One of the most successful authentic marketing tactics I've used in the last twelve months is leveraging my LinkedIn connections to grow my email list. With a network of nearly 3,000 relevant LinkedIn connections compared to my starting list of 74 email subscribers, I knew there was potential for me to merge the two. The problem happens when people simply export their LinkedIn connections and automatically opt-them into an email list without ever telling them. That’s spammy. Here's how I decided to authentically approach my LinkedIn connections.
- I exported all of my LinkedIn connections into a spreadsheet.
- I went through the entire spreadsheet line-by-line to weed out current clients or people I did not want to send my newsletter to.
- I imported the spreadsheet into MailChimp.
- I sent a very brief email to the list letting them know I was starting up a newsletter about social media marketing and asked them to simply opt-out if they did not want to be on the list.
- Surprisingly, only 339 opted out of the list after the first few newsletters went out.
I literally grew my mailing list 2126% with that one email. This growth resulted in an increase of 20% traffic to my website and three phone calls with hot prospects.
Cost = Nothing out-of-pocket
Time = 2.5 hours
By making it easy to opt-out, connections could do so if they don’t want to receive the content. By making the assumption that everyone wants to opt-in, I increase the subscription of my newsletter based and set a high standard for myself and the content I choose to send them. I feel that I must live up to “keeping them” on the list by giving them practical, tangible tips to accelerate their social media marketing efforts.
Here’s what one subscriber had to say about my starting up a newsletter email:
— S.Ketharaman (@s_ketharaman) March 10, 2017
When we are (what I like to call) tastefully pushy, we see more results than if we passively hope our target audience will notice us. In sending this email to my LinkedIn connections, I re-established my relationship with hundreds of “dormant” connections, demonstrated respect and offered to help them with their social media marketing. That’s a win for everyone.