Linked in have made it easy for you to export your entire list of connections, which gives you a long list of email addresses.

For you, as a marketer, it seems like a great opportunity to upload this list of email addresses into your CRM, and start sending them marketing emails.

But don’t. Resist the temptation.

The fact that someone has connected to you in Linked in, does not equal permission to send emails. You have NOT received their express consent to send your marketing emails.

So, what happens?

Well, best case scenario is that your new Linked in connection will ignore your email. Moving beyond that, what they could do is to;

  • Remove you as a connection in Linked in (no biggy)
  • Complain to your email provider (more than 1% of these, and you’re going to get a strike. 3 strikes and no more account with your email provider!)
  • Reconsider their interest in working with you – perhaps they connected with you because they had seriously considered hiring you. Now because of your “unethical marketing practices”, they’ve changed their mind! Ouch!

You see, I strongly believe in the power of ethical marketing. That is, not practising any of the spammy stuff that the “list building gurus” teach; like sending emails to people who have not given you permission.

It’s icky!

Ethical Email Marketing to Your Linked in Connections | Veronica PullenSo how can you use your Linked in connection data?

A much more ethical practice would be to upload your list of email addresses to Facebook as a “custom audience” – and show your connections an invite to download your Lead Magnet.

Then, if they take up your invitation, they have added themselves to your list, and now you have permission to send marketing emails.

The benefits of creating a custom audience from this list of email addresses are;

#1: Targeted advertising

You can select your Linked in custom audience when creating adverts, so as well as showing your connections your Lead Magnet, you can also direct other ads to them exclusively, or as part of a wider audience –e.g. show them your latest offer, or a blog post of interest to them (on the proviso that when reading the post, they are on your website)

#2: Lookalike audiences

From your original list, Facebook can create a “lookalike audience” – other users who have similar interests/demographics as your original list – exposing your business to an extended audience.

#3: Audience insights

Analyse your audience to find out what they have indicated an interest in. You’ll find “audience insights” in the Adverts Manager, listed in the left hand sub menu, just above Power Editor.

Click on audience insights, select your custom audience, and you’ll be shown a variety of information on them; including age and location, and the pages liked by the majority of your audience.

You can use this information when crafting email subject lines, and ad copy – to catch their attention with a subject you know the majority are interested in.

A note about audience size

When you upload your list of email addresses, the first thing Facebook will do is look for a match between the email address each person has given you, with the email address they use for Facebook.

Unfortunately, if they use a different email address in Linked in to the email address they use in Facebook, you won’t get a match. If there is no match, you cannot target adverts to that person.

So don’t be surprised if you upload a list of 1,000 Linked in connections’ email addresses, but you end up with a custom audience of only 500. The lack of match is the reason why

Explore the Facebook Adverts Manager

You upload your custom audience and create lookalike audiences inside the Facebook adverts manager, which you can access either from the left hand menu of (if you’ve previously created at least one ad)

Or via the drop down menu top right of the screen where you select your business page when you want to switch to using Facebook as your page. “Manage Ads” is shown just under your list of pages you admin.

By the way, if you don’t see “audience insights” in your ads menu, change your (personal) profile language to “English US” – it doesn’t always show for UK users, but changing your language will make it appear in the menu

Have you been inspired to run some targeted facebook ads campaigns to your Linked in connections? How do you feel when Linked in connections email you? Let me know in the comments area below