InMails: Personal. Powerful. But so often done badly.



I don’t mind InMails, they have an important place as part of a broader sales campaign.

They allow you to target your ideal prospect without needing to be connected with them. It’s the digital equivalent of being allowed a 30 second face-to-face pitch, except you can’t see whether what you’re saying is connecting - there’s no tell to read.

Ok so it’s not quite like a F2F, but it beats the hell out of sending someone a non-descript email in the hope that:

A) The data you have is correct
B) It lands
C) It has any meaning for the reader.

I’ve turned around many an ailing campaign on the basis of getting the right message, to the right person, at the right time using Inmail. But I received this beauty recently and thought I’d share from the perspective of what not to do.


This fool lost me on the headline but positively had me spewing when I read the very first word – “if”


The point of InMails is that you are dealing with certainties, mainly the certainty that you know a little something about who you’re speaking to. Don’t second guess who your lead is, you should know!

Following the bombastic “if”, the rest of the line makes it obvious that this guy hasn’t a clue who I am or what I do. Therefore, committing the heinous crime of wasting money.

I’m in the business of getting results in the most cost effective way possible, and this guy’s obvious marketing folly got me hot under the collar. I don’t know why, but when I see marketing done badly I take it personally.

There’s a treasure trove of mistakes in this Inmail for you to learn from, too many for me to list (seriously, it hurts my head just re-reading his drivel). So my advice to you dear reader is simply this: make your message as personal to the reader as possible. 

Detail any benefits to them, overcome any potential objections and give them an action that can easily take any interest to the next level. And while you’re at it, only ever use language that means something. In the context of the copy, “ignite passion” is just filler, it’s utter garbage.

Finally, for the sake of my own sanity, this is the last point I wanted to highlight.

“…The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Global Content Marketing will help you ignite passion and drive engagement everywhere your brand has a voice.”

I couldn’t even tell you what that means. Don't make his mistake, keep it simple, you’ll find engagement and sales are a lot better off for it.

Michael Lonnon, Head of Content and Creative


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