- What are the challenges?
- Weekly invitation limit
- Email address needed for an invitation
- Automation tool warning
- What does LinkedIn say about restrictions?
- LinkedIn lead generation without restrictions in 2021
- Work on your ICP, BP, and VP
- Warm up your account
- Improve your SSI score
- Personalize your messages
- Be cautious with automation
You’ve reached the weekly invitation limit.
To verify this member knows you, please enter their email to connect.
It appears you’re visiting a very high number of pages on LinkedIn with supernatural frequency. We think you may be using an automation tool.
If these words look painfully familiar to you, chances are, you are a victim of LinkedIn’s ever-changing algorithms. And you are not alone here. Starting from November 2020, more and more sales professionals have been complaining about the limit for how many connection requests they can send per day or week, asking for a piece of advice.
Unfortunately, we have to say it right off the bat. There’s no universal quota for sending invitations and no go-to solution that will apply equally to everyone.
The LinkedIn algorithm remains a secret that drives us all crazy. But having read different opinions of the leaders in the industry, we’ve compiled a LinkedIn lead generation guide you can stand by.
- What are the challenges?
- What does LinkedIn say about restrictions?
- LinkedIn lead generation without restrictions in 2021
Let’s start with the updates first.
What are the challenges?
LinkedIn remains one of the most powerful lead gen and outreach services. So popular, many individuals saw it as a source of quick profit only. As a result, they pumped time and money into vigorously sending mass invitations, connection requests, and personal messages, not caring about the value they brought to the community. This turned a gold mine into a swamp.
LinkedIn obviously cares about the quality of the platform and regularly updates the rules of the game. They claim it helps maintain high standards of communication, preserves a healthy environment, and keeps the network a comfortable and valuable place for businesses of all sizes.
This time, their team rolled out the following changes:
Weekly invitation limit
We here at Snov.io have been dealing with this issue for a while now, but previously, there was an algorithm behind weekly restrictions that took into account various factors, such as:
- How many invitations you sent
- How many invitations are pending
- How many invitations were accepted
- How many invitations were declined
And then the newest update hit us like a truck. Starting from March, it looks like LinkedIn has been testing new limits, allowing some of its users to send about 100 invitations per week ONLY.
While it doesn’t concern all LinkedIn accounts yet, it might be just an A/B test or a measure taken specifically against those users whose actions are classified as spam by LinkedIn. But it’s possible that this change will be implemented for every profile soon.
What is the solution?
If you get a weekly limit notification, wait till another week to send more invitations.
Or, you can bypass this restriction and turn to another LinkedIn lead generation strategy. The Linked Helper (LinkedIn automation tool) team suggests using a combination of Snov.io and Linked Helper to invite 2nd- or 3rd-degree connections via their email addresses.
With this method, you can prevent your account from getting a weekly notification limit and boost your lead generation efforts. Click here to get detailed instructions on how to do it.
Email address needed for an invitation
There are several reasons you might be asked to enter an email address when you send connection requests. The most common one (mentioned in LinkedIn Help as well) is having too many people hit the “I don’t know this person” button.
Rumor has it, five cumulative IDK responses to your invitations are enough for LinkedIn to start requesting email addresses from you.
In his article, Max Makarenko, the founder and CEO of Docsify, also highlighted another reason for such a notification — a low connection rate. If you stop sending messages, then usually the blocking is removed automatically in 2-4 weeks.
Besides, check your pending requests, there may be thousands of them.
What is the solution?
First, work on personalization. Don’t send a default connection request, invest time in research, explain why you are reaching out, and include open-ended questions. If done properly, leads won’t be likely to report such invitations, even if they don’t know the sender.
Another tip is to monitor the number of pending invites and cancel those left unaccepted. Make it a rule to withdraw them once or twice a month, reducing their number to no more than 500.
Automation tool warning
Why does this happen?
- LinkedIn may have detected the use of unreliable automation tools or browser extensions. It’s best not to skimp on such things, but to give preference to proven, secure solutions such as Expandi, Linked Helper, Dux-Soup, and the like.
- Another reason might be bot-like behavior. If platform visitors do nothing else besides viewing profiles, then it seems suspicious. If they only send connection requests, it seems even more suspicious. If their requests are mostly not accepted (or they are accepted but there’s no communication), this also raises suspicions.
What does LinkedIn say about restrictions?
When we looked at the official LinkedIn connection limits, we found out they are described quite vaguely. The platform indicates two main reasons it may restrict your account from sending invites to other network users for a while:
- There were too many LinkedIn invitations to connect sent out in a short period of time.
- Too many recipients have ignored or marked these invites as spam.
Most restrictions are removed automatically after one week. But depending on your restriction type, the LinkedIn team suggests trying this:
- First restriction — Wait several hours, then try again.
- Multiple restrictions within one day — Wait several days, then try again.
- Restriction for having too many outstanding invitations — Wait for about 1 month before trying to send a new connection request.
Besides, the network provides a few tips on how to avoid invitations restrictions (as stated on their official website):
- Keep high-quality connections in your contact base.
- Invite only those people you know and trust.
- Add some context: personalize your invitation message, remind the recipient of how you get to know them, or state why you want to connect.
- To contact LinkedIn users you don’t know personally, use InMail and Groups.
- Make sure your profile has a photo and is updated with fresh info so that recipients can recognize you.
- Align your networking strategy with LinkedIn Professional Community Policies and User Agreement.
As you can see, LinkedIn tips are not very specific regarding limitations. So, we took matters into our own hands to give you practical advice from experts who have worked with numerous accounts and tools 🙂
We got your back!
LinkedIn lead generation without restrictions in 2021
Work on your ICP, BP, and VP
First, you must know your market perfectly to find the best approach to your audience. Make sure you follow these simple steps to make the most of your LI efforts:
1. Create ICP & BP & VP.
Have your Ideal Customer Profile and Buyer Persona described and regularly updated. Besides, practicing segmentation and personalization will be useful for you. Create and adapt your Value Proposition and messages according to your ICP and BP. You can also create polls among your target audience to know their interests and needs. It will help you improve your offer.
2. Test, modify, repeat.
Test your messages, analyze the audience’s reaction, modify them, and repeat the process. You should also regularly update your value proposition and buyer personas to make sure you are targeting the right audience, bring them the right offer, and investing time and money correctly.
Warm up your account
Stefan Smulders from Expandi shares his insights on account warming-up and setting daily limits. To make sure your activity is not suspicious, it’s advised not to exceed a certain number, until your profile is warmed up.
LinkedIn invitations limit per day:
- 1-5 days — 10 daily connection invites.
- 5-10 days — 20 daily connection invites.
- 15-20 days — 30 daily connection invites.
- 20-25 days — 50 daily connection invites.
Keep going in such a manner for about 2 weeks and monitor your account. After that, you can slowly increase your daily invitations. However, if your acceptance rate is below 60%, it’s not advisable to send more than 50 connections per day.
The number of connection requests also depends on the type of account you have. For a free LI account with about 1,500 connections and an average acceptance rate of 60%, Smulders recommends sending no more than 30 invitations per day, while for a Premium Account (using Sales Navigator), it might be about 50-70 daily invites.
Make it a rule to keep daily invites at around 3-5% of your total LinkedIn connections. A slow pace is a key to safety, but you also need results, so in the end, it’s all about finding the balance.
LinkedIn message limits:
- 30 messages daily — the safest, slow approach.
- 50-70 messages daily — for warmed-up profiles only; distribute sending throughout the day.
- 70-100 messages daily — premium accounts ONLY, and if you know for sure it’s on point.
LinkedIn monthly search limits:
- 30 searches — if your profile is new or cold.
- 300 searches maximum — if your profile is warmed up and free.
- Unlimited — for premium profiles and accounts with Sales Navigator.
Here’s how to warm up your LinkedIn account manually
This is what we suggest doing to gradually boost your acceptance rate among LinkedIn users:
- Visit a profile, but do it correctly. Try to avoid pasting its URL into the browser address bar or opening the profile in a new tab. Instead, type the lead’s name in the LinkedIn search bar and choose the right profile among the suggested options.
- Like their 2-3 recent articles or updates.
- Wait 24 hours, then visit your prospect again and follow their profile.
- After another 24 hours, send out your connection invitation with a personal message.
- Once your invitation is accepted, follow them up. Gradually send several messages until a person replies.
- Keep your speed at about 50-70 invites a day and remove pending invitations.
- Warm up your prospects through other networks to boost your chances of success. Try to follow the lead on other platforms to help them recognize your brand. When you comment on their posts or follow them, let’s say on Facebook, they receive a notification and notice you. This way, when your leads see you on LinkedIn, your connection request will have more chances to be accepted.
This might seem like a lot of manual tasks, but luckily, there are many reliable automation tools that can help you warm up your account, like Expandi, Linked Helper, and others. But beware, there are a few things to consider when automating your outreach. We’ll cover them below.
Improve your SSI score
SSI (Social Selling Index) is an indicator that shows your value as a LI community member. The higher your SSI, the more freedom you have to connect with others, the less likely you are to get a warning, and the more chances you have to close the deal.
Practice shows that it also works inversely: the better you position your professional brand and the better relationships you build with people on LinkedIn, the higher your SSI is.
According to the index, all LinkedIn profiles get their rating from 0 to 100 in 4 categories, where each can have a maximum of 25 points:
- Establishing your professional brand = how developed is your profile?
- Finding the right people = how often do you post content that resonates online (likes, shares, comments)?
- Engaging with insights = does your network of contacts match your profile (skills, position, keywords)?
- Building relationships = how actively is your network growing?
Based on our experience, it should be at least 50, while being in the 60-80 range would put your profile at the top of the industry and network SSI ranks. It’s nearly impossible to get 100. If someone shows you a screenshot of their 100-point SSI, trust us, it’s photoshopped. 🙂
Here’s an example of a good SSI:
LinkedIn originally created its SSI score for salespeople only, and it was available for those who purchased the Sales Navigator. However, you can now view your SSI without a paid account here: https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi
Please note: Neither your contacts nor other premium customers see your SSI score, only you have access to it.
Now let’s go through each SSI component step by step.
Establishing your professional brand
Come and get that All-Star badge!
This is one of the most difficult yet long-lasting parameters to maximize. To hit 25% on it, you need to fill out all profile sections:
- Enter all the required details: a headline, profile picture, summary, and your work experience, until your profile is 100% complete. Use all fields to the maximum capacity, share your successes, what you are proud of, and what you have achieved.
- Accentuate the cases where you provided value to your clients and show examples of your work.
- Add skills. The more the better. You can add up to 50 skills, which will serve as keywords, increasing your visibility on the platform.
- When it comes to skills, endorse your colleagues, clients, and other contacts, and they will return the favor.
- Give feedback and ask for recommendations from customers and partners. We suggest doing it every time you finish a successful project or attend a webinar. You can also reach out to former colleagues for help. All you need is 1-2 recommendations per month.
- Publish valuable multimedia content to become an opinion leader in your niche. In particular, LinkedIn recommends creating a brief outline of your services or products in SlideShare and sharing well-written longreads that show your professional expertise.
Remember, everything about your profile should emphasize your expertise and target your ICP.
Finding the right people
If you’ve correctly identified your ICP and BP, maxing out on this parameter shouldn’t be a problem for you.
It does the trick — target only those companies who are the best fit for you. LinkedIn analyzes how relevant your network of contacts is to your profile. So, ask yourself a question, how fitting are your skills, education, position, keywords, and other parameters?
Here’s what you can do:
- Use effective LI research tools to connect with high-quality prospects faster. LinkedIn recommends using their Sales Navigator to focus on decision-makers. Note that using this tool can raise your SSI by 20% in 6 months.
- Expand your network with 2nd-degree contacts. Filter them to find prospective clients.
- Study potential leads. Find things in common to establish connections, join LI groups, and follow key prospects. You can also use Sales Navigator to get real-time insights from them and get in touch at the right moment.
- Check who has got interested in your activity and viewed your profile. Sales Navigator helps you check this activity in the past 90 days.
There’s one more indicator that we’ve already covered before — rejection rate. If you have a lot of pending requests, this can negatively affect the metric.
Engaging with insights
Your social activity directly affects your SSI score. This is why you shouldn’t neglect such factors as:
- How many relevant posts you publish (2 publications per week will be enough).
- How diverse your content is (videos, links, articles, etc.).
- How many likes, shares, and comments your posts get.
- How often you engage in discussions in LinkedIn groups and under the posts of other users.
We all probably scroll our LinkedIn feed a lot, so why not make it a part of the routine to devote 10 minutes per day to engage with potential clients. If someone’s post caught your attention — react to it. If you have something to share — don’t be shy. Even a few comments and likes a week will make a huge difference:
- Discover valuable content to share, discuss it with contacts, and grow your audience. Become a trusted source of updates and interact with other people’s insights.
- LinkedIn recommends showing your contacts that you care about their achievements. If you come across information about their success, share these insights, and tag your connections in them.
- Read your market news on LI to stay informed. LinkedIn recommends sharing important articles on LinkedIn Pulse and following your saved accounts and leads with Sales Navigator.
- Participate in the same conversations as your connections do. Join LinkedIn Groups. Leave mindful, helpful comments on your prospects’ updates.
- Use fresh and meaningful information about people when reaching out to them and customize your messages accordingly. LinkedIn suggests that your response rates can be used to measure the success of connection requests or InMail messages.
- Use effective introductions to connect and build trust with contacts and decision-makers in your market.
- Prioritize strengthening relationships with senior-level executives in your niche.
- Build internal connections and ask senior leaders and colleagues to give you positive recommendations.
- After connecting, nurture relationships, reaching out from time to time and bringing value with relevant news or solutions that can help your prospects solve their business tasks.
Looks like a lot of work, right? But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with these practical and effective tips.
Keep in mind that every step in this direction will help you boost your SSI, especially if you use LinkedIn services like LI Sales Navigator, LI Pulse, LI InMail, LI Groups, SlideShare, TeamLink, etc.
Personalize your messages
People are more enthusiastic to open, read, and respond to personalized messages than to boilerplate text. In 2021, new services allow personalizing not only the greeting and message body, but also images, GIFs, and video content as well. Yes, on LinkedIn too!
|Note: Experts at Expandi share a growth hack and claim that sending messages with personalized GIFs or images to people who actively engaged with a post somehow related to your offer brings amazing results:|
Personalization rapidly boosts the conversion rate of your campaigns and, consequently, your ROI. Besides, higher open and response rates help you grow your LinkedIn SSI and become a valued community member.
The most popular tools for the personalization of multimedia content that can be used on LinkedIn are Hyperise and Dubb.
This tool allows you to add dynamic layers to images, e.g., logos, profile pictures, maps, website screenshots, QR codes, and text variables like first/last name, job title, company name, etc.
Personalized images can be used in all sales and communication channels — your email campaigns, LinkedIn outreach, landing pages, and more.
The service allows you to create personalized videos that easily convert and bring more engagement, clicks, and sales.
With Dubb, you can track lots of user interactions: video watch time, completion rates for certain contacts or entire outreach campaigns, and CTA engagement: clicks, bookings, payments, and more.
Using these tools or their equivalents, you can also try creating a multichannel remarketing campaign, where the recipient clicks a link in a personalized message and later sees the same personalized content on other channels, like Facebook. This way, you will boost your brand awareness and warm up the audience.
Be cautious with automation
Regardless of which LinkedIn automation instruments you use, never forget about the safety measures to avoid warnings or blocking of your account. Let’s have a look at the ideas of LinkedIn gurus regarding automation safety and make some notes for future work.
In his guest post for BAMF, Alexander Erin, the CEO and founder of Linked Helper, shares his expert thoughts about automation safety and his experience in fighting LinkedIn automation detection.
To keep it short, Erin’s key insights are:
- Even if your work on LinkedIn is 100% manual, you still have a risk of receiving a warning that you might be using some automation software. In the worst case, your account might be restricted or even banned.
- If you delegate your LinkedIn account management to a colleague, keep in mind that the platform studies the location and the IP address of your computer. If LinkedIn discovers that someone logs into your account from different countries during the same day, you might get a restriction and will have to explain this suspicious activity.
- Even if you keep your LinkedIn activity limits low, using automation tools might put you at risk of a ban or a restriction.
- Neither Chrome, other browser extensions, nor cloud API-based solutions can give you 100% safety, because they all have some technical limitations.
- The safest solutions on the market are browser-based or cloud browser-based tools so far. This being said, their security can be acknowledged only by their developers or LinkedIn developers.
- Never forget the rules of safety, no matter who manages your LinkedIn account — an assistant, a robot, or you personally. Keep track of the conversion rate of your invites, send them within daily activity limits (50-70), and withdraw pending invites every once or twice per month.
It’s time to rediscover lead generation and start bringing real value to your audience. This way, every platform we step on — be it LI, Twitter, or Facebook — will turn into a healthy and blooming environment where everyone will be getting their benefits and reaching new business goals without annoying others.
We hope with the above tips you have what it takes to launch a successful LinkedIn campaign!