InMail VS Email: What Works Best For B2B Sales?

By: Jack Reamer |
 November 5, 2021 |

If you’re thinking about purchasing a more expensive Linkedin Sales Navigator package to get more InMails…. Wait…

Don’t rush into it just yet.

Yes, there are times when Linkedin InMails can help connect with new prospects, but email marketing can be just as effective if you have the right know-how. 

So which works best for B2B sales? InMail? Or Email?

The answers might interest you, and by choosing the right option, you will increase your number of qualified leads.  

When InMail is the right choice

When it comes to using InMail, remember that you have to pay for the service. 

If you are really good at personalization, and have a knack for getting a higher response rate, then paying for InMails might be worth it, especially if you’re targeting high-value prospects. 

If you are a Linkedin free account user, you can only send messages to those who are in your degree connections. So if you would like to send a message to someone that you are not connected to, you have to sign up for a Linkedin Premium account

You can also sign up for a Linkedin Sales Navigator account, as it has a few different pricing options, and some have more InMail credits than others. 

InMails are sent on a pay-per-send basis and cost anywhere from $0.30 to $1 per send

If you have a Linkedin Premium Account you will need to pay $29.99 per month and this only gives you 5 InMail credits

If you choose to pay for Sales Navigator you have a few options: 

InMail cost quick view per plan

  • Professional = 20 InMails per month
  • Team = 30 InMails per month
  • Enterprise = 50 InMails per month. 

So InMail is a great idea for people that:

A) Do not connect with your (personalized) LinkedIn invite. 

Perhaps you have sent a personalized Linkedin connection request, and the prospect just does not respond. In this case, you can send an InMail. 

B) You can not find their valid email address

If you have tried to find your prospects email address, but haven’t been able to, then sending an InMail to your prospect on Linkedin is a good idea. 

C) They are a qualified, high-value prospect

If your prospect is a qualified high-value prospect and you know that they will reply to your InMail because they are the right target. 

If these above conditions are met, then it’s a smart idea to pay for sending an InMail.

Why? It’s the only way to reach them. (Not including cold calling or other social media channels)

You may also want to use InMail if someone does not respond to your cold emails — again if your prospect is really high value — it’s smart to try your best to get a reply from them. 

Note: Inmail’s credits are not used if you get a reply. 

Why sales emails might be a better option than InMail

Reason 1: It’s free to send as many emails as you like. 

The great thing about using cold email for outreach is that it’s completely free. Plus finding people’s email addresses isn’t too difficult nowadays thanks to technology. 

If you need to find someone’s email, you can look on their Linkedin profile, or sometimes a Google search can also provide you with the contact information you need. 

We also make use of Zoominfo, which provides a vast database of contact information.

Remember above we mentioned that with InMail if a person replies to your message, you don’t have to pay for the credit? But what if you have prospects and no one is replying? You could quickly burn through your InMail credits, and then have nothing left for the month. 

With email, if you use personalization, the chances of someone replying can be higher, but besides that, you can send follow-up emails free of charge.

2. You can send as many emails to as many prospects as you want

When it comes to email campaigns, you can send as many emails as needed to as many prospects as you like. (Remember though, less is more. Always remember low volume, high-quality emails if you want to maintain strong open rates and email deliverability.

With Linkedin, you can only send a certain amount of connection requests and InMails, before your account gets suspended. 

The last thing you want is to see this little beauty:

With emails, you can send as many as you need to, without getting your account suspended.


Be wary, because sending too many emails at once could make you look like a spammer, and the last thing you want is to end up in a prospects spam folder. It can take a really long time to get out of email spam purgatory.

You do not want this. 

Here is a podcast explaining more about deliverability:

Outreach is all about being a responsible sender. If you give value to your prospects and capture their attention with personalization, they will respond to you, no matter which platform you use.

3. If prospects don’t reply to your Linkedin messages, email is another avenue for outreach.

If like Salesbread, you use Linkedin as your main source of outreach, and you don’t receive a response from a prospect, you can then add them to an email campaign. 

Oftentimes if someone doesn’t respond on one platform, they might respond on another. 

The trick with any outreach campaign though is to always add personalized messages. Without it, you will get low reply rates


Prospects are not interested in generic templates that get sent out to thousands of others. Rather, they are more interested in receiving a message that’s just for them.

One that hits home, and solves their pain points. A personal email just for them is bound to capture their attention rather than a spammy one. 

InMail Vs Email Pros and Cons




Helps you reach prospects of high value, who are not in your degree network.

You have to pay for the service

It’s an extra form of outreach if needed. When second-degree Linkedin users are not responding. 

You can’t send more than 50 InMails per month on the most expensive package. 




It’s free to use

You can easily be viewed as a spammer if you don’t know how to do outreach the right way.

You can send as many emails as needed, as often as you like

It’s an extra form of outreach that could get you higher open rates, and response rates if used the right way. 


In Conclusion

When it comes to InMail Vs Email, we suggest using both platforms. If you can’t find a prospect’s email address and they haven’t responded to you via a connection request, InMail messages are the way to go. (Especially if it’s a high-value prospect.)

The trick is to know how to run a successful outreach campaign, how to use personalization, and how to write messages that capture a prospect’s attention. (It’s not just about a catchy subject line 😉

If you aren’t happy with your Linkedin or cold email metrics, we would love to help you get 1 lead per day… Guaranteed.

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