How to Write Effective LinkedIn Connection Messages


LinkedIn is an invaluable tool in your arsenal when it comes to developing business relationships and identifying strategic connections. Every journey starts with the first step, however, and before any fruitful and mutually beneficial partnership can be formed you must make the first contact.

Whether your weapon of choice in the prospecting arsenal is a telephone, an email or LinkedIn Message, many find it the most challenging and daunting. 

The fear of rejection, the worry of wasted time and a creeping feeling that you’re going to ‘burn’ the prospect if you handle it wrong all plague sales and marketing professionals at some point. 

The fact is, many LinkedIn connection messages simply get ignored, so how can you ensure yours are accepted? 

There is no magic formula that will get you 100% response rate, anyone promising that is an outright liar. The simple fact is, there are thousands of variables at play, from the personality and past experience of your prospect, to the socio-political climate, the industry being targeted or even the time of day your connection was sent.

What we can do though is look to provide the best possible set of circumstances that will tailor your message to the majority, with the goal of maximising acceptance and response rates.

Here’s what you need to consider.

Don’t Use the Default Message


Before you think about anything else you should almost forget the fact that LinkedIn even has a default connection message. Nothing says a lack of effort like sending out the placeholder text in your connection invitation – so avoid it at all costs.

Remember, it’s not there because it works, it’s there to give you a rough idea of how long a connection message should be and some inspiration for the kind of things it should say. Get in the habit of deleting it instinctively.

If your prospect has received 15 messages that day, and most of those are the default message (or no message at all) What is going to make yours stand out?

Define What You Want to Achieve

The goal is to get a successful connection – that’s a given.

But what are you going to do with that connection? Are you looking to engage a possible sales prospect? Maybe you need to connect with them to extract their data and follow up with an email?

This will give you some framework as to how best to word your messages, and how to present yourself – but don’t be tempted to try and sell before establishing a connection, building a relationship and developing trust.

NEVER go in for the sale with your connection message.

Be as Concise as Possible in Your Writing

Time is a valuable commodity, no more so than with the busy professionals on LinkedIn. Your prospect might have multiple connection requests to sift through, and only a very limited space in their day to do it. That means you shouldn’t give them chapter and verse about who you are and what your background is. 

Keep it simple – tell them how you found them, who you are and what value you can provide. After the connection is made you can start building up the details.

You only have 300 characters (not words!) to play with in your connection message, so make them count. Be cordial but don’t waffle – demonstrate the value you provide.


Focus on What they Stand to Benefit from You

You’ve already identified the value your prospective connection has to you and what they can offer you – they don’t need to know that. What they need to know is what you are going to be able to offer them in return.

If your message leads with what you want from them, you’re far more likely to get refused. If, on the other hand, you clearly state a tangible benefit that you can offer via a connection you’re far more likely to have your request accepted – think of them, not yourself.

Be Relevant

It goes without saying that if what you provide is not relevant, or you don’t communicate that relevance, you stand less of a chance of gaining acceptance from your prospect.

Ensure there is a good fit between your offering and the audience, make sure your message communicates that well.

Explain how you found them ‘we are both in the XXXX group’ or ‘we move in similar circles’. They are less likely to feel ‘special’ if they feel they are part of a blanket marketing campaign as opposed to one-to-one.

Find Your Tone of Voice

Ultimately you have to find a style and tone of message that suits you – these key tips will help you do exactly that, and improve your LinkedIn connection success.

Jack Barron, Director

Jack is passionate about marketing and helping small to medium-sized businesses thrive. As Director of Invoke Media, he is responsible for overseeing the planning and implementation of every campaign, getting stuck into the execution of successful at every opportunity.

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