We've all been there - you send a connection request on LinkedIn and LinkedIn asks if you'd like to add a note. Well, should you? It's a tough question to answer. On one side it may scare them away and on the other, a warm note may build some rapport.
Well, we wanted to settle this debate and determine which approach works best for generating leads on LinkedIn. So in this article, we'll be answering the question: "Are prospects more likely to accept or deny a LinkedIn connection request when you add a note?"
Let's dive into it!
What is a Connection Note on LinkedIn?
A connection note on LinkedIn is a message you can send alongside a connection request. You can write this note anytime you send a connection request because LinkedIn will ask if you'd like to add a note.
If someone does end up accepting your connection request, this note will pop up as a message immediately after they accept it in their LinkedIn inbox.
What do people prefer?
Before we even ran this test, we were curious to know what people would say if we just asked them.
So, I ran a poll on LinkedIn to see if people prefer notes or no notes.
Here are the results of the poll:
So 60% of people say they prefer a note but will a note actually make them more likely to accept the request? Or do people prefer a reason for receiving a connection request?
I personally think that notes feel more sales-y so I fell into the minority on this poll.
But there's only one way to find out what is true, so let's test it!
Setting Up The Test for LinkedIn
Whenever you test something, it's important to make sure that you remove any possible variables from the equation. So, here's what we're doing to ensure that our results are as accurate as possible:
1) Same Audience
Anyone who has run cold email or LinkedIn outreach knows that the audience has a huge impact on results from a campaign. So, we wanted to ensure that we're testing with the exact same audience instead of two vastly different audiences. This ensures that the results will be as accurate as possible.
In order to achieve this, I'll be connecting with Y Combinator founders in North America and measuring the rate at which they accept my connection requests.
It's also important to note that all of the connection requests will be sent from /Zack-Olivas, my profile.
2) Same Start & End Date
We also want to make sure that both playbooks have the same start and end date. This allows everyone who was contacted the same amount of time to accept or deny the connection request.
To make sure there's ample time for the founders to accept my connection request, we will run this test for a total of 2 weeks. At the end, we'll collect the data and determine the winner.
3) Connection Request Copy
I think it’s obvious that if you send a sales-y message and compare it to sending a connection request with no note, the connection request with no note will perform better. In order to avoid this, we want to make sure the connection request copy that we're using is as non-salesy and casual as possible.
We believe that by doing this, the test will be far more accurate than it otherwise would be. Here's the copy we landed on, and it's what we'll be using for our test:
Just connecting with other founders.
Here’s what the test looks like:
Now that we have designed the test, we're going to need to set it up. Of course, we'll be setting up this test in LeadLoft. Here are the two campaigns that we will be testing:
Now that it's all set up, I’ll import the data and set it live! At this point, we're going to wait 2 weeks and then we'll come back and write the rest of this article.
Test A: Connection (With Note)
- Sent: 200
- Accepted: 19% (38)
Test B: Connection (No Note)
- Sent: 200
- Accepted: 36% (72)
Should I include a note in LinkedIn connection requests?
Based on the results of this test, you should not include a note when sending a LinkedIn connection request because it decreases the odds of connecting with your prospect by 17%.
Of course, the message you send alongside your connection request can make a significant difference, especially if you're using sales-y language or clearly trying to sell something.
If you're looking to experiment with using a note while sending connection requests, I recommend sending personalized messages to an audience that has a severe pain you're solving. If you're not solving a severe pain, it's probably best to drop the note and send a blank connection request.
If you’ve spent time sending cold emails or automating LinkedIn outreach, you know there are tons of different factors that can determine if someone accepts a connection request. So, just be sure to test everything yourself. Who knows, a highly personalized message might be far more effective for your audience than no message at all.
If you're not already automating LinkedIn and are looking to get started, feel free to check out LeadLoft. It's the tool we use for this test and if you need help getting set up, our team will be more than happy to onboard you and ensure you hit the ground running.