It started out as a simple response to a discussion in a LinkedIn group. The topic was “How to build your e-mail list”. The discussion originator offered 22 ways to build up your e-mail list. To this, my addition/suggestion was to send a note to your new LinkedIn connections and ask the following:
Can I add you to my e-newsletter mailing list?
This rather simple request received rave reviews from most who commented. One group member, however, accused me of social media extortion (“How dare you make being on your mailing list a condition of connecting!”).
Overall, the rest of the discussion group thought it was a great idea. But it did get it did get me thinking. How many of you who use LinkedIn actually reach out to the people you connect with?
If the answer to that is, “not at all” or “not as often as I’d like”, an e-newsletter is the perfect vehicle. How so? First, it starts a conversation with your new connection. Even if the answer is no (e.g. I can understand why you wouldn’t want to be on yet another e-mail list…). Second, it does give you an idea of your new connection’s interest in truly networking, particularly if there is no response.
The idea of networking is to develop a relationship with another person so that you can pass leads or referrals down the road. An e-newsletter, in addition to your website, gives new connections a way to get to know you and your business. If receiving your e-newsletter is an imposition, it’s probably not likely that person is going to be terribly active in passing leads or referrals to you.
The real beauty of this strategy is that it’s a two-way street. If the new connection is okay with being on my list, I have no problem being on theirs. And that can be the springboard to vested networking and lead/referral generation.
Does this work? It really does depend on the people involved. There are serial connectors out there who seem to be far more interested in bragging about the number of connections rather than actual networking. But if you’re on LinkedIn and getting little more than a “thank you” for the connect, you may want to consider this approach as a concise way to start a conversation and talk about what’s going on with your business.
If you do not have an e-newsletter, we can help. For a free estimate on what it would take to start your own e-newsletter, please give me a call at 617-848-0848 or drop me an e-mail. Better yet, take advantage of Constant Contact’s free 60-day trial.