No matter what business you’re in, your email list is one of your most valuable assets.
It’s a list of people who are interested in what you do, or they’re already your customer. They’ve opted in and asked you to send them info about your industry and educate them about your products and services. They’re a captured audience! For this reason, it’s imperative you continue to grow your list.
One of the best ways to grow your list is through social media. And it makes sense; these are people who’ve expressed an interest in what you have to say, and you may have already engaged with them.
When it comes to doing business on social, LinkedIn is primo. The platform has over 100 million unique visitors every month in over 200 countries. Think about all the connections you and your business has on LinkedIn. Wouldn’t it be great if they were also on your email list?
Do you want to to receive newsletters from all the people you’re connected to on LinkedIn? Probably not.
Before you import all those LinkedIn connections to your email list, think about what you’re doing. Just because people have connected with you, doesn’t mean they want email newsletters from you. But, because they connected with you, they’ve expressed an interest in you and your business.
- Maybe they’re a business with a complementary target audience.
- Maybe they’ve connected with you because they’re looking for the services or products you provide.
- Maybe they want to send clients your way.
- Maybe they want you to contract with them and use their services to enlarge your business.
Whatever reason they connected with you there’s some type of opportunity to get more business from your LinkedIn connections and emails are an easy way to stay at the top of a reader’s mind.
Want your connections to willingly opt-in to your email list?
One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to send a direct message to your connections and ask them to opt in. Include a link to a landing page where they can submit their information. But here’s the issue, SPAM.
SPAM is unwanted and unsolicited emails. When I receive a message from someone asked me to connect with them, and I have no idea of the context of the connection, and they ask if I want to be on their email list I always decline. Why? Because there’s no personal connection!
[CAUTION: RANT AHEAD] I’ll come out and say it … It’s rude to connect with someone, and the very first interaction with them be about you, the product or services you sell that may be a match for them or an email subscription form. Your first interaction should be about them … and not the generic “tell me more about your business”. I know when I get that message the person on the other side has no real interest in what I do and is just going through the motions. So I don’t waste my precious time answering them, and I never hear from them again.
I just removed a connection because his first contact with me was a plea for me to send him business in a very long message. He didn’t tell me what services he performed or give me a link to testimonials; he just wanted an in to my clients. AND he asked if I would look over his website and give him constructive criticism. With these mannerisms, I wouldn’t have been surprised if my clients would have been asked to become his clients. [RANT COMPLETE]
If you’ve taken the time and effort to view a profile and connect via LinkedIn, then follow up with a personable message where a real connection is formed. Once that connection is formed, you can see where you can help and offer solutions to their problems. Then after you have a relationship and have proven yourself to be a resource, send them an opt-in offer and link to a newsletter subscription form.
Make it easy for your new connection to read and respond to your message. Remember everyone’s time is precious, be respectful of the time you’re requesting of your connection. Include live links to the appropriate pages in your message so that it’s quick and easy for your connection to learn about you and your business.
You can do the same with members of LinkedIn Groups that you manage or a member of. When you recognize a problem you can help with or solve, go the extra mile and reach out with resources that you and others have created. Once the relationship is built, and you’ve proven your expertise and resourcefulness send them an opt-in offer and a link to a newsletter subscription form.
Does email marketing using LinkedIn take time? YES! And with the busy-ness of most of our lives, you may not be willing to invest the time when there’s no guaranteed outcome. But if you’re ready, willing and able to take even one day a week, your newsletter list will grow with engaged, interested subscribers. After all, it’s not about the size of the list, it’s about the actions your list takes when you ask them to take action.
Thanks for reading my rant on LinkedIn email etiquette. Do you have any additional pointers or suggestions? Add them to the comments here.