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The Pros and Cons of Email Vs InMail

Most recruitment consultants will use InMails. Some agencies will be tight, and not pay for messages. Some agencies will be stupid and not use the messages that they've paid for. Either way... InMails make you money. ESPECIALLY when you recruit for client-facing positions (sales, marketing, customer success etc).


LinkedIn has around 900 million users spread across 200 countries. Occasionally, you may stumble upon a second-degree connection who shares your hobbies/interests. To help you connect with such second-degree connections (if you didn't know), LinkedIn offers a premium messaging service known as InMail. Once you pay the subscription fee, you will be able to send InMails to any LinkedIn member.


InMails are used by recruiters to contact candidates and clients. Earlier, the only way for recruiters to reach passive candidates was by sending them emails. Now, they can also send them InMails. Since LinkedIn introduced InMails, a debate has been raging over which of the two tools is better. To put this debate to rest, we, in this post, compare InMail to personal email across different parameters.


The Pros and Cons of Email vs InMail for Recruiters

One-time use vs. multiple uses

You can resend personal emails to a candidate whom you have messaged before multiple times free of cost. If, however, you want to send an InMail to a candidate whom you had contacted before, you will have to pay again.

You can use a personal email list for years to grow your candidate database. With LinkedIn InMail, however, LinkedIn, and not you, owns the relationship.



You cannot just send messages to your prospects and forget about them. To measure the effectiveness of your strategy, you need to track your open and reply rates. Almost every email service allows subscribers to use different tracking tools that are designed to help perform A/B testing. You can use data generated by these tools to optimize your strategy and determine the best time to send emails to your prospects and track attachments.

LinkedIn InMail also has a separate analytics section that is designed to help users pull data through InMail analytics. InMail users can use InMail analytics to check response rates and acceptance rates for particular time zones. Based on their findings, they can optimize their messaging strategies.


Response rate

When it comes to B2B marketing, InMails have a higher response rate than emails. InMails get a 10-25% response rate, which is a whopping 300 percent higher than emails with the same content.

One of the reasons why InMails outperform emails for B2B selling is the huge difference between the number of email and InMail users. For every InMail that a user receives, there are hundreds of emails waiting to be opened in their inbox. In all probability, only a handful of your prospects use LinkedIn InMail, which means you have a better chance to target them.

Because not many marketers send LinkedIn InMails, the chances of your message getting noticed increases. Additionally, there is a professional context inherent to InMail. Your prospects can click on your profile to learn everything they want to know about your company, who you are, and what you do. They can also view the solutions that you offer and recommendations from other customers.

LinkedIn allows you to send push notifications and emails to alert prospects about your new InMail. Additionally, the LinkedIn app is designed to offer an intuitive and fluid experience on mobile devices.



If you are a recruiter, sending emails to candidates may be a better option for you. Many passive candidates do not log into their LinkedIn account regularly. When a candidate is not logged into their LinkedIn account, InMails are forwarded to their inbox. But there’s a catch; InMail only forwards excerpts of the message you send to your prospects, not the entire message. Those who have opted out of LinkedIn communication may not get even excerpts of your InMail.

Many candidates defer reading or replying to InMails delivered to their account, which increases the likeliness of them forgetting the message altogether.


LinkedIn InMail best practices

  • Use impactful and short and sweet subject lines. To create value for your prospects, tell them what they stand to gain by opening the message.

  • Use personalized messages that help you connect with the prospect on a personal level.

  • To help your readers avoid information overload, use short and crisp messages.

  • Use an impactful introduction that explains who you are and what you do.

  • Avoid using overused and vague call to actions. Instead, use compelling CTAs.

  • Talk more about your prospect and less about yourself.


Email marketing best practices

  • Avoid spamming. Sending emails in bulk may help improve your reach; however, your open rate is bound to go down.

  • Find out the best time to send emails to your prospects.

  • Make it easy for your prospects to opt-in.

  • Use compelling and attention-grabbing headlines.

  • To encourage your prospects to share your content, add social buttons.


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