7 Steps to LinkedIn Marketing Success
My last column was about ways that can be used by you to promote your company and your employees also. The topic of my witch column was using LinkedIn as a tool for research. Here my focus is on using LinkedIn as an outbound marketing communications vehicle. Mix LinkedIn with the standard email marketing. Doesn’t it look most suitable for direct messaging? Take detailed data of companies (data should be willingly supplied). Now add some messaging capabilities to approach the inbox of your target. Do you think nothing can go wrong now? You are wrong.
We all hate to receive spam emails. There are filters so that we will never see those emails. Sometimes, to decrease the number of emails we receive, we even change our email addresses. We immediately delete without even opening these. For both, the receiver and the sender, LinkedIn InMail can be worse. On the receiver’s end, the InMails are not only uninvited but commonly sent by one person, i.e. a salesman. If not all, emails from a company that are frequently seen as promotional in nature-they are fascinating if they give an amazing offer. These emails can be very easily ignored if the receiver is not interested. Even if the company sends another mail, this will also get deleted as easily as the earlier ones.
Have you ever experienced a pushy salesman who came to you in a store and asked can I help you today? The most obvious answer is no. This is so because once we start the conversation we feel stuck. InMails are the same. They are generally from salespeople and not from companies. They become difficult to ignore even if we only reply once.
The InMails are not bad for receivers only. They can prove to be catastrophic for you and your company as well. Firstly, they are costly. Emails are so cheap (if you compare it with list buys and InMails). On the other hand, InMails are overpriced. An InMail will cost you $1 or more, no matter which premium LinkedIn plan you subscribe to. You only get a limited number of InMails even if you are credited to spend more. In addition to this, users only see the first few lines when they receive an InMail notification. There is a possibility your amazingly crafted message will be ignored if you don’t write something interesting in the beginning. And last but not least LinkedIn messages are time-consuming because you have to manually send them one to one. These can’t be sent to the masses. Now the question is how can you change this messiness into goodness?
I will share seven steps for LinkedIn Messaging success:
1. It’s Who They Know
Is the person you are sending a message part of your Level Two network? Do you both have a mutual connection? If yes request an introduction from your mutual contact. (it’s like telling your waiter that you are paying for the bill of the group of people sitting at the next table.)
If you use mutual contact you can attain two things, first, if you are already introduced your cold call becomes a warm lead. Second, you may be able to save your valuable (and limited ) InMails.
2. It’s What You Know
If possible, mention something particular from the person’s profile and tell them why that information compelled you to contact them. Do keep this thing in your mind that the majority of the time the receiver’s first (and most probably only ) exposure to your message will be in a cut version of your InMail which is sent through email to the person’s inbox. This email will only contain a line or two of your InMail.
The person will most likely never see your full message if you don’t capture their attention through the crux information included in that email. Try this with a colleague and see exactly how much he receives in the email. Just like pay-per-click ads in search advertising, the few words in the email are a ray of hope for you.
3. Seek First to Chat, Not to sell
The success of InMails should be kept in perspective. InMails are just a part of your sales process, these are not the whole sales process. When you are using InMails, your aim should be to start an interaction, not quickly get a sale. Keep this in your mind and focus your message on a theme that will immediately catch the receiver’s attention.
For example, try to search for something in their profile that lets you find the specific interests-the university they studied in, something they are passionate about, or a hobby? Can you use these bits of information to draw their attention?
4. Be a Numbers Girl (or Guy)
Begin with your version of Big Data. These days testing, tracking and business intelligence (BI) are the drivers of your expansion. keep a record of your InMails (the day and the time you send them) and track the ones which got replies.
Within some time you can start to see trends. You may get more responses to your InMail sent on specific days or at specific times. If you can make out on which days and time your InMails get more responses, start sanding your InMails during those times.
5. Educate Prospects
Use lead capture assets (“also called high-value content”) to get more replies. If your company just published a blog that you think may interest them, tell your to-be clients about it through an email.
Do the same thing for a report, case study, best practices guide, etc. When you offer something valuable to your clients, you shift the focus from selling them something to giving them something, this will give you more sales.
6. Generate Intrigue
In one of my earlier columns, I talked about how to use mystery to cause curiosity. If you want you can do the same with your InMails. If you have ever experienced eating a delicacy that had a unique taste (a unique good taste, if I may specify) that you could not identify, discuss with your friends, there is a possibility you even asked your waiter about the ingredients of the delicacy. Do the same thing with your InMails if you want to receive a response from your prospects create some mystery
7. The Best InMail May Not Be an InMail
If nothing works out, take your interaction out of LinkedIn. Have your prospects mentioned an email address or Tweeter username in their profiles? If yes start following them on Twitter or send a short email. Though, most people do not like to mention email and Twitter usernames in their LinkedIn profiles. Search them on Instagram, Twitter is and other social platforms as you now know their names.
Can’t find an email? You can easily find people who work in the same company as your target client on LinkedIn. Don’t worry if your target client has not mentioned an email address in his/her profile, there are chances their fellow worker might have mentioned theirs. Mostly, the same convention is followed by the companies to assign email addresses. Maybe the company you are targeting assigns email addresses as FirstnameLastintial@comanydomain.com. Or FirstinitialLastName. You can guess your prospect’s email address once you know the convention. If you don’t want to waste your time looking at coworkers’ profiles to search the model for that company’s email addresses. It’s ok. Then just make a guess. Send an email to Firstname@companydomain.com. If that email is not valid the company's email server will send you a notification saying “message undelivered”. This will let you know you can move on to your next guess.
Still, be careful. Do not send one email with all of the combinations on the To line (or for that matter, on the Cc or Bcc lines). The receiver should not know that you were guessing their email address. So you should try just one email address at a time. Do not send one mail after another. It is not wanted by you that the receiver's email server interprets your messages as spam and blocks or filters them. Try one today. If you do not succeed, move on to others and then try again after a few days.
Remember, This Is Sales and Marketing
Despite all these recommendations, you will not get any replies to most of your InMails. Marketing is and will always be a numbers game, no matter how much effort you put in.
There are chances you will not go from a 10-percent response rate to a 60-percent response rate. But even if you reach from 10 percent to 20 percent, it still shows double the efficiency of your efforts. According to my, we all love to see our efforts be twice as efficient.