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[Note: If you do nothing else, please proceed to the bottom of this page to vote and comment. We want your opinion on the effectiveness of LinkedIn InMails.]

The value LinkedIn places on an InMail is $10 each. Of course, you can get a volume discount if you buy the LinkedIn Recruiter seat. Several of my colleagues inform me that they are paying $7,000 or more for the seat. No doubt there is more to the LinkedIn Recruiter seat than unlimited InMail. However, there is an inferred value for InMails that is important to discuss and understand.

Let me be clear, LinkedIn is an amazing platform. Reid Hoffman, Jeff Weiner and company have convinced millions of professionals to share their workplace information online. It’s worked brilliantly, and I use it every single day. I think back when people I worked with in the late ’90’s were fired for placing their resume on a job board. Now the same companies that fired people actually encourage their employees to have a LinkedIn profile.

Word On The Street Is That InMail Response Rates Are Not Favorable

The majority of my industry contacts tell me that their response rate is between 10%-20%. By contrast, colleagues from big-name companies like Google have told me that they fetch a response rate of 70% using InMail. That seems to be an anomaly compared to the norm.

Tips on LinkedIn.com state that InMails are 30X more likely to be successful than a cold call.

You also have to consider the candidate side. Tech candidates often tell me that they are getting 5 or more InMails per week…and that is conservative. They say the messages start to look the same, and they cannot tell one opportunity from another. They say that they rarely check their InMail as it is. Yet, recruiters take to the InMail airwaves every week by the thousands.

With what recruiters and candidates are telling me, the “30x more likely to get a response” seems more bravado than substance. Perhaps when you compare them to cold calls they may be 30x. But how many folks are working the cold calling lines these days? It’s hard work, but if I am going to make cold calls at least I know I’ll get a few live people on the phone.

Good Thing You Are A Recruiter, And Not A Marketer

As SmartRecruiters’ CEO Jerome Ternynck recently put it, “if you are a Marketer running campaigns, you’d likely be out of a job with that kind of response rate“. Why then is it acceptable for an in-house recruiter being paid a lofty hourly sum to churn away in a messaging platform with minimal returns?

It’s clear that spending time on LinkedIn is a primary function in recruiting. As I said, I use the site every single day. I also happen to enjoy the site a great deal. However, results are results. If your LinkedIn InMail campaigns bring a low response rate, you need to evaluate how you are using the platform. That said, maybe what I’m hearing is not consistent with what is really happening in the market? Perhaps people are having a much more positive response on the InMail messaging platform.

What’s Your LinkedIn InMail Response Rate?

You’ve heard my version of the story from what I am hearing on the street. What I’m most interested in is to hear from you. What is your LinkedIn InMail response? What are your thoughts on how the messaging platform performs? I want to hear from you.

by in A-Players, Hiring, Recruiters