With each passing day, in this digitally advanced world, everything is changing at a pace which can be difficult to keep up with. And as far as B2B communication was concerned, there was only one giant in the game: Email. But the days are changing and there is a new giant on the playing field: LinkedIn InMail. In this blog about LinkedIn InMail Vs Email, we will present a thorough analysis of the similarities, differences, their unique points and which one will rule the B2B communication segment in 2019?
Email (Electronic Mail) is something everyone is familiar with. This is the easiest & most effective way to communicate with professionals.
While LinkedIn InMail helps you connect with professionals on LinkedIn who are not in your network. If you are familiar with LinkedIn & how it works, then you must know the agony of not being able to send a message to 2nd or 3rd connections even though you know it is beneficial to both the parties. LinkedIn InMail helps you do just that. It eliminates the waiting you have to do after sending in the connection request and helps you reach out to your prospects easily.
But this LinkedIn feature will cost you money. LinkedIn free account users are not privy to this premium feature. It costs $10 a month.
Now, we have made you familiar with LinkedIn InMail, Let’s dive in and explore our main topic: LinkedIn InMail vs Email.
LinkedIn InMail vs Email: Which is more effective?
In our introduction part, we have cleared one thing that LinkedIn InMail will cost you money but the questions we are going to answer here are: “Is LinkedIn InMail worth investing in?” or “Is Email still ruling the B2B communication?”
Here’s a table of difference between Email and InMail which will help you put things into perspective:
1. Is LinkedIn InMail worth investing in?
Free. A word that everyone loves especially when something free can bring in business for you. Email is that something. Emails have stood the course of the time and have proven it’s worth for every kind of business.
Shooting an email to your prospect is free but crafting an email that can make a lasting impression on your prospect might cost you time & money. For every dollar spent on Email, you get $40 as a return on that investment.
Can LinkedIn InMail beat those numbers?
LinkedIn InMail is the feature available to the premium users. LinkedIn InMail cost $10 for 100 credits of InMail.
But here’s where it gets interesting. With LinkedIn InMail, you get a credit back for every response, positive or negative, you get.
So, if your team can score over a 40% response rate for your InMails then only you can get your money’s worth.
2. Which platform is more data-driven?
Data-driven actions are proven to be the most successful strategy there is for any business. Especially when it’s B2B communication & marketing strategies.
And while replacing Emails with LinkedIn InMail, the question you have to ask is if you will be able to track the performance of your InMails?
Because with Emails, there are multiple tools out there like SalesHandy which can help you enhance the results you are getting out of your email marketing campaigns.
You can track your emails’ open & reply rate, send at the time when it is more likely that your receiver will open & reply to your email, track attached documents and much more.
All these performances enhancer tools give an edge to Emails over LinkedIn InMails.
So, what would you choose? Emails, where you can track your performance & improvise according to the gathered data or would you want to shoot in the dark with LinkedIn InMails assuming that someone might be your perfect prospect?
3. Other resources required:
With LinkedIn InMails, you require money, time, expertise, and the art of crafting a perfect email to generate action from your prospect.
The only way you are getting your money’s worth with LinkedIn InMail is when your email response rate is higher than 40%. Otherwise, say goodbye to all the money & resources you spent on chasing the prospects on LinkedIn.
With Email, you craft that perfect email and that’s it. Chances are you already have those perfect emails backed up with the impressive open & reply rate data. You need not spend more money or time to get started with your cold email marketing strategy.
And Email game is as old as time. Everyone is familiar with the specifications and works. You need not put in extra time to learn different features like you will have to with LinkedIn InMails.
4. The Best Practices - Email & LinkedIn InMail
If your product or service doesn’t scream out the solution for certain problems or questions, then Emails might be the best option for you.
With Emails, you can warm up your cold prospect with automated follow-ups and convert them into your clients, explaining how your product or service work throughout the follow-up emails.
And for LinkedIn InMails, your product or service only gets one chance to make a lasting impression on the minds of your prospects and if you failed to do so, then all your money & time is down the drain.
5. Prospect Segmentation - The Winning Key
Identifying your perfect customer is like a bliss for any company, business or startup. After noting down the characteristics, demographics and such of your perfect prospect, the next step is to reach out to them and make a point about your solutions & why you are worth it.
But identifying the right customer is one of the biggest obstacles a business faces and it’s among the top 5 reasons why 8 out of 10 businesses fail.
So, if you are unsure about your prospect segmentation then it is advisable not to pour your money into LinkedIn InMails and stick to good old-fashioned Emails.
From the above points of difference, we can conclude that Emails have a strong hand over LinkedIn InMails.
But there are standout points of LinkedIn InMails that shouldn’t go unnoticed.
USPs of LinkedIn InMails:
- You can use LinkedIn’s active status to send the InMail at the perfect timings
- Inbox can be full of promotional emails & other junk & your email can be lost in that sea while your InMail won’t get unnoticed at any point.
- LinkedIn InMails are mobile optimized and their app provides fluid customer experience.
- You can get extra attention from your prospect by sponsoring your LinkedIn InMail.
LinkedIn InMail has its advantages and hooks to reel you in but is your pitch being delivered & opened by your prospect or are you sending all of your hard work into internet oblivion?
Email is a professional necessity which makes it the prime platform for any kind of communication. We are always on our phones, checking in on our personal & professional emails which gives an assurance to the sender that there are high chances of their email getting read.
A study by Propeller CRM states that depending on the industry, average email open rates vary from 15.22% to 28.46%.
But can we say & prove the same for LinkedIn InMails?
Apart from opting for LinkedIn premium for LinkedIn InMails and pay $10 for a certain amount of InMail credits, there is one other option that LinkedIn provides to its users. You can pay more & sponsor your LinkedIn InMail which costs extra.
Regular LinkedIn InMail won’t get you results like emails but sponsored LinkedIn InMails get a minimum open rate of 20% which is as close as LinkedIn InMails come to Emails when comparing the outcome.
With the above stats, we can paint a picture that Emails are winning the race at the present. But what the future holds for Emails and LinkedIn InMails?
Are Emails here to stay?
According to a recent study by Adobe, people are including their email checking habits more & more into their daily lives.
The Netflix & chill routine is changing into Netflix & work where 41% people claim that they check their work emails during this night time routine.
The BBC reports that 54% daily commuters are now checking their work emails while covering the distance.
All these changes in the habits of people, suggests that Emails are nowhere near extinction and they are here to dominate the professional communication.
Email is going to giving LinkedIn InMails a strong competition, and the scenario doesn’t seem to change much in the future.
But what are the future prospects of LinkedIn InMails?
To quote Adrian Tan, “InMail is dead.” This was his statement in 2016 where he has made the case that professionals hate when someone reaches out to them through LinkedIn InMails.
LinkedIn InMail is a huge hit among the recruiters but the professionals were not a big fan of getting thousands of InMails throughout the day. They simply filter out the InMails.
This tells us the story about the past & future of LinkedIn InMails.
However, it would be foolish to ignore 562 million LinkedIn users. You have to weigh in the ROI that LinkedIn InMails can provide and if your company can afford the same or not.
While LinkedIn InMail is your easy leap into the professional world, email is one of the most effective communication tools old as hills. Both used in a perfect balance can make your business unstoppable.