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15+ LinkedIn Cold Message Examples That Get ~49+% Reply Rate

14 min

Want to improve your LinkedIn cold message outreach game?

You’ve probably heard all about how powerful LinkedIn is for generating leads and growing your business.

But here’s the thing:

Without the right LinkedIn outreach strategy, your messages won’t go anywhere.

You need to make sure you’re targeting the right people with your cold messages, you’re following up, and most importantly, you have the right offer.

Once you do that, you can expect results like this:

10+ Proven LinkedIn Connection Request Messages That Get Replies

To get you started, here are some proven plug-and-play Linked connection request messages that get replies, based on different industries and needs.

Connection Request – Industry Leaders and Decision Makers

Local leaders network request

“Hey {first_name}, always looking for more leaders in {your_industry} to add to my network. Would love to connect!”

Following content request

“Hi {first_name}, I’ve been following your content and I’m so impressed with all you’ve accomplished. I recently read your latest blog post and I’d love to connect to keep up with more of your content!”

Topic mention request

“Hi {first_name}, I recently stumbled upon your (LinkedIn article/post/video) about (topic), and I couldn’t agree more about your point on (topic). 

I’d love to connect and keep up-to-date with your inspiring content. 

Sincerely, (your name).”

Industry leaders request

“Hey {first_name}, growing my network with {your_industry} leaders.

At our home base here in {your_city}, we’ve found incredible creative and profitable opportunities in {your_industry_niche}. 

I’d love to connect and share our learnings! – {my_first_name}”

Mutual connection request

“Hey {first_name}, just saw your profile because of a mutual connection we have and I gotta say that I love what you’re doing at {company_name}! 

I’d love to add you to my network. – {my_first_name}”

B2B Lead Generation Outreach Connection Message Templates

Industry leaders share learnings request

“Hey {first_name}, I noticed you are a {your_industry} leader and wanted to reach out. 

Always looking to connect with pioneers in the {your_industry} space. 

Looking forward to learning from one another. – (your name).”

LinkedIn group members connect request

“Hey {first_name}! 

Found you in the {linkedin_group} group. As a forerunner in {your_industry}, I’m dedicated to flipping this industry on its head and exposing the lack of quality  major products have. 

Let’s connect. – (your name)”

Targeted prospects propel forward request

“Hey {first_name}, I like the work {company_name} is doing in tech and innovation, and wanted to connect. 

I am always posting valuable resources and insights to help my network propel their company forward. Thought you’d be interested. – (your name).”

Top of search results request

“Hey {first_name}, your profile was top of the search results for professionals in the {your_industry} field – would love to connect and learn more about what you do at {company_name}! – (your name)”

Recent founder request

“Hey {first_name}! 

I saw that you’re a recent founder. Congrats! As a founder myself, I’m always posting valuable resources and insights around startups. 

Thought you’d be interested. Let’s connect! – (your name).”

Investor Outreach Connection Message Templates

Thoughts for my upcoming Forbes article request

“Hey {first_name}, wanted to reach out for my upcoming Forbes article. I saw you were an investor in some incredible companies. Would love to hear about {your_article_topic}. Let’s chat. ~ (your name)”

Investors in same industry request

“Hi {first_name}, saw we were both investors interested in {your_industry}, thought I’d connect. I’m always posting valuable resources and insights around startups. – {my_first_name}”

Investors same industry project request

“Hey {first_name}, saw we were both investors interested in {your_industry}, thought I’d connect and see if you have any cool projects needing investment. Let’s make some big money moves. – {my_first_name}”

Foreword on Sending Cold Messages on LinkedIn

Now, while you can use the above templates as plug-and-play, there are also some additional steps you can take to improve your cold messages on LinkedIn.

If you’ve been on LinkedIn long enough, then you’ve probably gotten a cold message or two at this point.

And if there’s one thing MOST LinkedIn cold messages have in common – it’s that they lack personalization.

In fact, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve received the same, boring outreach messages like this one.

They don’t work. They’re clearly automated (and robotic 🤖), and they’re already pitching in the very first message.

Seriously – who expects you to be interested in a sales pitch from someone you just met?

Now, we’ll cover the exact outreach strategies and templates that work below, but until then, here’s what you need to know:

The main goal of LinkedIn outreach is to help build business relationships with other users.

There is no one-size-fits-all template you can just plug into your LinkedIn connection requests and expect your cold message reply rates to suddenly grow. If you’re looking for a few plug-and-play templates, this is not the guide for you.

Rather, we’re going to cover the actual cold message outreach strategies here that work and have led to a higher reply rate. 

In other words, if you want a high reply rate for your cold LinkedIn messages, you need to think about your overall outreach strategy first.

Keep that in mind when you’re doing outreach. The actual cold message is just a small part of the outreach.

And if you want people to accept your connection requests and actually reply, you’ll need to be providing value.

You’ll also need to make sure that:

  1. Your LinkedIn profile is optimized.
  2. You’re targeting the right people.
  3. You’re using advanced LinkedIn search filters (that most people don’t even know about).

So, let’s quickly cover those points first.

LinkedIn profile optimization

Before you even start reaching out to your target audience, you’ll need to first make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimized.

We did a separate article on this (and 4 other essential steps to prepare before launching a LinkedIn outreach campaign).

But for the most part, here’s what you should keep an eye out for when looking at your LinkedIn profile:

  • Profile photo – The very first thing people notice about you. Make sure it’s professional and looks ‘trustworthy’.
  • Background image – Ideally, it should be a custom design showcasing your values or case study. You don’t have to be a designer for this as you can just pay someone $5 on Fiverr.
  • LinkedIn Tagline  – Main thing that drives people to actually click on your profile and read more. If you want a higher conversion rate and more people to accept your requests, you need to describe the outcome of your services here. Think about your features and benefits here.
  • Summary – If your tagline describes what you do, your summary should represent why you do it and why people can trust you.
  • Recommendation/endorsements – Always nice to have. Don’t be afraid to ask former or current colleagues.

Treat your LinkedIn profile like a landing page. 

Whenever someone receives your cold message, the first thing they will do is click on your profile.

If you want to take it a step further though, make sure you have a clear and helpful offer, right there in your LinkedIn profile.

Meet Demi:

Demi is part of the Expandi team and mentions our Top 3 LinkedIn outreach strategies in her LinkedIn banner image as well as tagline

So, every now and then, she gets people randomly requesting to connect with her to gain access to the cold messages guide.

By making the offer so visible, she’s getting inbound leads without having to do anything. 😎

Demi knows how to optimize her LinkedIn profile!

In short: you’ll need to make sure your profile is working for you, not against you. And it’s inspiring trust and clearing any doubts.

After that, you can focus on making sure your cold messages hit the right target audience.

Target audience and advanced filtering

This is what makes or breaks most LinkedIn campaigns and cold messages.

And a lot of it stems from having no clear buyer’s persona.

For example, if you’re targeting a CEO, you’ll have to talk about how your solution fits in their bigger picture. And if you’re targeting a hiring manager, you’ll have to focus more on how your service/features can help their goals.

But no matter your audience, the key here is to treat them like an actual person.

Don’t start selling or pitching straight away (because they don’t care), don’t lie about how you went through their profile (it’s super obvious when this isn’t the case), and don’t tell your whole life story in the small connection box either.

Speaking of, do you know how to find your target audience on LinkedIn?

Targeting the right people

At this point, you probably already know you can filter for people, jobs, and content on LinkedIn and target people in a specific sector (e.g. marketing/tech people in the U.S.).

Then, you can start reaching out to them one-by-one.

Usually with a pretty standard template like:

“Hey {first_name},

Came across your profile when I was looking for like-minded marketers in the same area to connect with.

Loved your latest post on automating emails to save time.

Hope to connect and keep up with more of your content.

Cheers,

(your name).”

Few notes here:

  • You should always strive to find some common ground. Same industry/location or something you found interesting about them in your cold message helps.
  • Personalization is super important. Mention something unique so that it shows you care. Some flattery about how you liked their latest blog post with specific info from it usually works (of course if it’s sincere).
  • Give them a reason to reply. Make sure you’re not pitching in the very first message. You can instead ask a question about how they got certain results in their latest case study. This shows you’re actually interested, and in 9/10 cases, they’re going to appreciate the kind words and reply.

But if you really want to take things a step further, here’s what you can do.

Using LinkedIn advanced filters

The more specific your LinkedIn cold messages – the higher your reply rate.

So, here are a couple of underrated tricks you can use in your filtering:

  1. Use a Boolean search (most people don’t even know about this feature). Essentially, you can use different words to describe similar concepts on their profiles. For example, you can search for “marketing” OR “growth-hacking” (our target audience), LinkedIn will give you the results of people who have any of those terms in their profiles.
  2. Similarly, you can do an AND search that shows results for people with both terms in their profile. E.g. “marketing” AND “LinkedIn” for people who work with LinkedIn marketing.
  3. Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator for better prospecting and target people based on job change alerts, use the advanced search filter to target even more specific LinkedIn groups, and even find prospects similar to your existing customers (something like lookalike audiences).

So, now you’ve found your target audience on LinkedIn and you’re ready to reach out.

Here are some proven strategies that focus on boosting your reply rate that brought results for us.

Top 5 LinkedIn Outreach Message Strategies and Templates That Get a ~49% Reply Rate

Part of why certain cold messages work so well is because of the outreach campaign.

If you want to boost your LinkedIn cold messages reply rate, you’ll need to think about your outreach message strategies.

Every time you’re doing outreach, keep these 3 things in mind:

  • Personalization.
  • Common ground.
  • Value.

 

Because once you find your target audience, you’ll need to make sure you’re mentioning the above in your cold messages.

With that said, let’s take a look at a couple of outreach strategies and templates that worked for us.

Content retargeting LinkedIn growth-hack

This is a favorite of ours and is super useful for connecting with your exact target audience.

The process goes something like this:

  1. Find a post that went viral by an influencer in your niche.
  2. Scrape the list of people who commented or liked it.
  3. Automatically reach out to them using the world’s safest LinkedIn automation tool (yes, that’s Expandi).

Simple, right?

Check out the full content retargeting LinkedIn growth-hack case study here for a more detailed breakdown of why this outreach message strategy works so well.

Here’s the cold message template used for this cold message strategy that more than 70% of the people accepted the invitation for and 40% responded to my follow-ups.:

Connection Request Template (Interest in the Same Post)

“Hi {first_name}. 

Saw you also liked the amazing LinkedIn Growth Hack post by Ugljesa Djuric from Lemtalk. 

I guess we have growth in common. 

Love it! 

Let’s connect, 

Stefan” 

Follow-up 1 (1 day after connection request was accepted)

“Great to be connected {first_name}! 

Which part of the Growth Hacking techniques that Ugljesa shared did you like the most? 

I just finished writing a step-by-step LinkedIn growth hack that includes the templates and tools that generated me 40 conversions a week. 

I thought it might be useful for you too… So here it is: https://blog.expandi.io/the-best-way-to-generate-leads-on-linkedin/

Follow-up 2 (7 days after no reaction message 1)

“Hi {First_name}, was wondering if you had the chance to read my article and if it gave you any ideas for your LinkedIn growth strategy? 

Would love to hear your thoughts”

Facebook group LinkedIn outreach growth-hack

This is another simple LinkedIn outreach strategy that works just like the above one.

But in this case, we’ll be scraping a Facebook group and reach out to its members on LinkedIn.

As long as there’s a popular Facebook group for your niche (which there should be), this cold message strategy should work for you as well.

Here are the steps:

  1. Find a Facebook group you want to target.
  2. Use the Phantombuster free Facebook group extractor tool (basically a tool that scrapes the group members list for you).
  3. Use Phantombuster LinkedIn profile URL finder API to find the LinkedIn profile of the people on your list.
  4. Upload the final list on Expandi and launch a connector campaign to connect with them.

Check out the full Facebook group LinkedIn outreach growth-hack case study for more info on LinkedIn automation and more LinkedIn message examples here.

If done well, this is another great way to reach out to like-minded people in a non-spammy and intrusive way.

In my case, I reached out to the Dux-Soup User Group.

Dux-Soup is a LinkedIn automation tool like Expandi, but it’s chrome-based and lacks some of the advanced outreach features.

By focusing on the common-ground (LinkedIn automation and growth-hacking), I managed to gain a 72% acceptance rate, 49% response to follow-ups, and 42 total booked demos.

Here’s the outreach template for this:

Connection request

“Hi {first_name}, I noticed your profile and wanted to reach out as I see we are both members of the Facebook Group Dux Soup users. 

I guess we have growth in common. 

Love it! 

Let’s connect.

Stefan”

Follow-up 1 (1 day after connection request was accepted)

“{first_name}, I’m working on a much safer tool for LinkedIn automation (It’s cloud based, so LinkedIn doesn’t detect it), and to avoid making something useless, I wanted to find people who can help me by sharing their thoughts. 

I’d love to get your feedback on it, if you don’t mind?”

Follow-up 2 (5 days after no reaction message 1)

“Does this sound interesting enough to justify a short conversation? Please let me know what you decide, {first_name}?”

Follow-up 3 (7 days after no reaction message 2)

“I still love to show you this amazing software in person {first_name}. 

Just look if you can match a day and time in my agenda right below. You won’t regret I promise https://calendly.com/expandi-demo

PS – And if you’re wondering about Dux-Soup, learn why Expandi is the best alternative to Dux-Soup here.

LinkedIn outreach strategy that gets you light years ahead of your competitors

This outreach strategy is a little different from the above ones (more complex too), but it’s also incredibly powerful.

Why’s that?

Because we’ll be targeting a hyper specific target audience using a specific tech stack.

In fact, it’s going to be so specific that your leads will want to accept your request because they’ll be curious as to how you found that information about them in the first place.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Use BuiltWith to filter websites in the United States using Albacross (who we’ll be targeting) 
  2. Use FindThatLead to upload the domain names from the CSV file and find information about those sites. 
  3. Use Phantombuster LinkedIn URL profile finder to turn the above names into LinkedIn profiles we can target. 
  4. Finally, use our favorite LinkedIn outreach tool Expandi to reach out and connect to our leads.

Full case study here as well as more info on using a  dynamic placeholder tag and an alternative outreach campaign template.


Make sure you mention Albacross in your outreach message and you should be good to go.

With that, more than 70% of the people accepted my invitation request and 50% responded to my cold message follow-ups.

Here are the outreach templates for this:

Connection request

“Hi {first_name}, 

Came across your profile and wanted to reach out as I see we are both Albacross users. 

Would be great to connect with someone like minded because I have some questions to share. 

Stefan”

Follow-up Message 1 (1 day after accepting connection request)

“Great to be connected {first_name}! 

I really like Albacross, but how do you reach out to the visitors identified on {IF EXIST=Website} Type your message containing the {Website}{ELSE}your website{ENDIF}?”

Follow-up Message 2 (5 day if no reply on message 1)

“Btw, we developed an automatic follow-up sequence on LinkedIn for Albacross users like you. (It increased conversions up to 400%). 

I wanted to find people who can help me by sharing their thoughts {first_name}. I’d love to get your feedback on it, if you don’t mind?”

Follow-up Message 3 (7 day after no reply on message 2)

“Does this sound interesting enough to justify a short conversation? 

Please let me know what you decide, {first_name}? Glad to answer any questions you might have.”

That’s a dynamic placeholder we used in the follow-up message 1. Basically, the code in it will be replaced by their website name.

The ultimate omni channel LinkedIn growth-hack with hyper personalization

Here’s another interesting outreach strategy that goes way beyond the norm.

In this tactic, we go all in on personalization and reach our prospects on channels outside LinkedIn.

It may sound a bit complex, so, hope you’re ready.

  1. Create a strong and relevant offer for your target audience. Remember ours? It’s this top 3 LinkedIn outreach strategies guide. Then, make a LinkedIn post and tell your followers to comment if they want to receive it.
  2. Promote the post via Lempod to get people automatically talking about your post (also great for social proof). 
  3. Once you have a long list of people who commented on your post, create an Expandi campaign to connect with them (if you’re not connected yet) and a messenger campaign (if you’re already connected).
  4. Use Zapier to connect Expandi to Lemlist (email outreach tool we’ll be using). 
  5. Create a Lemlist email outreach campaign and add it to the rest of the Zapier campaign.

Check out the full LinkedIn lead generation email omnichannel outreach growth-hack for a more detailed guide and the exact cold message templates used.

Seems complex, but if you follow the step-by-steps it’s pretty straightforward.

Essentially, we connect with people who commented on LinkedIn and then reach out to them via email (Lemlist). 

This way, we make sure they’ve read our PDF and then we ask what they thought of it and if there’s anything we can do to help. This is also super useful for lead generation, in addition to making sure they reply.

With this cold message outreach strategy, I gained a 80.2% acceptance rate on LinkedIn.

Connector Campaign Request Template:

“Heyo {first_name} 

I saw your comment on my post about the Top 3 LinkedIn Outreach Strategies. 

Would love to connect so I can send you the PDF. :-)”

Messenger Campaign Outreach Message:

“Heyo {first_name}, I saw you comment on my post about the Top 3 LinkedIn Outreach Strategies. 

Cool! I will send it over soon via mail.”

Increase brand reach and awareness with a PDF lead magnet LinkedIn growth-hack

Last but not least, here’s another LinkedIn outreach strategy that’s really thinking outside the box.

We’ll be using Expandi to reach our prospects on LinkedIn, Hunter to scrape the emails of our leads, Facebook Ads to retarget our warm leads, and of course, Zapier to connect all of the tools together.

Here’s how:

  1. Create a strong, valuable offer (we’ll be using our LinkedIn outreach strategies PDF here again).
  2. Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to prepare a search for our target market.
  3. Create a connector campaign on Expandi and import the above sales search to the Sales navigator search tab.
  4. Connect Zapier with Expandi.
  5. Log in Hunter, connect it to Zapier.
  6. Now, you need to create a custom Facebook audience and connect the Zap to the Audience you created. 
  7. Finally, go to Facebook ads manager, select Customer List and upload a CSV list with some emails to create the audience. 

Check out the full LinkedIn growth hack to increase brand reach and awareness case study here.

Now, that might sound really complicated. But this long LinkedIn and Facebook cold message outreach strategy does pay off in the end.

We tested 2 different LinkedIn outreach campaigns with Expandi here, and the results are as follows:

Notice how 71 people replied to the follow-ups in the 2nd campaign. This is exactly why you should always be A/B testing your outreach messages.

As for the Facebook ads banner campaign, we gained 17 booked demos.

Connection Request Version 1

“Hi {first_name}, I’m Demi – a Growth Marketer. But I know that’s boring & doesn’t concern you. 

So how about I send you a kickass guide on how we drove 1,500 paid customers from LinkedIn in just 4 months? 

Click accept if you’re interested. Or you’ll never hear from me again!”

Message 1 – 1 Day Later

“Thank you for connecting {first_name} – I’m grateful to have a like-minded person in my network. 

Here’s a copy of the guide: https://expandi.io/the-top-3-linkedin-outreach-strategies/ 

I’d love some feedback – please feel free to send your honest opinion.”

Message 2 – 5 days

“Heyo, Any thoughts on the deck I sent over?”

Message 3 – 7 days

“Hey {first_name}, just floating this on top of your inbox. Looking forward to your response.”

Conclusion

And that’s a wrap!

That took a while, but hopefully, you now know how to write cold messages that get up to a 50% reply rate (at least).

Remember to:

  • Use personalization.
  • Have a strong offer.
  • Have a common ground with your leads.

Ready to start sending your cold messages now?

Here’s one last thing I can do to help.

  1. Add me on Facebook.
  2. Let me know that you’re excited to try out the world’s safest LinkedIn tool.
  3. Enjoy the free 7-day access to Expandi and start generating 10x more leads.

Also check out:

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