Cold InMail is a part of many sales teams’ strategy, and for good reason: 78% of companies that use social selling outperform those who don’t.
However, finding success with cold InMails isn’t as easy as blasting hundreds of LinkedIn users with generic, cookie-cutter messages. Every week, professionals receive dozens—if not hundreds—of cold messages on LinkedIn. In most cases, when people look at their LinkedIn inbox, here’s how they’re feeling:
Cutting through the noise requires salespeople to craft personalized, clear messages for the people they’re selling to.
In this article, we’ll walk through how you can make your InMail messages stand out, why personalization matters, and how you can use artificial intelligence (AI) to produce personalized and engaging InMails at scale.
Chances are, you could take a look at your LinkedIn inbox today and identify a handful of terrible cold messages. Maybe they got your name wrong (or addressed you simply as “Sir and/or Madam”) or sent you a pitch that’s completely irrelevant to your role or industry. Instant delete.
But, if you think back to a message that did prompt you to respond or book a call, can you think of what made it stand out?
Often, it’s harder to pinpoint the elements that make up a strong InMail message than it is to find the glaring errors in those that aren’t effective. However, if you look closely, you’ll find that effective InMails generally nail these four elements.
According to McKinsey, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized experiences, and 76% get frustrated when they don’t. This goes beyond product recommendations on a website or an email. People want to feel like they’re at the center of a brand’s universe, not just one of the masses.
That’s why LinkedIn InMails that are sent individually also see response rates that are 15% higher than InMails blasted en masse.
Clearly, personalization matters. But how you personalize a message also matters.
To get the best results from your cold InMail messages, you’ll want to go beyond simply addressing a recipient by name. You’ll also want to tailor your pitch to their business’ industry or the prospect’s role at an organization (and the challenges they’re likely facing). You can also mention something specific and interesting about their profile or background to show that you’ve done your research.
When using any generative AI platform, the way in which you write prompts will make a big difference. Let's have a look:
Prompt used: "Write me a generic email for a food and beverage brand selling [platform]."
Now, let's look at that same pitch but give the following prompt to Chat by Copy.ai:
"Write a personalized email to [LinkedIn profile] selling [platform] to them as a brand.
Keep the email under 200 words. Mention that demand for keto brands has increased on our platform recently and that similar brands have received 50+ orders a month."
At first glance, the two pitches above don’t look dramatically different. They’re a similar length, briefly explain the solution being sold, and ask the prospect for 15 minutes of their time.
However, in the personalized pitch, the sender:
It’s a slight switch—and it does require more effort on the sender’s part—but it makes the reader far more likely to book a call to learn more.
As Mark Twain once joked: “I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
It’s much harder to get your message across in a clear, concise way than it is in a longer format. However, today, people’s attention spans are shorter than ever—especially when it comes to reading unsolicited messages in their inbox.
To increase the chances of a prospect responding to your InMail, keep your message short and sweet. Explain who you are and what you’re offering, and avoid using any jargon (our brains naturally skip over complex sentences).
Based on the prior results, we entered this prompt: "Make the pitch under 300 words."
Busy professionals don’t have the time to read lengthy pitches, so keep it condensed. According to LinkedIn, you’ll likely be rewarded with better results, as InMail messages that are 400 words or less see a 22% higher response rate than longer messages.
As someone familiar with your business, you probably have a strong idea as to why the prospect you’re reaching out to could use your products or services. However, for the prospect—who may have never heard of your company before—that’s less obvious.
In your message, clearly state the value proposition of your message, whether you’re offering up a networking opportunity, a job offer, or a service. Most importantly, make it clear how your solution relates to a pain point they’re facing.
We asked Copy.ai to improve the pitch with the following prompt: Mention that we have seen demand for keto snacks increase in the last six months, and that similar keto sellers are receiving 50+ new orders a month.
In the examples above, the value proposition is much clearer in the message on the right. It’s focused on the potential benefit to the prospect (what brand wouldn’t want an additional 50+ orders a month?), whereas the value proposition in the message on the left is murkier and focused on the benefit to the sender (our retailers would like your brand).
End your message with a clear call-to-action (CTA), such as requesting a meeting, a phone call, or a response to your message.
To improve this cold InMail message, we added in the prompt: "End the email by asking if Marcia has 15 minutes to chat this week."
Your call-to-action should be clear, direct, and time-bound. The CTA in the example on the left is vague and open-ended. The CTA on the right, however, is both specific (requesting a 15-minute phone call) and time-bound (this week).
The benefit of a clear CTA is two-fold:
When SalesLoft recently analyzed over 6 million sales emails, one trend was shockingly clear: personalization nearly doubled the average sales team’s response rates. For high-performing teams, personalization had even more of an impact, increasing reply rates by more than 5x.
So, if personalization is so effective, why are so many teams still sending generic sales pitches?
This is often because sales teams need to balance quality with quantity. Sales development representatives (SDRs) are often tasked with reaching out to hundreds of prospects a month, and personalization unfortunately takes time. And for most SDRs, spending anything over 3.5 to 5 minutes on personalizing an email cancels out the return on investment on personalization, since the lost time means they’re not reaching out to enough prospects in a day.
Fortunately, advances in AI mean that salespeople no longer need to choose between quality and quantity when it comes to outreach. Using AI, you can send personalized, engaging InMail messages at scale—with each message taking less than 30 seconds to generate.
Companies like Okta, Salesforce, Zoom, and HubSpot have already adopted Copy.ai to superpower their sales and marketing teams. To join them and thousands of others adopting AI for growth, follow the steps below.
To create a custom InMail message using Chat by Copy.ai, all you have to do is provide the tool with some context.
To test out Chat’s abilities, you can start by browsing our Prompt Library or creating your own prompt.
For instance, for the example below, I based my prompt on Chat by Copy.ai’s “Personalized Cold Email from LinkedIn Profile” prompt, then modified it to suit my needs:
After entering the prompt, I got the following copy:
Of course, you can endlessly edit your prompts so that they suit different tones (such as more casual or more professional), mention specific product details, or hone in on certain aspects of a prospect’s experience.
For instance, if I modify my prompt even just slightly—to embrace a “casual” tone and target a prospect’s freelance writing experience—Chat by Copy.ai will produce the following:
If you want to edit the copy produced by Chat, no problem. Chat by Copy.ai has a built-in document editor that lets you edit and expand the responses you want. Then, just copy/paste the result into a LinkedIn InMail and send away.
Generative AI software like Chat by Copy.ai isn’t meant to do 100% of the work for you, but it will take you 75% of the way there. You’ll still have to go in and add your own flare to the copy.
However, Copy.ai is building AI-powered automation to help you scale your execution efforts and do 100% of the work for you. Find out more about Workflows by Copy.ai.
If you really want to streamline your InMail personalization process, create a few prompts that your team can copy and paste into Chat in order to generate unique InMail messages for their prospects.
For instance, you may want to create several different prompts that take into account:
Now that you’ve got a process in place, invite your sales team to join you in Copy.ai and train them to use the tool as part of their outreach process.
To ensure that AI is scaling your processes (and results!), take note of your team’s current output and results. Then, a month or quarter from now, revisit those numbers to see how AI has improved them.
Thanks to AI, you no longer have to choose between quality and quantity when it comes to sending prospects personalized, engaging messages. Sign up for a free Copy.ai account today to start using Chat by Copy.ai to scale your personalized outreach.
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