I’ve been asked more than once to help a client download all their contacts from LinkedIn and upload them to MailChimp to send them emails promoting the client’s business.
First, this is in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act. Each violation can result in fines up to $10,000.
Second, just because you’re connected on LinkedIn doesn’t give you the go-ahead to send them promotional emails. LinkedIn has a messaging tool that’s very effective to get in touch with connections. I’ve used LinkedIn to reach out to connections and set up ‘get-to-know-you’ chats so we can each learn more about the other. This is the beginning of building a relationship. It does not give me permission to add them to my email list.
Go ahead and download your LinkedIn contacts. Email people individually to get to know them. Do not email them just to sell to them.
LinkedIn is a great social media tool for professionals. As with any social media tool, it can be abused. Let’s remember to be social!
We all subscribe to newsletters we mean to read and then don’t. And then we transfer that feeling to our readers and worry they’ve done the same thing. I combat that by regularly asking folks to unsubscribe. (And if I discover I’m not reading a newsletter, I unsub myself. There’s only so much time. We can’t do it all. What we cull is as important as what we keep.)
Telling them it’s okay to leave helps cull the folks who are staying because they’re too nice to unsubscribe.
Everyone is busy. I see the choices as (a) be easy to ignore, and become One of Those Newsletters, or (b) be so good they don’t want to ignore you.
Yeah, (b) is harder. It’s also the professional choice.
One of the biggest mistakes authors make is thinking their newsletter is about selling. Marketing, which is what your newsletter is part of, is about building relationships. When you have good relationships with people, they’ll buy without you “selling” at all.
When you imagine that one person you’re writing your newsletter for, also remember that you’re not dragging a friend down the alley to mug them (because it’s not about money.) Instead, you’re chatting with someone who asked you to talk to them. Would you really say “I’m sure you don’t really want to talk to me, so I’ll keep this brief and infrequent”?
Pardon me while I get geeky for a moment.
Newsletter tools that report “opens” do not, in reality, know who opened your email (let alone who read it.) The only method possible right now to measure “opens” is to include a tiny invisible image in the email and hope that the recipient will enable their email program’s ability to include images. In Gmail, for instance, images will not be displayed unless you give permission. Many programs, like Microsoft’s ubiquitous Outlook, have a preview pane, allowing a recipient to read your entire email without ever actually opening it and activating the invisible image trigger that notifies the newsletter tool.