The Secret Formula For Irresistible LinkedIn Connection Requests

How do you get more people to connect with you and your brand on LinkedIn? Columnist Larry Kim has some tips for how marketers can quickly expand their LinkedIn networks.

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linkedin-chocolates-1920What are the most boring 11 words in the English language?

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

OK, maybe that’s a bit of stretch, but not much.

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.

Less people will accept your requests. Worse yet, your account could be banned!

Don’t let this happen.

So what’s the key to getting people to connect with you and your brand on LinkedIn? The secret is all in writing an irresistible connection request.

Before we discuss that formula, let’s quickly look at the three methods marketers can use grow your LinkedIn network.

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.

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 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. They could 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.

Also, there is a 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):


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.

linkedin request meme

How To Write 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 LinkedIn connection requests comes down to five Ps. Your request must be:


Let me show you what I mean:

write thoughtful connection requests

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 formula, he or she most certainly won’t report your request as spam.


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!

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Larry Kim
Larry Kim is founder and CTO of WordStream, provider of the AdWords Grader and 20 Minute PPC Work Week.

Fuel for your marketing strategy.