How to Use LinkedIn Mail to Connect With Your Contacts

social media how toHave you used LinkedIn Mail?

It represents a powerful way to stay in touch with important people (when used properly).

Keep reading to learn how to keep in touch with prospects and customers with LinkedIn Mail.

Why Use LinkedIn Mail?

LinkedIn Mail is probably one of the most underutilized parts of the LinkedIn platform, but if used correctly, it is one that can be extremely beneficial in growing not only your business connection base, but also your business.

You may already have a great network, but how often do you really connect with those people, nurture your relationships with them or put yourself on their radar? By using LinkedIn Mail or message facilities well, you can do just that.

Here’s how.

#1: Composing your message

Let’s look at composing a message to a group of connections. LinkedIn will allow you to send a message to up to 50 connections at any one time, which I assume is a safeguard against spammers. The 50-recipient cutoff just means that you will need to send your messages in batches, which spammers generally don’t want to bother with.

To send a message to one or many, first go to your inbox and click Compose Message.

message box

In this image you see the message box come up immediately.

The thing to remember here is to uncheck the box to ensure you don’t share your connections’ email addresses with everyone else you send the message to. It becomes a blind carbon copy very much like your regular email software.

Next you click on the blue LinkedIn icon over on the right to see all of your connections and to select to whom you would like to send your message.

From there, you then have the choice of sending a message to selected connections in a certain location or industry. This is particularly helpful if your message is really only going to be of interest to certain connections who are accountants or Internet marketers, for example.

target location

Choose your target location and/or industry with the drop arrows.

To select the connections you want, simply tick the relevant box, which will then filter across into the box on the right. You’ll see the number of connections you can continue adding as the “50″ counts down to zero.

When your connections have been added, you’ll be directed back to the message page where you started.

#2: Message content

Your message should contain value (like all of the content you put on your website). What can you share with your connections that will be of value to them? This is where you need to put your thinking cap on and turn things around from what you may be currently sending out in your regular newsletters.

Some examples might include:

  • A link to a great business book you’ve just finished reading
  • An event that’s taking place that they may not have heard about, such as Guy Kawasaki presenting in town
  • A link to a great website that you’ve recently discovered
  • An industry article that’s relevant to them
personalization

Don't forget to address the lack of personalization.

Add value in some small way and they will love you for it. That’s what building relationships online is all about, adding value to someone’s world and being remembered for it. It’s not simply an excuse to send an email about all of the wonderful things you and your company can do for them. That is definitely not interesting or valuable.

#3: How often should you message?

There’s no right or wrong answer here, but be careful not to overdo it. I message every 3 months or so, but if I come across something extremely relevant to a connection, I will pass that on.

It also depends on your relationship with that connection, how well you know him or her, because some connections you don’t know well may find it a bit intrusive.

#4: To export or not to export?

Personally, I don’t think you should export your connections into another email program for three reasons:

  1. The receiver of the email may be unfamiliar with your newsletter and indeed the content may not be relevant, and so it will be seen as spam.
  2. By sending your message through the LinkedIn platform, the receiver knows where they know you from and can simply click on your name for further information about you if they want to.
  3. Your connection may feel “sold out” if they see you have imported them into your email database.

If you do decide to export them, here’s how. Click on Contacts, then My Connections and look for the Export Connections link at the bottom right.

my connections

You may want to export your LinkedIn connections.

export connections

Look for the Export Connections link.

So what is sending a message to your contact base going to achieve if all you send is a quick note about a handful of things that you feel might be of interest and want to share with them?

You have put yourself back on their radar! Depending on what you have put into your email and how relevant it is to them, you will get responses back, even if it is just to say thanks. This again gives you the opportunity to build on a relationship that could be in its early stages, or build on one that you have been nurturing for a while.

Tip: Check these two articles out on more ways to expand your network with LinkedIn Company Search and how to develop meaningful LinkedIn Connections.

What techniques do you use to keep in touch with your connections? Do you have any to add? Leave your comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Linda Coles

Linda Coles is a professional speaker, author of two books and LinkedIn influencer. She lives in New Zealand and you can find her at Blue Banana. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.ranashahbaz.com/ Rana Shahbaz

    Thank you Linda for sharing really useful tips.

    Actually I was figuring out few things on LinkedIn just before I came here to read this post. Can you send message to groups, If you have arranged the contacts in groups e.g. Friends, Colleagues and number of people are under 50 in the groups?

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  • http://frankjkenny.com/ Frank J. Kenny

    It not only puts you back on their radar it plants seeds of reciprocity. If you don’t yet know about reciprocity and its value in business and social media I recommend you Google it or buy http://www.amazon.com/Influence-Psychology-Persuasion-Business-Essentials/dp/006124189X

    Not a sponsored link.

    Frank

  • Nicky Kriel

    Thank you Linda, yet another great LinkedIn article.  I think you make a very valid point about not exporting contacts to add them to your mailing list and not abusing the inmailing system.  It is a pity that not everyone has this attitude.

  • Ken

    Linda, thank you for the information.  Do you know of a way to gather the email addresses from all of our LinkdIn contacts?

  • Chris Picanzo

    Thank you Linda, as usual always useful content. I think finding content to share is a great way to be noticed. The more value the better of course and finding fresh content isn’t always an easy task. I would add my two cents by making sure your message also includes a link to your Facebook page as another means to connect. Thanks again,
    Chris, Flipit4u Marketing

  • Karen

    Thank you again for the additional information on the many different aspect to maximize “social media”, our tool for the NOW!  So much information and so little time, I guess that is why we all have “social media”! 

  • http://www.bluebanana.co.nz Linda Coles @ Blue Banana 20

    Very true Nicky. I hate it when others have added me to something totally not relevant.

  • http://www.bluebanana.co.nz Linda Coles @ Blue Banana 20

    Hi Rana. You can create groups of lists or tags and if you can keep the tag under 50, it makes sending a message to them very easy. If I have a tag that is nearing 50, I simply create another tag say friends 1 and then friends 2 etc. Thanks for the question.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com/ Joseph Lalonde

    Frank, interesting that you recommend the book Influence. I was just reading up on it today and added it to my wishlist of books.

  • http://www.bluebanana.co.nz Linda Coles @ Blue Banana 20

    Hi Ken. No I don’t think there is a way apart from exporting them into a Spreadsheet as above.there would be an emil column.

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  • Info

    Hello Linda,
    I do agree with you to use LinkedIn Mail for sending messages. But there is another reason why you could export the data of your network. If you import it in your adressbook of Outlook you can add notes to your contacts. Saves you at least 20 dollar a month because you don’t have to upgrade your LinkedIn account.
    Easy for small business entepreneurs who don’t have other software for this data.

  • Heather R. Huhman

    It’s important to not only have a network but to make sure you put in effort to interact with your network. LinkedIn Mail is a great way to connect with your contacts and keep yourself on their radar.

  • http://www.facebook.com/furhana.afrid Furhana Afrid

    Smart Tips! Just having a network is not enough. You have to nurture it without being a nuisance. And yes, add value: offer good information, great news reporting tools, job leads and the under-utilized thank yous to people in your network who help you. But you got to manage your time while doing it all.

  • raincoaster

    With regard to point #4, in Canada it’s illegal to sign people up to newsletters without their explicit permission. Not enough people know that, but it’s true. And it’s a HUGE annoyance.

  • http://www.bluebanana.co.nz Linda Coles @ Blue Banana 20

    Hi Raincoaster. The same here in NZ but it doesn’t stop people doing it :( I really is a huge annoyance.

  • http://www.bloggingfromparadise.com/ Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Linda,

    Super reminder here.

    This is similar to maintaining connections through a list. The absolute, no exceptions at all key here is to ONLY send out messages of value. The more valued and helpful the message, the stronger the connection. 

    Thanks for sharing your insight!

    RB

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Shilpi Roy – Virtual Assistant

    Just started using Linkedin and I find it very useful. Thanks for some great tips on how to use it to connect through mails too….

    Shilpi
    Singha Roy

    http://www.obvainc.com

    Facebook fan page – http://on.fb.me/i9Oifw

     

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Linda – Thanks for pointing out the feature where you can uncheck the box that displays the email addresses of other recipients. I get tired of receiving LinkedIn messages where there’s a long string of email addresses listed. Not only does it make the message feel impersonal, but I doubt those people want me to share their addresses with the world.

    Do you know why LinkedIn displays others’ addresses by default? It seems as if it would be more logical NOT to display them.

  • http://www.bluebanana.co.nz Linda Coles @ Blue Banana 20

    Hi Ryan, so true but how many marketers are still sell, sell, sell? Drives me mad when I get one.

  • http://www.bluebanana.co.nz Linda Coles @ Blue Banana 20

    Hi Janine. You can turn off the ability for group members messaging you in your group settings, so you don’t need to leave the group if you don’t really want to.

    I don’t think I have ever had more than a handful of spam messages from group members in many years, so I guess each group is very different. I hope you reported the spammer from the finance company :)

  • http://www.bluebanana.co.nz Linda Coles @ Blue Banana 20

    Hi Laura, I know what you mean and it is dumb. The whole privacy thing and all. I might just track an answer down….

  • http://mariasconsulting.com Maria Snyder Consulting

    Linda, thank you for this insightful post.  You are on the money!  I keep in touch with connections this way, the email has a more personal approach compared to a status update. The spammers are at bay given the limitations, it’s one of the nicer aspects of using linked in mail.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/best-laptop-under-400 Anna W. Mize

    Thanks Linda for very informative post.you simply give us different aspect to maximize social media .So much information and just so little time.

  • http://www.i95dev.com/ecommerce Ecommerce Solutions

    Had already used it sometime back!

  • Madison Bushell

    Just re-reading blog entries from this past week, and I can’t get enough of this article. I’ve shared it with fellow employees- especially since we’re in the middle of a revamp of our LinkedIn page. Thanks for the great read!

  • Enquiries

    Here in Australia, the privacy laws and direct commerce Act have stiffled free trade a bit with the legalities of emailing but a little know fact is that by being apart of your network people are giving their “implied consent” for you to contact them for commercial purposes.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/best-laptops-under-600 Mandy Bohn

    Thank you very much for this insightful article. LinkedIn is really awesome that it can create a great networks and building a good relationship to its network.This is a good guide in using the LinkedIn mail properly. 

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  • Sheila Carmody

    I would like to share my blog with people through their linkedin mail.I do not intent to abuse this by sending every blog but I think most people would enjoy this one and I have so many connections I want to be sure they see it. Is there any way to send a link to a wordpress blog through linked in mail? http://sheilacarmody.wordpress.com/

  • Sheila Carmody

    Silly me I just tested it and it works. I sent it to myself and it came through as a hyperlink.

  • Sheila Carmody

    I take that back. I tested a link with someone else and it didn’t work for them. They would have to cut and past which will never happen. So it doesn’t arrive as a hyperlink.

  • Uma

    Thanks Linda for very informative post. I am sharing here the interesting blog post that help you to export contacts from Linkedin to excel, http://datacapturetools.tumblr.com/tagged/how-to-export-contacts-from-LinkedIn

  • http://www.deswalsh.com Des Walsh

    Excellent advice, particularly about ensuring that addresses aren’t copied to everyone.

    I have in the past used the export feature so I could personalise the *very* occasional messages I’ve sent to everyone. I figured that if they were serious about connecting on LinkedIn it would be odd to object to hearing from me once a year or so. Only one person ever hit the unsubscribe and as he had never replied to any of my communications in the past I realised it was pointless having him as a LinkedIn contact. However, I had decided, just before reading your post now, that I would use the LinkedIn mail system, pretty much for the reasons you mention. In that regard, I like the little note at the beginning explaining why the message isn’t personalised. How used we have become to having our first names on message, even though we all know it’s an automated process! :)

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  • Talk2trainers

    I just used a trick in sending a message to all my connection just by unchecking the box for not to see each other’s email or name 

    It’s so nice trick that i have learnt today. Thank a lot  Linda for sharing this.







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