LinkedIn InMail vs Connection Request: What Gets More Replies?

LinkedIn is the go-to platform for businesses and professionals seeking to connect, collaborate, and grow.  LinkedIn InMails and Connection Requests are two powerful tools at your disposal, each with its own set of benefits and limitations. Networking effectively on LinkedIn requires a strategic approach to outreach. Whether you’re reaching out to potential clients, partners, or industry influencers, the method you choose can significantly impact your success.

But which method yields better results? 

This article explores the differences between LinkedIn InMails and Connection Requests, their respective advantages and disadvantages, and how to strategically use them to maximize your reply rate. 

What is the Difference Between InMails and Connection Requests?

How Do Connection Requests Work?

Connection Requests on LinkedIn are the most common way to initiate contact with other professionals. When you send a Connection Request, you are essentially inviting the recipient to join your professional network. This request can be personalized with a short message, which can help increase the likelihood of acceptance. Once accepted, the recipient becomes a part of your network, allowing for ongoing engagement and visibility into their activities and content.

How Do InMails Work?

InMails, on the other hand, are a premium LinkedIn feature that allows you to send direct messages to any LinkedIn user, regardless of whether you are connected. Unlike Connection Requests, InMails land directly in the recipient’s main inbox, ensuring high visibility. InMails are typically included with LinkedIn Premium accounts and come with a limited number of credits per month. You can also send InMails for free to users with Open Profiles.

LinkedIn Connection Requests: Advantages and Disadvantages


People Become Part of Your Network When They Accept Your Request

One of the primary advantages of Connection Requests is that, once accepted, the recipient becomes a part of your LinkedIn network. This allows you to engage with them more directly, view their updates, and leverage mutual connections for further networking opportunities. Building a strong network can lead to increased visibility and credibility on the platform.

Connection Requests Look More Natural Than InMails

Connection Requests often appear more natural and less sales-oriented than InMails. Because they are a standard feature of LinkedIn, users are more accustomed to receiving and accepting them. This familiarity can lead to higher acceptance rates, particularly when the request is personalized and relevant to the recipient.


Connection Requests Don’t Land in the Main Inbox

A significant drawback of Connection Requests is that they do not land in the recipient’s main inbox. Instead, they are placed in the “My Network” section under “Received Invitations.” This means they can be easily overlooked if the recipient does not regularly check this section.

You Are Limited to 100 Connection Requests Per Week

LinkedIn imposes a limit of 100 Connection Requests per week. This can be a significant limitation for those with extensive outreach plans, as it restricts the number of new connections you can attempt to make in a given time frame.

LinkedIn InMails: Advantages and Disadvantages


InMails Land Directly in the Inbox

One of the biggest advantages of InMails is that they land directly in the recipient’s main inbox. This ensures that your message is seen, increasing the likelihood of a response. High visibility makes InMails a powerful tool for reaching out to high-value leads and contacts.

You Can Send InMails for Free to Open Profiles

LinkedIn users with Open Profiles allow anyone to send them InMails for free, even if they are not connected. This feature can significantly expand your reach without incurring additional costs. Open Profiles are typically used by users who are open to networking and business opportunities, making them ideal targets for outreach.


InMail is a Paid Premium Feature

InMails are part of LinkedIn’s premium features, requiring a subscription to LinkedIn Premium or Sales Navigator. This can be a barrier for individuals or businesses operating on a tight budget. The cost associated with InMails can add up, especially if you need to send a large number of messages.

You Can’t Send InMail Follow-Ups

Another limitation of InMails is that you cannot send follow-up messages unless the recipient responds. This means you have only one chance to make an impression and capture the recipient’s interest. If the initial InMail does not elicit a response, you cannot continue the conversation without additional outreach efforts.

Combine InMail and Connection Requests to Maximize Reply Rate

To get the most out of LinkedIn’s messaging features, combining InMails and Connection Requests strategically can be highly effective.

Use InMail to Follow-Up on Declined Connection Requests

If a Connection Request is declined or ignored, following up with an InMail can be a good strategy. This approach leverages the visibility of InMails to re-engage potential leads who might have missed or overlooked your initial request. By referencing your initial connection attempt, you can remind the recipient of your interest and increase the likelihood of a response.

Send Emails Instead of InMails

Sometimes, traditional emails can be more effective than InMails, especially for follow-ups. Using the data from LinkedIn and tools like Golden Leads’ LinkedIn Data Extractor, you can obtain the email addresses of your leads and continue your engagement outside of LinkedIn. This multi-channel approach can enhance your outreach strategy and improve response rates.

Send Short and Personalized Messages to Increase Response Rate

Whether using Connection Requests or InMails, personalization is key. Sending short, personalized messages that address the recipient’s specific needs or interests can significantly increase your response rate. Golden Leads’ Waterfall Enrichment service can help you gather detailed information about your leads, enabling you to craft highly personalized and relevant messages.

Golden Leads in a nutshell

Golden Leads offers a suite of services that can enhance your LinkedIn outreach efforts. With tools like LinkedIn Data Scraper, Waterfall Enrichment, and Validation, Golden Leads provides end to end lead generation solutions to gather and validate lead data efficiently.

LinkedIn Data Scraper

Golden Leads’ LinkedIn Data Scraper helps you extract valuable information from LinkedIn profiles, making it easier to personalize your messages. By automating the data extraction process, you can save time and ensure that you have accurate and up-to-date information about your leads.

Waterfall Enrichment

Golden Leads’ Waterfall Enrichment service consolidates data from top providers to offer unmatched real-time and accurate data enrichment. This eliminates the need to juggle multiple sources, ensuring a seamless and efficient process. With enriched data, you can create detailed lead profiles that enhance the quality of your outreach.

Waterfall Validation 

Golden Leads’ validation services ensure that the contact information you gather is accurate and up-to-date, reducing bounce rates and improving deliverability. After enriching your data, our platform instantly validates your list, enhancing deliverability and protecting your sender reputation for immediate outreach readiness.

Lead Management Platform

Golden Leads’ Lead Management platform helps you directly reach your target audience risk-free, with accuracy, and at scale. Spend less effort with everything in one place and supercharge your campaigns.


Both LinkedIn InMails and Connection Requests have their unique advantages and disadvantages. Connection Requests are more natural and less intrusive, but they can be easily overlooked and are limited in number. InMails, on the other hand, offer high visibility but come at a cost and lack follow-up capabilities. By strategically combining these methods and leveraging tools from Golden Leads, you can maximize your outreach efforts and response rates.

Incorporating services like Golden Leads’ LinkedIn Data Scraper, Waterfall Enrichment, and Validation into your outreach strategy can significantly enhance your ability to connect with and convert potential leads. 

Ready to take your LinkedIn lead generation to the next level? Try Golden Leads, the ultimate tool for effective lead enrichment and validation. Start transforming your outreach strategy today!

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Amit Singh

Amit Singh is a seasoned digital marketing professional with diverse experience across multiple industries, including IT, travel, entertainment, publishing, and digital marketing agencies. He serves as a Growth Manager for Vendisys, Scrubby, Golden Leads, Inboxy, and other Vendisys entities, where he leverages his extensive expertise to drive growth and achieve business objectives.