Terrible ROI Using LinkedIn InMail

Terrible ROI Using LinkedIn InMail

Let’s talk about LinkedIn InMail messages.  These aren’t any ordinary email messages.  InMails are a unique LinkedIn feature and below we’ll discuss some of the top level details which could help shed some light on their value.

What’s An InMail?

LinkedIn describes InMail as messages that are sent directly to another LinkedIn member that you’re not connected to. If you’re a first degree connection with someone, then emailing to each other via LinkedIn is absolutely free.  Any other connection, and you’ll have to pony up some mula for the privilege of sending a message–thus, these messages are called InMails.

How Much Do They Cost?

At $5 each, InMail messages are actually quite expensive.  In order to get your hands on InMails, you need to be on a paid plan and/or pay additional fees to top up your account. So if they cost so much, why would anyone want to use these? Of course, it’s all about the return on investment–but does the ROI really merit it’s usage?

Who Uses InMail?

Business people as well as recruiters use LinkedIn as their main recruiting and prospecting tool. It really is a ready to go list of people and companies. Gone are the days where salespeople use a phone book and blindly call into a company’s main phone system seeking anyone in a particular department. We have data at our fingertips and the lack of thorough research will turn off prospects immediately. That’s where the InMails come in.

Since we are already using LinkedIn to find our targets, the quickest way to press the InMail the contact button and send over an InMail. These InMails go straight into the person’s LinkedIn mailbox and typically right to their regular email inbox as well.  Sounds great, right?  Not so fast.

Response Rate

The response rate is typically somewhere in the 15% realm.  That’s only about 1 out of 7 responding! Doing the math, on average, people sending lots of InMails will spend more than $30 per response! And a response is usually, “Thanks, I’m not interested.” That’s right, we all shrug off those pesky InMails as if they’re nothing, but they’re really something to someone–just often times not something for the intended recipient.  Pretty ironic, isn’t it!

Final Thoughts

I’ll raise my hand as someone that leverages the best practices in recruiting and has a chunk of InMails ready to use each month. I’ve become disenfranchised by how these InMails are used and the way LinkedIn goes about selling them.  When looking at the meager success rate perhaps we’d all be much happier reverting back to regular email and phone calls instead. What are your thoughts?


The Marks Group is a focused recruiting company that has developed a methodology which yields successful results and has helped many clients find their superstar employees.   We are a recruiting leader in Salesforce and also have a niche in Digital Marketing nationwide. We deliver exceptional candidates in software such as Salesforce, Marketo, Adobe Marketing CloudHubSpot, Pardot, Oracle Marketing Cloud, Microsoft and more.

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