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10 Killer Templates for LinkedIn Prospecting

Ray K

Posted in Marketing

Picture from undraw
Picture from undraw

Crafting a message that sticks in 300 characters is not easy. Here are a few ideas that inspired us.

It's no secret that messages can make you much more efficient in getting responses with one catch. The message should stand out and stick.

The best message is of course when you handcraft for each request. When you are reaching out to just a couple and somebody extremely important, by all means, spend time to share a very personalized note. The 300 characters that LinkedIn allows you to send (remember only once) can make or break your case. Well, that was a bit of drifting because at times people don't read your message before accepting or rejecting the connection request. You can't do much about them. For many others who do, it makes sense to craft a nice once. Sure you can use one good one across all but it soon gets dull and jaded.

The trick lies in striking a good balance between automated templates and personalized notes.

We see a lot of messages being sent and their response rates. We help marketers craft winning message sequences and that gives us a bit of a front-row seat advantage. Sharing 10 message templates along with some commentary on how you can adapt them in your outreach.

Disclaimer. Every individual and situation is different and therefore careful consideration before applying these templates.

1. Event as a Trigger

Refer to a recent event or announcement. If you are reaching out to a specific set of people in a large company (commonly known as account-based marketing) then use a recent news item to initiate the conversation.

Hi {{shortname}},
Noticed you were in the news <about the news>. Congrats! 
I am sure it is busy out there now.
I noticed it when it showed up on my feed and felt compelled to reach out. 
I have a deep interest in the space and incidentally, we have done some relevant work.
Would be great to connect.

This template works best when you are reaching out to multiple people in the same company. It can also be adapted to certain events that are industry-specific such as a regulation change or a policy announcement. Those are the times when people are receptive to hear as well as they perhaps figure out things for themselves.

2. Lead with your own story

Start with a short introduction, a brief on why you are reaching out, and close it with a "call to action". It's a very direct approach but works well when you are sincere. Be authentic with your story. Even in business, you are still talking to humans.

Hi {{shortname}}
I am the founder of [your company] where we solve [the pain point]. 
We have established  30% savings with our pilot users [drop a 1-2 names here] 
because [did something different]. 
I'd love to connect and share.

Works well in the early days when you have some proof points. Dropping a name reference is important to build trust. If starting out, you can stick to how you think you are different and seek opinion. A key differentiator then becomes the hook.

3. AIDA

Short for attention-interest-desire-action. This is very often used in the email marketing world and may feel a bit cramped to squeeze within the 300 characters limit but still is a good start if you are reaching out to a larger number. The attention part works best when you refer to something that they experience in person.

Hi {{shortname}},
The pandemic has been hard for everyone in the business. 
I share this because clients like you [1-2 names] have now adapted our technology 
to beat the slow down with great success.
I'd love to connect and share an overview

This is a lot more direct. Works better with mid segment decision makers but not the top ones. Try a few variations on the attention part as that is the hook. If you hit their number 1 -2 pain point you are sure to get a response.

4. Ask for an introduction

People move between companies in the same industry and therefore it is not hard to spot one from another company you are trying to reach. This template works very well as there is a common reference besides trust value. This is hard to use as a generic template, but still can be effective.

Hi {{shortname}},
I was looking to get introduced to {{name you’re trying to connect with}} 
from {{that person’s company}}, and saw you were connected. 
If you feel comfortable then I'd appreciate an introduction to cover ways 
we help with {{problem you solve}}. 
I will share a note with you to share. 

5. Paint a picture

Sometimes it effective to go beyond the value, ROI, efficiency, features kind of talk, and instead focus on the experience or a wow! moment. This is hard to do in a short message but possible if you have something short to share.

Hi {{shortname}},
Email marketing can mean a lot of numbers & things, but what makes it for us is 
when we get a thank you message back from a recipient. 
As rare as it is, we take pride in [what you deliver here]. 
I'd love to connect and share.  

The approach can also be adapted to share a link to the impact story. What is attractive about this approach is a good picture can resonate with a lot of people.

The templates are a set of suggested ways to craft your message. There are exceptions. The more original you are the better are your chances of making an impression.

6. When someone from that company has visited your website

This is my favorite use case for marketing automation. Studies have shown that prospects visit as high as 30 times before contacting. When they do they may still be a long way from decision making. For large companies, it also means it may just be one amongst several who would be a party to the decision making. This the perfect use case to start reaching out to more of the decision-makers proactively so that you amplify your pitch from within. Your pitch can be a lot more direct since you already know they are exploring.

Hi {{shortname}},
We have been working with an organization such as [drop some names]
and felt your company may benefit from [your ace product]. 
We have seen our customer save over [value]. I'd like to explore ways
we can add value to your business. 

If you are on Linkdra and using any of the visitor tracking solutions you can double up and run automated search backs to look up potential decision-makers and connect.

7. The research project

This is a classic early-stage option. When you are exploring a new idea or validating a business, it helps to reach out to an expert or potential customers and get a first hand feel. Often this is the recommended option unless you have spent enough time in the industry to know a lot of people. For young entrepreneurs starting right after graduation, this is the top draw.

Hi {{shortname}},
I am working on [introduce the problem] and have come up with a
solution [short intro here]. Would sincerely appreciate it if you can
spare 30 mins of your time over a call. 
Of course, I would love to share our progress so far. 

While you are asking for their time, you are making sure you giving back something. In this case, it is the progress or research data that you may have already collected. If you are in the early stages of your research you can shuffle it to suggest sharing a final report as an incentive to participate. Classic research outreach technique that works if you have a value prop that resonates with the user.

8. Products they are already using

The world of technology has one advantage. They can at times figure out what tools and technology the prospect is using. The search can even start with technology. WordPress or CMS tools are very visible. So are technology stack around sales, customer support, and for that matter anything in the public domain. You can pitch directly with a value prop. Consider spotting something of value instead of making a sales pitch to improve conversion.

Hi {{shortname}},
Noticed your site on WordPress. Our platform helps run security audits
and we did run one and the results show [some number] old plugins. 
I would love to connect and share the report and
how easy it is to have them resolved. 

Very direct with some immediate value. You have also indicated some research work that you have already done that is relevant. Finally, you are not just pointing out the gaps but suggesting ways to fill them. People want to hear solutions and not problems. Leave a teaser or assurance that you can solve.

9. Share your achievement

Most of the templates above were direct messages to make a pitch or an intent. This one is more for brand building and spreading the word. This can be used to start a community or build a fan base or simply the foundation for a drip marketing campaign.

Hi {{shortname}},
We launched our services 6 months ago and today reached [numbers here]. 
Would not have been possible without the support and quality inputs from leaders like yourself. 
As we move forward, we are working to create a closed group of leaders like yourself. 
Would love to have you there. 

Many possible variations of this template highlighting the future value or indicating a proposal. Works best when there is a good amount of content and references in the public domain pointing to your achievement. You don't want to be caught in a chest-beating frenzy.

10. Praise worthy

Almost everyone responds to a bit of hero-worship. Save this one for exclusive cases. Not sharing a text for this one as it can be very subjective. I have found them useful when reaching out to influencers. In today's markets, influencers can swing quite a bit of business. You may not be reaching out to a lot of them, but the ones you do, you can breathe in some praise with sincerity.

How not to use these templates.

Copy+Paste is not likely to work. Look at the words your target profiles are using on their blogs or LinkedIn profile. They will tell you a lot about what they are thinking and what they are likely to be interested in.

We will continue to track down messages that do well, analyze why they stick, and share from time to time. If this of interest to you, drop your email in the box below.

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