Creating an effective LinkedIn cold message template isn't easy.

It needs to convey value, be brief, and encourage your sales lead to take action.

When done correctly, cold messaging on LinkedIn can be a targeted and effective way to start conversations with qualified leads.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to write a LinkedIn cold message template, with real examples to help you get started.

  1. What is a Cold LinkedIn Message?

  2. How Do You Write an Engaging Cold Message on LinkedIn?

  3. 6 Proven LinkedIn Cold Message Templates to Start Conversations

  4. The Importance of Following Up on Your LinkedIn Cold Messages

  5. Tools to Automate Your Cold Messaging on LinkedIn

Let’s dive straight in.

What is a Cold LinkedIn Message?

A cold LinkedIn message is a type of communication sent to a sales prospect on LinkedIn via InMail without any prior contact or expectation of receiving a message.

Recipients of cold LinkedIn messages don't know who you are before you reach out. This makes writing an effective cold LinkedIn message a difficult task.

To overcome this challenge, you must frame your message in a way that engages your prospects and compels them to respond.

Once you find a proven process using cold messages that consistently get replies, you’ll be able to scale up your outreach and grow your company using cold LinkedIn messaging.

How Do You Write an Engaging Cold Message on LinkedIn?

An effective cold message on LinkedIn needs to hit a few key points.

1. Offer Value to Your Prospects

The first rule of cold messaging is that you need to offer real value to the recipient. 

That means there needs to be something in it for them.

  • Can you increase their marketing ROI? 

  • Can you improve their lead generation strategy?

  • Can you save them money on graphic design?

Whatever pain point and problem that your business can solve for your customers, it needs to be clear to your prospect in your message.

When they receive your cold InMail they need to be thinking: “this could help my company grow”.

If your prospect feels like you can help them, they’re more likely to reply even if your cold message template isn’t perfect.

2. Personalization In Every Message is Key

Your sales prospects know you’re reaching out to other people as well. But, you need to make it clear that you know more about them than their company name.

For every person you reach out to, double-check if they’re a perfect fit for your company, and do some basic research into them.

By doing this, you can find:

  • Personalization opportunities to include in your InMails

  • Extra details that qualify or disqualify a prospect

  • Other people in their organization that you can reach out to if they don’t reply

As you learn more about each prospect you can note down things you learn about them to include in your outreach message.

3. Acquire a Sales Navigator Subscription

Having a Sales Navigator subscription is essential if you’re running cold outreach campaigns on LinkedIn.

The first reason it’s essential is that it protects your account from being restricted. Just like with cold email, if you send too many messages at once on LinkedIn, there’s a risk of your account being throttled from sending any more messages, or worse, being blocked from using it completely. However, LinkedIn is less likely to restrict accounts using Sales Navigator because they’re generating revenue for the company.

That doesn’t mean you can go ahead and send thousands of messages every week. You still need to proceed with caution to keep your account safe.

As well as that, LinkedIn Sales Navigator gives you access to additional tools to help you identify prospects on LinkedIn. 

There are over 30 search filters to help you identify the best-fit prospects for your outreach, and CRM integrations to automatically create new records for prospects in the CRM software you use. You can even set up real-time alerts for key accounts that notify you when someone changes roles or there's a notable company update so that you can reach out at the perfect time.

It’s going to save you hours of manual work every week and you’ll quickly see the ROI on your subscription.

Now you know the basics, let’s jump straight into the cold message templates.

4. Warm Up Your LinkedIn Account

If you’ve never run a cold messaging campaign on LinkedIn before, you need to warm up your account.

This process will signal to LinkedIn that the new activity on your account is legitimate, and the algorithm is less likely to think there’s an issue.

So, how do you warm up your LinkedIn account?

  1. Send connection requests: You’ll want to grow your network slowly, starting with 5-10 connection requests per day, and slowly ramping up to 20+ connection requests per day.

  2. Start sending InMails to your connections: Whether it’s coworkers, friends, or clients, you need to start sending LinkedIn direct messages daily. There’s no need to automate this, as long as you stick to a regular schedule and send messages at different intervals throughout the day. 

If you do these two things, over time, your account will warm up and LinkedIn algorithms will trust that your activity is real.

5. Make It All About Your Prospect

One of the first mistakes people new to LinkedIn cold messaging make is sending outreach that’s focused on their company, rather than on their prospect.

For example, imagine you received this cold message:

Your first inclination would be to ignore it.

Why? Because the message is all about the sender.

On the other hand, if you received a message focused on how they could help your unique business with a specific problem, and personalized it to show they've researched you, you'd be far more likely to respond.

In every LinkedIn cold message you send, review your message template and consider if it’s talking too much about your business and not enough about your prospect.

6 Proven LinkedIn Cold Message Templates to Start Conversations

1. Pitch Your Product/Service to a Cold Lead

There are times when you won't know a prospect or have any mutual connections with them. However, they fit your ideal customer profile and you're confident they'll want to know about your product or service.

Here's a cold outreach template you can use to pitch what you're selling:

Hi {{prospect.first_name}}, 

Congrats on the recent funding round for {{}}, look forward to seeing what comes next.

I saw that you’re running Google Ads to acquire new customers. Our agency recently helped another similar business boost their ROAS by 156% with a few changes we made to their campaigns.

Got 15 minutes to chat about it on {{Day+2}}?



2. Leverage Something You Have in Common

Having something in common with your prospect makes it a more natural conversation from the get-go. Your prospect will see your message and feel like you already know each other. You’ll find this out from your prospect research. 

For example, you might discover that you both attended a recent event, went to the same school, or know people in the same industry. Whatever it is, it’s going to be an excellent icebreaker.

Use this LinkedIn cold message template to reference something you have in common:

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Saw that you’re also a member of [business or networking group] - we’ll have to connect next time it’s on.

Reaching out to see if you’re still hiring for [open position]. We recently helped [similar client] hire a new developer in under a month with our recruitment service.

Is it worth having a 15-minute call about this?



3. Focus on Past Client Wins

Your results are the best sales pitch you have. If you’ve generated wins for clients, your prospects will want to see those results in their business too. 

In your cold message, aim to bring in an impactful statistic or fact that you can show your competence with. 

Here’s how that would look in a cold message template:

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Noticed that you’re running LinkedIn ads for {{}} to generate downloads for your latest industry report.

We’ve helped software companies like [past client] generate 3x more clicks on their LinkedIn ad campaigns – would love to show you how we do it.

Is that something you’d be interested in?


4. Mention Relevant Company News

Your prospects will read your message if it’s clear you’ve looked into their company. One of the best ways to do that is to mention a recent event or news story about them and their business.

Use these questions as a starting point for your research:

  • Have they recently received funding? 

  • Opened a new office? 

  • Partnered with a charity for a fundraiser?

There will always be something you can mention, even for small business owners, you’re reaching out to.

Here’s what it looks like in a template:

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Congratulations on raising over $20k for [charity] in your recent virtual fundraiser. Great to see companies like yours donating to a good cause. 

As you’re in charge of running sales at {{}}, I wanted to reach out and see if you needed any help with your lead generation efforts. We currently help companies like yours, including [similar client #1] and [similar client #2] generate 30 qualified leads per month with our outreach strategies.

What’s the best way to schedule 15 minutes to talk?



5. Reference How You Found Them on LinkedIn

If you found someone while prospecting on LinkedIn, you can mention it. While it’s not the most personalized or impactful opener to a cold message, it’s honest and does give context to your prospect. 

You could mention a recent story they shared that went viral, how you saw them in a LinkedIn group that you’re a member of, or reference mutual connections.

Here's a template you can use for this approach:

Hey {{prospect.first_name}} – saw that we have multiple connections in common and are both in the Growth Hacking for Startups group.

Wanted to reach out to see if you’d be interested in talking about marketing and growth tactics you’re using at {{}}. I recently helped a similar company generate 134 qualified sales leads with a single cold outreach campaign, and would love to share the playbook with you.

Interested in chatting?



6. The Simple Introduction

Sometimes, the best approach isn't to pitch your prospects. Instead, you should look at every message as a networking opportunity. Over time you'll grow your network, and the people you're reaching out to will end up becoming sales leads and potential clients.

Here's a cold message template for simple introductions:

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

I saw that you’ve been regularly sharing content related to [topic/industry]. Listened to the podcast you shared on [topic] and found some good insights in there.

It’d be great to learn a bit more about your work at {{}} if you’re open to it. I’ve found that having a network of like-minded people to bounce ideas off has been valuable.

Do you have time early next week for a coffee or a short Zoom call?



The Importance of Following Up on Your LinkedIn Cold Messages

You don’t always get a reply to your opening cold message on LinkedIn. In fact, it’s unlikely that you get more than a 20% response rate.

That initially sounds low, but it's standard even for the most seasoned cold outreach experts.

To increase your response rate and overall outreach campaign success, you need to send follow-up messages.

In your follow-ups, you need to:

  • Remind your prospect why you’re reaching out

  • Offer more value in some way, such as sharing another case study

  • Use another call-to-action they might be interested in

  • Add more value and avoid the ‘bumping this message to the top of your inbox’ approach

Here's what a follow-up message could look like:

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Know you’re busy – wanted to check if you saw the message I sent on {{day=-X}}.

Would be great to show you how we helped a software company like {{}} generate 167% more leads using LinkedIn outreach.

Do you have 15 minutes available on Friday? 



Tools to Automate Your Cold Messaging on LinkedIn

1. QuickMail

Streamline LinkedIn cold messaging and easily integrate your outreach campaigns by connecting multiple channels in one place.

Advanced MetricsQuickMail is an omnichannel outreach tool that helps you optimize and streamline your cold messaging workflows across LinkedIn, email, and other channels.

By automating manual processes and centralizing your outreach campaigns, QuickMail makes connecting with prospects across multiple channels fast, simple, and consistent. Easily scale your cold messaging by adding additional inboxes to existing campaigns.

QuickMail makes it easy to hit your daily sending limit without compromising your ability to make connections.

Pricing: Starts at $49/month Get started with a free 14-day trial today!

2. TexAu

Run automations to help you build prospect lists of engaged and qualified prospects that you can reach out to with a cold message.

TexAu is a LinkedIn automation tool to help you build prospect lists before you reach out.

Because it's designed to work with LinkedIn, you can create prospect lists based on almost any criteria you require.

For example, you can extract a list of anyone who likes your posts, comments on someone else's posts, or even create a list of people who visited your profile. When you have your list, you can work through it and qualify each person before reaching out.

If you're using an automation tool like TexAu, there's always a risk to your account. Make sure to research the tool before using it, and talk to their team if necessary.

3. Crystal

Find out the best way to approach a prospect based on their personality traits and communication style.

It can be difficult to write effective cold messages without knowing your recipient's personality or communication style. Crystal helps solve that for sales teams.

Once you install the extension you can browse LinkedIn profiles and Crystal will show you how to best communicate with that person, with do's and don'ts.

For example:

  • Do: Keep your message short and enticing

  • Do: Use casual language but avoid comedy

  • Don't: Be formal

  • Don't: Try to sell in the first message

With a few small pointers, you can verify that the cold message template you've prepared is going to resonate with your prospect and boost your chances of a positive reply.

4. Lusha

Find verified contact information for prospects on LinkedIn so you can reach out to them via cold email, as well as a LinkedIn message.

Lusha is an email-finding tool for LinkedIn. As you browse through potential prospect profiles, it will show you verified email addresses and contact details for each of those people.

The main benefit to this is that if your prospect doesn't respond, you can use a multi-channel outreach strategy and send them a friendly cold email or cold call.

You can find contact details directly from an individual profile, or run a list of prospects through it that you collected from a Sales Navigator search.

If you're running multi-channel outreach and using LinkedIn combined with cold email, an email-finding tool like Lusha is vital.

5. Meet Alfred

Automate outreach and grow your sales opportunities with personalized follow-up messages on LinkedIn, Twitter, and email.

Meet Alfred is a multipurpose sales automation tool that can help you send hundreds of personalized follow-up messages to your prospects. 

In addition to closing sales faster, Meet Alfred helps you create a multichannel sales pipeline and automatically sends prospects customized messaging based on their industry, location, and even job title.

Meet Alfred acts as a LinkedIn CRM that can facilitate easier cold messaging and record-keeping.

If you're looking for a simple automation tool that's all about LinkedIn outreach, Alfred may have all the features you need.

6. LiProspect

 LiProspect is a cloud-based outreach automation platform that helps you find new leads, build automated messaging sequences, and manage responses.

It uses AI and machine learning to streamline lead generation with personalized messages that can be set to auto-pilot.

You can also Import Sales Navigator Search and LinkedIn Basic Search to quickly find prospects.

If you're looking for an easy way to automate B2B cold messaging on LinkedIn, LiProspect is a choice worth considering.

Wrapping Up

There is no shortcut to sending high-converting cold messages on LinkedIn. Every direct message you send should be personalized and relevant to your prospect's business.

However, if you can find a formula that works for you and gets replies, it's an amazing channel to grow your business, considering decision-makers from the biggest companies in the world use the platform.

Once you've got the right templates in place, QuickMail can help you automate your connection requests and cold message delivery across multiple channels to ensure efficiently managed outreach campaigns that get you sales.

If you don't get a reply to your first campaigns, don't worry – keep testing new message copy, remember to follow up, and over time you'll get results.