Asking vs. Sending the Link: Lead Generation Test with 2500 Prospects

LinkedIn has become an integral part of lead-generation strategies for businesses. However, the way in which we approach potential clients on this platform can make all the difference in terms of generating leads.

While working with clients we often think about the question: which strategy should we implement? Some clients prefer if we send the link in the message right away, while others prefer if we start a conversation first. While testing both of these strategies for our clients, we decided to make an experiment by comparing them, see which one is working better, and share the final results.

With this in mind, we approached 2500+ people by splitting them into two subgroups and using two different approaches. One approach was to start a conversation and ask if they would like us to send the link, while with another strategy we would send the link directly in the message.

Let’s take a look at our experiment to find out which one is the more effective approach for lead generation.

Targeting for the experiment

We approached existing connections on our LinkedIn account because we could easily send them messages without connection requests. Our target audience for this experiment consisted of those connections who held titles such as CEO, Managing Director, Advisor, Consultant, Founder, Trainer, Partner, Managing Partner, Geschäftsführer, and Eigentümer.

Totally we collected 2518 prospects.

First strategy

In our first strategy, we asked our targeted connections if they were interested in getting the link for additional details and booking a call. In total, we approached 1223 people with the first strategy. Here is an example of the message we sent:

LinkedIn message for lead generation

Results of the first strategy

Out of 1223 people, we got replies from 103 and generated 63 interested leads. In the end, out of these 63 people we managed to book a call with 7 of them.

Total engaged leads1223
Total replies103
Total generated leads70
Interested leads63
Booked call7

Second strategy

Our second strategy had a more direct approach, as the link to the sales pitch was already in the copy of the 1st message. Here is the message we sent to 1295 people from our targeted list:

LinkedIn message for lead generation

Results of the second strategy

As a result of our second strategy, we approached a total of 1295 connections, out of which 17 answered our message. In the end, 2 people were interested in booking a call to get more information.

Total engaged leads1295
Total replies17
Total generated leads4
Total interested leads2
Booked calls2

Pros and cons of both strategies

The first strategy (asking to send a link)


  • You can follow up and continue the conversation with those interested leads
  • Shows respect for the recipient’s time and preferences
  • Increases the likelihood of the recipient being receptive to the conversation and engaging with your message
  • This leads to a more personalized and meaningful conversation, as the recipient has expressed interest in receiving the link


  • May not be necessary in all cases, as some recipients may be open to receiving links without being asked first
  • This could potentially add an extra step to the conversation and delay the process of lead generation
  • May not be as effective in generating immediate interest from the recipient, as takes a bit of time for the initial conversation.

The second strategy (sending the link)


  • Provides the recipient with immediate value
  • Can work well for busy people that can check the link right away
  • This can potentially lead to faster lead generation


  • You don’t know who clicked the link.
  • May appear spammy, pushy, or self-promotional
  • The recipient may not have the time or interest to click on the link and engage with the content, leading to lower engagement rates
  • While clicking on the link LinkedIn is asking if you want to leave the Linkedin platform. This might confuse some people and result in them not viewing the landing page.
  • The link may be seen as irrelevant or not useful to the recipient, which can harm your chances of building a meaningful connection

Which strategy works better?

According to our experiment, the first strategy performed better as it generated 63 interested leads and 7 booked calls, while the second one generated only 2 booked calls. The 1st strategy allows engaging more with leads, while the 2nd strategy gives a straightforward approach.

The 1st strategy indeed needs more time and effort than the second one but the final results are better for the first one. In addition, monitoring and following up on the 1st strategy is easier than the 2nd strategy.

Overall both strategies could be useful according to your campaign needs. For example, if you want to spend less time and send messages to a wider audience, then probably the second strategy will be a better choice. However, it might lead to lower engagement and generated leads.

Our recommendation is to start the conversation and keep following up, which will require more time and dedicated resources but generate more results.

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