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What type of LinkedIn connection request works best? The results are in

Date: 15/09/2023

LinkedIn is an awesome tool for creating professional connections to build that all important network, as well as social marketing and lead generation.

So let’s talk about a common problem many of us face when using LinkedIn… how to best craft that initial connection request.

So here’s the million-dollar question: should you just hit ‘Connect’ for an automated request, or should you take the extra step and add a personalised message?

To tackle this burning LinkedIn strategy question, we decided to go straight to the source – the LinkedIn community itself.

On 5 August 2023, we launched a poll to gather insights from our LinkedIn network and we got some fascinating results. (UPDATE – October 2023 – see more interesting data in results section below!)

Our question was simple: “What type of LinkedIn connection request are you most likely to accept?”, we presented our poll respondents with four options:

  1. System invite – not personalised
  2. Invite with personalised note
  3. Any – I check the profile first
  4. I pretty much accept everyone

After the first few minutes we had 11 responses as below – a close race between Personalised or Any – I will check the profile first whatever!

The Results

After two weeks, when the poll expired, we had 75 responses.

The results were crystal clear.

And the stats were exactly the same when we asked a live audience of 60 people at a LinkedIn workshop we ran at the Brighton and Hove Business Show in June 2023.

The undisputed winner was the option Any – I check the profile first, revealing that the majority of LinkedIn users prioritise the quality and professionalism of your profile over the presence of a personalised message in the connection request.

This could be a game-changer if you currently spend hours crafting huge numbers of individually tailored messages by hand as part of a lead gen campaign.

And definitely highlights the significance of having a quality LinkedIn profile.

One vote on the poll came with a comment saying how much they seriously consider on a personal profile:

“Relevant people with at least 10% mutual connections (as a percentage of their total) or enough well known mutual connections. A thorough content check is always performed to see how people behave online and if this aligns with my values, I might accept a request.”

However, with 36% of the votes being for a connection request with a personalised message/note, it is worth reviewing when this is still worth doing.

Another interesting comment on the poll said:

“I know you only have limited options to ask this question, but the truth is probably a hybrid of two and three – read the personalised note, check the profile.“

And of course it’s easy enough to do a personalised note when there are only a few people on your list – eg when you are saying it was great to have met someone at an event the day before – it helps people remember who you are!

And sometimes a personal note may apply to a segment of carefully selected people, enabling you to copy and paste a short, simple message and you can just change their name.


In a recent campaign on LinkedIn, which tested a different connection approach each week for three weeks, we found that:

  • The automatic system default connection request (no additional note) – had a 24.44% conversion
  • The request sent with an additional (thoughtfully composed) note, but not personalised with any name or other individual context, had a 42.96% conversion
  • The request sent with the same text as per the note above, but with the addition of a first name (ie Hello Sue), had a 12% conversion!

So this ties in with the previous data – where a note is appreciated by a large number of people – but perhaps the time spent personalising with their name may not always be worth it!

So what’s your personal preference for sending and receiving connection requests?

Our advice

1. Ensure that your personal profile is fully populated and reflects your personal brand, tells your story and demonstrates your skill set. It’s what you are going to be judged on.

(And your profile should be optimised too, so it comes up in search results on LinkedIn and Google potentially. We can help with an audit of your personal profile and/or a practical training session.)

2. If you choose to add a message, make it authentic and tailored to the individual by using their name and another relevant detail that shows interest in them.

Do not make it salesy.

And definitely do not immediately send a broad, horribly salesy message the instant they connect.

That just ruins LinkedIn for everyone.


Get in touch

We hope this blog has helped you learn about the best way to send connection requests on LinkedIn. If you’d like additional LinkedIn training, an audit of your profile/business page or a session on how to use Sales Navigator for sales lead generation, please do get in touch!

Our marketing agency is based between Eastbourne and Hailsham in East Sussex. We work locally with clients across Lewes, Hastings, Uckfield, Crowborough, Heathfield, Newhaven and surrounding areas – as well as other parts of the UK.

We can help you feel confident and in control of your marketing – and get results!

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