Since LinkedIn is the major social media platform where people build their professional networks, it’s fertile ground for cold outreach. You can build useful connections through your network and message professionals directly who have open profiles. And with 89% of marketers using LinkedIn for lead generation, it’s clearly working for many people.

This guide will show you how to perfect the art of LinkedIn cold outreach, helping you cut through the noise and connect with your ideal customers. We’ll teach you how to tailor your approach to be both personal and impactful, while avoiding coming off as insincere or aggressive.

Read on to explore turning cold leads into valuable professional relationships through strategic messaging on LinkedIn.

Why Use LinkedIn for Cold Outreach?

LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for cold outreach because it gives you access to an extensive network of professionals and key decision-makers. In contrast to cold calling from a list, you don’t have to walk into a pitch blind.

Your prospects provide their achievements and work history right on LinkedIn. You can use this to send personalized messages that highlight their goals or pain points. You can also use LinkedIn data for lead enrichment if you already have a list of prospects.

With LinkedIn Sales Navigator tools, you can identify and engage with potential leads most likely to find value in what you have to offer. This precision means outreach efforts are both efficient and relevant.

What Are the Benefits of LinkedIn for Cold Outreach?

Cold outreach on LinkedIn, when done strategically and respectfully, can offer several benefits for professionals and businesses alike.

7 benefits of using LinkedIn for cold outreach

  1. Generating leads: Cold messaging on LinkedIn is an effective way to generate leads, especially for B2B companies. By reaching out to potential clients or partners directly, you bypass the waiting involved in inbound marketing strategies and take a proactive approach to lead generation.
  2. Cost-effectiveness: LinkedIn provides a platform where you can reach out to potential leads without the upfront cost of advertising.
  3. Gain market insights: By interacting with a variety of professionals, you can gain insights into industry trends, challenges, and needs that your business might address.
  4. Direct feedback: When you reach out directly, you may receive immediate and direct feedback on your products, services, or outreach approach.
  5. Speed: Cold outreach allows you to quickly get in touch with decision-makers without having to navigate through layers of hierarchy.
  6. Builds credibility: By sharing valuable content and insights, or offering help without an immediate expectation of return, you can build credibility and authority in your field.
  7. Brand awareness: Even if a cold outreach doesn’t immediately result in a sale or partnership, it increases awareness of your brand among professionals in your industry.

While cold outreach has many potential benefits, you’ll need to approach it with a clear strategy, respect for the recipient’s time and attention, and a focus on building genuine relationships.

Overly aggressive or spammy tactics can harm your reputation and brand, so balance and personalization are key.

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How to Maximize a Cold LinkedIn Outreach Strategy

Next, we’ll cover the steps to maximize your LinkedIn lead generation through cold outreach.

1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile

Optimizing your LinkedIn presence lays the groundwork for an effective cold outreach campaign. Think of your LinkedIn profile as your digital first impression, like saying “hi” for the first time online.

Making a good first impression means sprucing up your headline and summary to show off what makes you special.

And you don’t want your profile to read like your resume.

Instead of simply listing off your jobs or experience, you want to use this space to write something that speaks to the people you want to connect with and make it clear what your offering is.

You want to aim for something that will grab the reader’s attention and demonstrate how you can help them solve their problems.

And don’t forget to actually post something once in a while, too. Any prospect is sure to take a look at your profile to see what you’ve posted recently. They definitely will want to see that you are actively engaged on the platform, or it’s pretty unlikely they will respond to any sort of cold outreach at all.

Agorapulse’s Canva integration for great visuals

You can make your content stand out by using a tool like Agorapulse’s built-in Canva integration to design eye-catching images, graphics, or PDF carousels to use in your LinkedIn posts. This will help create a good first impression, and it’s a good opportunity to show off your knowledge and skills to any potential prospects or clients.


Design in Canva within Agorapulse publishing window

Use Agorapulse’s Canva integration to create amazing visuals for social

2. Know your ideal customer profile

To nail down your cold LinkedIn messages, you have to know your target audience. Don’t just send one-off messages to anyone in a broad category. Instead, speak directly to what your potential clients need, what bugs them, and what they’re hoping to achieve.

It’s more than just knowing their job titles—get to know the challenges they face every day and show them how what you’re offering can fit into their work life.

So you want to take a good look at the customers you already have for clues about who your ideal customer is.

Dig into demographics with a social media management tool

You can use Agorapulse to take a look at the demographics of your existing audience on LinkedIn.

By viewing the Demographics section found in our reports, you can see at a glance who’s following your company Page on LinkedIn broken down by demographics. You can view the demographic information broken down by country, seniority, company size and job position (function).

demographics on the Agorapulse tool

Understand your user demographics on the Agorapulse tool


By looking at your audience demographics, you can make sure you’re talking to the right crowd. And the better you are at figuring out who your ideal customer is, the more your cold messages will hit home.

3. Build your list of prospects

Once you have a trustworthy profile and know your ideal customer, you can start building your list of prospects.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is going to be your new best friend. This tool lets you dive deep into LinkedIn’s massive pool of professionals to find people who actually need what you’re selling.

You can do some basic filtering in LinkedIn search, but Sales Navigator will give you more functionality including the filters below:

LinkedIn sales navigator

You can filter for people by seniority, function, company type, and much more. Having a super-focused list is the key for effective outreach. Every name on it is a chance for a real conversation that could help your business.

Looking for specific email addresses? LinkedIn email finder browser extensions such as or make your outreach process easier by scraping LinkedIn profiles for contact information, such as email addresses, phone numbers, and social media profiles.

4. Write messages that spark conversations

Crafting the initial outreach message is key to building meaningful connections on LinkedIn.

And if your idea of a first message is “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn,” then we need to talk. Seriously, that’s like starting a conversation with “I breathe air.” Not exactly groundbreaking.

You want to personalize the message. And this means doing a bit more than simply adding a first name to a message template.
Be real. Did their post about 90s cartoons light up your day? Say that. Notice you both suffer from an unhealthy obsession with coffee? There’s your opener. Try and find some common ground, and then run with it.

Incorporating these insights into your messages shows that you’ve really taken the time to understand who they are professionally. This makes your message more personal, and when its done right, it can increase the chances of getting a reply.

At the heart of it, this strategy is about making each person feel truly seen and valued. It’s about turning what could have been a run-of-the-mill interaction into a personalized, meaningful conversation that makes an impression.

Full disclosure: If you use Agorapulse, you can’t send DMs via LinkedIn due to a LinkedIn limit. However, you can use LinkedIn metrics to learn more about your audience to craft the perfect outreach message and then also, once the relationship has been sparked and continued, continue to monitor the metrics and glean rich data from our LinkedIn management tools.

5. Keep your LinkedIn message concise

People on LinkedIn receive tons of messages every single day, so keep your message short and sweet.

Introduce yourself and get to the heart of why you’re reaching out. Give every word a purpose.

Instead of getting bogged down in long product descriptions, a short and sharp explanation of what you offer can make a big impact. This approach shows you value the recipient’s time and positions you as a focused and respectful professional.

6. Offer value to your target audience

Whether you’re sharing relevant information, offering a useful resource, or demonstrating how your solution solves a particular issue, your message should highlight the benefits of getting in touch with you. The goal here isn’t to force a sale but to show the real advantages of forming a connection.

Plus, nobody likes to be pitch-slapped, so you don’t want to start a conversation without giving something of value as well. Share a link to a video or share a case study that applies to your prospect. Give them a free copy of your recent enook or report that they’d find useful.

Identify valuable content easily

Here’s a trick with Agorapulse that can help you identify the valuable content that your targeted audience will want to engage with:

Try adding custom labels to your LinkedIn posts, based on the segment of your audience, or specific ICP that the post is targeting, as well as the type of content or topic within the post.

Then, when you have done this, you will be able to see your metrics for the posts published, broken down by the specific labels used. Look at the data for patterns and common traits in your content to sharpen your focus on LinkedIn for each vertical your are targeting. This can be incredibly useful in helping you to identify the content that is resonating with each targeted audience segment.

Perhaps you have a theory that meme posts won’t resonate with your audience in the finance industry (but you think they will do well for your audiences/ICPs in other verticals). By using labels on your posts, you can easily validate that sort of theory. And the info gathered from the data can then be used to your advantage in a number of ways.

For example, the granular insights and learnings can then be used to help inform your cold outreach strategy on LinkedIn, and help you gain a better understanding of what your ICP likes and engages with on LinkedIn. That way you can provide the best resources or content in your cold outreach messages, because you already know what they are most likely to respond to or engage with.

Plus, this knowledge about your ICP’s content preferences can then be applied not only across all LinkedIn (in your personal posts, your company page, and your comments) but also across social media platforms, or even in your email newsletters or sales enablement content.

7. Include a CTA

To boost the impact of your cold outreach on LinkedIn, don’t forget to include a well-crafted call to action (CTA) at the end of your message.

A clearly thought-out CTA has the power to increase your response rates. It outlines what you hope the recipient will do next—whether that’s setting up a chat, visiting your website, or simply responding to your message.

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See what I did there?

8. Scale your cold messages on LinkedIn

Once you have your strategy down, it’s time to scale your outreach on the platform. You can use a LinkedIn lead generation tool to scale up your efforts. Outreach campaign tools can take the manual labor out of sending messages to multiple recipients on the platform.

9. Follow up

According to Brevet, 80% of sales require five follow ups or more. So, if you bail after one denied connection request or InMail message, you’re leaving money on the table.

Think about the times when you’ve received a cold email or message. You might have been interested in some cases, but life often gets in the way of responding. You probably wouldn’t go out of your way to find the message a week later unless it really stood out.

But if the salesperson had sent a follow-up, there’s a chance you’d remember the initial impression and decide to respond. That can only happen with a follow-up message.

A follow-up does more than just remind people of your previous conversations. It’s also an opportunity to add extra value. When you include interesting insights or share something valuable, your message becomes a lively chat instead of a boring nudge. Don’t just say something like “Did you receive my initial message?” This shows you put no effort into the follow-up.

10. Close the deal

When the conversation develops, you move the prospect to whichever communication channel they prefer. Sales proposal software can simplify your workflow from this point and help you manage proposals across multiple contacts on LinkedIn. Then, do what you do best and close the deal.

Don’t Forget to Monitor Your LinkedIn Lead Gen Progress

Keeping an eye on how you’re doing is key to getting better at reaching out on LinkedIn. Using a social media management tool like Agorapulse, or an specialized outreach automation tool, can also make this a whole lot easier.

These tools will give you access to detailed analytics so you can see how prospects are responding, how engaged they are, and whether or not you’re turning those interactions into real results. You can then use the data to see what’s working and what’s not.

As you dig into these analytics, you’ll start to see patterns. You’ll notice if people in certain industries are more likely to get back to you or if a certain way of writing gets more attention. With these insights, you can fine-tune your approach, making sure your messages hit the mark more often and with the right people.

This process of watching, learning, and tweaking your strategy is a loop that keeps your LinkedIn outreach fresh and effective.

So go ahead, give it a shot.

Want to see how Agorapulse can help you grow on LinkedIn? Grab a free 30 day trial – no strings attached!

Maximize LinkedIn for Your Cold Outreach: Step-by-Step Guide