Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
There is a common email/ LinkedIn strategy going around which is harming hundreds of business as they fall into the trap to using lazy outreach strategies, applying a SHOTGUN type of approach in a poor attempt to win more business. In reality, all they are achieving is losing LOTS of customers – FAST.
As the year wound down I was surprised by how many EDMs (Electronic Direct Mail) I was receiving from people/ businesses I had not done any business with. I’m sure you were the same.
Those businesses were Real Estate agents from the Eastern Sydney suburbs, Marketing companies, Pet food businesses just to name a few, there were more. As I always do, the very first time I see an EDM which I have not signed up for I unsubscribe. In nearly every instance the perps (perpetrators) used Mail-chimp as their email management device (I mean mismanagement device).
You see, when you unsubscribe from a mail-chimp EDM it tells you, in the top left corner of the browser, what the name of the list was called by those who created it. And, it was nearly always <First name> ‘Bob’s LinkedIn list’. What I have now deduced was that some 1st connections of mine had downloaded their entire connections worth of emails, mine included, and then sent out a SPAM email to every one of their connections.
Downloading all your connections email addresses is something very easy to do (Here’s how). But why would you then ruin your network and your personal brand by spamming everyone? For example, I don’t live in the east of Sydney so why should I care if the local Double Bay real estate agent wished me a Merry Christmas and was closed from the 25th of Dec to the 8th of Jan? – quite predictably, I don’t. Most importantly that particular business owner could’ve made an educated guess that I didn’t care, yet they still sent me that message, along with the other 2,200 of their 1st connections. I’m genuinely perplexed why anyone would think this is a good marketing strategy in 2017/ 2018.
Importantly, this is NOT illegal to do IF (and it’s a big IF) the email address is publicly available (from your LinkedIn profile) and that it is reasonable to assume that the goods or services being SPAMMED your way, is relevant to your line of work. (So, Mr Real Estate agent in Double Bay, Mr Pet Store and Mr Marketing, how do you draw a parallel between me being a sales improvement coach/ trainer and property in East Sydney?/ Pet Food/ Marketing tools)? – It’s a pretty thin line you’re walking. This is a Facebook B2C being poorly applied on LinkedIn.
Earlier this year I asked my connection base if this was OK to do (strip email addresses and send EDMs) I gained over 45,000 views, nearly a hundred comments including some great interaction from the AMA (Australian Marketing Association). See a screenshot before it went super crazy below.
In short, my belief and what my network is telling me is that this strategy is ACTIVELY turning potential customers away. It’s a Business DECREASE Strategy.
What should/ could they do instead.
1 – Start a conversation when you initially connect with someone, this is the most effective and efficient time to start a conversation. Use tags (Hashtags) or other identifiers to organise your prospects into small groups.
Not everyone will respond and that’s OK, but it’s 100% more authentic and 100% more effective than SPAMMING people, many who are not in your target audience. The biggest mistake sellers make is trying to sell things to people who don’t want or can’t buy your products or services. This is a great example of that here on social/ #LinkedIn
2 – Build your network carefully (You now know why I rarely accept Real Estate Connections). Have a quick look at the flavour of their posts and see if that’s the sort of thing you’d like in your feed every day. If not, it’s OK to decline. (ignore). If you mess up your network, you mess up your feed. Mess up your feed and it’s hard to find and create the nuggets of conversations with real prospects you need to make LinkedIn work for you. You’ll then give up and become a social selling naysayer.
If you’d like to get off the SPAM roundabout and on to the credible out-reach bandwagon. Check out our courses to help you do that here. www.www.social4sales.com/courses
It’s not as hard as you think and does bring great results. One of our recent students had a shotgun strategy and was sending LinkedIn messages to his 10,000 strong (weak) network monthly without any cut through. By using a more targeted reach out strategy we were able to drive meetings and phone calls from his LinkedIn activity. It’s not hard, you just need to know how to do it and then execute.
As well as being a sales execution coach and trainer to Australia’s corporate sector. Mark is the #1 Ranked Linkedin Social Seller in Australia. Contact Mark via Inmail message or [email protected] for a discussion around sales growth, coaching, social media, golf, cycling, AFL and sales effectiveness.
Twitter: Mark McInnes @mamcinnes
This article was originally posted on Mark’s LinkedIn