LinkedIn Outreach: The Ultimate Guide for Sales [2024 Tips]

If you are a salesperson or a recruiter, mastering LinkedIn outreach is non-negotiable. In this article, we cover:

  • 4 Different Ways to do LinkedIn outreach
  • 13 LinkedIn Outreach Best Practices
  • 5 LinkedIn Outreach Strategies with Templates

Let’s dive in the secret of LinkedIn prospecting.

What is LinkedIn Outreach?

LinkedIn outreach describes the process of using LinkedIn to identify and contact potential buyers and business partners. You can use this technique to network with people in your industry and to prospect your ideal customers to sell your products or services.

What are the Benefits of LinkedIn Outreach?

The benefits are LinkedIn outreach are:

  1. Less flooded inbox
  2. Higher response rate
  3. More human approach

The LinkedIn inboxes of your prospects are generally less flooded than your prospect’s email inboxes, as LinkedIn is not used by 100% of sales and recruiters yet. So, you get a better chance to stand out.

The average reply rate with email is between 1-10% whereas the average reply rate is between 5-20%.

When you send a Linked message or a connection request, your prospect can see your face, check your profile to get to know you. With email, this is not easily doable. That makes LinkedIn prospecting a more human approach than cold email.

How do I send a cold outreach on LinkedIn?

There are 4 ways to do outreach on LinkedIn:

  1. LinkedIn connection requests
  2. Direct Messages
  3. InMail
  4. Message Requests

1. LinkedIn Connection Requests

You can send direct LinkedIn messages to people you are not yet connect with on LinkedIn. You need to send them a connection request first.

linkedin connection request

You can send connections request with or without a small note. The acceptance rate of connection request without note is usually higher.

connection request linkedin

2. Direct Messages

You can send direct messages to your 1st degree connection. This is the most classic way to do LinkedIn outreach. First, you send a connection request without a note, and then, you send a direct message.

linkedin direct messages

3. InMail

LinkedIn InMail messages allow you to send direct messages to people you are not connected with.

linkedin emails

They are super useful when your prospects don’t accept your connection requests. With InMails, you get a second chance to get into their inbox and get a reply.

LinkedIn InMail is a paid feature, with a LinkedIn Sales Navigator account, you get 50 InMail credits per month, so spend them wisely.

4. Message Requests

Messages requests are special LinkedIn messages you can send to people:

  1. Who is in the same LinkedIn groups as you
  2. Who participate in the same LinkedIn events as you

These messages land in the “Other” tab of the LinkedIn inbox.

linkedin message request

That is also a great way to land in your prospects’ inbox without sending a connection request first.

How Do You Do Outreach on LinkedIn?

Here is how to do LinkedIn outreach:

  1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile for sales
  2. Find leads using Sales Navigator
  3. Use LinkedIn Boolean search
  4. Extract your leads into CSV
  5. Find and verify emails
  6. Upload your leads into your LinkedIn outreach tool
  7. Create your LinkedIn outreach campaign
  8. Send personalized messages
  9. Follow-up at least 4 times
  10. Use multichannel outreach
  11. Don’t forget cold calling
  12. Track LinkedIn outreach with your CRM
  13. Boost LinkedIn outreach with social selling

1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile for sales

The first step to any LinkedIn outreach strategy is to correctly optimize your LinkedIn profile for sales.

You need to think about it as a landing page.

optimize linkedin profile for sales

This is the place where your prospect can discover your value proposition and get more details about the product or service you are offering.

connection request profile

This is also the first thing your prospect will see when you send a connection request. You never got a second chance to make a good first impression, so make sure to optimize at least your profile picture and your headline.

Before you start doing sales outreach, make sure your profile is attractive to your prospect.

2. Find Leads Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is one of the LinkedIn Premium offer and the best tool to identify your target audience.

With the advanced search filters , you can easily search into LinkedIn database to find potential leads.

linkedin sales navigator for outreach

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is much more powerful than the basic LinkedIn search engine. You can use filters like:

  1. Job Title
  2. Company Size
  3. Location
  4. Years of Experience
  5. Keyword Search

It cost $99/month, and it’s a must-have tool for any salesperson. If you want to make LinkedIn outreach your main lead generation channel, you need this tool.

Here is a tutorial that shows how powerful this tool is:

3. Use LinkedIn Boolean Search

If you intend to get the most out of Sales Navigator, you must master LinkedIn Boolean search.

You got a complete tutorial in this video:

LinkedIn Boolean search helps you narrow or expand your keyword searches to help you find qualified leads. 

linkedin boolean search

It uses a combination of logical connectors:

  • AND: to look for several keywords
  • OR: to look for at least one keyword in a list
  • NOT: to exclude keywords

and punctuations

  • parentheses: to combine logical connectors
  • quotes: to look for exact expressions

It can be used on all the different LinkedIn search engines (Basic, Sales Navigator, Recruiter).

4. Extract your leads into CSV

The only drawback of LinkedIn Sales Navigator is that you can export your leads into CSV natively from the platform.

For that, you need to use a 3rd party tool like Evaboot. They usually take the form of a Chrome extension.

You can see a demo of the tool in the following video:

Evaboot will:

  1. Extract your leads
  2. Enrich with LinkedIn profile and company page info
  3. Clean the data (emojis, capital letters, etc.)
  4. Detect false-positives in your search results

Indeed, sometimes Sales Navigator doesn’t give relevant results even if you enter the right filter so that is why it’s important to double-check your list after you extract it.

Hopefully, Evaboot also automate that step.

5. Find and verify emails

After you extract your leads from Sales Navigator, you might want to get their pro emails.

For that, you can use the Evaboot email finder by clicking on “Find Emails” right after you extract your list.

get emails from linkedin

3 sources are used to find the emails:

  1. LinkedIn scraping
  2. Web scraping
  3. Pattern guessing

Evaboot will also verify the email to tell if it’s a valid email or a catch-all (unknown)

linkedin email verifier

You can also take the Evaboot CSV and upload into your favorite email finder and email verifier if you prefer.

Remember that you should always use pro emails to be GDPR-compliant. You can’t send prospecting messages to personal emails.

6. Upload your leads into your LinkedIn outreach tool

Once you have your file ready (with or without emails), you can upload it into your favorite LinkedIn automation tool.

I, personally, use LaGrowthMachine (LGM) but you can also use:

  • Lemlist
  • Expandi
  • Waalaxy

These tools are great because they allow you to combine LinkedIn messages and cold emails in your prospecting sequences.

column matching

For most tools, the upload process is pretty simple, you just need to import your file and match the column with the data expected by the tool you are using.

7. Create your LinkedIn outreach campaign

Once your lead list is uploaded on your outreach automation tool, it’s time to build your LinkedIn outreach campaign.

If you want to prospect on LinkedIn, most tools have templates you can use to automate follow-ups.

cleanshot 2023 01 10 at 17.18.33@2x

These sequences are a huge time saver as you don’t need to add follow-up tasks in your to-do list and manually write your follow-ups.

8. Send personalized messages

You already know that personalization is key to get results with LinkedIn and email outreach. We all received spammy LinkedIn outreach messages every day that look like this:

linkedin prospecting messages

The errors are always the same:

  1. Messages are too long
  2. Don’t focus on prospect
  3. Not personalized

You want to do the opposite of that.

Make your messages:

  1. Short
  2. Focused on prospect
  3. Personalized

To help you do that, here is a template you can use: The RABT Formula.

  1. Reason for Outreach
  2. Ask a question
  3. Backup with Data
  4. Tease Your Solution

Here is an example of a message that get 27% reply rate.

linkedin prospecting message template

You shouldn’t pitch your product or service in the first message.

What you want to do first is that your prospect has the problem your company solves.

If there are no issues to solve, you won’t make a sale, so it’s better to focus on other prospects. There are no hacks in creating relationships, you need to do your homework and make some research on your prospect.

9. Follow-up at least 4 times

As you know, “Money is in the follow-ups”.

Not getting a reply doesn’t mean your prospect is not interested, everybody is busy and maybe your message simply slipped into the crack.

A study made by made Waalaxy showed that you should send at least 4 messages if you want to be sure to get a reply.

linkedin message follow up stats

10. Use multichannel outreach

If you aim to increase your reply rate, multichannel outreach is the way to go.

Combining LinkedIn messages and cold emails in your prospecting sequences is super efficient. Especially when you start by sending emails and then follow-up and LinkedIn.

I, personally, use this technique and get up to 50% reply rate on LinkedIn when I use it to follow-ups after my cold emails.

multichannel cold outreach

Here is a good multichannel outreach sequence:

  1. start with 2 emails
  2. send a connection request on LinkedIn if there is no reply
  3. if connection request is accepted, send a LinkedIn message
  4. if connection request is not accepted, send an InMail
multichannel cold outreach sequence

PRO TIP: If you use cold emails in your multichannel sequences, don’t forger to warmup your emails before you start sending messages. You can use a tool like Mailreach

11. Don’t forget cold calling

If you or some SDR’s in your team are willing to do cold calling, you can add some cold calling actions in your multichannel sequences.

For example, if your prospect doesn’t reply to:

If your prospects did not reply to your cold messages, you can use cold calling as a last resort to start a conversation with them.

Some tools like Datagma make it super easy to get phone numbers from LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

12. Track LinkedIn outreach with your CRM

It’s important to keep track of every message you send to your prospects so all you and your team can get access to the history of all interaction you had.

LGM makes it super easy by synchronizing directly with your CRM.

crm integration

First, this allows you to avoid prospecting the same people twice and look like a spammer.

Plus, let’s say there is turnover in your sales team, and you need to onboard new SDR’s often.

It will be easier for them to understand all the context and the relation you have with a prospect if all the interaction with previous SDR’s are available in your CRM.

Moreover, it allows you to have all your outbound data and inbound data in the same place. So, you have history of all your LinkedIn lead generation actions in the same place.

13. Boost LinkedIn outreach with social selling

Prospecting is not the only way to start conversations on LinkedIn. For that, you can also use LinkedIn marketing.

boost linkedin outreach with posts

You can also:

  1. Have your prospects commenting your LinkedIn posts
  2. Comment your prospects’ LinkedIn posts

Commenting on your posts and getting in your prospect’s find is a good way to follow-up without appearing too pushy.

With these techniques, you can stay top of mind without sending a follow-up message.

Taplio is a tool that makes both operations super easy by allowing you to:

  1. Schedule LinkedIn posts publications
  2. Find and comment on your prospects’ LinkedIn post in a few minutes

To schedule LinkedIn post, simply write and assign them to a timeslot:

linkedin outreach with marketing

Once Taplio is connected to your LinkedIn account, your posts will be automatically published at the time you chose.

To find and comment your prospects’ posts, it’s super easy. Start by uploading your list into the CRM;

upload leads taplio

After your list is built, go to CRM > Engage and then select your list. Taplio will scrap all the posts your prospects published during the last week.

comment prospect linkedin post

Each time you leave a comment, Taplio will also automatically like the post if the option is activated.

A great time saver, right?

You don’t even need to connect on LinkedIn anymore to do social selling.

5 LinkedIn Outreach Strategies With Templates

Here are 5 LinkedIn outreach techniques to get more replies:

  1. Contact companies hiring
  2. Reach out to LinkedIn event attendees
  3. Contact your clients’ alumni
  4. Reach out to competitors’ post commenters
  5. React on news

1. Contact companies hiring

Hiring is a good sign that a company is in good health and has the budget to pay you.

The good news is that Sales Navigator makes it super easy to identify companies hiring on LinkedIn. There is even a filter dedicated to this in the account search.

  1. Go to the account search
  2. Select “Hiring on LinkedIn” in Job opportunities
  3. Add your additional filters like size or geography

Boom. You have a targeted list of companies hiring on LinkedIn.

find companies hiring linkedin

The next step is to identify which decision maker to contact in these companies. For that, the first step is to build an account list:

  1. Click the checkboxes
  2. Click on Save
  3. Click on “Create a new list”
  4. Add the companies in the other pages to this list
create account list from search sales navigator

Once your account list is created, you can go to the lead search:

  1. Select your account
  2. Add filters to find decision-makers
  3. Export your list
identify decision makers sales navigator

You can contact these people mentioning the fact they are hiring. Let’s take the example of a Payroll Management Software.


Hello <first name>,

I’m reaching out because I’ve seen you are recruiting 5 new SDR this quarter.

Congrats on the growth 😉

I hope these recruits will help go even further.

If my calculus is right, that will make your company headcount over 50.

Are you already using a payroll management tool to pay all these people?

Best, JB

2. Reach out to LinkedIn event attendees

Attending to a LinkedIn event is a great sign of interest for a topic.

If some companies in your niche or your competitors create a LinkedIn event, you can totally steal all the people who signed up to it.

how to use linkedin for prospecting event attendees

First, look for event in your niche.

Find an event from which you want to extract the attendants.

linkedin event search results

You must register to the event if you want to have access to the list of attendees.

add to see linkedin event attendees list

You now have access to the list of participants.

access linkedin event attendees list

Once you complete these operations, you can now go to Phantombuster and look for “LinkedIn Event Guests Exporter”.

how to extract linkedin event attendees

Simply copy-paste the LinkedIn event URL into the field. You will get a CSV with all event participant information.

You can now import this CSV into LaGrowthMachine and repeat the process described in part one. Here is an example of a prospecting message you could send after the event.


Hello <first name>

I’m trying to collect feedback on the webinar {{webinar_name}}.

Did you attend to it?

Interested in your thoughts

Best, JB

Many people sign up for the event but never show up so make sure to ask if they did participate in the event.

3. Contact your clients’ alumni

There is a high chance of some people that used to work with your clients have moved to potential customers.

Here is a quick way to find them on Sales Navigator:

  1. Use the filter “Past Company”
  2. Add your clients
  3. Add other filters to find decision-makers
find client alumni

You can send a message like:


Hello <first name>,

I’m reaching out because I saw you used to work at <client name>, it’s one of our clients.

I see that you are now… <new position occupied>.

I wondered if <new company name> could also benefit from our solution.

<client name> is currently achieving <benefit of your solution>

Would you be interested to get the similar results with <new company name>?

Here you are telling your prospects that people closed to them are achieving good results with your product/service.

That might trigger their curiosity.

4. Reach out to competitors’ post commenters

Commenting a post is a great sign of interest for a topic.

And all post comments are public.

You can totally steal your competitor’s post commenters to add them a LinkedIn outreach campaign.

how to search for linkedin post for sales prospecting

Thanks to the LinkedIn search engine, you can look for a post in your niche and extract the commenters.

Simply type your keywords and select “Past week” to be certain people will remember having commented this post recently

Just repeat the process describe in the part 1.

Here is an example of results I’ve gotten with this strategy.

example of linkedin prospecting campaign on post commenters

Here is the message I sent:


Hello <first name>,

I noticed that you commented <competitor>‘s post regarding the generation of icebreakers via AI.

I’m doing a webinar on the same topic next Tuesday, 2 p.m.

Here is the link: <your link>

We’ll go much deeper in the topic.

Do you want to join us?

Best, JB

5. React on news

This one is a classic.

One company event is a great opportunity to reach out to someone, as people love to be congratulated. Any good news like a fundraising is a good opportunity.

Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator is an efficient way to detect them.

linkedin sales navigator prospecting

Here are the message templates that you can use:


Hello <first name>

I’m reaching out because I came across a post mentioning that <company news>

Just wanted to say congrats.

Great job you guys have done there.

This is completely disinterested.

Giving an honest “good job” is always a kind gesture.

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