LinkedIn message character limits are about more than just what you can fit into a message. They influence how your personal and professional brand is perceived, making or breaking potential and important network connections.
LinkedIn is a powerful platform and in this blog post, we’re going to dig into what you’ll need to do in order to meet all the character limits and also help you grow a stronger and more valuable professional network.
What are the LinkedIn Character Limits?
Here’s a breakdown of LinkedIn’s character limits by category:
- First Name: 20 characters
- Last Name: 40 characters
- Headline: 120 character limit
- Summary: 2,000 character limit
- Recommendation: 3,000 character limit
- Profile Publication Title: 255 character limit
- Profile Publication Description: 2,000 character limit
- Website Anchor Text: 30 maximum characters
- Website URL: 256 maximum characters
- Vanity URL: 5-30 characters after ‘www.linkedin.com/in/’ (URL can have 5-30 letters or numbers. The only special character you can use is a dash “-“)
- Position Title: 100 maximum characters
- Position Description: 200 character minimum (2,000 maximum characters).
- Interests: 1,000 character limit
- Additional Info / Advice For Contacting: 2,000 character limit
- Phone number: 25 character limit (Only your 1st degree connections can see this information.)
- Instant Message: 25 character limit (Only your 1st degree connections can see this information.)
- Address: 1,000 character limit (Only your 1st degree connections can see this information.)
- Skills: 80 characters per Skill
- Name (Overview tab): 100 maximum characters
- About Us (Overview tab): 200 min / 2,000 max
- Update: 1,300 characters limit
- Website Anchor Text: 30 maximum characters
- Website URL: 70 maximum characters
- Company Leaders headline: 150 character limit
- Company Leaders description: 150 character limit
- Employee Testimonials 400 character limit
- Custom Module title 150 character limit
- Custom Module body 500 character limit
- Custom Module URL label 70 character limit
- Page Name: 100 maximum characters
- Page Description: 75 min / 200 max
- Title: 200 maximum characters.
- Body (Conversation): 2,000 character limit
- Comments: 1,000 character limit
- Subject Line: 2,000 character limit
- Body: 2,000 character limit
Invitation to Connect
- Message Body: 299 character limit
- Headline: 25 character limit
- Message Body: 75 character limit
Direct Sponsored Content
- Content: 160 character limit
- Post Headline: 100 maximum characters
- Post Body: 40,000 characters
- Photo/image credit: 250 character limit
- Comments on articles: 1,750 character limit
Linkedin Messaging Character Limits and More
LinkedIn offers two forms of messaging options. The first is one people are most familiar with, connection messages. These are messages you’ve received from prospective connections to join your network. They have a character limit of 300. Spaces, letters, numbers, symbols, and emojis are counted as characters. While that might not seem like much, it’s enough to make an impact -- if used effectively.
The connection message character limit includes characters and spaces. And again, making an impact may seem slim, but it is possible (more on this below).
The second LinkedIn messaging option is InMail. InMail is email for your LinkedIn account. While it is ‘email for your LinkedIn account’, it’s a little different. First, you can only send InMails to people you’re connected to. With a free account, you have a limited number of 3 InMail available each month, all of which expire after 90 days if not used. And if this seems a little limiting, that’s because LinkedIn created the solution to be part of an upgrade path.
To send more emails to people you don’t know, you can purchase InMail credits via various plans. Here’s a look at the plans available:
- Premium Career: 5
- Premium Business: 15
- Sales Navigator: 20
- Recruiter Lite: 30
InMail messages offer more flexibility than connection messages. You get up to 200 characters for your subject line and 2000 for your message body. And like connection messaging, InMail messages are governed by the same character policy. Spaces, letters, numbers, symbols, and emojis are counted as characters.
What Can You Include in a LinkedIn Message?
While considering LinkedIn messaging as a way to engage with more connection, you may wonder what you can add to your messages. Here are four elements you can include to make your messages impactful.
URLs are often a good place to start when sharing content. Your goal isn’t to make your potential connection do a lot of legwork, but the right URL can make for an interesting and worthwhile engagement.
When using URLs be sure to shorten yours. While LinkedIn offers short URLs for posts, it doesn’t do so for messages. And because of the character limits above, you want to save as many as possible for the rest of your message.
When added to messages, URLs populate the body of your connection or standard messages with a small preview thumbnail, giving messages a pop of color. URLs don’t provide a preview in InMail messages.
It’s good to know that you can leverage emojis. They serve as a light-hearted engagement tool. But use them sparingly and make sure they are appropriate. Emojis cannot be used in InMail messages.
While not the first type of content you’d imagine available on LinkedIn, GIFs are present. They can be used in messages, but like emojis, require discretion. GIFs cannot be included in InMail messages.
Often, you’ll find the need to share a file when engaging existing and potential connections. LinkedIn offers attachments for documents and images. Attachments can be included in InMail messages.
How to Connect Like a Pro
Creating effective LinkedIn messages seems like a slog. What should you say when reaching out to potential connections and what makes for an interesting and worthwhile message to someone new?
Here’s a quick guide to creating messages that drive engagements. As you’ll see, once you’ve read these five essential elements, they’ll fit like a glove. You’ll find it easier to find more opportunities to connect and engage with more people in a professional yet mutually beneficial way.
1. Get Your Subject Line Right
Copywriters know how important subject lines are. They are seen as the keys to the hearts and minds of readers. And as such, they must be treated with care and created with flair. To produce a solid and interesting subject line, you have to aim for value.
Value can be anything from a reference point or special discovery you’ve made to an accomplishment you’ve identified about your message recipient. Whatever your angle, be sure to make your subject line:
- Personal - people want to know why looking at your email is worth their time
- Valid - while you can target a recipient with a personal trigger, using one that’s linked to professional gain is essential on LinkedIn
When thinking about the length of your subject line, aim to keep it between 28-39 characters.
Email solutions provider Litmus found that the perfect subject line is about 28-39 characters as they have an open and click rate of 12.2%. As a close second, subject lines with 4-15 characters generated a 15.2% open rate and a 3.1% click rate. While opens are great, the higher your click rate the better.
For example, a strong and interesting subject line for outreach to CFOs in the SaaS industry could read as, “What 10 SaaS CFOs shared with me”.
2. Be Relevant
There’s no other way to put it. Without relevance, your emails will bomb. Relevance is a key ingredient for generating better LinkedIn message results. As mentioned above, it can be achieved by referring to a discovery you’ve made about your prospective connection or using a common point of reference, like a common professional contact.
But there’s an important factor that you must consider when striving for relevance: your prospects will be asking themselves, “what’s in this for me?”
While that seems self-serving it’s an honest and true assessment of how people view communications today. People have less time to spare and loads to see in a day. For this reason, while your message is relevant, it must also be specific.
3. Be Specific
Specificity helps shoot down any reasons for dismissing your message. If you’ve identified a relevant topic to address, and your recipient has taken the time to open your message, specificity helps state a clear and solid case for why it’s worth it to engage with you.
What should you say to make your message specific? Use exact names, stats, figures, or titles of content. Being specific also proves a degree of credibility, but don’t rub it in by citing too many details. Your goal is to cultivate interest and not to overwhelm.
Take this example for an outreach email to CTOs considering digital transformation and how to ensure they successfully transform their brands.
“... I’ve spoken to 34 CTOs in the SaaS industry and they’ve cited c-suite buy-in as a real challenge. I’d like to help you win your colleagues over and this report shows how.”
The example above shows how relevance and specificity are neatly rolled into two powerful sentences.
4. Be Authentic
There’s a lot that can be said about the power of authenticity. When creating LinkedIn messages, it’s a value that goes a long way. Truly authentic communication is driven by “you-first” sentiment. Your goal should be to offer value to your recipient without asking for anything in return.
This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s got more to do with psychology than most understand. When you offer something of true value to a potential contact, they become almost enamored by your kindness. In fact, in Dr. Robert Cialini’s Presuasion, this psychological effect is reciprocity in it’s purest form. Recipients can’t help but want to return the favor and will go to lengths to do so.
But to make reciprocity work for your LinkedIn messages, you’ll have to spend time on connecting the value of your offer with the relevance of it and create a personalized message. And this is a big deal.
For example, if you’re reaching out to all the CMO of marketing software firms and sending a research paper, you’ll have to make it worthwhile. They all know it’s something they can download from your site and it wasn’t made especially for an individual but more a person in their role.
5. End With a Bang
The ending is just as important as your subject line and the body of your message. This is where you want to entice your recipient to take action. While there are many ways to get someone to take action, focus on the low-hanging fruit.
What is a low-hanging fruit in this case? It’s the easiest thing your recipient can do. If you’ve done your job effectively, this part will be easy to put together. Low-hanging fruits are like calls to action in any other piece of marketing content.
Here are valuable tips on how to end your messages like a star:
- Relevant to your recipients - if you’re making an offer, make it one that is associated with your recipients’ profession.
- Easily understood - your recipients must be able to clearly see the connection between your message subject line, the body, and how taking action is worthwhile.
- Easy to act upon - your reader must see that taking action is a simple matter of performing a series of steps that they are willing to complete to receive what you’re offering.
- Value-packed - the call to action must help them save time, gain access they would not ordinarily easily gain, or provide insight they don’t have. It must give your reader an edge.
Here’s an example of a powerful closing for an email to an influencer:
“... our latest Instagram report is a click away and packed with a detailed takedown of what’s changed with Instagram’s algorithm.”
This closing touches on something any Instagram influencer would love to get their hands on--information on how to make Instagram’s algorithm work in their favor. It also tells them that getting the report is as easy as following a link.
Over to You
And there you have it! A valuable guide for creating powerful LinkedIn messages that will help you engage more people and open doors to greater opportunities. As you begin to apply these, be sure to inject your personality into your messages. While LinkedIn is filled with professionals who are buyers and use highly technical jargon from time-to-time, they are people first.
Make your engagements human by stripping away large words and replacing them with smaller, easier to read and understand terms. And while we’ve covered the need to serve your recipient first, put your best foot forward by being helpful. Service is all about solving problems. The most successful business people understand that they aren’t paid to click and type, but to solve problems by communicating effectively.