How to Write the Perfect LinkedIn Connection Request


What are the 11 most boring words in the English language?

“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

Aside from using a ridiculously bad LinkedIn profile photo, using the default connection request message is one of the biggest mistakes you can make on LinkedIn. It severely limits the number of LinkedIn connections you’ll be able to make.

So what’s the key to getting people to connect with you and your brand on LinkedIn? In this post, I’ll walk you through the secret formula to writing an irresistible LinkedIn connection request.

linkedin connection request formula

But first, let’s quickly look at the three different methods you can use to grow your LinkedIn network.

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1. Connect With People You Know

Connecting with people you already know is a good way to start.

This step is insanely easy. Tons of people you already know are using LinkedIn.

add linkedin connections

Navigate your way to LinkedIn’s Add Connections page. It’s here that LinkedIn will ask you for an email address and start the process of importing contacts from your personal email account. (Even if you’ve used this feature once or twice before, you may discover a surprising number of new contacts you haven’t yet connected to.)

After you go through this process, LinkedIn will let you select from dozens or maybe even hundreds of people you know but haven’t yet connected to.

But hold on! Don’t hit the “Add X Selected connection(s)” button yet.


If you send invitations from this screen, LinkedIn will send that boring, impersonal default invitation message.

Wait until after you’ve read this entire post so you can use my successful formula for LinkedIn requests.

Will some people you know accept the basic LinkedIn message? Sure. But you want to write an irresistible LinkedIn connection for people you know, but maybe don’t know as well as others.

If you’ve only communicated with someone via email once or twice, they might not remember you or be convinced they should commit to something as serious as accepting a LinkedIn connection request (haha). They could ignore or delete your request — or even worse, report you as spam.

2. Connect With People You WANT to Know

Connecting with tons of random people is the worst thing you can do. Repeatedly clicking the connect button on an algorithmically generated list of people LinkedIn thinks you may know is a recipe for mediocrity.

linkedin connection request spam

Also, there is a real danger of sending generic requests to random people. If enough people who receive your connection request mark you as spam, then you could be banned. Only LinkedIn knows the exact threshold, but there is a real risk of your account being suspended if you get too many spam reports.

Look, networking means reaching out to people you don’t yet know. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you would like to know.

Just make sure you have a strategy. My connection request formula, which I’ll share in just a bit, will definitely help you connect with the people you want to know.

3. Get People To Send Connection Requests To You

If people send you connection requests, then it’s up to you whether to accept or decline, and you don’t have to worry about being marked as spam.

At the basic level, you need to make sure you have a visible, killer LinkedIn profile. Make sure your profile tells people who find your page through a search exactly who you are, what you do, and why you’d be a valuable addition to their network.

A more advanced trick for attracting lots of connection requests is to set up an autoresponder. Here’s a real example of an email you could send to people who share their email address with your company (e.g., in order to receive a newsletter, download a whitepaper, or attend a webinar):

linkedin connection request example

By doing this, you’ll be asking people to send you the connection request. Note that I even used the same font and colors used by LinkedIn, so it looks like it came from LinkedIn, even though it doesn’t.

While you will get tons of requests this way, you shouldn’t accept every connection. After all, LinkedIn limits you to 40,000 connections.

Prioritize requests from people who live in countries where you do business. Also, before accepting anyone’s request, make sure the accounts are real — you don’t want to waste time with recruiters or people trying to sell you stuff you have zero interest in.

help with writing linkedin connection requests

How To Write LinkedIn Connection Requests That Will Never Get Declined

OK, it’s time to reveal the formula for a type of connection request that gets accepted almost 100 percent of the time.

The blueprint for writing thoughtful, undeniable LinkedIn connection requests comes down to five P’s. Your request must be:

  1. Polite
  2. Pertinent
  3. Personalized
  4. Professional
  5. Praiseful

Let me show you what I mean:

perfect linkedin connection request email

So why is this formula so successful?

Let’s translate it to the real world. You’re at a cocktail party or networking event. A guy you’ve never met comes up to you, politely introduces himself, knows exactly who you are, shares some nice words about how you or your business helped him, and asks for nothing else but to shake your hand.

Would you shake his hand?

Of course!

Think of your LinkedIn connection request as your way to get that virtual handshake.

Even if someone doesn’t accept your request, which is unlikely, by using this secret formula, they definitely won’t report your request as spam.

In Summary…

LinkedIn offers a huge opportunity to connect with a massive professional population. Don’t limit yourself. Spend a few thoughtful moments writing irresistible LinkedIn connection requests, and you’ll start quickly building up your network!

This post originally appeared on Marketing Land. It is republished with permission.



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David Worrall
Jan 18, 2016

Good article, I think it's also important to consider what looks like a spammy profile. It doesn't matter how you phrase your connection request if your profile contains these spam indicators:

Special characters.
Obvious spammy text in summary (i.e. David Worrall, Digital Performance Director at iProspect - Ask me how you can generate a tidal wave of leads).
The tried, trusted and failed concept of using the "As seen on NBC, CBS, Fox etc banners on your profile picture. Instantly spammy.

If I see any of these indicators in the profile, I'm highly unlikely to agree to their request to connect regardless of the content of their request.

Anu Sri
Jan 19, 2016

Thank you for this great LinkedIn connection request. I am really going to put this into great use.

John Lombaerde
Feb 16, 2016

Just to clarify one point in the post. This is the first time I have heard that the total connection limit is capped at 40k. I have always heard that 30k was the upper limit. Is this a new policy that I just haven't yet heard about? Thanks, please clarify if you would.

Akshay Iyer
Feb 28, 2016

Hi! Thank you so much for this post. It really helps amateurs like me to work on improving my visibility. I didn't know LinkedIn limits the users one can connect with to 40,000 people. I personally think this post has been of great help and needless to say, I'm applying much of the ideas mentioned here henceforth.

Nov 08, 2016

Sorry Kim, but this is not correct.
The only way to ask a personalized connection is definitely to DO PRESSING that button, or precisely, the one on the drop-down menu, or that is what happens in my language version of Linkedin.
I read your article and did a terrible mistake. Of course what se don't have to do is to press that button and then connect, without personalizing.

But if you don't have the e-mail address of that person ... this is the only way.

Hemang Rindani
Feb 13, 2017

Interesting article, though I disagree with writing an interesting message while sending out LinkedIn connection requests. This is because human nature is to ignore this message on most of the times and just look at the name and profile of a person before accepting a request.

If you really want to sell something to LI connections, the best way to do it is to send an inmail once you are connected.

Rohitashva Singhvi
Apr 28, 2017

Good article for knowing Linkedin social connect strategy and enhance your written request to connect.

thanks for article,

be well

Sagar Randhe
Aug 31, 2017

Good article !!
Thanks for sharing

Harley Greytak
Jan 10, 2018

For a College student with only 25 connections, those 11 words are quite exciting. Nevertheless, thank you for this great article.

Joe Frisbie
Jan 18, 2018

Really? When does one have the time to become acquainted with even 500 possible connections. Neuroscience tells us with rare exception that the best we can do is have a personal network of about 250, a small village. Let's stop the crap. Linked in is a business tool not a social network. Linkedin is a marketing tool. It is a massively good way to make a lot of targeted connections really fast. If someone isn't helping someone solve a problem, for a price, there is no economy. Mr.Rhindani has the most honest approach.

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