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Connect 365 outbound sales development Blog

How (and When) to Approach LinkedIn Connections Through Email

People ask us all the time what they should be doing with their LinkedIn connections... 

After all, everyone wants to get to know their connections better so they can get the most out of these relationships and generate some business interest of course!

So what’s the best way to approach your connections on LinkedIn?

Well, there’s a right way (and a wrong way) to handle your LinkedIn connections.

Here’s a quick overview of our “Messaging Methodology” so we’re all on the same page about the general approach...

1- Ditch the pitch

  • First of all, we never recommend starting off a new relationship with a pitch. Try and build some rapport first
  • Because we’ve all gotten a pitch from a new connection right out of the gate. And, we have to try extra hard not to be like everyone else.
  • People do business with people they know, like and trust and you start out as someone they don’t know and definitely don’t trust - so you must build some trust and goodwill first.

2- Keep the focus on the prospect and what matters to them - always

  • Focusing on the prospects is a great way to build a relationship with someone online, quickly.
  • With every touchpoint consider what’s in it for them. Why should they care? 
  • For example, you could be a connector. IE: Consider how you can help them (not yourself). Or if you might be able to introduce them to someone they’d be interested to speak with that’s in your network.
  • Or you could be a resource. IE: Send them a piece of content - introduce them to something they’d get value from reading on a professional level.

3- When you do introduce a call to action - don’t overdo it

  • IE: No 100 bullet point lists with all your service features explained in-depth to show how great you are.
  • Instead, for example, you could position the call as a getting to know you call - and also include a reason/incentive for them to want to take you up on your offer - such as a brainstorm or mastermind or you could say there’s a strategy or tactic you want to share with them. 
  • Or you could get slightly more direct as long as you keep the focus on the prospect and what’s in it for them. Either way, save most of your spiel for the call itself - once you’ve gotten to know the prospect a bit along with their goals and challenges.

What’s next? When should you move your prospects over to email? And, how should you approach them?

The email messaging strategy

It’s the same general strategy as on LinkedIn, it just plays out over a different platform - email.

Whether you are emailing prospects you’ve recently connected with OR are emailing connections that you’ve had for years, the same general strategy applies.

Just like before, I always want to focus on adding value and being viewed as a resource by my prospects. Make sure to focus on what’s in it for them - with every touchpoint.

Pitching the right way

There’s nothing wrong with sprinkling in a call-to-action - but don’t make the full sale over email. Get them intrigued enough to take your next step whether that’s booking a call or showing up to your webinar. 

Always consider what they care about. What problems are they trying to solve? What incentive(s) would interest them in taking action on your next step?

The first step should be to just get on the phone with a prospect or try and get them to complete a simple action that moves them towards your end goal.

I’m sure you’ve heard them before but, it bears repeating - don’t just sell the features - always, sell the benefits. IE: The ‘why’ not the ‘what’.

Rather than “Our fruit also has the shiniest skin you’ll find on the market.”

Try “Our fruit has been engineered with the strongest skin promoting good gut health and allowing you to absorb more nutrients and stay healthier. Not to mention the great shine it gives that will always have your fruit bowl looking great. :-)”

Should I use LinkedIn or email for my messaging? 

What are the pros/cons of each platform? It's a fair question...

We love LinkedIn and for good reason.

Here are some pros for when and why to start outreach on LinkedIn -

  • LinkedIn is more personal. Since prospects can see your full profile, it allows relationships to more easily start.
  • With LinkedIn, people can go check out to learn more about you, your business, and how you help people just like them letting them quickly learn why they should be interested in what you offer.
  • LinkedIn gives you the ability to post content that your prospects can see which can help increase awareness and engagement.
  • LinkedIn is seen as the ‘go-to’ source for professional networking
  • The LinkedIn inbox can be less competitive as email - letting your message have a better chance of being seen.

LinkedIn cons -

  • Direct messaging is a manual process. Sure you can use automated tools to message your connections or send connection requests but LinkedIn is always on the lookout for automation tools like this and will shut your account down in a hurry if they catch you.

Of course here at Connect 365, we also love email marketing too. There’s definitely a time and a place for email marketing.

Here are some email marketing pros -

  • Email is great for warming prospects up when you have the luxury of having a large prospect pool. 
  • Emails can be automated, and if you do it the right way that can be a real game-changer!

Email cons -

  • With email, there’s more competition for the prospect’s attention. IE: people get lots of emails every day.
  • That said, emails sent from Connect 365 have a higher deliverability and open rate than nearly every other email tool on the market. In other words, your prospects are more likely to see and engage with your emails.

For best results try combining LinkedIn and Email - 

  • For example, you could start with a LinkedIn connection request and for those who accept then transition them to email either right away or after a few messages.
  • This can work great for prospects you’ve reached out to a few times (on LinkedIn) and have not been able to get a hold of yet as well.
  • This will allow you to hit your prospects another way - on another medium/platform - email.
  • It will also give you an easy way to stay in front of these prospects over the long term, in a more automated fashion, until their needs change and/or they become more comfortable with you.
  • That means you can continue to build trust and demonstrate your expertise - while focusing on the prospect of course. Then when the prospect needs your help - you’ll be the first person they think of because you’ve been nurturing them over a period of time and I guarantee your competitors have not.

For Connect 365 members we have templates right in the software you can start using immediately. They’re pretty much plug and play!

Here are a few recommended Connect 365 templates to get you started…

  • Social Media Boomerang Plan (if you’ve had some interaction or messaging with the prospect on LinkedIn previously)
  • Expert Content/Curator Sequence
  • Group Invite Campaign

Please note - these templates are only available to current Connect 365 members. To access these templates (or others) just login to your Connect 365 account < click on Campaigns < then choose Use Template.

What’s next?

There are a bunch of things you can do with your prospects after an initial email campaign. 

For example, you could move them over to a longer-term, nurture campaign to stay top-of-mind with them. IE: check out the Long-Term Nurture - Sequential campaign in the Connect 365 software. 

This will allow you to stay in front of them until their needs change and they get more comfortable with you...and generate leads on an ongoing basis.

Or if you have another goal you could always put them into a different campaign based on that goal. IE: maybe you want to book more speaking gigs, or promote an ebook, promote a webinar, etc...

And, that’s all there is to it. Now get out there and start building some awesome, new relationships!

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