Want More Invitations Accepted on LinkedIn? Do This Every Time.

add a note growing invitations invitation linkedin linkedin invitations linkedin strategy personalize invitation Oct 21, 2022
Screen capture of LinkedIn

When you're getting started on LinkedIn, you learn many things from trial and error. Or by poking around the site. Or by asking friends and connections for their tips.

And sometimes LinkedIn gives you advice along the way, but following the default buttons to connect could actually slow your efforts to expand your LinkedIn network.

This blog will help you learn how and why to personalize your LinkedIn invitation ("add a note" or "Personalize Invite"), and offer some tips on how to personalize from either desktop or the mobile app.


TIP: Skip the Import Step

So let's start at the beginning, when you first sign up for your LinkedIn account, there are several steps in the process: signing up, receiving a confirmation email, clicking the link to verify your account, and setting up your profile. LinkedIn also offers you a quick and easy way to Invite people to connect with you on LinkedIn.

Personally, I never think it's a good idea to use this particular LinkedIn feature for several reasons:

  1. There may be people in my email contact list whom I do NOT wish to invite to connect with me: my Dad who is not and will never be on LinkedIn, my great aunt who would have no use for such nonsense, my friend whom I am already connected to through his work email (so I wouldn't want to send him ANOTHER invitation to his personal email, which they may not have connected to a LinkedIn account), a few fellow members of Toastmasters that I know aren't active on LinkedIn, etc. etc.

  2. If you follow their simple, step-by-step instructions, it will automatically send those individuals an LinkedIn with no note. With the growing popularity of LinkedIn, you may receive dozens or even hundreds of "blind" invitations each week. And if you can't quite place the person who is inviting you to connect, you're likely to ignore it.

TIP: A Personalized Invitation "Add a Note" is ALWAYS Better than the Standard Invite IMHO. 

I always suggest that LinkedIn members take a few moments to personalize EVERY invitation. As in EVERY invitation. This includes EVERY invitation. (Yes, it's that important). How do you personalize an invitation, you ask?

  1. Start by visiting the profile (either desktop or mobile). NEVER send an invite from the LinkedIn suggestions list. If you click the "INVITE" button from either search results or from the suggestions list, it sends the invitation off without giving you the opportunity to personalize. HINT: most people don't personalize invites. The people who DO personalize have a higher chance of their invitation getting accepted.

  2. On desktop, click "CONNECT" or on Mobile choose the "MORE" button prompt to "Connect" or "Personalize Invite" and then insert a greeting appropriate for the person, "Hello John" or "Dear Michelle" as an example.

  3. Give the person a frame of reference of how they know you OR of context why you are connecting. Ex: "It was nice meeting you at the Troy Chamber breakfast this morning." OR "Hope you've been doing well. It's been a while since we worked together at PMH." OR "We sat next to each other at the expo on Tuesday and exchanged business cards." Haven't met them yet? Pick 2-3 items from their profile that are interesting to you or that you have in common. Ex: "We are both in metro Detroit and share several common connections." IMPORTANT: do not sell in the invitation. The invitation is not about you. It's about them. ALSO IMPORTANT: include something that indicates you didn't just copy and paste or do a mass invitation. (ex: "Since we are both professionals, let's connect on LinkedIn" = SPAMMY!)

  4. Invite them to connect. Ex. "I'd like to connect on LinkedIn." OR "Let's connect on LinkedIn." This makes it clear WHAT you want to do.

  5. BONUS: extend an offer for assistance. It's always better to offer something FIRST before asking for their assistance when you may need it later. Ex: "Let me know if I can ever be a resource for you."

  6. Your name. Just like you'd put your name at the closing of a letter or an email, you should include your name in the closing of a LinkedIn invitation.




Video: How (and why) to personalize your LinkedIn invitations

By personalizing your invitation, you've started the dialog with this contact with some friendly conversation, which will go a long way in making LinkedIn more useful to you in the future.

"But Brenda," you say.
"I can't personalize invitations I send from my mobile phone."

"YES, you can." On mobile, make sure you are ON their profile. Don't click on CONNECT or LinkedIn will send the invitation without giving you the chance to add a note.

Instead, click on the MORE button (or the three dots"..."). Click, and you should see a link to "Personalize Invite."

Find this tip useful? Please click to share. Your growing list of LinkedIn connections will thank you.

Follow me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/brendameller

Need Help with LinkedIn Strategy? I'd love to help you get a bigger slice of the LinkedIn pie. 

Originally posted in 2015 on LinkedIn and modified in 2022.