Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Report Abuse   |   Register
Free Messaging on LinkedIN
Share |

Learn how to message thousands of Houston-area Supply
Chain, Logistics, and Operations Management professionals 
on LinkedIn at no cost to you.


We invite everyone in the Houston Metro area who is involved in supply chain or operations management to connect with APICS on LinkedIN.  You do not need to be an APICS member to connect with us.


Connect to the APICS Houston profile

Join our group - APICS Houston Chapter


Communicate with people on LinkedIN at no cost to you

LinkedIN gives you the ability to send messages to people you're not connected to. Here's how to do it, even if you don't have a premium LinkedIN membership.

In most cases, you can message the people that share a group with you without charge. You must do this from within the group -- the free messaging capability is not available from an individual's profile page.

There is a limit to the number of times you can use this feature -- it's 15 times per calendar month and the counter resets at the first of each month.

Look at a person's profile and see if there is a group that both of you belong to. If so, go to that group and look in the right column of the page in the section called "Members".  Click on the link that indicates the number of members (e.g. 1,800 members).   In the box that says "Find a Member", search for the name of person you want to reach.  Hover over the person's name and you should see an email icon to the right of the person's name.  (They have the option to opt out of messaging at the group level but most people don't). Click on the link.

You can ask to join only a limited number of groups at a time,  Once you're admitted (or you withdraw requests to groups that haven't responded), you can join more.  To reach someone, you only need to share one group with them, so select groups that will give you the broadest coverage possible. This might include industry groups (oil & gas, chemicals), function (supply chain), and networking groups.

Look at the groups on the APICS Houston LinkedIN profile page and you'll see a good cross-section of groups that supply chain people will be interested in. The groups that APICS Houston belongs to give us the ability to message 4.5 million LinkedIn members at no cost. 

Here is a LinkedIN help page that provides more information: 


In your search results, look for people that have the orange "Premium Member" badge

Many premium members have enabled their profiles to be what is called an "Open Profile".  This allows anyone on LinkedIn to send the premium member a message at no cost to the sender.  LinkedIN doesn't really talk about this anymore, so you need to know what to look for to know how to use this feature.

If you are not a LinkedIN premium member, click on the "Send InMail" icon just to the right of the profile picture.  If this premium member has the "Open Profile" feature enabled, you will see a message at the top of the pop-up screen that says "Open Profile Message".  You won't be charged for message you send this individual.  If you don't see the "Open Profile Message" at the top of the pop-up screen, this premium member does not have an Open Profile enabled, so you won't be able to message the person in this way (but you still may be able to do it via a group).

If you are a LinkedIn premium member, things are more straight-forward.  The icon to the right of the right of the profile picture will say "Send a Message" if the other party has the Open Profile feature enabled.


How many different people can you currently message through groups at no cost?

To find out, go to the LinkedIN home page and click on "Advanced" next to the search icon.  Immediately under banner title "Advanced People Search", select "Group Members" in the Relationships section and press enter.  You'll have your answer.  (You must belong to at least one group to have a non-zero value.)

To see how may Houston-area people you can reach, open the "Location" section in the Advanced Search screen and specify "Houston Metro Area".

To find Supply Chain people, specify in the Industry section "Logistics and Supply Chain" or, for a much broader multi-industry search, use the expression below in the "Keywords" box in the top left of the Advanced Search screen:

"Supply Chain" OR Logistics OR Procurement OR Purchasing

(Items inside double quotes return the phrase Supply Chain, not just the individual words Supply or Chain.  You can also use "OR" to specify multiple keywords to include in the search.  Note that both characters in "OR" must be in uppercase.)


Connect to APICS to display, within LinkedIN, the full names of our 1st & 2nd degree connections (which will become your 2nd & 3rd degree connections)

By connecting with us, you're no more than a second degree connection to everyone to whom the APICS Houston Chapter is directly connected. Even without a premium Linked In account, you can see the full names of most 2nd degree connections, and perhaps as importantly, they can see yours.

Armed with the person's name, you can call the company to ask how you can address a letter this person.


Use Google to identify the full name of individuals whose names are not revealed by LinkedIN

Many times, either the last name or full name will not be available on Linked In. There is a way using Google to get this information.

The Google search line should begin with "" and contain a combination of keywords from the LinkedIN page that are unlikely to be common among multiple people. Include things like current and former employers, titles, schools, and unusual keywords.

A Google search line might look like the one below: Jennifer Exxon Supply Chain Manager Cameron Planner Vanderbilt UCLA "Habitat for Humanity" piano


Find the people who are most likely to be helpful to you

For any group of people with whom you wish to communicate, the people you know well who are already connected with the other party are in the best position to help you.  Start with people who you respect the most -- the ones who are most professional and competent (and possibly the most senior) in what they do and who have connections that are valuable to you.

The people you know well and who trust you can share with you useful information about the people you wish to reach.  You can use this information to help break the ice with other person.

You can search the connections of specific connections.  Here's what you need to do:

  • Select the profile of an individual whose connections you wish to explore.  Find the "Connections" section of the profile.
  • Click on the search icon (magnifying glass) in the upper right of the section.  Enter the keywords on which you wish to search.  You'll find people who meet your criteria.
  • To further filter this list, click on the "advanced search" link at the upper right side of the Connections section (this is the only way I know to find it).  You can now further filter the list by location, company, industry, etc.
  • If you and a 2nd degree connection share a group, you can use that to communicate with them.  Alternatively, you can ask your 1st degree connection to introduce the two of you.
Find people within a specific company. 
There are two ways to find people within particular companies and the way you conduct the search may cause you to get different results.
  1. Use the "Company Search" option.  Click on the darkened box next to the search box and select "company search", then search for the particular company in which you're interested.  This will return all people whose profiles are linked to this company page (if it exists).  This will include people that are "outside your network" who you may not find by simply dong a people search.
  2. Use the "People Search" option.  Click on the darkened box next to the search box and select "people search", then specify the particular company in which you're interested in the company box.  Be sure to consider whether you want current employees, past employees, etc.  The results returned will normally be limited to people who are in your network.  Also, the results may return some people whose profiles are not linked to the company page.  (They may have created their profiles before the company page was added.)  Further, if you specify just part of the company name (e.g. "Continental" instead of "Continental Airlines", you will find some entities that you're not interested in but you may also find individuals who abbreviated their company name.


Explicitly state in your profile how people can contact you.

Some people choose to list their email address in their profile.  You can create a disposable email account for this purpose if you're concerned about spam.

Alternatively, you can state that people can contact you by messaging you through one of the groups to which you belong. 


Premium Account holders can unlock hidden features on LinkedIn.  Learn how to display your profile to ALL LinkedIN members (not just those in your network).  Learn how to enable OTHER LinkedIN members to message you without charge. 

Premium Account subscribers have a valuable benefit that LinkedIn doesn't talk about much.  You have the ability to specify that you want an "Open Profile".  This permits two things:

  1. Your full profile will be visible to everyone on LinkedIn, not just to those in your network (1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree connections).  This has vast implications in terms of the people that can find you with a search.
  2. Other people can send you messages to you at no charge to them.  If you're concerned about spam, remember that you can block LinkedIn members that you don't want to hear from anymore.

For more information, click on the link below or search the LinkedIn Help Center for "Open Profile and Messages - Overview". 


If you found this information useful, please share it with others

There is a "Share" link at the top of this page that will allow you to share it with your friends and colleagues on social media.  This can help us get the information to people that need it the most. 


If you have questions, please contact Tom Chambers via Contact Us


any sort of website counter
Free Hit Counter