This probably doesn’t bode well for LinkedIn’s Sponsored InMail ad offering.
Over the last week, we ran a poll with our LinkedIn audience to get a better sense of what annoys people the most on the platform. And as you can see from the results, ‘Unwanted messages’ were the fairly clear winner.
We also ran the poll in our LinkedIn group, which generated even more responses, but still reflected the same result, in terms of messages leading the way.
At more than 5k combined responses, that’s fairly indicative, and while polls do limit your capacity for context, it does seem that you really should be reassessing your usage of blind outreach DMs in the app.
Among the most annoying DM uses, as outlined by respondents in the comments, were unsolicited product pitches, unwanted DMs from people looking to use LinkedIn as a dating site (do not do this), and people who message you within seconds of connecting, again to sell you things.
Of course, some salespeople will no doubt have had success with these efforts, which they’ll see as validating such process. But the evidence here suggests that these attempts are generally not popular, and that you’d likely be better off finding other ways to first establish a relationship before the pitch.
How can you do that?
By engaging with user posts, posting in relevant communities, and working to make your presence known to those you’re looking to sell to, so it’s not just random outreach.
That takes more effort, and time, but if we can glean anything from these surveys, the message is fairly clear that people don’t want random invasions in their inbox, even if it is only on LinkedIn.
Getting somebody’s email address is a measure of trust, and it’s up to you to ensure that you don’t abuse that. It can seem less intrusive on social platforms, as opposed to reaching their dedicated email inbox, but the principles are the same. If you want to build a business relationship, you should focus on the ‘relationship’ element before that hard sell, otherwise you could be seen as intrusive, inconsiderate, or annoying as a result.