When researching LinkedIn outreach strategies, you'll find many guides with insightful tips and best practices to adopt. But you know what's just as important as learning what to do? Learning what not to do.

It's easy to get so lost in writing the perfect LinkedIn connection message that you end up making mistakes that undermine your outreach.

A cringe-worthy sales pitch. An impersonal proposal. An overly personal message. These approaches are notorious for instantly putting off prospects and pushing them further away from your offers.

To help you recognize and avoid these common pitfalls in your LinkedIn connection messages, we've broken them down below. We'll also go over proven strategies to craft messages that resonate with prospects and instill a desire to take action.

Do's and Don’ts for LinkedIn Connection Messages

There’s a lot you can do to make your LinkedIn outreach a roaring success:

  1. Do your homework

  2. Target relevant prospects

  3. Get personalization just right

  4. Follow up consistently and with a new value each time

  5. Maintain a positive relationship even when prospects don't convert

But for everything you do to make your outreach hit home, there are a lot of mistakes to avoid, too. In some cases, it’s cut-and-paste templates that prospects easily see through. In others, it’s self-serving ramblings that offer zero incentive to engage.

With over a billion members, LinkedIn provides a pretty vast playing field for professional outreach. But only those who can capture attention and compel responses with their messaging enjoy the full benefits.

To help get you started, keep these dos and don'ts top of mind:

Research prospects to identify mutual interests and relevant touchpointsSend a generic templated message that prospects can see from a mile away
Immediately highlight the specific value you offer to prospectsRamble aimlessly without focused intent
Keep your connection request message concise and personalizedMake it all about you and what you want
Mention a mutual connection if doing so is relevant to your messagingBlindly name-drop or use clickbait-y tactics
Ask a thoughtful, engaging question to drive the conversation forwardSend a blank connection request without any message

With some thought and finesse, your LinkedIn connection messages can spark compelling dialogue and new business relationships.

LinkedIn Connection Message: Examples of What NOT to Say

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Even the best LinkedIn outreach professionals can miss the mark sometimes. That’s why it’s important to constantly check your messages against the practices below.

More often than not, these practices creep into your messaging and derail your outreach efforts without your knowledge. To help avoid this, let's see some of the most common LinkedIn messaging practices that put prospects off.

Impersonal vs. Overly Personal Messaging

Every marketer today knows the importance of personalization. With 72% of consumers only engaging with personalized messages, personalization is essentially a no-brainer in outreach.

Nowadays, it’s really more about finding that sweet spot between impersonal and overly personal messaging.

Impersonal connection messages hold no relevance for prospects and ultimately lead to radio silence. Similarly, overly personal messages are off-putting at best and downright creepy at worst. Let’s see brief examples on both sides of the coin:

Impersonal MessagesOverly Personal Messages
"Hello, I came across your profile and wanted to connect.""Hi buddy, I saw your vacation photos. Banging beach bod! By the way, where was that beach?"
"Hi there, I'd like to expand my professional network on LinkedIn. Let’s connect.""Hey dude, I saw your family profile picture and just had to connect! Your family looks amazing!"
"I see we're both connected to [mutual connection]. Perhaps we should connect as well?""I think I know where your kids went to school at! Let's connect."

Asking Favors From Strangers

Starting your very first interaction with prospects by asking for a favor is a huge turn-off in LinkedIn outreach. Let’s see a few examples of how this looks.


  • "Hi [Name], I'm looking for a job in your company. Any chance you could put in a good word?"

  • "I was hoping you might be able to provide some insight into [specific topic] for my upcoming project."

  • "I noticed your expertise in [field]. Would you be open to a 15-minute call to pick your brain?"

The "I Saw Your LinkedIn Profile" Request

Far too many people use the phrase: “I saw your LinkedIn profile” in their connection message. But this statement is about as insightful as saying, "Hi, you're alive!". It adds no value and merely restates the obvious.

Long story short, this phrase (and its variations) should be avoided at all costs.


  •  "I came across your impressive profile and thought we should connect."

  • “I came across your profile and saw your work at [Company]. Fascinating stuff!"

  • "Your background caught my eye, so I figured I'd reach out to expand my network."

A Hard Sell Sales Pitch

LinkedIn connection messages are called “connections” for a reason. The idea is to develop meaningful, enriching relationships with other professionals. And no such relationship ever began with a pushy sales pitch right off the bat.

Plus, with over 70% of people buying only from brands they trust, a hard sell from a stranger is sure to fall flat.


  • "My company offers the best [Product/service]. Want to schedule a call to learn more?"

  • "I see you're the [Job title] at [Company]. Our software can help you increase [Metric]. Can we chat?"

  • "I have an exclusive opportunity that could drive serious ROI for your business."

The "All About Me" Message

You may have the most compelling professional story ever, but your prospects’ inbox isn’t your personal blog. In other words, outreach is never about you (the sender) but about your prospects and how you can help them achieve their goals.


  • "I just launched my new [Product/service], and I'm super excited! I’ve come a long way to get where I am now and would love to connect and hear your thoughts."

  • "With over 15 years of experience in [industry], I've built countless valuable client relationships."

  • "My diverse skill set encompasses [lists credentials/accomplishments] and more."

Empty Flattery

Including compliments in your LinkedIn connection message is all well and good. But if it comes off as empty flattery or irrelevant, your prospects will feel suspicious about your motivations. The outcome? They ignore or delete your request entirely.


  • "You're doing amazing work - it's really super impressive. Can I connect?"

  • "I can't get enough of your insights on [general topic]. Your content is pure gold!"

No Message At All

To reach as many prospects as possible, people sometimes send connection requests without any message attached. These requests are rarely accepted. Even when they are, they leave no room for dialogue.

A no-message approach might work fine for casually connecting with others in your field or industry. But if you’re working to build a vibrant LinkedIn network, meaningful conversations must be had.

A compelling, value-driven LinkedIn connection message is the only way to get the ball rolling.

LinkedIn Connection Message Examples of What to Say

While there's no one-size-fits-all formula, the most successful LinkedIn connection messages share a few key traits. They're thoughtful, authentic, and centered around providing value to prospects from the get-go.

To inspire acceptance, here are some LinkedIn messaging practices to embrace, along with concrete examples of what to say:

Personalization is King

The best LinkedIn connection messages include just the right amount of personalization. It shows prospects that you've done your homework without coming off as over-eager or creepy.

A particularly helpful personalization tactic is mentioning a specific project, skill, or (professional) post that caught your eye and prompted the connection request.


  • "Hi [Name], I came across your recent article on [Topic]. Your insights on [Specific point] were particularly interesting. I'm also super enthusiastic about [Your area of expertise] and would love to connect and learn more about your work at [Company]."

  • "Hi [Name], I noticed you recently completed the [Course/Certification] on [Platform]. I'm working towards that myself and found your profile impressive. Perhaps we could connect and collaborate in some way?"

Offer Value, Don't Just Take

Many professionals make the mistake of focusing more on what they get from prospects than what they offer. Now, the logic behind this approach isn’t inherently bad. One way or the other, everyone is after something.

But the goal with LinkedIn outreach and network building is to offer more value than you receive. Do it right, and you’ll enjoy the rewards that come with happy, grateful connections.


  • "Hi [Name], I'm impressed with your work on [Project] at [Company]. I have some experience in [Your relevant skill] and would be happy to connect and share some insights if you're interested."

  • “Hi [Name], I ran through your [Company]’s website and found [specific issues]. Mind if I send a quick video running through them with you?”

  • "Hi [Name], I noticed your profile mentions an interest in [Topic]. I recently came across this [Article/Resource] that I thought you might find valuable. Let's connect and discuss it further if you'd like!"

Ask Engaging, Thought-Provoking Questions

More often than not, people seize the chance to show their proficiency in a subject by answering an engaging, thought-provoking question.

Of course, this approach calls for a decent degree of expertise in your prospects’ fields. But when the stars align on this approach, the outcome is well worth it.


  • "What's your philosophy on [industry opinion/trend]? I'm curious to hear your take."

  • "I've been diving into [topic], but still have a few lingering questions. Would you be open to picking your brain?"

Keep it Short and Sweet

One of the worst things you can do in LinkedIn outreach is keep your message going for too long. It’s the surest way to lose prospects, even when your offers are a perfect match. So, instead, keep your messages short and sweet, with 2-3 sentences at most.


  • "Hi [Name], I'm a [Your job title] at [Your company] with a keen interest in [Industry]. Your work at [Their company] truly inspires me. Would love to connect and learn more about your journey."

  • "Hi [Name], looks like we both share a passion for [Shared interest]. I'm especially inspired by your experience in [Their area of expertise]. I'd love to connect to explore mutual interests."

End with a Clear Call to Action

Last but not least, don’t forget to include a clear call to action (CTA) in every Linked connection message you send. This step makes it clear what you want prospects to do next.


  • "I noticed some big issues on your website like [issue] for example. Are you open to a quick virtual chat sometime next week to discuss this?"

  • "Perhaps we can connect and exchange some insights on [Shared interest]. Feel free to add me on LinkedIn!"

With these approaches, your LinkedIn connection messages become tough to ignore.

Instead of the run-of-the-mill request, you're kicking off a dialogue that’s sure to pay dividends for you and your connections.

QuickMail - Your Solution to Automated LinkedIn Messages

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After learning what not to do in your LinkedIn outreach, the next step is execution. And this brings us to the all-important topic of automation.

Manual outreach is a time-suck that limits your LinkedIn networking potential. And with automation taking the world by storm, you can't afford to fall behind.

When it comes to LinkedIn outreach automation, no one does it better than QuickMail.

Imagine being able to personalize and automate your LinkedIn outreach in only a few clicks. That's just the tip of the iceberg.

Short on time? Here's what sets QuickMail apart:

  1. Advanced Personalization: Customize every message with specific details like shared interests or mutual connections to make your outreach feel genuine.

  2. All-in-One Outreach Powerhouse: QuickMail doesn't just stop at LinkedIn. Seamlessly integrate automated connection requests with perfectly timed emails and follow-ups.

  3. Tailored Customizations: Enjoy complete control over your outreach strategy with robust customization options to suit your unique needs.

Long story short, QuickMail does the heavy lifting to scale your outreach while making each message feel personal. What's more, QuickMail is easy to use, backed by great support, and affordable (at only $49/month).

With QuickMail, automated LinkedIn outreach becomes a breeze, leaving you more time to focus on what truly matters—building valuable connections that propel you forward.

Want to go down the rabbit hole of LinkedIn tools? Check out our comprehensive guide on LinkedIn outreach automation tools.

How to Make Your LinkedIn Connection Message Stand Out

If you're keen to make your LinkedIn message capture attention in a crowded inbox, apply these simple yet powerful tips in your outreach:

  1. Be unique and add your own touch: Don't resort to drab template messages that sound like they were written by a robot. Inject some personality. Share a brief personal tidbit or inside joke that creates an instant connection.

  2. Add personalization elements: People love to feel seen. Add a personal touch by mentioning a mutual connection, a recent accomplishment you admire, or a cause they care about. Small personal touches go a long way.

  3. Use casual, conversational language: Skip the overly formal jargon and fancy words. Write like you'd speak to a friend or coworker you want to grab coffee with. Keep things light, casual, and easy to understand.

  4. Offer to be helpful: Don't make it all about you. Let prospects know you're happy to assist them in achieving what matters to them, whether that's making an introduction or lending your expertise. Give before you ask.

Crafting a standout LinkedIn connection message is about offering value and being genuine. Add in the right creative twists and your messages are sure to strike a chord rather than get ignored.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most overused word on LinkedIn?

"Passionate." It's dramatically overused and often rings hollow on LinkedIn today. Swap it for a more descriptive, authentic alternative.

What is the etiquette for LinkedIn connections?

A few important conventions to keep in mind:

  1. Be respectful of other people’s time

  2. Customize the invite with context about your relationship

  3. Only connect with people you know or have interacted with

  4. Be judicious about requesting recommendations unprompted

  5. Avoid sending generic messages and always tailor your request

What is a good first message on LinkedIn?

A good first message on LinkedIn is personalized, brief, and shows genuine interest in the recipient.

Highlight a mutual interest or connection. Ask an engaging question to spark discussion. Above all, focus on providing value upfront versus making an immediate ask.

Accelerate Your LinkedIn Outreach Success with QuickMail

If you’re ready to see actual results with your LinkedIn outreach, QuickMail is the outreach platform to make it happen.

Why not see what the fuss is all about – risk-free! Start your free QuickMail trial today!