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LinkedIn InMail Demystified: How It Works and Its Associated Costs

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Ever scrolled through your LinkedIn inbox and spotted an InMail message that piqued your curiosity?

For professionals globally, LinkedIn InMail has become more than just another feature; it’s a tool of influence, an avenue of opportunity, and the answer to breaking barriers.

Picture this:

You stumble upon a top decision-maker’s LinkedIn profile, someone who could propel your business forward. You’re not connected, and the usual routes are shut. What now? The desperation of wanting to send direct messages but being halted by platform constraints can be agonizing.

Enter LinkedIn InMail.

A premium feature, offering a direct line to any LinkedIn member – whether you’re connected or not. And while many are singing praises about its potential, others are befuddled by LinkedIn InMail costsand how it truly works.

Sponsored InMail, Sales Navigator, free InMail credits – What does it all mean? Is it cost-effective, or just another drain on your business expenses?

Hang tight. This article will demystify the LinkedIn InMail cost, dive deep into its functionality and associated costs, and reveal how you can use it to your advantage.

Let’s make every message count.

The Significance of LinkedIn InMail

It’s not just about sending direct messages; it’s about capturing attention. A stellar subject line ensures your LinkedIn InMail doesn’t just linger in a LinkedIn inbox but gets opened, read, and engaged with.

In a sea of templated LinkedIn messages, a bespoke InMail stands out.

  • Your message may become a warm interaction by being customized to appeal to the receiver on a personal level. When you reference a recipient’s job title or recent achievement, you’re no longer just another stranger in their inbox.

But with great power comes great responsibility.

  • Best practices dictate clear intent, genuine interest, and a sprinkle of flattery. Whether you’re seeking job opportunities or expanding your network, the trick lies in making the recipient feel valued, not targeted.

Here are specific examples of how professionals can benefit from using LinkedIn InMail:

  • Reaching Out to Mentors: Let’s say that you are a fresh graduate looking for professional advice. Using InMail, you can connect with industry peers or professionals whose experience aligns with your objectives.
  • Networking with Recruiters: Utilizing InMail, you can establish connections with hiring managers or recruiters at organizations that pique your interest if you’re actively looking for new employment prospects. 
  • Contacting Possible Leads or Clients: Assume for a moment that you work in sales and want to grow your clientele. Reaching out to decision-makers or possible leads at target firms is possible using InMail.

 In order to illustrate your value proposition, address a particular need or pain point that your product or service may address, and extend an invitation for a meeting or more discussion, your message might center on this topic.

Stats That Back This Up

Diversity within LinkedIn InMails is evident, with messages varying in their effectiveness.

Did you know that InMails get an average of 18-25% of responses?

Compare that to a 3% response rate for random emails/calls, and you’ll be impressed. Indeed, people are much more willing to respond to LinkedIn messages than to traditional calls or emails.

Extensive analysis of millions of LinkedIn messages has revealed intriguing findings. Personalized messages, as opposed to generic mass messages, saw a 15% increase in response rates.

The key takeaway?

Personalization isn’t merely a suggestion; it’s absolutely crucial.

Regarding the long-debated issue of message length, messages under 400 characters excelled, boasting a 22% higher open rate. This underscores two critical aspects of InMail – the indisputable impact of a personal touch and the ideal message length for fostering engagement.

Timing is everything with sales emails, and so is LinkedIn. When researching your contacts, determine if now is the right time to contact them by identifying relevant social actors.

Monday is the best day of the week to send InMails. InMails sent from Sunday to Thursday represent about 1% of the global average.

The worst day to send InMail was Saturday, which received 8 fewer responses than average. The average Friday response rate is as low as 4, so you might consider scheduling your InMails Monday through Thursday.

Before you send your next or first InMail, bear in mind these statistics!

What is LinkedIn InMail?

A woman sitting and looking at her emails.

LinkedIn InMail is useful when trying to navigate the maze-like process of connecting with a certain professional.

Sending direct messages to any member of LinkedIn, regardless of connection, is a unique function of the platform.

No more putting up obstacles in the way of a possible lead, mentor, or employer, or waiting for a connection request to be approved. 

The Cost Aspect: Understanding LinkedIn InMail Cost

While the allure of InMail is unmistakable, it’s essential to understand the cost aspect that accompanies this premium feature.

Typically, users with a basic LinkedIn account do not have access to free InMails. However, subscribing to a LinkedIn Premium or Sales Navigator account grants you a specific number of InMail credits every month.

The pricing tiers vary based on the plan you choose:

  • LinkedIn Premium Career: Designed for job seekers.
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator: Tailored for sales professionals seeking leads.
  • LinkedIn Recruiter: Crafted for HR professionals hunting talent.

Each plan offers a distinct number of InMail credits, with the option to purchase InMail credits if you exhaust your monthly limit.

Comparing Costs: InMail LinkedIn Cost Variations

While the allure of InMail is unmistakable, it’s essential to understand the cost aspect that accompanies this premium feature.

The plans you select will determine the price category you are in.

  • LinkedIn Premium Career: Designed for job seekers.
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator: Tailored for sales professionals seeking leads.
  • LinkedIn Recruiter: Crafted for HR professionals hunting talent.

Understanding the cost aspect of LinkedIn InMail involves recognizing the different types of InMail options available to users. Here are the main types:

Free LinkedIn InMail:

Users may occasionally receive free InMail credits from LinkedIn as a perk or promotion. With these, users can send a certain quantity of InMail messages for free.

 There are usually limitations associated with free InMail credits, including a time limit on how long they can be used or the maximum amount of messages that may be sent.

There are usually limitations associated with free InMail credits, including a time limit on how long they can be used or the maximum amount of messages that may be sent.

LinkedIn Open Profile Status:

If you’re a LinkedIn Premium user, you can enable open messaging on LinkedIn Open Profile, regardless of whether the recipient is a first-degree relation.

Premium subscribers can receive messages from any LinkedIn member—regardless of connection—through LinkedIn Open Profile, which eliminates the requirement for the sender to use InMail credits.

Paid LinkedIn InMail:

LinkedIn Paid If you don’t have any free InMail credits available, the traditional method for messaging LinkedIn members outside of your network is to use InMail.

To access paid InMail features, users can either purchase InMail credits or upgrade to a LinkedIn Premium subscription.

Additional advantages of Paid InMail usually include priority delivery, message tracking and analytics, and sophisticated targeting possibilities.

Sponsored InMail on LinkedIn:

LinkedIn offers a paid advertising option called Sponsored InMail that lets companies send tailored messages straight to the inboxes of LinkedIn members.

With Sponsored InMail, advertisers pay for each message delivered, as opposed to standard InMail, which runs on credits or Premium memberships.

Based on LinkedIn member characteristics like job title, industry, and geography, as well as engagement history and interests, Sponsored InMail messages can be highly tailored and targeted.

Each plan offers a distinct number of InMail credits, with the option to purchase InMail credits if you exhaust your monthly limit.

Comparing Costs: InMail LinkedIn Cost Variations

The cost variations arise primarily from the chosen subscription plan.

For instance, a Sales Navigator plan might receive more InMail credits than a basic Premium Career plan. Additionally, the geographical region and occasional promotions or offers from LinkedIn can lead to price differences.

The pricing for LinkedIn’s InMail credits is structured as follows:

  • For the premium career plan, you pay $29.99 per month and receive 5 InMail credits.

Free InMail credits are occasionally given away as a part of incentives or promotions. Periodically, a limited quantity of free InMail credits are offered.

There can be limits, including message allotment limits or expiration dates.

  • The premium business plan costs $47.99 per month and includes 15 credits.

Access to a monthly allotment of InMail credits, which varies according to the particular Premium plan. Moreover, the ability to message people outside of your network on LinkedIn with personalized messages. 

Message performance can be tracked with InMail analytics and tracking.

Displaying a premium emblem on your profile lets others know that you are a paying member.

  • The Sales Navigator Core plan is priced at $79.99 per month, offering 50 credits.

With the help of Sales Navigator’s sophisticated search filters, users may focus their search and identify the most pertinent leads. These filters contain variables like industry, region, size of the company, job title, and more.

  • The Sales Navigator Advanced plan, at $125 per month, also provides 50 credits.

Subscribers to the advanced plan are free to make and store custom lead lists. They also have limitless access to additional corporate analytics, growth trends, and job openings, in addition to infinite insights on their stored leads.


It’s worth noting that LinkedIn offers a credit refund for every response received, whether positive or negative, within 90 days of sending.

The cost of an extra InMail credit varies depending on your account type, but it is approximately $1.60 for each Sales Navigator Core.

In the vast universe of LinkedIn outreach, finding and connecting with the right prospects can be time-consuming.

This is where AimFox shines.

Instead of manual searches, AimFox automates the discovery of qualified leads. Whether it’s scouting job seekers or expanding your freelance opportunities, we’ve got your back. Bypass the long hours of prospecting and following up. With our tool, automation means you engage only when it truly matters.

So, whether you’re crafting a content strategy, scouting for leads, or building brand awareness, AimFox ensures your LinkedIn prospecting is efficient, targeted, and hassle-free.

Hidden Costs and Factors Affecting Pricing

While the upfront LinkedIn InMail cost is transparent, users should be wary of potential hidden charges.

As we hinted, if you exceed your monthly InMail credits and don’t have a sufficient balance, you may incur extra costs. Moreover, prices can change based on regional taxes, exchange rates, or when transitioning between LinkedIn subscription plans.

How to not get eaten up by LinkedIn InMail costs?

Always review the terms before upgrading or purchasing additional credits.

Benefits of Using LinkedIn InMail

A comfortable office space.

For professionals globally, LinkedIn has transformed from being just another social media platform to a pivotal tool for networking, sales, and recruitment.

But beyond its standard features, there’s one standout element that many invest in – LinkedIn InMail. Here’s why:

Direct Access to Any LinkedIn Member

InMail allows you to send direct messages to any LinkedIn user, breaking the typical barriers.

No more waiting for a connection request to get accepted. Whether it’s a senior decision-maker in a global enterprise or a recruiter from your dream company, InMail ensures your message gets delivered straight to the recipient’s inbox.

Enhanced Personalization

With InMail, you can craft bespoke messages tailored to the recipient.

This personal touch increases the chances of your message being read and responded to.

For instance, message ads or sponsored InMail campaigns allow businesses to reach their target audience with precision, making every interaction count.

Avoiding the Spam Tag

Traditional cold emails can sometimes land in spam folders, but LinkedIn InMails have a higher probability of being seen and opened. After all, this is a premium feature that carries a certain credibility, ensuring your outreach doesn’t get tagged as spam.

Detailed Insights and Analytics

With tools like the Sales Navigator, users can get detailed analytics on their sent InMails. This includes open rates, response rates, and more. Such insights can be invaluable for refining your outreach strategy, allowing for more effective and engaging follow-ups.

Effective Lead Generation

For sales professionals, LinkedIn InMail can be a goldmine.

Crafting the perfect message, combined with the credibility of the platform, often results in higher response rates. It’s a cost-effective method for reaching out to potential leads, prospects, and clients.

Increased Visibility and Engagement

Sending InMails, especially with a captivating subject line, can increase your profile’s visibility.

When members check your message, they’re likely also to view your LinkedIn profile, enhancing the chances of further engagement.

Broadened Networking Horizons

LinkedIn InMail is not just for sales. Whether you’re looking to join LinkedIn groups, interact with potential mentors, or simply expand your network, InMail can be the key to opening numerous doors.

How Many InMails Can You Send on LinkedIn?

A woman reading an email and drinking coffee.

For many LinkedIn members, InMail is a potent tool to bypass the barriers of direct messaging.

But like every resource, there are limits that can’t be avoided. The number of InMails you can send depends largely on your LinkedIn subscription plan.

Premium Account Benefits

For those with a LinkedIn Premium subscription, the question, “How many InMails can I send on LinkedIn?” has a more satisfying answer.

Premium users receive a specific number of free InMail credits every month, contingent on their subscription type:

  • LinkedIn Premium Career: Ideal for job seekers, this tier typically offers a few InMail credits per month, facilitating direct communication with hiring managers or recruiters.
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator: Tailored for sales professionals, this package significantly ups the InMail limit, allowing users to effectively reach potential leads and decision-makers.
  • LinkedIn Premium Business: Designed for business professionals wanting to expand their network, this package offers a moderate number of InMail credits, bridging the gap between job seekers and sales professionals.
  • LinkedIn Recruiter: This is a specialized package for talent acquisition teams with the highest number of InMail credits, enabling recruiters to reach out to a vast pool of potential candidates.

Credits unused in a billing cycle roll over to the next month, but they have a cap. If you use up your monthly InMail allowance, additional credits can be purchased.

Looking to streamline your LinkedIn outreach without the repetitive grunt work? Meet AimFox.

AimFox ensures that while your startup might be small, your lead generation efforts don’t have to be. Engage a steady stream of high-quality leads and watch your business grow. Whether it’s sparking valuable conversations, converting potential clients, or simply meeting your sales targets, our tool stands as your robust ally.

Achieve and even surpass your goals, all on one platform.

Effective Strategies to Maximize LinkedIn InMail

A man relaxing on the sofa and working.

The value of your InMail credits hinges on your strategy.

Maximizing the effectiveness of LinkedIn InMail requires a thoughtful approach. Here are some actionable strategies to help you achieve better results:

  • Personalize Your Message: 

Generic messages rarely get a response. Tailor your InMail based on the LinkedIn user’s profile, noting any shared connections, interests, or experiences.

  • Stay Professional Yet Approachable:

 This isn’t the place for slang or overly casual language. Keep it professional, but inject personality to avoid sounding robotic.

  • Add Value Upfront:

 Whether you’re offering a potential business partnership, job opportunity, or a useful resource, ensure your InMail messages provide clear value to the recipient.

  • Engage, Don’t Spam:

 Sending InMails in bulk might seem efficient, but it’s not effective. Quality trumps quantity. Take the time to understand your target audience, ensuring each message is relevant to its recipient.

  • Leverage LinkedIn Premium Features: 

Premium users have access to additional features like ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’ and ‘Open Profile,’ which can be utilized to craft more targeted InMails.

  • Follow Up, But Don’t Pester: 

If you haven’t received a response, it’s a good practice to send a follow-up. However, limit yourself to one or two follow-ups to avoid coming off as intrusive.

  • Stay Updated: 

LinkedIn regularly updates its platform and features. Ensure you’re aware of any changes, especially those related to InMail credits and messaging, to maximize your efforts.

  • Evaluate and Adjust: 

After you’ve sent a significant number of InMails, review your response rates. Analyze which subject lines, message lengths, and outreach strategies worked best. Refine your approach based on this feedback.


In the vast digital realm of networking, LinkedIn InMail emerges as a pivotal tool, bridging the gap between professionals and prospective opportunities.

It’s more than just a messaging feature; it’s a portal to boundless connections, potential collaborations, and lucrative deals. Grasping the nuances of LinkedIn InMail costs is fundamental.

As we’ve navigated through this comprehensive guide, from the very mechanics of InMail to the art of crafting compelling messages, one point remains paramount:

LinkedIn InMail, when leveraged correctly, can be a transformative asset. However, just like any other tool, its efficacy lies in its application.

So, before you embark on your next LinkedIn campaign or networking endeavor, reflect on the insights shared, and consider relying on AimFox while you’re at it. Our tool will help you automatically view, connect, and follow up with targeted LinkedIn users.

Remember, every InMail sent is an opportunity to connect, collaborate, and convert.

Will you seize it?


Does LinkedIn InMail go to email?

Yes, instead of reaching the recipient’s email inbox, LinkedIn InMail messages go straight to their LinkedIn inbox. The recipient of your InMail is prompted to verify their messages on LinkedIn after you send them, as shown by the notification they receive. 

With the help of this tool, professionals can connect with one another inside the LinkedIn network, making networking and business interactions easier while keeping personal email correspondence somewhat separate.

What is the average InMail response rate?

The quality of the message, the sender’s relevancy to the recipient, and the recipient’s activity on the platform all affect the average response rate for LinkedIn InMail messages. Industry surveys, however, indicate that InMail message response rates typically fall between 10% and 25% of the total.

 Messages that are well-written and personalized typically receive a better response rate than ones that are spammy or generic. Furthermore, contacting contacts or people you have mutual ties with could make it more likely that you will hear back from them. 

Is it better to send an InMail or connect on LinkedIn?

Depending on the particular situation and your connection to the recipient, you may want to send an InMail instead of making a LinkedIn connection. 

Sending InMail messages is a great way to connect with someone you have never met before or to start a conversation with someone who might not be open to accepting connection requests from random people.

 On the other hand, sending a connection request, enables you to connect with the person directly and check their updates, interact with their material, and even send them messages without burning up any InMail credits. 

The choice between InMail and connecting ultimately comes down to your objectives, the type of relationship you have with the recipient, and your approach to using the platform to interact.

How to reply when a recruiter sends an InMail on LinkedIn?

It’s important to thank recruiters for their messages and interest in your profile when replying to their in-mails on LinkedIn. Express your gratitude to them right away for getting in touch with you and for the opportunity they’ve provided. 

After that, ask about the next steps and briefly express your interest in finding out more about the role or opportunity they’ve discussed. It’s important to respond in a clear, succinct manner and to keep a professional demeanor throughout the communication.

Furthermore, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you need more information or clarity regarding the position or firm. Finally, conclude by adding a kind note at the end, such as “Best regards” or “Sincerely,” and sign your name.

When do LinkedIn InMail credits renew?

Credits for LinkedIn InMail normally renew on a monthly basis. Users get a fresh allotment of InMail credits at the beginning of the month, usually on the first day, which enables them to send messages to people outside of their network. Depending on the user’s time zone and the LinkedIn platform’s operating schedule, the precise time of renewal may change. 

To guarantee they utilize this function for networking and outreach as efficiently as possible, users should monitor their InMail credit consumption and renewal dates.

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