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Here is an easy trick to use to increase your outreach response rate by five times. 

Let’s build this out a bit. Say you have a message that on face value, will get a response 20% of the time. Good message, all the components are there, great response rate. And you send it to fifty people you have found on LinkedIn. 

Two respond. 

How does such a great message get a response rate of 4%? 

The answer is our old friend, the Pareto Principle. 20% of users use LinkedIn often, 80% don’t. So when you sent fifty messages, forty of them went to people who rarely use LinkedIn. Ten of them went to people who do use Linkedin often and you did get a very healthy 20% response rate from then. 

Let’s start by thinking of the characteristics of the 80% –  they check in at best every couple weeks, and many of them check in a couple times a year. That means that your message will be waiting for them with all the other messages that have piled up since the last time they were on LinkedIn. The result? You get ignored along with all the spam. And as a bonus, this teaches that user that Linkedin is kind of a waste of time, so it reinforces the idea that messaging is a non-starter on LinkedIn.

Now let’s look at the characteristics of the 20%. They have lots of connections, usually well over a thousand. They use LinkedIn regularly. Some of these people check in once a week, others use Linkedin almost every day. As these people see the value in LinkedIn, they are also more open minded to receiving messages from people they don’t know. They are more open to the possibilities. 

So now let’s send fifty messages, but this time only to people we find that are active LinkedIn users. Fifty  messages to active users should result in ten responses. Bingo. 

The same math holds true for whatever your response rate is, because you are effectively sending your message to five times the number of receptive people.

So send your outreach messages to the 20%. It pays.


At Practical SMM, we pride ourselves on delivering highly effective LinkedIn strategies.