Each month when we send our clients’ newsletters (and ours!) we export and sort their LinkedIn list of connections and add them to their email list. It can be laborious, but it’s worth it.
Why bother with LinkedIn Connections?
If you’re actively networking on LinkedIn and growing your list of connections, that is like going to a networking or chamber meeting online! Think about it – if you go to a networking meeting in person, you exchange business cards, don’t you? Then what do you do as a next step?
If you’re good at marketing and networking, the next step you would do, would be to add them to your CRM, your email list and/or your phone contacts for future follow up.
What many people don’t realize, is that each time you connect with another professional on LinkedIn, you are getting their “virtual” business card and an opportunity to follow up. If you’re business is not limited geographically, this gives you the huge advantage of increasing your reach through the Internet.
How to use your LinkedIn Connections?
As mentioned above, you now have a lot of ways to maximize this new networking asset. Here are some ideas that might help:
- Put them in your CRM (Customer Relationship Management tool)
- Once in your CRM, prioritize the high value connections and schedule a date to reach out to them via phone or email
- Add them to your eNewsletter list. This is very easy to do if you use MailChimp, Constant Contact or most of the email management programs for your newsletters
- Add them to your physical mailing list, if you have one
- Invite them to an event either in-person or via a webinar
- Put them in your SMS manager (for texting/messaging on their mobile devices)
- What’s your idea?
Exporting LinkedIn Connections
Now that you see the value in exporting your connections, watch the video to see how you can do it. It’s less than four minutes long and it can save you from spending a lot of time hunting around your LinkedIn account to find it!
Mind the CAN SPAM laws
CAN SPAM laws were created to protect us from getting unwanted and unsolicited emails. Nowadays, the law doesn’t seem to help, but you should be mindful of what is ok and what is not. You can view details of the law here: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business
If you choose to add your connections to your email list, be aware that if you get a lot of bounces and “unsubscribes” from your list, it could appear to be SPAM and could harm your email credibility, or reduce your ability to add future contacts. Here are some tips to avoid this:
- You could ask permission from your connections before you put them on your list. Most people will say “no” to additional email, but it would be a safe way to make sure you’re not breaking any etiquette protocols for your industry
- Send an introduction email telling them why you’ve added them to your list and what they can expect to receive from you, with the option to unsubscribe
- Do NOT under any circumstances SPAM them! You hear that word a lot these days, with a lot of implied or real definition. Some of the following items, we consider to be SPAM:
- Blatant selling – you should be building relationships, not shoving your product or service down their throat
- Email that contains mysterious links with little or no explanation
- Emailing too frequently
- Sharing political, religious or highly opinionated topics with them via email
- You could also set up an opt-in page whereby in exchange for their email, you give them something of interest to them (see my example at socialforrealestate.com). This ensures they are “opting in” to your list and that they want to hear from you. Plus, if you give them something interesting and relevant, you are showcasing yourself as an authority in your industry.
- Message them through LinkedIn and thank them for being a valued connection. Then, let them know what you’re doing. Sometimes, people start getting emails from a new contact and they don’t know how they know them. This leads to more unsubscribed connections.
How you decide to utilize this great networking tool is up to you. We see great success with email newsletters that help grow business for our clients. If you do it right, people will look forward to hearing from you and you will gradually become a trusted connection!
Here is the video to quickly show you how to export your LinkedIn connections. Check back on our blog to see how you can increase your LinkedIn with highly targeted connections. Enjoy!