Date: June 6, 2013

Author: JT

Tags: , , ,

8 Comments »

LinkedIn Marketing: 4 Ways to Reach ALL Your Connections

A colleague is preparing to launch a new book.  As part of her launch efforts she has been attempting to message all her (1,000+) LinkedIn connections.  The problem she quickly discovered, and which many others run into as well, is that LinkedIn messages (internal email) are limited to no more than 50 recipients at a time.

She reached out to me for alternatives.  How can you reach out, perhaps for a promotional fee, to all your LinkedIn connections?

The crux of the problem is LinkedIn’s aggressive efforts to fight SPAM. The result is that there are no blanket solutions available, no Send to All type functions.  That does not mean it cannot be done though!

There are 4 ways to tackle this issue.  I have done each myself, depending on need.

(1) Sending Message to Connections

In short, go to your LinkedIn Inbox, write your note, select recipients from your LinkedIn address book.  You are limited to 50 contacts. Do the first 50, second 50,…, until you have reached all your contacts.  No known limits on the number of email you can send. (LinkedIn How-To)

(2) Export Your Connections and then Email Them

This is my preferred approach.  Export to a CSV (LinkedIn exports full name, email, employer, current job title) and then import and send via your preferred email client. (LinkedIn How-To)

Word of Caution: When your colleagues agree to connect with you in LinkedIn it is not the same as opting-in to regular mailings from you. Use good judgment so you are not marked as a SPAMmer.

I typically drive mine via Easy Mail Merge within Outlook.  It lets me specify settings, such as #/seconds between each email, max # email/hour, so I do not run afoul of ISP spam limitations.

Sending via Outlook also updates my CRM tool so I can maintain my contact history with each individual.  I also like being able to personalize my mass mailings in this fashion as well.

(3) Shared Status

Post a Status Update. Be sure to specify addressees to be “Connections”.jtpedersen_321 Ignite_LinkedIn_How-To_Connections_50_recipients

This will let everyone who follows you see your update; though updates are not a reliable means of ‘positive’ contact, in my view.  Also, message length is likely a lot shorter than may be desired (e.g. my colleague announcing her book).

(4) Discussion Groups

Yes, you can also post to your Groups. I do it all the time when publicizing my posts (like this one).  In my colleagues case, she will need (or her PR person) to do so under her name, one group at a time.  I did this recently when promoting an event for two friends.  In about 15 minutes, I got my note in front of appropriate Groups, around 150,000 people.

Reflective of LinkedIn’s anti-SPAM efforts, there is no all groups option. Note I mentioned appropriate Groups a moment ago. Pick targeted groups, post to the Promotions tab if appropriate, and post individually.

Posting unrelated topics in a Group is considered SPAM. Don’t do it.

The only way [I know of] to promote to multiple groups at once, is to share a web page. In this case, my colleague might create a single page containing her announcement and then do a LinkedIn Share from her site.

The LinkedIn Share utility will let you specify all your groups selectively. This approach will take about as long to execute, for a one-time basis, as simply going and doing individual group posts described above.

LinkedIn does not provide a promotional package. For instance, I confirmed with LinkedIn that there is no way to do mass email for a fee.  That said, there is no need to pay for any of the methods I just described. I do each with varying frequency and am not aware of any alternatives at this time.

Image credit:
The Network – Sergio Roberto Bichara

8 Responses to “LinkedIn Marketing: 4 Ways to Reach ALL Your Connections”

  • @ElizCross June 7, 2013 at 8:39 am

    #LinkedIn Marketing: 4 Ways to Reach ALL Your Connections http://t.co/PyFR8gSIE5

  • Gyll Stanford June 12, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    JT, thanks for sharing your expertise. These type of solutions don’t fall in your lap they come from experience and a lot of trial and error. Thanks

    • JT June 13, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Hi Gyll,

      Thank you for the comment. I appreciate it.

      :)
      JT..

  • Sergey Sus September 7, 2013 at 12:51 am

    JT, thanks for giving us a bit of the insight. I’ve never been able to wrangle the LinkedIn. I think the tip about exporting your connections and them sending them email is great idea. I will give it a try.

    All the best,
    Sergey

  • Sandy Cormack October 15, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Do you have any insights on the best way to MARKET to LinkedIn Connections? I have successfully launched a LinkedIn group made up of senior decision makers and am strategically transitioning them from group members to connections.

    • JT October 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Hello Sandy,

      Thank you for commenting. Certainly, the suggestions I made above are for marketing to LinkedIn members. It is a little less clear how to ‘most effectively’ market within LinkedIn.

      One method I use periodically, is the LinkedIn Ads service.  Success using that program seems to vary significantly from one to another.  As a member of the LinkedIn Ads Group, I have heard stories of great success, and quite a few of consternation.  The biggest challenge with LinkedIn Ads is that the learning curve can be steep. There are a lot of technical aspects ‘under the covers’ that are not made readily apparent when creating an ad.  That said, there is value in creating targeted campaigns in a primarily professionals-only environment.  My own experience? It’s an expensive way to generate site traffic, less so in driving true leads. As we speak Google AdWords is more cost-effective for me.

      I think your creating a Group is a solid idea. Long term, e.g. give it 6+ months, I suspect it may outperform LinkedIn Ads.  I know of realtors that have created their own groups and driven a fair amount of business through their efforts there.  The key with Groups is regular, frequent activity, over an extended period of time.  And, they need to be focused on helping others not simply a self-promotion effort.

      Anybody else have suggestions for Sandy?

      Cheers,

      JT…

  • Mark H. Davis January 15, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    JT — Great ideas here. I noticed you mentioned Outlook’s integration with your CRM tool. Which CRM solution do you use? I’m looking at various options and interested in what others find useful. Thanks.

    • JT January 16, 2014 at 11:13 am

      Hello Mark,

      I have been using Microsoft’s Business Contact Manager since about 2005. This is a free add-in for MS Office and you can find it using their Downloads site. Just search for Business Contact Manager…maybe throw in Outlook if it needs clarifiation.

      The tool is very useful. It lets me track all activity related to each contact, such as email, phone calls, appointments, tasks, and marketing campaigns. I can open an individual contact, perhaps when I’m on the phone with them, and clearly see when the last time I spoke with them was, which campaigns (e.g. email or direct mail) they were included in, as well as history of meetings.

      The marketing campaign tools include a very good filter. Makes it easy to target folks by name, category, and location (city/state/zip/etc) when doing marketing campaigns.

      Its as good as some tools I’ve ‘paid’ for, in many ways better. Don’t let ‘free’ fool you, it is a professional grade product. It is suitable for individual and small businesses. For instance, you can install the database on a separate server and let multiple users access it.

      Highly recommend it.

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