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LinkedIn ... with or without message?

I recently asked 142 LinkedIn connections if they were more likely to accept a connection request with, or without, an accompanying message.

The results are below.

If you're like me, you are fed up with complete strangers sending reams of text for me to devote my precious time to read, before I know you, your organisation or what you are offering.

Yes, I use LinkedIn to connect with people who might like to join our network, but I keep it brief, clear, and witty where possible.

If they accept my invitation I then write in more detail given that they have had the chance to express at least some interest.

Until recently, I sent all my invitations without an accompanying message. I let the first 6 words of my headline do the work.

It worked well. I was getting a 75% acceptance rate.

Defying the advice to only fix what is broken, I experimented with a message. You don't have much room which is a good restraint.

It didn't work so well. Conversion rate dropped.

My realisation was that people tend to knee-jerk accept based on your headline, if you don't include a message. However, the quality of those connections isn't as high as it might be.

By including a brief reason for the connection, you effectively give people the chance to accept based on your offering and reason for doing so. And they can also decline for the same reasons.

The result is a lower conversion rate but new connections of more relevance, interest and quality.

Here is the result of my poll.

Do share your own strategy here.

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