What Is LinkedIn InMail?

Why you might want to start taking this messaging feature more seriously

An image of the LinkedIn app on a smartphone.

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LinkedIn InMail is a premium LinkedIn messaging feature that allows you to send messages to people you currently have no connection to on the platform.

What Is LinkedIn InMail?

LinkedIn is great for making professional connections, but when you want to start a conversation with someone who's not already in your network, you can't do so with a private message. Unless, of course, you have InMail. It's essentially an extension of the standard messaging feature, which can be accessed by selecting the Messages tab at the top of the screen or bottom of the app when signed into your LinkedIn account.

If you have a Basic (free) LinkedIn account, you won't be able to send InMail messages — however you will be able to receive InMail messages from others. You must upgrade to any of the premium plans to be able to send InMail messages.

You can send a certain number of InMail messages based on your monthly allotted amount that comes with your premium plan. If you use them all up for the month, you can also purchase additional InMail messages to send. Cost varies depending on how many InMail messages you wish to purchase, but you can expect it to be around $10 per InMail message.

How InMail Is Different from Standard Messaging on LinkedIn

Since InMail is integrated with the standard messaging feature, it might not be obvious to see how it enhances standard messaging. There are just two main things you need to pay attention to when it comes to InMail:

Unlocked Message Buttons on Non-Connected Profiles

When you visit a person's LinkedIn profile who you haven't connected with yet, you'll see a Message button on their introduction card (between Connect and More...).

A screenshot of LinkedIn.com.

If you have a Basic account, it will display a padlock icon next to it, signifying that the InMail feature is locked. But if you have a premium account, you'll be able to select Message to open the message composer and begin typing.

InMail Labels on Messages in Your Inbox

When someone sends you an InMail message, it will come with an InMail label to help you differentiate them from regular messages. Just look for the bold InMail label before the subject line on any of the messages in your inbox.

A screenshot of LinkedIn.com.

The Benefits of Using LinkedIn InMail

There are lots of benefits of using InMail messages to start conversations with people you don't know. Here are just a few that really stand out.

Send a personalized message without a connection request. Not everyone needs to be added as a new connection to your network. Sometimes a conversation needs to get started first.

Avoid wasting time searching for contact info. It can be frustrating to search a person's profile for the best way to contact them. Many don't include their email addresses.

Reach both passive and active job candidates. Get in touch directly with candidates you think could be a good fit.

Track the results of your InMail messages. You get access to InMail Analytics, which shows you data about your messages that can give you clues about what may or may not be working.

Receive InMail credits when you get a fast response. If the recipient of your InMail message responds within 90 days, you'll be rewarded with an InMail credit so you can send more InMail messages without having to purchase more or wait until next month's renewal.

How to Start Using LinkedIn InMail

It's easy to start using InMail on LinkedIn. First, if you haven't upgraded already, decide on which premium LinkedIn plan you want and consider the number of monthly InMail messages you get to send:

Career Plan: 3 InMail messages per month

Business Plan: 15 InMail messages per month

Sales Plan: 20 InMail messages per month

Hiring Plan: 30 InMail messages per month

Once you've chosen your plan and made your upgrade, you can navigate to the LinkedIn profile of any person you're not connected to and select Message on their introduction card. Type your subject line and body text into the message composer and hit Send when you're done.

InMail messages can include up to 200 characters in the subject line and up to 1,900 characters in the body text, including your signature.

To purchase additional InMail messages:

  1. Select the Me tab in your LinkedIn account.

  2. Select Premium subscription options.

  3. Beside InMail messages, select Buy More.

  4. Select the number of InMail messages you want.

  5. Select Continue to complete your payment.

Not everyone can be sent an InMail message. Those who've opted out of receiving InMail messages through their account settings can't be reached.

Optionally Opt Out of Receiving InMail Messages

You always have control of who can message you on LinkedIn and how. If you'd rather not receive any InMail messages at all, even with a Basic account, you can opt out of it.

A screenshot of LinkedIn.com.
  1. Select the Me tab in your LinkedIn account.

  2. Select Settings & Privacy.

  3. Navigate to the Communications tab.

  4. Scroll down to the Preferences section and select Change beside Messages from members and partners.

  5. Under Allow others to send you InMail? select the button so that it says No.

  6. You can also select the button for Allow LinkedIn partners to show you Sponsored InMail? so that it says No.