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Linkedin InMail Compared to Regular Messaging: Understanding the Distinctions

Updated: May 20

In the professional world, LinkedIn stands out as a powerful networking tool, bridging the gap between potential employers, employees, and industry peers. Among its features, LinkedIn InMail and regular messaging serve as pivotal communication channels. Yet, many users find themselves pondering over the distinctions between these two. This article delves into the essence of LinkedIn InMail versus regular messaging, highlighting their differences, advantages, and appropriate use cases.

What is LinkedIn InMail?

LinkedIn InMail, a premium feature, allows users to send messages directly to another LinkedIn member they're not connected to. This feature is exclusively available to LinkedIn Premium subscribers, offering a direct line of communication with professionals outside one's immediate network.

Visual representation of sending an InMail on LinkedIn to a user outside one's network

What is LinkedIn Regular Messaging?

Contrastingly, LinkedIn's regular messaging permits users to communicate freely with their connections. It's a feature available to all LinkedIn users, facilitating conversations within one’s existing network without any additional cost.

Image depicting a LinkedIn user engaging in conversation with a connection through regular messaging

Key Distinctions Between LinkedIn InMail and Regular Messaging

Chart comparing the reach, cost, and accessibility of LinkedIn InMail vs Regular Messaging


InMail: Accessible only to Premium users, InMail provides a pathway to reach out to individuals outside one's network, making it an exclusive feature.

Regular Messaging: Available to all users, allowing for unrestricted communication among connected members.


InMail: Enables messages to be sent to any LinkedIn member, regardless of connection status, broadening the reach beyond one’s immediate network.

Regular Messaging: Limited to contacting individuals within one's network, constraining reach to existing connections.


InMail: Requires a Premium subscription, which comes at a financial cost, varying based on the level of subscription.

Regular Messaging: Free for all users, with no additional charges for communicating within one’s network.

Response Rates

InMail: Often sees higher response rates due to its professional context and the perception of a more personalized approach.

Regular Messaging: While effective within one’s network, may not achieve the same level of engagement with new or distant contacts.

Pros and Cons

Infographic highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of LinkedIn InMail and regular messaging

Pros of InMail

  • Direct access to any LinkedIn user, enhancing networking possibilities.

  • Typically higher response rates, as recipients may perceive the message as more credible or urgent.

  • Privacy and discretion, allowing for communication without needing to connect first.

Cons of InMail

  • Cost barrier, as it requires a Premium subscription.

  • Limited number of InMails per month, depending on the subscription level.

Pros of Regular Messaging

  • Free and unlimited within one’s network, encouraging ongoing engagement.

  • Ease of use, fostering a sense of community and openness among connections.

Cons of Regular Messaging

  • Limited to existing connections, reducing the scope for outreach beyond one’s network.

  • Potentially lower prioritization by recipients, especially in crowded inboxes.

Use Cases

Diagram illustrating different scenarios for using LinkedIn InMail and regular messaging effectively

When to Use InMail

  • Reaching out to potential employers or candidates for job opportunities outside your network.

  • Initiating business development or partnership discussions with industry leaders.

When to Use Regular Messaging

  • Strengthening relationships within your existing network through regular check-ins or updates.

  • Organizing meet-ups or professional gatherings with known connections.


Understanding the distinctions between LinkedIn InMail and regular messaging is crucial for leveraging LinkedIn’s networking capabilities effectively. While InMail offers a premium route to expand your professional reach, regular messaging nurtures and maintains existing relationships. By discerning when to use each, professionals can strategically navigate LinkedIn, maximizing their networking potential and achieving their professional objectives.

Summary image encapsulating the article's insights on choosing between LinkedIn InMail and regular messaging

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