When Do I need An E-Mail Address To Invite Someone?

The question about when you need to have an email address to invite someone to connect on LinkedIn comes up every little bit.

With an interesting event this week, I thought I’d spend a little time helping you understand when it is necessary.

Plan to always have it

First off – my advice: always plan to have the email address to invite people you know and trust into your network.

Then, if you happen to not need it, that’s a bonus.

If they’re a friend…

Depending on how you indicate that you know the invitee, LinkedIn will allow you to do it with or without an email address.

If you say the invitee is a friend, it looks like the system will always ask you for his or her email address.

If you’ve worked together (by having the same company in your profiles…), it’s often the case that you don’t have to have it.

When you’ve been a prolific inviter and been called on it

So – you know that bit about saying “I don’t know” on an invitation?

Well – people that get those replies get put on a restricted list – and have to have the email address of everyone they invite.

If the other person has requested it!

So here’s the surprise factor.

I went to invite a former co-worker, and the system told me that I needed to have her email address.


You know what I wrote above – that’s unheard of…

So I looked into it further.

And there it is – under the Account & Settings section, you’ll find “Invitation Filtering”

Any user can request to receive invitations only from people that they have uploaded the email address of (from their email program), or both that group and those that request to connect and supply the email address.

If you’re tired of excess requests to connect…

So – if you want to limit requests to connect, just head over there and check it.

Me – I’m not unduly burdened by the number of requests I get so I’ll leave it open (at least for now).

To your continued success,

Steven Tylock


  1. Hi Steve,

    I find it even more interesting when you want to invite a former colleague who left the company or got fired and set up their LinkedIn account using the work e-mail address. Since they do no longer have access to it they can’t read invitations until they update their LinkedIn profile with another e-mail address.

    Hence my recommendation to always make your private e-mail address the primary one and add the work e-mail address as an optional. (You can add as many as you want by the way)


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