Most knowledgeable LinkedIn users would agree that best practice when sending an invitation to connect on LinkedIn should include a personal note introducing yourself and expressing why you want to connect.
Although I personally don’t think it’s a crime to send a generic LinkedIn connection request, a well-crafted personal message will always increase your chances of connecting with the recipient. This is probably true for all social networks.
Generally, the fact that I get generic invitations is usually not the reason why I reject connection requests. When receiving a generic invitation from someone, I always check their LinkedIn Profile to see if they’re someone who I want to connect with.
If the LinkedIn profile is not complete or doesn’t clearly tell me who they are, the chance of being a connection is pretty much zero.
Here’s a recent invitation I received which contained the LinkedIn generic message.
After receiving it, I checked the profile. It didn’t take long for me to reject this invitation. Here’s why:
No Business Name. Including your business name or companies you worked for will give you added credibility.
No connections. This is not really a reason to reject an invitation but when looking at the entire profile, it can make me suspicious if your profile is not complete.
Fake picture. This is obviously not the real picture for this LinkedIn user. Tip: Always use a professional self-portrait.
Profile not filled out. What’s the point of being on LinkedIn if your profile is not filled out?
The importance of a well optimized and complete profile is undeniable and it’s imperative that you make the right impression. Don’t forget that LinkedIn often appears at the top of search results which is a golden opportunity to get more visibility for your business.
Before sending any invitations to connect, make sure your profile is complete.
What You Should Know About LinkedIn Invitations
- You have a limit of 30,000 first degree connections.
- You have a limit of 3000 invitations you can send.
- When you reach your invitation limit, you can contact Linkedin to request an increase. LinkedIn will consider the acceptance ratio of invitations you’ve previously sent in their analysis but invitation increase is not guaranteed.
To find out how many invitation you’ve already sent, click on the “Contacts” tab and then go to the bottom right of the page and select “Sent Invitation”. If you don’t see the word “accepted” beside the contact name, this probably means that they haven’t answered your request. It’s also possible that they clicked on “don’t accept yet”, “ignore” or “report as spam”. At the bottom, you should see the total number invitations you have already sent.
- Withdrawing invitations doesn’t return them to your balance of available invitations.
- A restriction on your account is automatically triggered if too many invitations are declined by recipients with the “I don’t know” response or if it’s flagged as spam. This means that you may not be allowed to send any further invitations to connect without an email address until your restriction is lifted. To Unrestrict your account click on http://www.linkedin.com/unrestrict?display.
- LinkedIn automatically sends reminder emails to Invitation recipients who have not yet responded to your Invitation. No more than two reminders are ever sent.
- LinkedIn may ask that you enter the recipients email address when inviting them. Usually, you’ll get this if:
i. The recipient’s settings are set to only receive invitations from members who know their email address.
ii. You’ve reached the limit of invitations you can send without email addresses to people you’ve identified as a “Friend” during the invitation process.
iii. You’ve been restricted (too many recipients have clicked “I don’t know this person” after getting your invitations).
- You can withdraw a sent invitation but keep in mind that if you change your mind, you’ll need the recipient’s email address to send them another invitation.
- An Invitation that has not been accepted after several weeks will expire. If an Invitation does expire a new Invitation can be sent again to the same recipient.