As a sales outreach tool, LinkedIn’s free functionality is pretty solid.

You can find prospects, engage with their content, connect with them, and slide into their DMs — all valuable stuff.

Still, LinkedIn is a business, so it reserves its very best features for paying customers through LinkedIn Premium.

But are those features worth the money?

To answer that question, in this article we’ll explain:

  • What LinkedIn Premium is

  • How much it costs

  • What benefits it offers

  • How it compares to a standard free LinkedIn account

And, as an added bonus, we’ll discuss how you can get better results from your LinkedIn outreach with QuickMail.

Let’s get into it…

What Is LinkedIn Premium?

LinkedIn Premium is a suite of paid LinkedIn account types, offering various features that aren’t available to users with standard, free accounts.

There are five varieties of LinkedIn Premium accounts, each built with a specific user type in mind:

Account typeWho it’s forWhat it helps with
Premium CareerJobseekersFinding jobs
Sales Navigator CoreSales professionalsFinding prospects; generating and nurturing leads
Recruiter LiteRecruitersFinding and hiring talent
Premium BusinessBusiness leadersAccessing business insights
LinkedIn LearningCareer developersAcquiring and improving skills

Bear in mind that all LinkedIn Premium accounts are intended for personal use, and can only be purchased directly by the account holder.

If you’re looking to buy a LinkedIn package for an entire team of users, you need LinkedIn Business instead.

How Much Does LinkedIn Premium Cost?

As you can see, those LinkedIn Premium accounts are all totally different from one another.

It’d be tough to come up with a single price point that covers everything from learning to code to hiring a project manager to connecting with SaaS prospects.

For that reason, each account type has its own price, as follows*:

  • LinkedIn Premium Career: From $39.99/month

  • LinkedIn Premium Business: From $59.99/month

  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator Core: From $99.99/month

  • LinkedIn Recruiter Lite: From $180/month

  • LinkedIn Learning: From $29.99/month

*Prices correct at time of writing

What Are the Benefits of LinkedIn Premium for Sales?

From a sales outreach perspective, the obvious LinkedIn Premium account type to choose is Sales Navigator Core.

Sales Navigator Core will set you back $100+ per month, so it’s clearly not the cheapest tool — especially as that price only covers a single user (i.e. you).

However, a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by LinkedIn revealed that Sales Navigator delivered a 312% ROI over three years and paid for itself in under six months, so it’s clearly doing something right.

Present Value Table

With that in mind, let’s look at the specific benefits of LinkedIn Premium for sales professionals:

Identify the Right Accounts

Sure, LinkedIn’s free search tool is pretty useful, allowing you to search for companies in a specific sector and location, or prospects with a certain job title (among other things).

But it’s a labor-intensive and distinctly unscalable process.

Rather than forcing you to trawl through endless pages of search results to find the most relevant accounts, Sales Navigator makes it easy to find the best opportunities across 61+ million organizations by incorporating over a dozen account filters, including:

  • Company revenue

  • Company headcount growth

  • Recent senior leadership changes

  • Hiring status on LinkedIn

  • Department size

All of which helps you hone in on high-value accounts that are most likely to benefit from your product or service.

Contact Anyone on LinkedIn

With a free LinkedIn account, you need to find a prospect and send them a connection request before reaching out to them.

It’s different when you’re a LinkedIn Premium user, because you can contact anyone at any time through InMail, the platform’s premium private messaging service.

LinkedIn’s own data claims that reaching out to prospects via InMail is 4.6X more effective than emailing alone, so it’s definitely a valuable tool for your sales armory.

See and Connect With People Who View Your Profile

If you’ve already got a free LinkedIn account, you can see up to five people who’ve viewed your profile recently.

LinkedIn account that can view profiles

But when you go Premium, you get access to a full breakdown of everyone who’s checked you out in the last 90 – 365 days, depending on your subscription type.

So if a new prospect comes a-calling, you can reach out to them straight away — they’re clearly interested!

Leverage Company Insights

Having a Premium account doesn’t just allow you to find static account information like location and industry.

It also opens up a whole world of juicy, real-time insights covering things like:

  • Hiring trends: Are they recruiting right now? Which departments are they hiring into?

  • Recent hires: Who are their latest recruits? Would they be involved in the decision to buy your product?

  • Department headcount: Are they a huge organization with a tiny finance team? Or a medium-sized business with an enterprise-grade sales and marketing function?

Use this information to warm up your cold outreach, making it easier to break the ice and build rapport with potential customers.

Understand Buying Intent

You’ve found an account that perfectly fits your ideal client profile. Wouldn’t it be great if, before you even reach out to them, you could make an educated guess at whether they’re likely to be interested in your product or service?

With a LinkedIn Premium account, you can.

Not only does LinkedIn rank your accounts by the level of buying intent they’re displaying, but it’ll even send you alerts about high-intent actions — like when a new decision-maker joins a target account.

It’s all about helping you prioritize prospects who are most likely to convert and ensuring you strike when the iron’s hot.

Find Past Customers At Target Accounts

One underrated feature of having a LinkedIn Premium account is that it can help you unearth “hidden allies” at companies you’d love to do business with.

For instance, say you have a previous customer who loved your product and has just started a role at your target account. They’d make a great advocate, right?

Through Sales Navigator, a native CRM integration allows you to track down past customers at your target companies — so you can reach back out to them and ask them to put in a good word to the buying team.

LinkedIn Premium vs Free LinkedIn: Detailed Breakdown

As we’ve already pointed out, there are several different types of LinkedIn Premium accounts, each providing its own set of features.

To help you understand which (if any) is right for you, we’ve broken down the key functionality here:

FeatureFree accountPremium CareerSales Navigator CoreRecruiter LitePremium BusinessLinkedIn Learning
Find other LinkedIn users
Send personalized connection requests✔ (5 credits a month)
Request and provide recommendations
Create saved searches✔ (Up to 3 saved searches)
Receive unlimited InMail messages
Send InMail messages-✔ (5 credits a month)✔ (50 credits a month)✔ (30 credits a month)✔ (15 credits a month)-
See all profile views-✔ (Up to 365 days)✔ (Up to 90 days)✔ (Up to 90 days)✔ (Up to 365 days)-
Private browsing--
Advanced search----
Unlimited people browsing---
Unlimited LinkedIn Learning-

Beyond those features, there are also some tools that are unique to certain LinkedIn Premium plans.

For instance, Premium Career users can build their own service page, while Sales Navigator Core offers a standalone, sales-centric interface and the ability to create custom lead and account lists.

LinkedIn Outreach: What’s Possible With QuickMail

Advanced search filters; buying intent-based activity alerts; in-platform direct messaging. LinkedIn has almost everything you need to find, engage, nurture, and convert leads.

But there’s a problem: standalone LinkedIn outreach doesn’t scale.

That’s why we recommend automating your LinkedIn activity as part of an omnichannel outreach campaign through QuickMail, allowing you to automate LinkedIn steps rather than handling each conversation individually.

With QuickMail, you can create automated, personalized connection requests for new prospects. Each time we send a connection request on your behalf, we’ll also make it look like you’ve visited the prospect’s profile so the activity feels more natural.

Once connected with a prospect, QuickMail allows you to incorporate LinkedIn Message steps into your regular outreach campaigns, meaning you can reach them via multiple platforms — in their email inbox and beyond.

Add campaign with icons

Here’s how that could work as part of a broader campaign:

You identify a high-value prospect, so you add them to a personalized outreach campaign you’ve built through QuickMail.

Now they’ll be sent an automated connection request (and profile view notification) on LinkedIn, and you’ll also hit them with the first step in your cold email sequence.

Provided they accept your connection request, you can now target them through multiple LinkedIn messages on top of the emails in your campaign, massively increasing your chance of a response.

And the best news is, you can do all that stuff regardless of whether you’ve upgraded to a LinkedIn Premium account.

The only difference is volume: with a Premium account, you get unlimited personalized connection requests and profile views, plus the ability to message prospects who aren’t connections via InMail. So you’re less likely to be pinged by LinkedIn’s activity limits when you upgrade to Premium. 

Like the sound of integrating LinkedIn messaging into your cold outreach strategy?

Check it out for yourself by signing up for your free QuickMail Expert trial.

So, Is LinkedIn Premium Worth It?

You’ve seen what you get with the various types of LinkedIn Premium accounts — and what happens when you connect your LinkedIn account with QuickMail.

That just leaves us with the million-dollar question: is LinkedIn Premium actually worth the money?

The honest answer is that it all depends on the size of your business and how much outreach you do.

If you’re a one-person startup, a freelancer, or a consultant looking to build a consistent pipeline of potential clients, LinkedIn Premium (and specifically the Sales Navigator Core plan) is a good fit.

Sure, $99.99+ per month isn’t super cheap, but its prospecting tools are hard to beat. It’s definitely a better bet than buying a bunch of names and email addresses from some shady third-party list provider, and it’s far more efficient than relying on LinkedIn’s free search features. Plus you get a bunch of other useful stuff, like private browsing and unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning.

On the other hand, if you only send the occasional cold email when you get short of work, the price tag is hard to justify. If we were you, we’d stick to automating a drip campaign in QuickMail with a free LinkedIn account for now — you can always upgrade if or when you start ramping up your cold outreach.

And if you’re a multi-person sales team looking for a collaborative platform, LinkedIn Premium definitely ain’t the one, because it’s only for individual accounts.

If that’s you, you’re better off with the LinkedIn Business-grade Sales Navigator Team plan, currently priced at around $150 per user per month.

You can test-drive QuickMail’s LinkedIn capabilities and get your first positive replies on the house. It’s quick to start sending during your free 14-day trial.