I recently had a conversation with a moderately experienced tech recruiter. Apparently, they had been persuaded by LinkedIn’s clever and ongoing marketing to use the LinkedIn InMail feature as a goto when reaching out to tech talent. This robotic like behavior caused them to overlook the fundamentals of personal engagement basics: it likely takes multiple attempts to successfully make contact.  

Also, the reality is that many techies simply don’t check InMails as many of us have learned over time that an InMail is usually somebody trying to sell us something. 

Admittedly it takes a bit more creative and organizational effort to manage a drip market/email approach, but well worth the outcome. Most sales pros know that it often takes at least 4 emails to reach someone and some try up to 8. If you already have an email (or can quickly uncover them), before sending an InMail alone you are more likely to be successful with a campaign focused around email. 

So, how many emails should you send to a passive candidate? The answer partly depends on what tool you’re using. If InMail is your weapon of choice we’ll assume you’re only contacting them once. With their personal email information in hand, hopefully multiple times.

A large research study shows sales email campaigns with 4-7 emails per sequence received 3X more responses than campaigns with only 1-3 emails:

Cold Email Statistics Based on Sending Over 20M Cold Emails

Keep in mind that email outreach is both quality and quantity. Quality takes into account the choice of who to contact, the text and the subject line, the time of day and which day. Quantity alone is a critical element of success so InMail alone does not accomplish that. 

It’s OK to try to contact a candidate multiple times if you mix up your messages, but do not send the same message multiple times. Humor on the second or third email should help. 

Don’t take my word for it … or thousands of successful sales people. Take two lists. Email one list 1-2 times versus the second list with 4 attempts, both in a two week period. The results should make the point.