Sales Series: InMails vs. Emails

Thanks to Ryan Cummings for contributing this post. 

As a sales organization, we are always trying out new things in hopes of finding ways to be more effective and efficient. Our sales development team has traditionally been very email-heavy, and due to the quantity of emails we’ve sent, we’ve been able to set a lot of meetings. Although the effectiveness has been acceptable, our efficiency hasn’t been up to par.

Increasing Efficiency with InMail

To address this, we decided to put a larger focus on sending LinkedIn InMail messages during a one-week period, and compared those results to our email efforts over the same week. We tracked the numbers on our SDR team’s Grow dashboard. Here’s the metric showing the results:Screen Shot 2017 06 27 at 2.02.57 PM

Our reply rates from our InMails were more than double our email reply rates, jumping from 3.29% to 7.38%. However, our meeting-scheduled rate spike was even more eye-opening—it skyrocketed from 0.2% to 3.28%.

Why InMails Make an Impact

So what causes such a large disparity in efficiency? Here are some possible contributing factors:

  • Email inboxes are full of junk. One of our executives was recently giving a presentation on his computer, and his email tab showed he had over 14,000 unread emails. 14,000! The average CEO gets only one or two InMails a day. It’s pretty clear which avenue is more likely to get your prospect’s attention.
  • InMails are more personalized. If you’re composing an InMail, it means you have the prospect’s LinkedIn profile in front of you. You’re able to easily view their recent activity, prior employers, job responsibilities, skills, etc. You have access to way more “ammunition” in crafting your message to fit your prospect. Besides, most sales professionals fall into the habit of relying on email automation, making it difficult to personalize every message in the first place.
  • Transparency and vulnerability. Let me explain—if you send an email to prospect, they’ll usually have to pull up LinkedIn and type in your name to locate you (some include a link to their LinkedIn profile in their email signature, but not all prospects take note of that). When sending an InMail, your prospect is literally one click away from seeing your profile and learning about both you and your company immediately. This humanizes you and your company, and makes your prospect more inclined to respond, especially when they can see you’ve taken the time to research them.

We’re excited to utilize InMails more frequently on our SDR team and continue working to get our efficiency higher each and every week. Our real-time sales dashboard makes it easy to see how we are doing as a team and make necessary changes and adjustments. We’d love to learn from you and hear about different sales strategies you’ve tested, as well as how you’ve tracked your results.

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