools for tracking emails, InMail analytics is a paid option.

4. Timing

The effectiveness of any cold outreach campaign hinges on reaching out to potential customers at the appropriate moment; this is where InMail has countless advantages. For example, on LinkedIn, it is possible to see the people you have connected to who are currently active, and you can then forward them an InMail message as soon as you can.

In contrast, when it comes to Email, there is no guarantee that you’ll get your message to your potential customer, even if they’re browsing in their Inbox. So it’s no surprise that the optimal time and frequency to send emails has been the research topic for many studies. Sales and marketing professionals are trying to figure out the best date and time at which their emails are likely to get the highest response and open rates.

5. Response and open rates

LinkedIn InMail looks more promising than Email if you look at the data. The average open rate for emails is approximately 21.6 percent, While InMail can provide 57.5 percent available rates. Regarding response rates, the range is 10 to 25-10% when it comes to InMail messages, whereas email responses can vary between 1-10-10%.

This distinction is simple: the number of email users and InMail users are distinct. With approximately 756 million LinkedIn users and 4.1 billion email users, you stand a better chance of having more opportunities to connect with prospects through InMail messages than with an email. InMail message than through an email.

Additionally, InMail, if you’re sending InMail, the recipient will be able to click on your profile to learn much more about you, your business, and the service that you sell, which makes InMail outreach more engaging.

6. Prospect segmentation

Prospect segmentation and personalization are the primary basis for successful outreach, mainly when contacting prospective clients in large quantities.

It’s not possible to reach everyone since it’s an expense. Once you have created your perfect customer profile and begin searching for potential customers, you have to look at segmenting your prospects list to ensure that each potential customer can receive a personalized email.

With Email, you can segment your prospects into different groups, ranging from specific characteristics to the prospect’s place on the sales channel; However, you’ll be unable to do this in the case of InMail.

7. Automation

If your business is interested in sending out messages in bulk and you need automation tools to handle your mass marketing. Today, you can use such software to send the two, Email and InMail.

Email automation tools allow you to send out triggered emails depending on the recipients’ specific actions.  

LinkedIn’s automation software, In turn, will be eager to make InMail messages and follow-ups on behalf of you and allow you to define the level of engagement you want with your prospects and monitor the effectiveness of your InMail campaigns.

8. Limits

Whichever outreach channel you pick, be sure to be aware that you’ll need to deal with a limit on sending and breaking them, which could result in an account ban for a short period.

It’s up to you. Email sending limits are dependent on the email service you use. For some providers’ options, you’ll be able to send up to 10,000+ emails per day or have unlimited email sending. In the case of LinkedIn InMails, having a Sales Navigator account and thinking the emails received an answer, you could send up to 100 InMails every month.

But there’s more that you need to know. Plan to utilize LinkedIn as a platform for prospecting and outreach. You’ll have to be aware of additional LinkedIn limitations relating to the number of connections invites, monthly searches, and messages sent regularly.

We’ve just contrasted Email and LinkedIn InMail based on eight factors. So let’s review our findings in the form of a table to know which one is better to promote your business.

Which channel should you choose to promote your business?

As you can see, both Email and InMail offer advantages, but one is superior to the other based on specific criteria. The decision you make will primarily be based on the purpose of your outreach. For example, if you’re used to using LinkedIn to locate potential clients, Don’t try to connect with individuals in large numbers. In contrast, if you have the money to spend, you can succeed using InMails.

But, the traditional Email is undoubtedly an alternative for those who do not want to rely exclusively on LinkedIn to contact several potential clients and do not want to pay too much for it. Additionally, it’s a more practical option for businesses that adhere to a Marketing approach, i.e., connect their sales and marketing teams to achieve better results.

These firms typically use CRMs that integrate email systems that permit outreach, prospecting, and lead management on the same platform. The system monitors every interaction with prospects and the performance of email campaigns, and the prospects’ progress through the sales funnel can be easily visualized.

LinkedIn InMail best practices

Whatever channel you like, you’ll not get anywhere if you don’t know how to utilize it to its fullest potential. So don’t fret; we’re aware of how to get the most value from your InMail or Email outreach strategies and ensure the efficiency of your cold-based campaigns.

In some of our earlier blog posts in our previous posts, we’ve discussed how to write a cold email that will convert. Many of these strategies work well used for LinkedIn InMail outreach. So here’s how to manage your InMail outreach efficiently:

1. Keep your InMail messages short.

Statistics show that shorter emails receive more responses. For example, if you look at the chart below, you’ll find that the response rate for the shortest InMails (400 characters or less) can be 16 percent higher than the average.

However, it doesn’t mean all your messages should not exceed 400 characters. But if you’d like to make your message stand out from the crowd, I suggest experimenting with concise messages. The thing is, almost 90 percent of all InMails typically exceed 400 characters. This means that shortness will give you advantages over others that your prospects receive.

2. Make sure to use powerful topic lines.

Subject lines that create an impression are concise (no longer than eight words) and engaging. To make an example of hooks, you could talk about something specific to your prospect’s needs that encouraged you to write a letter to them.

3. Introduce yourself

If your potential customer can quickly visit your profile and find out who the lovely person behind the InMail they just received is, Don’t be slack to describe who you are and what you can do in your introduction.

It’s about respect. Once not taken care of, it can leave InMails being ignored by potential customers. Take a look at the sample below to learn how to introduce yourself within the right InMail message.

4. Personalize your InMails

Again, numbers don’t lie: individual InMails have 20 percent better performance over InMails delivered in large quantities. It’s the same for templates that aren’t or template-based InMails.

This doesn’t mean that you must mail out messages to potential customers individually and not use templates as the backbone. If your business operates on the scale of a large company, it’s not possible. However, these numbers indicate that more personal emails often receive customers’ feedback.

To make InMails more personal, You must show that you’re truly aware of the people your potential customers have in mind and the things they’re up to ensure that your message is designed specifically for your audience. Check out an InMail example, which includes a personal introduction.

5. Do not Send InMails on Weekends.

You can check if the prospect is online and send them a message that they notice in a flash; this is the best alternative, but it’s not feasible to use massive InMail sending.

In terms of the ideal time to send InMails, research has shown that the best time to reach out to potential customers is on Saturdays and Sundays. Sending InMails during the time between work hours has the best rate of response.

It seems logical. LinkedIn is an organization for professionals. People wouldn’t read and respond to your InMail with children running around on their feet or when the smell of barbecue in the backyard is so appealing that LinkedIn notifications on mobile devices are lost on their own.


The rapidly growing popularity of LinkedIn has created a significant issue for sales and marketing teams – whether to select LinkedIn InMails or to rely upon traditional emails for cold outreach.

InMails are an excellent option for professionals with no large-scale plans but who are willing to shell out for the ease of making use of the same platform for both outreach and prospecting.

In the meantime, Email remains a universal outreach tool that you can utilize for no cost and rely on for large-scale campaigns. Furthermore, it permits you to send specific messages to a segmented list of prospects, then analyze the effectiveness of your messages, and boost your conversion rate due to the long-lasting nature of your follow-ups.

Leave a Comment