Comparing LinkedIn Subscriptions: Free vs Premium Business vs Sales Navigator

Are you weighing up which of the premium LinkedIn subscriptions are right for you?

The most popular options are upgrading from a free LinkedIn membership to either LinkedIn Premium Business or LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

Or, some of you may already be a LinkedIn Premium Business subscriber and are wondering if it’s worthwhile upgrading to Sales Navigator to boost your social selling and lead generation on the platform.

Here is a guide that will help you compare the price, features and benefits of each LinkedIn premium subscription level to help you make the right decision for your business goals.

Free LinkedIn Subscription

Cost: FREE

This is the basic subscription plan that ever LinkedIn member has access to.

In the good old days, free membership used to include a lot of the features that are now available to premium subscribers only.  However, for some, the free account could be all they require for their purposes.

LinkedIn is still the best platform for B2B professionals to find, connect and engage with their target prospects. One of the key points to consider is that a free account comes with monthly commercial use limit when you perform searches on the platform. If searching for prospects is a key part of your LinkedIn strategy then you will definitely want to consider upgrading your account.

LinkedIn Free features:

  • build your professional identity on the web
  • build and maintain a large trusted professional network
  • find and reconnect with colleagues and classmates
  • request and provide recommendations
  • search for and view profiles of other LinkedIn members
  • receive unlimited InMail messages
  • save up to three searches and get weekly alerts on those searches

The power of the platform is that even with the free membership you can quickly and easily find and connect with professionals and business people all over the world.

Here is a comparison graphic provided by LinkedIn of the different LinkedIn membership levels:

LinkedIn Premium Business Subscription

Cost: $59.99/month

If the LinkedIn Free membership is a bit too basic for your needs, you might want to consider upgrading to LinkedIn Premium Business.

You’re able to trial the features over a 30 day period to make sure that it’s the right fit for your requirements.

LinkedIn Premium Business features:

  • Who’s Viewed My Profile – You are able to see who’s been looking at your profile in the past 90 days which is a great way to spot potential leads. With a free account, you can only see the last 5 people to have viewed your profile. You are also able to filter these views based on their company, job title and how they found your profile.
  • InMails – InMails allow you to send a direct message on LinkedIn to someone outside of your network. They can be particularly useful if you want to reach out to someone prior to sending a connection request or to prompt someone who hasn’t accepted your request yet. With the LinkedIn Premium Business subscription you will get 15 InMails per month (and the ability to buy additional InMails if required).
  • Extended LinkedIn Network Access– There is no limit to the number of searches or profile views you can perform each month which means that your lead generation activities won’t get cut short.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Professional Subscription

Cost: $79.99/month

By upgrading to LinkedIn Sales Navigator Professional, you have access to all of the features of the LinkedIn  Premium Business membership, along with many other benefits. You will also be able to trial this membership option for 30 days.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Professional features:

  • Sales Navigator Advanced Search – The Advanced Search feature makes it easy to target you ideal prospects on LinkedIn. Sales Navigator includes advanced filtering options which will allow you to pinpoint your target demographic, including;
  • Saved Searches – Once you’ve completed a search, you are able to save in within your Sales Navigator account and be notified as new prospects are added to your list (on a daily, weekly or monthly basis).
  • Lead & Account Recommendations -Sales Navigator suggests potential prospects that it feels are relevant to you based on your sales preferences, which you have saved in your Sales Navigator account, and recently saved leads.
  • Tagging and Notes – Within Sales Navigator, you can add Notes and Tags to both leads and accounts. This will help keep your prospects organised and ensure a more targeted approach.
  • InMails – You will have access to 20 InMails per month (5 more than with the Business Premium subscription) to allow you to contact prospects outside of your network.
  • Job Change Notifications – When a prospect changes roles, you will be alerted via the Job Change feature. This can help identify whether you are still speaking to the correct decision maker and can be a great engagement icebreaker.
  • LinkedIn Learning Center – LinkedIn Learning is an online training and education portal which can help you learn brand new skills or upskill in an area you feel you’d like to develop. There are over 5,000 video courses, helping you excel in business, technology and creative skills. Once you’ve completed a course, you’ll have the option to add the accolade to your LinkedIn profile.
  • LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI Score) -LinkedIn’s SSI score is a measure of your performance against its 4 key pillars:
    • Creating a Professional Brand
    • Finding the Right People
    • Engaging with Insights
    • Building Strong Relationships

Choosing The Right LinkedIn Subscription

After having compared the plans above, if you identify that you might benefit from upgrading to either LinkedIn Premium Business or LinkedIn Sales Navigator, the most sensible first step is to sign up for a free trail to give yourself a chance to explore the different tools and features available at each level.

If you are using LinkedIn for Sales Navigator, we would highly recommend the LinkedIn Sales Navigator subscription as the targeting and filtering options included in the Advanced Search are extremely valuable in ensuring you’re reaching the correct users.

Upgrading to a paid LinkedIn subscription might not be the best fit in every case, but it does make sense if you want to maximise the prospecting capabilities of the platform.