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Top 5 LinkedIn Outreach Metrics and How They Measure Social Selling

Matt Hlavacka
Matt Hlavacka
September 15th, 2022
linkedin tips

Social selling through LinkedIn outreach is a tried and tested method that can bring you excellent results and reply rates of over 40-45%.

In short, LinkedIn Outreach is the method of acquiring and nurturing leads, which involves:

  • optimizing your LinkedIn company and employee profile information,

  • seeking, classifying, and linking with potential sales leads,

  • generating engaging content,

  • ultimately closing sales.

But how do you know if a campaign is successful?

Through LinkedIn outreach, you connect with potential leads and send them messages. Hopefully, most of your prospecting list will respond to your invitations or messages, but there are a few extra things you should keep an eye on to measure success on LinkedIn.

Tracking these 5 metrics will help you improve your campaign performance 👇

1. Invitations

You’ll send your invitations, or connection requests, to your 2nd and 3rd-degree connections, preferably accompanied by a short 300-character message.

In fact, we're personally seeing much higher acceptance rates for invitations with a message attached than empty ones.

You first need to plan for the number of invitations you would like to send each day. This will ensure you stay within the limits set by LinkedIn of 100 invites per week while still reaching out to enough people to get the most out of your efforts.

Make a daily plan based on your prospects’ working days and hours, or even location, and schedule your invites to reach them at the best possible time.

Plan the daily, weekly, and month-by-month invitations. It is the only way to ensure a steady flow of new leads each week.

You can send them manually or schedule them to be sent out automatically with outreach tools, but consistency is important.

Here’s how to automate your LinkedIn outreach!

Accepted Invitations and Acceptance Rates

The first big metric that you can look at is the accepted requests to connect. Since this is where the LinkedIn funnel starts, the more people you connect with, the more of your follow-up messages they will see.

However, it’s not just about the number of accepted invitations, but about your overall efforts to obtain certain results. Getting 10 new connections weekly is great when you send out 20 requests, but not so much if you send 100 invites.

It’s all about effort versus payoff. In our campaigns, we consider an excellent acceptance rate of over 40%.

This number varies significantly depending on the objective, solution, profile, etc., but lower rates are a clear sign that you need to make improvements in your approach.

linkedin_metrics

You might not get there with your first campaign, so determine your own initial rate target. Then work on increasing your acceptance rate by further targeting your prospects and improving your messages.

To do so, you need to define your prospects’ profiles and adjust your messages to their needs.

For example, target professionals in decision-making roles who need a specific solution to an issue your offer can help with.

Learn more about LinkedIn prospecting!

Pending Invitations

People who have neither accepted nor denied your requests should also be monitored.

We’re talking about pending invitations.

While this metric does not offer a clear answer to campaign performance, it shows you people who have not seen your invite, as well as people who may not be convinced by your initial message.

In short, it is a case-eligible follow-up, a second chance to win people over and increase your acceptance rates.

We also recommend withdrawing pending invitations after 14-21 days and those can be scheduled for another campaign. Icereach automatically withdraws pending invitations after a certain period of days to prevent having a lot of open invites.

2. Messages

Direct messages will be sent to your 1st-degree connections. These are the people who have already accepted your connection request, and with whom you might have already established a connection.

The biggest upside is that sending a message has no limits, unlike sending invitations with a predetermined recipient quota, or character quota.

This offers ample opportunities to spike people’s interest in more creative ways.

However, try to avoid hard selling, and keep track of people’s working hours when sending your messages.

You want your words to reach them at their office, to be read quicker, as well as prompt them to respond and ask for more information.

This goes for both manual outreach, as well as automated outreach. Even when automating outreach, you need to model human behavior.

This means that even your messages should be hyper-personalized, and account for subjects of interest to your recipient.

linkedin_outreach_messages

In the example above, we were looking for some partners in our marketing efforts.

So we accounted for their specific job and location, as well as used Icereach’s smart placeholders to account for their available contact info.

This way, there were no mix-ups or missing information.

We did not try to sell the offer or even mention specific ideas, instead went for a clear scope of the message that can spark curiosity and the request to talk more during a call.

See some more tips on writing the best messages!

Sent Messages

This metric clearly shows the extent of your effort with each campaign.

Throughout your campaign, you communicate with various audiences through your initial outreach messages, as well as any follow-up messages that you may send.

You’ll need to keep track of all the messages you send during a campaign and organize them accordingly, to make sure your results match your efforts.

You can also cross-check the messages you send throughout multiple campaigns, to get an idea about the best value-to-effort ratio.

Received Messages

Your received messages are your initial results. People that respond to your messages turn from leads to qualified leads, with higher chances of becoming potential clients.

During a campaign, you won't always get an immediate response from everyone you contact. Don’t get discouraged. Take a closer look at who did answer and what piqued their interest.

The people who respond to the initial messages of outreach are the ones who will make a difference in your sales quota not just number-wise, but also by offering insights into your top-performing messages and audience profiles.

linkedin_received_messages

Reply Rates

This percentage represents the response rate you can expect when sending campaign messages to potential customers.

Just like with acceptance rates, reply rates qualify how much value you’re getting for your efforts.

Depending on the ratio of messages sent per day to responses received, you can determine whether your messages were effective or not.

So how do you know if your messages were successful?

We’d say an average reply rate would be around 15-25%. In our tests, we found out that a good reply rate should be around 40-45%.

However, this can widely differ depending on how you calculate your reply rate: do you include invite message replies or only responses to regular messages and InMails?

Chances are you’re not going to get a great reply rate from your very first campaign. Our advice is to set realistic goals and work up to improving those stats.

3. Profile Views

Prospects that receive your messages or invitations, especially cold prospects who’ve never interacted with you before, will jump straight to your LinkedIn profile to analyze it.

To make a successful Linkedin outreach campaign, your profile must look professional, informative, and approachable.

This means the better your profile is, the better the chances of getting a potential client. Make sure you state your expertise, your field, and how you or your product can help other professionals.

linkedin_profile_views

You would also be able to see the people who viewed your profile and where they work, so you would immediately know if they accepted your invitation once you’ve cross-checked their profiles.

But if you are seeing a lot of views on your profile but no potential conversions, then it would be best to update your profile to a much better-looking status.

4. Linkedin Content and Followers Stats

LinkedIn content can be the key to social selling even before you start the actual sale process.

As already mentioned, people you contact will visit your profile, and your posts and comments are a big part of your profile.

One approach would be to make sure that the content you post on your profile is relevant to any future campaigns or current campaigns you have in mind.

When people look at your profile, they look at your experience and description, as well as the comments, posts, and shared articles you have posted in the past. If this manages to catch their attention, then hooking them will be a lot easier.

They might even message you about a campaign, or offer they saw posted.

What's more, when an article has caught people’s attention, there would be a higher chance for them to either comment on that post or send it to other professionals they know, thus expanding your reach and brand awareness.

Pro Tip: Create a wide variety of content and evaluate it based on how effective it is and how engaged the audience is. Include various content types in your posts: personal updates, poll questions, links to interesting articles, expert commentary based on your own experiences, and so on.

Content Views and Reach

These metrics measure the visibility of your content and how many people or businesses can reach it and interact with it.

The more people in your target audience are reached through your posts, articles, or even newsletter, the better positioned you’ll find yourself for the next outreach.

There are a couple of reasons for that:

  • people start understanding your offer through your content

  • your prospecting options will sort themselves out: people who are disinterested in what you have to say will move on, but potential clients who are genuinely interested will start following you or even interact with your content

  • you’ll start closing inbound sales, where clients reach out to you directly

  • you’ll establish trust: your followers will need less convincing when you approach them during an outreach campaign

If your content hits a lot of views, this would mean more people would be reached, increasing the chances of outreach replies. This, in turn, would give you more people or businesses to work with.

Content Engagement

Your engagement stats will show how many people not only follow your content regularly, but also actively interact with it by sharing, liking, or commenting on your posts and articles.

This could be inquiries about your values, expertise, offers, goals, or anything that would be beneficial for them.

Plus, an engaged audience would give you more opportunities to speak to other potential clients or businesses.

linkedin_content_engagement

This also allows you to see what needs to be changed in your approach and gives you more insights into what could be improved on your campaign.

Followers and Demographics

The more engaging the content, the more people will follow you. And a great campaign is nothing without the right followers and targeted demographics.

You should be asking yourself who and what type of people you are trying to garner in your outreach campaigns.

Are you trying to look for men, women, or both for your campaign? Are you looking for CEOs or junior executives? Is your audience global or regional?

Don’t forget to also analyze the demographics of your followers to gain insight into the nature of your core audience.

Make note of the percentage of followers in each industry and their job titles, seniority levels, company sizes, and functions. Thus, you can tailor your efforts toward them and pinpoint relevant details.

linkedin_metrics_demographic

5. Leads

Everything you’re doing, be it outreach campaigns or LinkedIn content, is to generate leads that can then convert to sales.

As an extra motivation, according to the findings of Wpromote's State of B2B Marketing Report, 62% of B2B marketers who use LinkedIn for lead generation report that it generates leads for them.

This is more than twice as many leads as the next highest social channel, Twitter.

Here are a few things to take note of if you want to generate more leads using Linkedin:

  • Optimize your company's page - Start by ensuring your LinkedIn company page is exciting and capable of bringing in new customers.

  • Optimize your Linkedin profile - People follow your company page because of your personal profile. Update your LinkedIn profile to attract more professional connections.

  • Connect with More People on LinkedIn - You need many relevant, engaged connections. More relevant connections will share and engage with your content, giving you access to their connections. You'll develop your organic presence and possibly generate leads.

  • Share information about your industry - To build a strong presence for your brand on LinkedIn, you need to post and share helpful content with your target audience regularly. This makes your brand a strong authority in the industry. Your target audience will remember you as a trustworthy source of information and a specialist in what your company offers.

Conclusions

The professional networking website LinkedIn is the largest on the internet. You can use LinkedIn to reach out and find the right job or internship, connect and strengthen relationships with other professionals, and, ultimately, generate sales.

Key metrics and data about connection statuses, message results, profile views, follower demographics, or content engagement will guide you towards constantly improving your tactics and strategies, teaching you how to get more value out of your efforts.

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