LinkedIn Automation - Don't do it
Speed is useful. But staying on course and getting results is business.
B2B lead generation today is sliding away from email marketing to LinkedIn and the reasons are not cost or reach.
There are several things that are different. Let's go beyond spam box etc. They sure are considerations but assuming you have something meaningful to say and trying to rightfully reach your prospects. So, before jumping on automation let’s just do a quick comparison in context.
Competition : Email vs/ InMail
Intense is probably an understatement when it comes to email marketing. The competition is not just other marketers trying to reach the same prospects but also the email spam busters. No wonder open rates in double digits are so rare and for the majority it is just mid single digit.
LinkedIn inbox has a lot less competition in contrast. You have InMail which costs quite a few cents, and expected to deliver your message right to the user. No risk of spams or getting blocked. Should just deliver great results. Wrong! We found the effectiveness rates are lower than email marketing and turns out that InMail has "promo" written all over it. After all your 1st degree connects don't send you InMails.
Most automation discussions will end here and declare the winner. But wait, are we doing it right? Email marketing automation is very limited on the information about the target and therefore very low on personalization i.e. the pretty much the same message to all and for the discerning few a personalized salutation or a pic at best.
So, when you shift your automation approach from email to InMail and keep doing the same thing, it’s sad, because LinkedIn gives you so much more info about the user you are sending the message to.
LinkedIn Automation as we know it is wrong when you send as though sending emails.
We have Connect Requests
So you are saying, send connect requests instead of InMail as they show up as a regular message and not called out separately like InMail and therefore better response rates. This works and recruiters as one power user segment use this a lot. The challenge is this is a single attempt approach and so if you don’t get it right, you don’t get another chance. Also you would need to work with the limited characters that are allowed. So a real squeeze.
Links powered by preview cards work much better i.e. connect request messages. So, if you sending just text or throwing a link with no cards you can have a much better conversion if you switch just that.
What if you can make a personalized preview card and a landing page? Now we are getting somewhere.
Quality v/s quantity. Get smarter with search to win
Quality always wins. If you can use the detailed profile information to go precise then you can do a lot better to really evaluate. Question yourself if you really need to touch so many. “Spray n Pray” is often used in the context of email marketing but you are doing it wrong if you are approaching it the same way on LinkedIn. There are too many browser automation extensions doing the rounds of visiting profiles, random endorsements. Just because you can do, does not mean you should. The fun stops very soon.
Instead get your search lot sharper and limit your connection requests so that what you do send is very high quality even before it leaves your outbox.
Use smart profile analysis assistants to make that job quicker so that you don’t have to compete on volume.
At LINKDRA when we started looking at automation the first step was actually a step back to take a look at what not to do. LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B marketing and the last thing we want to do it end up where email marketing is today. Of course we are building it to be really effective and absolutely not run it like emails. In fact search and screen are a significant part of what we believe can make a big difference.
So, if you have read this far, then, of course, a big thank you to you. Assuming your interest is in winning on LinkedIn, treat yourself to some leisure time and put LINKDRA on the job.