LinkedIn InMail; How to send free InMails to Open Profiles

LinkedIn is a great tool for making connections, but what do you do when you want to start a conversation with someone you’re not connected to?

This is where you turn to LinkedIn InMails - private messages that allow LinkedIn Premium Plan users to directly message anyone on LinkedIn. With a subject line to let your prospect know the purpose of your message, it’s just like sending an email through LinkedIn itself.

How are InMails different from direct messaging on LinkedIn?

You can only send a Regular LinkedIn message to people that you're connected to on LinkedIn. With InMail however, you can message people who are 2nd or 3rd-degree connections. If you have a Premium account and aren’t using up your free InMail credits each month then you’re missing out on one of the best things about LinkedIn.

InMail allows you to extend your outreach to thousands of prospects without impacting your connection limits. Used well, they give great results. 

What are 'great results'?

InMails are proven to have a much better open and response rate than direct LinkedIn messages, telephone calls or emails. With an open rate of 57.5% compared to email marketing at 21.6%, the numbers speak for themselves.

As well as high open rates, LinkedIn state that they also have a stronger click thru rate (3.6%) than emails (2.6%), making them a highly effective tool for lead generation.

AND InMail has three touchpoints instead of just one, meaning that your prospects have more chances of seeing them.

Tip: You can automate the process of sending personalized InMails to LinkedIn profiles with a Dux-Soup Pro, Turbo or Cloud license. If you haven’t tried Dux-Soup yet, there’s a 2-week trial of Turbo waiting and you can test ALL the features for free (no credit card required)!

We recently shared how to use InMail in your Turbo and Cloud Dux-Soup Campaigns in a webinar 'Optimize LinkedIn outreach with InMail and Open Profiles'. The session looked at how you can use these features as part of your LinkedIn automation strategy to grow your network. We’ve captured all the highlights for you in this blog, so read on to find out more.

About InMail

InMail enables you to get a more extensive message out to non-1st degree prospects on LinkedIn, allowing you to include links or a call to action.

Depending on your LinkedIn account, you get a set number of free InMail credits to use per month.

InMail message credits and renewal process | LinkedIn Help

The credits can be carried over to the next month, for up to 3 months.

Free InMail to Open Profiles

A really popular trick that many Dux-Soup users take advantage of is to target 'Open Profiles' with InMail. This is because these InMails won't use up any of your free credits, meaning you can reach out to a lot more prospects than what’s listed in the table above. 

Why use InMail?

You’re already spending your hard-earned cash on your LinkedIn subscription, so make use of the functionality they’re providing. It could prove to be valuable!

InMail offers a 2000 character message PLUS a subject header. This is way more than the 300 character connection request, giving you lots of opportunity to engage with prospects.

Tip: When sending your LinkedIn InMail messages you want them to stand out. The message is the start a conversation, it’s the beginning of a new relationship, one that could lead to future business. Ask questions, be curious about their views and opinions and create a message that works for your target audience. 

What are LinkedIn Open Profiles?

Open Profile has been mentioned a few times, so what does it mean?

Users on a Premium LinkedIn account have the option to open up their profile to receive InMails from people outside of their network. These users tend to be very active and highly engaged on LinkedIn and they open themselves up because they want people to contact them.

Within every LinkedIn list that you build, there will be some Open Profiles in your search results. It could vary from 5-25% as every demographic is different, but they’ll be there. 

Targeting just the Open Profiles within your list leaves your InMail credits for people who don’t have an Open Profile but who are important to you. They’re too expensive to be used impulsively in large numbers and there’s nothing worse than running out of your allowance when you most need them, so use them wisely.

LinkedIn is confident that InMails are effective. They very kindly offer an InMail credit if the recipient of your InMail responds within 90 days. So if you choose your prospects wisely your allowance can go a long way.

How can you use InMail at scale without breaking the bank?

If you have a Sales Navigator subscription, you will receive free InMails.

When building your Dux-Soup campaigns, you have the option to add an automated InMail as a step in your campaign. And if you then choose to only target Open Profiles with Dux-Soup, you can bypass the InMail limits meaning your credits last longer. It really does pay to make use of them to boost your outreach!

Sound complicated? Don't worry, it isn't and we'll walk you through it right here.

How to add InMails to your Campaigns

1. Create a campaign in Dux-Soup Turbo or Cloud. 

For example:

  • This example campaign starts with a Visit and each profile will receive a notification of the visit. 
  • 4 days later the profile is sent an InMail which includes a question. (The InMail step takes place before a connection request is sent.)
  • A connection request will follow but not for another week, giving the person time to see and respond to the InMail. If they respond, the Dux-Soup campaign pauses and you decide if you want to send another message back or a connection request.
  • This campaign ends with one Follow-Up message, set to send 2 days after someone has accepted your connection request.

Note: When you write an InMail, LinkedIn will automatically insert a signature for you.

2. Next, use Sales Navigator to define your list of targets. You can refer to our search and filter masterclass if you need any help with this.

3. In your Dux-Soup settings ensure you have the correct skipping rule enabled:  Click on the Dux-Soup icon and in the ‘Skipping tab’ select “Skip if not an OpenLink member”.

4. You’re now ready to start enrollment. Click on your Dux-Sup icon, select Enroll, and then select your Campaign name. In this example, Dux-Soup will enroll the first 50 people with Open Profiles who have not been enrolled in this campaign before.

And voila! Once you've pressed 'OK', Dux-Soup will get to work sending InMails to your list of prospects. Now you can monitor progress and measure results!

5. In the Dux-Dash, go to ‘Queued Activity’, select your campaign and you can see who has been enrolled.

Once Dux-Soup has sent an InMail to everyone enrolled in the campaign, you have the option to return to the search results in Sales Navigator, add another filter removing anyone already messaged and enroll those people into another campaign that sends a connection message without the InMail activity.

Note: Be aware that InMail counts as a direct message, not as a connection request. We recommend you keep an eye on your daily limits in order to keep your LinkedIn profile safe.

If you’re a Pro Dux-Soup user you can also send automated, personalized InMails to lists of LinkedIn profiles. The blog 5 InMail Tricks that are getting HUGE results showcases how.


LinkedIn InMail is a precious resource provided by LinkedIn that can help you work around the connection limits. Although it costs money, and there are monthly limits, used wisely there’s no doubt LinkedIn InMail will extend your outreach. Targeting open profiles in your Dux-Soup Turbo or Cloud Campaigns is an effective way to bypass the InMail limits and send targeted messages at scale.


There were plenty of questions at the end of the webinar. To listen in full go to 24:12mins of the recording. Here’s a sample of some that were asked:

  • How can Pro users make use of InMails and Open Profiles?
  • Is it possible to target profiles that didn’t accept your connection request using InMails?
  • Is it possible to run multiple campaigns from the same account? 
  • Can 1st-degree connections be enrolled into a campaign?
  • Pro users do not have a funnel flow to view activities in the way Turbo and Cloud users. Is there a way for them to log the users they visit?
  • Can the Dux-Soup team help users with the setup of the tool?

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