LinkedIn is based on connection and communication between its members. Fortunately, you have several options for staying in touch with the people you know and reaching out to new people, including messages, InMail, and introductions.
Understanding LinkedIn Messages, InMail, and Introductions
LinkedIn offers several ways to communicate with other members. The type of communication you can send depends on how you’re connected to these members. Your choices include the following:
Messages—Messages are the primary form of communication on LinkedIn. You can send messages only to your 1st degree connections or to group members (directly from a group, not from their profiles). See the “Sending Messages” section later in this chapter for more information. Although you often see the term message used generically to refer to all items in your inbox, it is a specific type of communication in itself.
- Invitations—An invitation is a request to connect with another LinkedIn member. Refer to Chapter 3, “Developing Your LinkedIn Network,” for more information about sending invitations.
InMail—An InMail is a private message to or from a LinkedIn member who is not your connection. You can receive InMail if you indicate that you are open to receiving InMail messages on the Account & Settings page. In general, sending InMail is a paid LinkedIn feature unless the recipient is a premium member who belongs to the OpenLink Network. See the “Sending InMail” section later in this chapter for more information.
- Introductions—An introduction provides a way to reach out to the people who are connected to your connections. By requesting an introduction through someone you already know, that person can introduce you to the person you’re trying to reach. You can contact your 1st degree connections to request introductions to members who are 2nd and 3rd degree connections. Members with free accounts can have up to five introductions open at a time. See the “Requesting Introductions” section later in this chapter for more information.