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June 14, 2019

Tips for Writing Direct Messages to your 1st-degree connections

If you’re planning outreach on LinkedIn, it’s important you know who you’re going to be targeting and the proposition you’re offering.

No one likes receiving cold calls and the same applies to LinkedIn - no one likes receiving the same cut and dried templates talking about their offerings and how amazing their solution is.

It’s the benefits that change people’s minds. They care about themselves and how they will benefit from your product or service. So, in other words, you should be talking about what they will gain from speaking with you and not what makes you so good at what you do.

As a result, you should be talking more about them (“You”) as opposed to yourself (“I”).

You’ve probably received a lot of spammy or templated LinkedIn messages so you know what I’m talking about. And, like your prospects will, you ignore them as they don’t catch your eye by clearly explaining the benefits for you.

You might be thinking that it’s hard to do this when you’re targeting numerous people on LinkedIn, after all, all of them are different. So, how do you make sure your messages get read and more importantly, get a reply back?

To do this, you need to be very specific in who you’re targeting, and your outreach template. Luckily, you can send personalised messages after creating a custom template through Dux-Soup.

If you want to notify all of your 1st-degree connections (people who are already connected with you) or update them about something important, using personalised templates is the best way of doing so. In this guide, we’ll be covering how you can create an outreach template that is also personalised to your connections and doesn’t feel like a cold request.

Markers to personalise your templates

The key to creating a personalised template that feels personal is using markers that fill in the information in your template based on your target’s profile.

To achieve this, you can simply turn on "Expert Mode" in the Dux-Soup Options menu under the User tab.

Let’s review some of the markers and their use in creating a personalised message to your 1st-degree connections.

To create one, go to the Dux-Soup extension and click “Options”.

Afterwards, make sure the below option is enabled. This is where you write your template and customise it with markers:

The following is the full list of markers that Dux-Soup offers:

_FN_ - will be replaced by the profile’s first name

_MN_ - will be replaced by the profile’s middle name

_LN_ - will be replaced by the profile’s last name

_TI_ -  will be replaced by the profile’s job role

_CN_ - will be replaced by the profile’s current company name

_LO_ - will be replaced by the profile’s location

_IN_ -  will be replaced by the profile’s  industry

_(<expr>)_ - replaced with value of the evaluated Javascript expression

Once you have an idea of what your message will look like, you need to make sure it’s optimised for the people you’re going to be targeting. Remember, the more specific your message is - the better.

LinkedIn targeting can get pretty detailed, so, make sure you’re targeting the right people on LinkedIn first.

To give you some inspiration on how you can get creative and use them in your text, see the examples below.

Personalised templates

If you’ve already connected with a number of people over the last couple of months and feel that there are still some people you haven’t spoken to, sending an auto-message with a personalised template is a great way to increase your exposure.

Here are a number of personalised templates that have been proven to bring results:

Post-connection what you do message:

“Hi _FN_,

Thanks for connecting.

I work with a lot of startups, digital agencies and write content on growth hacking.

Would be great to keep in touch so that I could keep up with your posts at _CN_.

(Your name)

Product/website pitch:

“Hi _FN_,

Hope you’re well.

Just wanted to let you know that we release a new product on my site that I think would really help you out. Please go to the link below to have a look and let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.

*Link here*

(Your name)

Website update:

“Hi _FN_,

Hope you’re doing well and your business is going great.

Just to remind you, I’m the business development executive at (your company) and we (how you help customers).

We just launched a new website I’m excited to share with you. You can find all the information on our services and case studies here: (website link)

Also, if you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you, we have a free webinar next week that you can join here: (link)

Let me know if you have any questions and keep in touch.

(Your name)

Book a call/demo:

“Hi _FN_,

I hope you’re well.

I’m the business development executive at (your company) and we help agencies like yours scale up through numerous growth-hacking techniques. In fact, we just published a new case study on how we managed to bring new leads to a similar agency.

You can read about that here:

(Website link)

As we are improving our functionality and adding new services, I was wondering if you would be interested in taking a closer look as to how we can help you attract more clients? Let me know if this would be of interest to you and we can book a call to talk about it.

(Your name)

As you can see, these templates have a lot of uses, depending on your outreach purpose, all you have to do is fill in the blanks.

Please note that some of your 1st-degree connections may be your friends, clients, employees or other people who you may not want to message. For this, you can use Dux-Soup’s Profile Skipper function and choose to skip profiles that are outside of your network, don’t have a profile photo, have certain tags and more.

Alternatively, you can scan all of your 1st degree connection with Dux-Soup, download the CSV file, tidy it up by removing any unnecessary contacts and then upload it to “Revisit Data” on Dux-Soup. This ensures that you are contacting only the most relevant people.  

To recap how to revisit data, check our blog post here.

Following up

Of course, no outreach is complete without following up. With Dux-Soup, you can automate message sequences and send follow-ups to your 1st degree connections. To read how to follow-up automatically through Dux-Soup, be sure to read the guide on Message Bridge follow-ups.

When sending a follow-up, you might want to politely remind them what you do, in case they didn’t have the time to read your first message.

“Hi _FN_,

I’m the marketing manager at Dux-Soup and write a lot of content about growth hacking aimed at agencies in the _IN_ industry.

More specifically, we help agency-owners gain more leads through lead generation automation and I wanted to check back with you if you’d be interested.

Feel free to book a call here and we can talk about it more in-depth.

(Link here)

Any questions just let me know and keep in touch.

(Your name)

If they don’t get back to you with your first message, be sure to always follow up. Most acceptances happen in the follow up as people can be busy or just forget.

The key to successful outreach is being memorable, and making sure your offering is relevant.

To sum up, make sure you’re targeting the right people with the right template. The more specific you are in your outreach, the higher your conversions should be. Even if this means creating different templates for different campaigns and people, the hard work is guaranteed to pay off.

We hope you found this post useful, and as always, feel free to contact us at or leave a comment below - we’ll get back to you!

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