LinkedIn is the largest professional network, and practically everyone with a job is on LinkedIn in one way or another. If you work in sales or recruiting, using LinkedIn for lead generation is practically a requirement today.
In fact, I'm sure many of you reading this have gone on LinkedIn to send a connection request and manually sent a message to get in touch with someone. The only issue is that sending connection requests manually and following up with a message manually just takes a ton of time. It's just too time-intensive and simply not scalable.
So, how can you automate LinkedIn so you can run all of your LinkedIn outreach on autopilot? Well, in this article, we'll be covering how to automate LinkedIn and will even be sharing some of our favorite tactics that we use internally to get more replies.
Let's dive into it!
Does LinkedIn allow automation?
While LinkedIn states that you're not allowed to use automation on their website, they are surprisingly forgiving to sales teams and recruiters who use LinkedIn automation. Whenever they suspect that somebody's using LinkedIn for data scraping, sales, or lead generation, they may ask you to upgrade to LinkedIn Sales Navigator or LinkedIn Recruiter. This ensures that you're actually a paying customer and you're not simply freeloading off of the LinkedIn platform.
As long as you're subscribed to LinkedIn Sales Navigator or Recruiter, LinkedIn will leave you alone. And if you'd like to learn more on how to avoid getting blocked on LinkedIn, we recommend checking out our in-depth guide here.
Does LinkedIn have limits for outreach automation?
Just like with cold email, you have tons of users who have abused LinkedIn for lead generation. Because of this, LinkedIn now has rate limits attached to connections, connection requests, profile views, messages, and more.
Here is a quick overview of LinkedIn’s limits applicable to lead generation:
- Connection requests: 100/week
- Messages: No public limit. We recommend 100-150 /week
If you'd like to get a complete breakdown on all of LinkedIn's limits, check out our in depth overview of every LinkedIn limit here.
Guide: How to Automate LinkedIn for Lead Generation
In this tutorial, we'll be using LeadLoft to automate outreach on LinkedIn. If you haven't already signed up for LeadLoft, you can sign up here.
Now, let's get into it!
Step 1) Build Your LinkedIn Outreach Playbook
We first need to define the steps and messaging of your outreach automation. This means we'll have to build a "Playbook" in LeadLoft. Playbook allows you to send automated connection requests and messages on LinkedIn. You can even mix in emails and calls if you'd like to go multichannel.
To keep things simple, we'll only include LinkedIn steps in this article. But as you get more advanced, feel free to add emails, calls, or custom tasks to your Playbooks.
Here's a quick example of what your playbook might look like to automate lead generation on LinkedIn:
You can customize your playbook and its messaging to your liking. Once you're satisfied with your playbook's setup, click "Start Playbook" to begin using it.
Step 2) Install the LeadLoft Chrome Extension
The Chrome extension is required because it allows you to save prospects and enroll them in the playbook we built in the previous step.
Step 3) Define the Chrome Extensions Settings
Now that we have our Playbook built and the Chrome extension installed, we're just one step away from engaging leads on LinkedIn.
To start, you'll need to select the settings you'd like to use.
LeadLoft has three options when saving prospects:
Here’s how each setting works:
- Segment - Allows you to categorize leads into different segments. Useful for staying organized.
- Playbook - Allows you to instantly enroll contacts in the selected Playbook.
- Lead Owner - Allows you to prospect on behalf of other team members.
Since we’re just getting started, let’s keep things simple and use these settings:
- Playbook: Select the Playbook you just built
- Owner: Me
Step 4) Save & Engage Prospects from LinkedIn
Now that you’ve defined your Playbook’s settings, we can begin saving and engaging leads.
As soon as you click "Save," LeadLoft will pull information about that contact, create a lead within LeadLoft, and enroll them in the selected Playbook. It will even find the contact's email address, just in case you're looking to run cross-channel outreach.
Step 5) Respond to leads and close the deal.
LeadLoft will now sync all LinkedIn conversations directly to the LeadLoft Inbox. From there, you can reply, schedule reminders, and even track your pipeline.
This is extremely useful for staying organized and keeping your team efficient. Instead of hopping back and forth between LinkedIn and your CRM, everything is organized within one inbox and under one tab.
Even better, if you do happen to be running email outreach alongside LinkedIn, all of your email threads will appear in this inbox as well. This means you get to manage every conversation, whether from email or LinkedIn, under a single inbox.
When it comes to lead generation, LinkedIn is one of the most valuable channels next to email and cold calling. If you're really looking to get more out of your lead generation efforts, LinkedIn is definitely a channel you should consider taking advantage of.
Just keep in mind, when automating lead generation on LinkedIn, you need to treat it just like cold email. It's all about quality, not quantity - especially since there's a 100 connection limit per week on LinkedIn. So go get started and if you need some help, feel free to reach out to our team. We're always more than happy to help out where we can.