Proper Etiquette for LinkedIn Invitations and Messages

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As we begin to use the internet and social media more and more often for business purposes, it becomes increasingly important to remember that etiquette applies to the internet world as well as the real.

I recently received an email from a colleague asking to connect on LinkedIn…

…the problem was he sent the same email to about one hundred different people, and included us all in the ‘to’ box!

Whenever you send an email to large groups of people, it is important to remember to use the ‘bcc’ (blind carbon copy) function. When you include all the email addresses in the ‘to’ box, you end up handing out everyone’s personal email address to a group of people they do not know.

This is a big ‘no-no’ in the media world.

On LinkedIn, if you are sending an email to a group of people, there is a box checked by default that allows all the recipients to see everyone else’s contact information (read as: email address).

Be sure to uncheck it before you press send.

The second issue I addressed with this connection was what to do if you run out of invitations on LinkedIn.

You can actually request more invitations by writing to You can ask for up to 500 every thirty days. The only requirement is that you have less than 20 invitations left when you make the request. I also find that it helps tremendously if you include in your message why you need the additional invitations.

For example, if I am getting ready to attend a conference, I may send something like this:

“I’ll be attending a conference in two weeks with an anticipated attendance of 800 people. Since I’m a featured speaker, I will have a lot of people who want to exchange cards with me and connect on LinkedIn. I’d really like to be able to be the one who reaches back out with an invitation. May I have 500 more please?”

Using these steps I have not had a problem receiving additional invitations from LinkedIn, enabling me to continue to grow my network with people that I meet who inspire me.

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  1. I sent out an email to all my LinkedIn contacts a few weeks ago and in the first couple of batches forgot to uncheck that box — very embarrassing. I wish they’d change that. I guess their logic is that their intention is for that function to be used to mail a group of people who may want to have a conversation, not a mail blast — hence, why they only allow a maximum of 50 at a time. Regardless of their intention, I wonder what the actual stats on that are.

    Also, although I’m generally more of a “selective connector” than you, I absolutely agree that you should try to connect with people who hear you speak. Even though you don’t know them, they know you and can recommend your work. They’re also much more likely to be receptive to actually building a relationship than the random “Please join my professional network” person, many of who I’ve found to be quite UN-receptive to actually building a relationship, particularly to actually taking any action on your behalf.

    Of course, there’s all kinds of fun stuff you can do with a big LinkedIn network.

  2. Hi Scott! I enjoyed reading your informative post… Thank you for sharing the things about invitation in LinkedIn Connection…

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