How To Reach Out To People On LinkedIn (& What To Say)

Updated June 2024

LinkedIn limits the number of people that you can reach out to.

If you are using a basic (free) LinkedIn account, then you can only send messages to people that you are already connected with.

LinkedIn limits users to sending 100 connection requests per week.

Even if you are using LinkedIn’s paid version (Premium or Sales Navigator), you can only send 50 InMail messages per month.

As you can see, reaching out to people on LinkedIn is difficult due to the restrictions imposed. This is not ideal for professional salespeople that need to message a higher volume of people.

The best way to reach out to people on LinkedIn is to not actually reach out to them on LinkedIn…

It’s more effective to use LinkedIn to find leads and their emails, and then email them directly. This allows you to reach out to as many people as you want, and bypass LinkedIn’s limitations.

In this article, I share my four step process for reaching out to people on LinkedIn via cold email:

Step 1: Sign up for LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Step 2: Search for leads with Sales Navigator
Step 3: Export your leads (and their emails)
Step 4: Email your leads with Emailchaser

Step 1: Sign up for LinkedIn Sales Navigator

In order to search for leads on LinkedIn, you’ll need to sign up for a paid LinkedIn Sales Navigator account.

You cannot search for leads using a basic (free) LinkedIn account.

Fortunately, LinkedIn Sales Navigator isn’t too expensive, and they also offer a free trial.

screenshot showing the homepage of linkedin sales navigator website

Step 2: Search for leads with Sales Navigator

Now that you’ve signed up for LinkedIn Sales Navigator, it’s time to search for relevant leads.

There are over 25 search filters that you can apply, such as industry, location, job title and more.

screenshot showing the different filters that you can search with on linkedin sales navigator

If you need help understanding how to find leads that are relevant to your offer, then check out my article How To Build A Lead List For Sales.

The reason why I usually recommend LinkedIn Sales Navigator is because LinkedIn has the most accurate lead database.

Other lead databases, such as Apollo and ZoomInfo, offer inaccurate and outdated information.

The reason why LinkedIn has the most accurate lead information is because LinkedIn is the only platform where people actively update their profiles.

For example, if someone starts a new company or changes position, then they are very likely to update their LinkedIn profile to show this in real time.

Other platforms don’t have this real time data, and are often scraping old data from external sources.

Step 3: Export your leads (and their emails)

After finding relevant leads in LinkedIn Sales Navigator, it’s time to export them (and their email addresses).

The problem with LinkedIn Sales Navigator is that they don’t give you the email address for each lead.

The reason why they hide this information is because they want you to contact leads directly through their platform, via their “InMail” system.

As mentioned earlier in this article, LinkedIn only gives you 50 InMail credits per month.

If you want to contact more than 50 people per month, then you will need to email them directly.

You may be wondering how this is possible, since I just wrote that LinkedIn doesn’t give you the email address of each lead.

Fortunately, there is a solution.

You can use Emailchaser’s LinkedIn Email Finder Google Chrome extension to export your leads from LinkedIn Sales Navigator with their email addresses.

Our extension uses a proprietary email finding software that takes publicly available information (such as name, domain etc), and then verifies the correct email address for each lead.

screenshot showing Emailchaser's LinkedIn Email Finder extension

You can use our extension to export all of your leads from LinkedIn Sales Navigator with their email addresses.

For example, if your search in Sales Navigator returned 1,000 leads that match your search criteria, then you can export all 1,000 leads as a .csv file (with their emails and other relevant information).

You can then upload this .csv file to your sales CRM or cold email sending tool.

Step 4: Email your leads with Emailchaser

Now that you have your leads and their email addresses in a .csv file, you can start sending your cold emails.

Sending emails manually, one at a time, is very time consuming.

I recommend that you use a specialized cold email software, such as Emailchaser, to send your emails.

screenshot showing Emailchaser's dashboard

You can upload your .csv file to Emailchaser, and send a high volume of cold emails without going to spam.

If you need help with your copy, then check out my article How To Write A Cold Email.

Emailchaser has many features that help prevent your emails from landing in spam.

For example, Emailchaser uses OpenAI’s GPT to automatically change the text of each email slightly, so that no two leads receive the exact same message. This helps prevent your emails from going to spam, because if you send the exact same email too many times, then your emails are more likely to go to the spam folder.

Emailchaser also allows you to personalize your cold emails at scale, with the help of custom variables.

If there are any important leads that you really want to close, then you can email them and also send them a direct message through LinkedIn; however, as discussed above, LinkedIn only allows you to message 50 people per month on their platform.

It’s easy to manage your most important leads with Emailchaser’s built in Sales CRM.


Is it ok to message someone on LinkedIn?

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to message someone on LinkedIn.

As long as your message is relevant to them, and provides value, then there is nothing wrong with reaching out to prospects on LinkedIn.

How do you effectively reach out on LinkedIn?

You can effectively reach out to people on LinkedIn by using LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find relevant prospects.

You can then use Emailchaser’s LinkedIn Email Finder extension to export these leads and their email addresses.

I show you how to do this in detail in my article How To Generate B2B Leads On LinkedIn.

How to contact someone on LinkedIn?

If you are using a basic (free) LinkedIn account, then you can only message people that you are already connected with.

If you are using a paid LinkedIn account (Premium or Sales Navigator), then you can message 50 people per month via their InMail system.

The only way to contact a higher volume of people on LinkedIn is to follow the advice in this article, and use Emailchaser’s LinkedIn Email Finder extension.

How do you start a conversation on LinkedIn?

The best way to start a conversation on LinkedIn is to write a highly personalized and relevant message.

Offer value, and do not ask for anything in your first message, this includes asking for their time.

In the end of the day, the main reasons why most people don’t get responses when messaging people on LinkedIn is because they aren’t offering something that people want, and they also have zero credibility. You can learn more about this in my article 12 Reasons Why Your Cold Emails Are Not Getting Replies.

How do you politely message someone on LinkedIn?

The best way to politely message someone on LinkedIn is by only messaging people that can actually benefit from your offer.

If you message people that clearly are not interested in your offer, then they will think that you are wasting their time.

Final thoughts

The best way to reach out to people on LinkedIn, is to not actually message them directly through LinkedIn.

Instead, I recommend that you follow my four step process:

Step 1: Sign up for LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Step 2: Search for leads with Sales Navigator
Step 3: Export your leads (and their emails)
Step 4: Email your leads with Emailchaser

If you need help deciding what to say, then you need to read my article How To Write A Cold Email (6-Step Process).

On a similar note, you should check out my article LinkedIn Limits: How Many Connection Requests & Messages?

If you need help improving your open rate, then I recommend my article 12 Ways To Increase Your Cold Email Open Rate.

Finally, for all of the naysayers, check out my article Does Cold Email Work?

picture of George Wauchope

Article by

George Wauchope

Founder of Emailchaser.

I have been working in the sales & marketing industry for nearly a decade.

When I’m not working on my business, I enjoy eating sushi & doing jiu-jitsu.

About the author