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
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.
The Network – Sergio Roberto Bichara