With 161 million users and counting, LinkedIn is certainly the largest professional networking site today, growing at a rate of 2 new subscribers per second. As such, LinkedIn is one of the top destinations for marketers to generate online B2B leads. LinkedIn offers new opportunities for B2B email marketing with many features and functionalities useful to our campaigns.
This post talks about six tactics for B2B email marketers to enhance their results through incorporating LinkedIn into their projects.
The idea of using social networking sites to boost email marketing results is certainly not new. Studies have shown that 36% of B2B marketers integrate social sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as part of their email marketing strategy. Of these, around 25% prioritize building leads database and B2B mailing lists while 35% say they use these sites to announce upcoming email newsletters and other content.
Exactly how LinkedIn fits in your B2B email marketing campaign depends on the purpose you want to achieve. These goals are basically three-fold: to build mailing lists, to syndicate content, and to gather/share information. This post gives you two tactics for each as follows:
A. Growing Mailing Lists
LinkedIn is an ideal option for building and expanding B2B mailing lists with such a vast number of professionals and business owners from various industries and sector.
1. Export connections directly. LinkedIn makes it extremely easy to export contact information from your connections into some external database. Because your connections will likely belong in niche you’re working in, building targeted lists from LinkedIn connections won’t be an issue. Compatibility of exported data with existing mailing lists is also not a problem.
2. Promote subscribe pages. You can and should direct your connections to pages that allow them to opt-in to your mailing databases for inclusion in your email campaigns. Of course, you should give each connection enough reasons to do so.
B. Broadcasting/Sharing Content
More than a third of B2B marketers use social networking to promote content. With large numbers of active professional subscribers, LinkedIn is a natural medium to broadcast relevant material and let people spread the word.
3. Include the “Share” icon in emails. It’s common practice for email marketers to provide options for their recipients to share email content to their respective networks in many social media sites. Don’t forget to include the LinkedIn icon at the end of your email message or newsletter.
4. Advertise fresh/existing content. Broadcasting upcoming or current email newsletters to your LinkedIn connections helps you generate interest by giving them a preview of what’s to come. You can also create this “teaser effect” for other pieces of content such as blog or article posts.
C. Learning and Educating
LinkedIn helps you gain and share insights through groups and discussions. Aside from enhancing your visibility, relevant groups can also give you advice in your own B2B email marketing campaign.
5. Join relevant groups. LinkedIn hosts more than 1.2 million groups centered on various interests. LinkedIn groups are ideal venues for you to source not only B2B leads but insight and information that can help your campaign as well.
6. Building authority. In B2B marketing, it’s very important to establish your authority in a certain area. LinkedIn groups and discussions give you the chance to achieve this. You can only fill up your leads database with prospects who trust your expertise while, at the same time, contributing to a discussion or forum is the best way for you to deliver value to your connections that you can later leverage to your advantage.