LinkedIn automation is designed to automate manual LinkedIn outreach activities, with the benefit of saving you valuable time by performing these repetitive tasks for you.
From simple ‘early stage’ networking activities - like visiting profiles, and sending out connection requests and messages, to more complex workflows like sending 10-sep smart drip campaigns, LinkedIn automation tools can help you to establish a meaningful relationship with qualified prospects more quickly, and allow you to scale your lead generation results.
We highly recommend you try it to see for yourself what it can do. That's why we offer a 2-week Dux-Soup trial (without the need to enter any payment details) to see for yourself how it works. Click the link below and then follow our 10-step campaign template to test out your first campaign.
By using automation:
- You get more qualified leads.
- Your time is freed up, to allow you to focus more of your efforts on the ‘later stage’ lead funnel activities that lead to closing deals.
No wonder Dux-Soup, as the leading (80,000+ users) and most trusted LinkedIn automation tool, has long been a favorite of entrepreneurs, recruiters, digital agencies, sales and marketing professionals (don’t just take our word for it - take a look at our Dux-Soup success stories to get the lowdown).
LinkedIn jail - what's the rub?
Go onto any growth hacking or lead generation group/chat room and you’ll invariably see posts from concerned LinkedIn automation users (or potential users) about the safety of these tools. "Will my LinkedIn account be blocked?", "I've had a LinkedIn warning" and "Which are the safest tools?" are things you may see.
They are seeking the opinion of other users, which is of course a useful thing to do. BUT, the flaw with canvassing this opinion is that ‘how’ you use these automation tools is a defining factor in whether they are deemed safe or not. Invariably, opinions are conflicted - because the way and extent to which people use LinkedIn automation can vary dramatically.
So, some will have horror stories of permanent bans and disrupted lead generation, while others can’t sing their praises enough.
Let’s clear up LinkedIn automation detection
LinkedIn has technical and behavioral detection - the results of which determine whether they take action against you.
Sticking with behavioral detection for now - LinkedIn can recognize non-human behavior in your profile activity.
As Tyron Giuliani, LinkedIn expert and Founder of Selling Made Social commented in his webinar on ‘Doubling your Sales Funnel with LinkedIn automation’ - out of the hundreds of clients he’s coached on Dux-Soup, over the years only two have had a temporary suspension. And that was because they went mad with the tool in the first few days of using it (against his and Dux-Soup's guidelines).
Dux-Soup has long taken this into account (which is why we’re the most long-established and trusted LinkedIn automation tool). We know that the behavior of your account can attract suspicion and needs to be addressed, not whether your tool of choice is Cloud-based or a Chrome extension.
Moving to technical detection - of course, we’re not going to give away our secret sauce in this blog, but rest assured that Dux-Soup has implemented sophisticated anti-detection functions (gained from our vast experience) which are updated continuously to avoid users running into any trouble with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn automation safety: The Dux-Soup advantage
Dux-Soup is a Chrome extension that mimics human prospecting behavior on LinkedIn. It relies on your browser session with LinkedIn and gives you complete visibility and control over the actions it takes on your behalf. This way, you don’t have to share your LinkedIn login details with any third party tool, and you can be sure that there is no access to your account from anywhere but your own, standard, web browser.
In fact, it can be argued (and being Dux-Soup we do), that automating user activity in your browser, instead of accessing LinkedIn via foreign servers and closed APIs, is inherently safer and more within the spirit of LinkedIn's terms of service. It’s also more intuitive, and has more robust functionality and potential - but we won’t go there now!
We want our users’ accounts to stay safe. That’s our #1 priority and the reason Dux-Soup has been around for so many years.
For that reason, we wanted to write this blog, firstly, to set the record straight for those worried about using an automation tool to scale and accelerate their lead generation, but also to show you HOW to use a LinkedIn automation tool effectively and without any risk to your profile.
From time to time we see an increase in emails and calls about LinkedIn warning notifications and the threat of bans.
It’s true that LinkedIn changes its algorithms all the time. Tweaking and changing them as most social networking platforms do - without informing the user.
But, it’s important to reiterate that Dux-Soup mimics human-like behavior, and there is no reason to stop using it as long as you are using it responsibly and within the guidance that we give. Our pre-set limits and guidance are there to ensure your LinkedIn profile is not compromised as you find and engage with prospects.
Using LinkedIn automation safely
LinkedIn doesn’t share its restriction algorithm, so we can’t tell you the exact ‘rules’ of how to avoid getting the warning or restriction. However, as the most established, trusted and biggest player in this space - we know that you need to manage the following things appropriately in order to keep your profile safe:
- The type of LinkedIn account you have - i.e. free or paid
- The number of 1st-degree connections you have
- The total number of connection requests you send per day
- The total number of profiles you view per day
- Your other lead gen activities
- Your Social Selling Index (SSI)
- How many people have marked you as “I don’t know this person”
- Suspicious behavior / sudden changes
- Conversion rate - i.e. % of people that accept your requests
- How many messages have you had marked as ‘spam’
- No. of outstanding connection invitations (how quickly this list grows)
- A number of previous warnings you already received
**Spoiler alert - Dux-Soup can actually manage all these for you automatically and within safe limits**
Before you start with LinkedIn automation
We’ll talk about each of these bullet points more but, before we do, a couple of fundamental things to think about before starting your lead generation campaign:
- Optimize your LinkedIn Profile so it is well-organized and meaningful to your potential leads. This is the place where you showcase your products and services, and list achievements, successes and skills. With an optimized profile, you will have a better chance of connecting with people you want to do business with.
- If you already have Dux-Soup, create your campaign messaging in the Drip Campaigns option of the Dux-Dash. Read: how to create your LinkedIn lead generation campaigns.
Get your free Dux-Soup Trial
If you don’t yet have a Dux-Soup account, then register for our 2-week FREE trial.
LinkedIn has a number of limits in place depending on what you are doing on the platform. We always encourage our users to work within these limits and we share insights on optimizing their use.
One very important thing to keep in mind: Every account has a different limit, which is algorithm-based and constantly changing. Given that LinkedIn handles 5 million page requests every second, behavioral patterns are one of the most critical factors to consider when it comes to your LinkedIn activities.
So, back to our list of things to do to keep your profile safe when you use automation.
Connection requests vs. network size
There are no hard and fast rules set by LinkedIn for the number of connection requests you can send.
But, as best practice (and to keep within recommended LinkedIn guidelines) we advise sending connection requests to no more than 3% of the number of all your connections.
For example, if you have 1000 connections in total, we recommend you send no more than 50 requests each day. Once your 1st-degree network grows, you can gradually increase your daily connection limit.
However, we don’t recommend that you suddenly start to send 50 requests for 30 straight days in a row if you’ve never had this strategy before. This change in behavior patterns will alert LinkedIn detection.
If you’ve just started growing your network on LinkedIn, we recommend sending as little as 10-25 requests per day and gradually increasing this number as your acceptance rate increases.
If you have already been using automation or already have a good number of LinkedIn connections, the starting point can be much higher (up to 5%). Either way, it should tally with the size of your network and previous usage.
Here are some great LinkedIn automation case studies showing how Dux users built up their lead-generation campaigns with amazing results. Read a couple if you’re new to the world of automation.
Profile visits and direct message limits
Sometimes, you may be tempted to push the limits to achieve quick results. But, as a rule, we highly recommend staying under LinkedIn limits. That way your account won’t draw unwanted attention.
**Also, remember that you need to be able to deal in a timely manner with the follow-up once people have engaged with you. Factor this in and you might well realize that starting with lower automation volumes allows you to get used to and manage the process better. If you have no time to properly follow up with qualified prospects who respond (because your initial volumes were too high) then your hard work will be wasted.**
By default, Dux-Soup is configured to stay below the free Standard LinkedIn account allowance (100 visits per day).
If you have a Premium account or Sales Navigator you can override this by going to the Dux-Soup Options panel, Throttling tab and checking the “Check to confirm you understand the risk” box (but do bear in mind the guidance we have given).
You will then be able to select the limit you want from the drop-down.
If you have a free LinkedIn account, you can visit or send a direct message to up to 100 profiles a day (as noted above, this is the default setting).
A Business Premium account will let you visit or message around 250 profiles a day and for Sales Navigator - 500 profiles a day. You can override the default to match these suggested limits.
Important Note: If you run Dux-Soup in order to connect with a profile, or message your 1st-degree connection, Dux-Soup will visit the profile first. Therefore, sending connection requests or direct messages adds to the daily visit limit. The same applies to automated follow-up messages - Dux-Soup visits the profile and then sends a follow-up.
Other Lead gen activities
One thing we cannot control is if or when people will accept your invitation to connect. However, we can control our LinkedIn profile, who we target, our approach, and our LinkedIn activities, and together, all these factors increase your chance of positive engagement.
Let’s say you get a warning and you cannot send connection requests. You can still use Dux-Soup with LinkedIn to create activity on your account, such as:
- Auto-visit profiles
- Send direct messages to 1st-degree connections to nurture your existing network
- Send InMails
This can be part of your lead gen strategy, so posting regularly, sharing other posts and engaging on the platform significantly enhances your social selling index(SSI).
Your Social Selling Index(SSI)
So what does the SSI track? The Social Selling Index score is determined by assessing four key areas: personal branding, prospecting, engagement, and relationship-building. This evaluation is based on your platform activities, including content posting, connections, messaging, and their respective frequencies.
The most challenging aspect of LinkedIn, and any platform for that matter, is maintaining consistent activity. You can view the SSI as a measure of your activity, the higher the number, the better your engagement and reputation on LinkedIn.
"I don’t know this person"
For LinkedIn, a profile marked as “I don’t know this person” is equivalent to “Spam”. Receiving 5-7 marks like this can attract the attention of LinkedIn and your account can be restricted from sending invitations to others.
To prevent this from happening make sure you send a friendly and personalized connection request. If you write your message in this way, prospects are not likely to report you, even if they don’t choose to connect.
With Dux-Soup, you can personalize your message using message markers such as:
Taking a step back from the message itself, It’s also crucial to be selective with your search criteria to ensure interaction/content is relevant to your target audience.
LinkedIn users are more likely to accept your connection request if they see the relevance in the connection - for example, if they are a 2nd-degree connection they are more likely to accept you as you have a shared connection. This useful blog about using LinkedIn search tools can help you to find your target audience within LinkedIn.
Or check out the Dux-Soup Turbo integration with LeadFuze for even more scope with targeted list building.
Suspicious LinkedIn behavior / sudden changes
LinkedIn doesn’t encourage any sort of automation tool usage. There are reasons why this is the case, but also good reasons why responsible use of automation can be extremely beneficial to accelerate lead generation - through using the platform exactly as it was intended but just speeding up the process.
As we said before, rest assured that Dux-Soup has implemented anti-detection functions which are updated continuously to avoid users running into any trouble with LinkedIn.
As also mentioned before, Dux-Soup is a Chrome extension that mimics human-like prospecting behavior on LinkedIn, so there is no way for LinkedIn to detect Dux-Soup unless you interrupt its work by:
- Browsing profiles manually at the same time*
- Increasing the robot’s speed
*Avoid browsing LinkedIn manually while Dux-Soup runs (even using a different device!).
Another trigger point for LinkedIn is a sudden increase or change in LinkedIn engagement. So, if you rarely use LinkedIn, don’t suddenly start to visit hundreds of profiles and send the maximum number of connection requests per day. This will attract suspicion from LinkedIn, as your behavior has suddenly changed - indicating the use of automation.
Instead, start off small and build up gradually, as if you are getting used to the LinkedIn platform. Once you’ve done this you can then start with larger volumes.
Remember - lead generation should be well-planned, continuous and within the limits and guidelines, we recommend.
Withdrawing LinkedIn invitations
To make sure that your lead generation runs smoothly, one of the most important things you need to do is cancel pending connection requests on a regular basis.
Having too many pending requests can be a massive red flag to LinkedIn, indicating you are attempting to contact people you don’t know.
As LinkedIn recently removed the ability to cancel pending invites in batches, Dux-Soup has integrated this feature available in the Options, Actions tab (just make sure you are using expert mode):
To find more details about how this works, check out our quick guide on the Dux-Soup Support page.
Advice when you get a warning
Finally, if you do receive a warning from LinkedIn or your account is restricted, don't panic!
The most important thing is to change behaviour when this happens. You are more likely to get a warning if you have gotten more in the past.
There are several different restrictions you might receive. For example, you might receive “You’re out of invitations for now”.
LinkedIn mentions the following reasons why your account can be restricted from sending invitations to people:
- You've sent many invitations within a short amount of time
- Many of your invitations have been ignored or left pending by the recipients
If you’re restricted from sending more invitations, wait for 24 hours before you try again. Most restrictions will automatically be removed within 1-2 days. You should also try to withdraw as many pending invitations as possible before attempting to send another invitation.
Note: You won’t be able to resend withdrawn invitations to the same recipient for up to three weeks.
If you’ve been restricted for being flagged too many times with “I do not know this person” it is likely that LinkedIn will require you to enter the email address for each and every person you send a connection request to.
In this case, we advise that you clear your outstanding connection requests and wait for 48 hours. If the restriction is not lifted automatically, you can send LinkedIn Support a message acknowledging this restriction and politely asking them if they will lift it.
You could even explain that you will be more diligent in targeting your connection requests in the future so that this doesn’t happen again.
If your account has been restricted, you can appeal your case and LinkedIn will review your account. To begin the appeal process, you can log into your account and follow the onscreen messaging or reply to the message you received that provided notice of restriction.
For best results be concise, patient and most importantly, polite in your interactions. We also recommend that you DON’T mention Dux-Soup in any correspondence.
To verify your account, LinkedIn asks you to upload a scan of your personal ID card or passport. Unfortunately, you cannot get around this step if you want to recover access to your account, however LinkedIn does assure users that this is safe.
Once you are back on track, you should then be able to use Dux-Soup again as normal. We recommend you also reset Dux-Soup to the default settings by clicking on “Reset” at the bottom of the Dux-Soup options panel.
And remember, avoid using LinkedIn manually while the robot runs. This is when the Planner comes in handy.
The planner allows you to have control of when the robot runs and you will know exactly when you can manually engage on the LinkedIn platform. The robot will run during the green slots and snooze when they are greyed out, so you are able to fully customise your planner settings.
Take a look at our latest webinar for more information on How to use LinkedIn automation safely as we share our top 10 checklist for staying safe on LinkedIn while maximising your outreach activities.
As the most trusted and established LinkedIn automation tool, Dux-Soup is your best bet to stay safe on LinkedIn (whatever the new kids on the block might say!).
Our encyclopedic understanding of how LinkedIn works, coupled with our ability to provide guidance to complex user queries (as well as the simple ones) and the benefits of being a LinkedIn Chrome extension - mean we can more than back this claim up!
Always keep in mind that LinkedIn is a social selling platform and that you are dealing with another real, live person when prospecting on LinkedIn.
Staying within the Dux-Soup guidelines outlined in this article will ensure that your automated behavior is as natural as possible, non-spammy and within LinkedIn fair usage.
Trust us, you won’t get banned if you do this. But your lead generation will skyrocket!
If you have any thoughts or questions email email@example.com or find us on the live chat!