1. Shortcuts and hacks will not work to increase the effectiveness of messaging on LinkedIn.
2. LinkedIn’s data and findings are important but you need to test for your specific use case.
3. The downward trend in response rates on LinkedIn is an area of opportunity for you and your business.
The title of this post is one of the most searched questions about LinkedIn. If you are looking for a “silver bullet,” hack, or one-size-fits-all magic fix, you will be disappointed everywhere you go. In the first couple pages of any search engine, you will find some that promise shortcuts, a list of five steps, or set it and forget it tools to drastically and quickly increase sales, new hires, or connections. But ask yourself, would an increase of 10% in LinkedIn responses genuinely have an impact? Does having 100 more connections allow you to meet your sales or recruitment quota? The answer is probably no.
LinkedIn released data that they see response rates trending downward. The impact of the pandemic driving lazy sales activity or recruiting activity to LinkedIn is undoubtedly a significant contributor to having people tune out messages they see as irrelevant. That doesn’t mean LinkedIn is worthless or a waste of time for your business. On the contrary, we see it as an opportunity— getting back to the fundamentals of building an intentional network, asking for introductions, and truly understanding your target audience. Weaving content into your direct messaging and connection requests will make you more effective.
If you go to LinkedIn’s blogs and evaluate the data and best practices, you will see sample messages, character lengths, and subject lines to increase your response rate. The blogs have good information and are worth testing, but nothing will beat the execution of the fundamentals, consistent follow-up, and messaging personalized to your target audience. Does a 2% increase in average responses on Wednesdays mean you should only send on Wednesdays? No, it doesn’t. How about writing a 399 character message over a 401 character message to get a better response rate, because the data shows that under 400 characters are best? The same is true.
Putting together a strategy and giving it enough time to work is an important place to start. We see those most effective use of LinkedIn as a piece of a broader outreach strategy, not the only method. We witness and hear about someone who has a new client or hires that LinkedIn enabled them to find almost weekly. Their common response to this happening is, “We would never have had that happen without LinkedIn.” You must be utilizing multiple channels of direct outreach and advertising. Whether selling or recruiting, timing is vital. It is all about making sure you are top of mind. Clients and prospects will come when they are ready for you.
Success on LinkedIn takes time and persistence. Let me state that again, success on LinkedIn takes time and persistence. There are ways to be more effective or efficient but leave the “silver bullets” for Van Helsing.