LinkedIn analyzed data on in-platform mail to determine which messages get the best response. A LinkedIn study of InMail, the website’s premium messaging feature, aims to discover which types of messages get the best results. The study analyzed tens of millions of InMails sent by corporate recruiters around the world between May 2021 and April 2022. In this study, the social media networking site studied five areas to determine what types of messages were most likely to receive a response. It sought to answer the following questions:
- Do longer or shorter messages work better?
- Which day of the week is most likely to get a response?
- Do personalized messages get a better response rate?
- Are “Recommended Matches” more likely to accept an InMail?
- Are “Open to Work” candidates more likely to reply?
It found the InMails most likely to receive a response within 30 days were personalized, shorter messages sent to “Recommended Matches” or “Open to Work” users sent on Mondays.
Shorter Messages Outperform Long Ones
LinkedIn found that the shortest InMails performed the best. Messages under 400 characters performed 22% better than the average, with numbers falling off as the message grew longer. Those between 401 and 800 characters performed 3% better than the average, while those from 801-1200 performed 6% under. The longest messages, those over 1200 words, performed worst of all, at 11% below the global average. However, most recruiters send longer messages, with 90% of all InMails falling above the 400-character count. LinkedIn suggests shorter messages may perform better because users are receiving more outreach in a candidate-driven market.
InMails Sent Friday and Saturday Get Lowest Response Rate
LinkedIn’s data revealed that day of the week did not play a large role in response rates, so long as it was not sent on a Friday or Saturday. Every other day fell within 1% of the global response rate average, with Mondays performing slightly better than the others. Friday responses were down 4%, with Saturday falling 8% under the average. However, only 2% of messages were sent on Saturdays.
Personalized Messages Get More Responses
According to the study, InMails sent individually performed nearly 15% better than those sent in bulk. This follows trends from general email marketing principles, which identify message personalization as the #1 tactic for improving engagement rates.
“Recommended Candidates” & “Open to New Positions” Most Likely To Respond
Recruiters who use LinkedIn’s Recommended Candidates are up to 35% more likely to respond to messages than those found with search alone, the study found. Candidates are recommended based on relevant skills listed in a user’s profile. The study also found recruiters had the most success with candidates whose profile is marked “Open to Work.” These users responded 37% more often than other candidates.