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LinkedIn - I'm finding it less and less useful as a tool

Am I alone here...

I downloaded my contacts to use in a mailing. That was simple enough.

I sent the first 1400 or so an email this morning (so the stats are still percolating, but they prove the following points).

67 emails bounced (49 outright, the others are considered soft).

So let's talk about the 49. If LinkedIn is such an important tool, why isn't your email address up to date??? (the "Soft" bounces could be a whole host of problems, probably out of the control of the recipient).

So far 24 people unsubscribed. Interesting, because the list says we're either 1st Connections or we've met (and gave me your business card) our communicated.

The breakdown is 3 not interested, 4 did not sign up and 17 just left. 1 person had the ISP reject mailchimp period. 1 person said SPAM (thanks guy). So everyone other than those who just didn't want more email ("just left") tell me the connection we had wasn't that firm.... I removed my connection to them.

I have more emails to send over the next several days, but I don't think the stats for those names will be much different (I hope not anyway).

On the bright side:


My Open rate isn't bad, it's currently at 18.3% (Mailchimp says for consulting the average is 12.7%). But that doesn't mean I get any conversion... and it is too early to tell.

Anyone see a better response from LinkedIn or are we just climbing up a dead branch?

Answers

John Bish
Title: CFO
Company: Argyle Solutions Ltd
(CFO, Argyle Solutions Ltd) |

Wayne, good questions. What exactly does an open mean. Sometimes I click through emails on my mobile without really registering the contents?

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

From MailChimp's Help section:

"How Open Tracking Works

When you send campaigns through MailChimp, we embed a tiny invisible graphic in the bottom of your HTML email. This open tracker graphic, or web beacon, is unique to each campaign you send. When someone opens your email and views the images within it, that graphic is downloaded from our server, and it's recorded as an open on your campaign report. Automated replies, such as out-of-office messages, generally do not download this graphic, so they shouldn't count as opens.

Web beacon trafficking is the industry standard for open tracking and is a great tool to give you a general overview of your subscriber engagement, but it does have some limitations. Because it relies on a hidden graphic embedded in your campaign code, open tracking won't work in Plain-Text Campaigns. Similarly, open tracking won't work if your subscribers or their email client have chosen not to display images. You can ask your subscribers to add you to their address book, or choose to display images in their email client to get more accurate open tracking."

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

I'd say the life of the mailing is over (even though the software gives it 7 days).

Here's the long/short of the stats:

Total emails sent 1,420
1,052 didn't open the email (my bet the overriding majority are in the bit bucket)
368 opened the email
67 emails bounced (49 outright, the others are considered soft)
37 unsubscribed (and 16 gave reasons that made me un-connect from them on LinkedIn)
3 people complained of spam (I un-connected them on LinkedIn)

So my open rate wa 27.2% with (according to the mailing software) an industry average of 12.8%

But the real stats that the software isn't able to gauge are:
3 people sent email to the "reply to" address (me). None were appropo to the nature of the e-mail, to bring in business. So on this stat, 0%.

Of the other 300 or so people opened the email, maybe I gained some additional name recognition or service identification.

One may never know.

I'll try another group and see if I do any better.

John P. Hart
Title: Vice Pres - CFO
Company: Nova Pressroom Products, LLC
(Vice Pres - CFO, Nova Pressroom Products, LLC) |

Wayne: I believe that the standard understanding about mass emails is that just because the sender may have a contact's email address, that doesn't give said user the "right" to send unsolicited emails. Especially when using a third-party tool such as ConstantContact, StreamSend, MailChimp, etc.

I'd think that applies even more when the data is collected via Linked-In. (But maybe the Linked-In EUL covers that?)

If I recall my experience with the first two firms, they recommend a double opt-in before sending unsolicited emails. That should decrease your recipients. But it will increase your open rates, and reduce the bounces, spam and unsubscribed issues you described.

Disclosure - I'm pretty sure I received your email. I recognized your name and affiliation; probably read, but don't recall what I did after that!

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

John,

If LinkedIn permits you to send e-mails within their system to any of your contacts and also permits you to download them, then they are your contacts.

In addition, since these are my contacts, people who have agreed to be either my 1st level contacts or people I've met or have previously sent me email, any e-mail I send them is NOT unsolicited, maybe unwanted, but that is true if I sent this a snail mail letter.

I think you missed the real points.

1. People are not maintaining their LinkedIn data; thus making it impotent as to its purpose.

2. Assuming you are not being inundated with mail from the same person (that's plain annoying), why did you network with that individual in the first place?

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