Are you looking for new ways to get more email subscribers on your list? If you want to invite professionally minded social media users to your email list, LinkedIn is the top social network to focus your efforts upon. In this article, we’re going to show you how to build your email list with LinkedIn Advertising.
1. Connect with people on LinkedIn.
The first step in growing your email list using LinkedIn Advertising is to grow your personal connections on LinkedIn using your professional profile. Anyone can target LinkedIn Advertising campaigns to audiences based on their professional credentials including education, industry, company size, job title, and skills. What we’re going to focus on is targeting a particular audience on LinkedIn – one that is already familiar with you and your business. (You’ll need a bit over 1,000 connections to make this tactic work.)
To start building your LinkedIn network, import your personal email contacts from Gmail and other email services. This will invite the people you already know on LinkedIn to connect with you.
As you connect with people you know, your LinkedIn network will grow. In addition to your first degree connections ( people who you have invited or whose invitations you have accepted to connect on LinkedIn), you will have second degree connections ( people who are first degree connections of your first degree connections) and third degree connections (people who are connected to your second degree connections).
In the past, LinkedIn required you to “know” the people you connected with on LinkedIn based on your college and work experience. Now, LinkedIn suggests second degree connections that you can message and connect with to further grow your LinkedIn network.
To ensure that your connections actually get to know you, don’t just connect with people on LinkedIn and stay silent. You can send new connections a private message to say hello. You can post regular updates to your LinkedIn profile like you would on Twitter or Facebook. You can even post long form blog articles on your LinkedIn profile – your connections will receive a notification each time that you do.
You can also participate in or run your own LinkedIn group for LinkedIn users with specific professional interests. As you engage with people in LinkedIn groups, you will start to receive more invitations to connect with LinkedIn users who you have helped in group discussions.
2. Export your LinkedIn contacts.
As you build a sizable network of first degree connections on LinkedIn, you can export your LinkedIn contact’s information using the Data Export feature in your account’s privacy and data settings.
Your export file will be a CSV spreadsheet with the first name, last name, email address, current company, current position, and date you connected. The email addresses are what you need for your LinkedIn Advertising campaign as the targeted audience list. You can use the current company and position of your contacts as a way to filter your LinkedIn contacts before you advertising to people who may or may not be interested in joining your email list (if you have a large contact list). Note that you need a minimum of 1,000 contacts to upload, so don’t filter your list to an audience fewer than that.
While you’re at it, you may want to export additional lists of contacts to use in your LinkedIn Ads. Facebook, for example, offers an export of your Facebook contacts / friends as a part of the Download Your Data feature. Many of your friends’ contact details include the email address or phone number they use on LinkedIn too.
3. Do NOT add LinkedIn contacts to your email list.
As tempting as it may be, once you receive your exported LinkedIn contacts file, the next step is not to automatically upload those contacts as new email list subscribers. People in your LinkedIn network have not opted-in to your email list – they’ve just opted-in to your LinkedIn network. You have to get them to take the next step to opt-in to your list.
4. Upload LinkedIn contacts to Matched Audiences.
Inside your LinkedIn Advertising account, look for Matched Audiences under your Account Assets menu. There, you will use the feature to upload a list to create a new Matched Audience.
LinkedIn recommends that you upload a list of at least 1,000 accounts. Hence, you need to have over 1,000 first degree connections on LinkedIn.
Once you submit your file to LinkedIn, they will match your contact’s information to their corresponding LinkedIn user profiles (your first degree connections). After they have finished processing your list, it will be available for use in a LinkedIn Advertising campaign.
5. Upload your current email list subscribers to Matched Audiences.
To ensure that you only spend your LinkedIn Advertising budget on acquiring new email list subscribers, you can upload your email list subscribers as a separate Matched Audience. In your LinkedIn Advertising campaign, you will include the Matched Audience of your LinkedIn connections and exclude the Matched Audience of your email list subscribers so that anyone in your LinkedIn first degree connections already on your email list will be exempt from seeing your ad.
6. Create a squeeze page and promotion to capture email subscribers.
If you don’t have one already, create a squeeze page and promotion to use in your LinkedIn Advertising campaign. Almost half of marketers create new landing pages for new campaigns, and the more landing pages you have, the better your conversions will be as a whole, according to ImpactBND’s collection of landing page statistics. Think about why your LinkedIn contacts would want to join your email list and use that as the focal point of your squeeze page and promotion.
7. Create a LinkedIn Ad Campaign to your squeeze page.
Now, you’re ready to create your ad campaign to entice your LinkedIn first degree connections to sign up for your email list. You’ll start with an ad, the goal of which is to get people to click through to your squeeze page.
After you create your ad (as well as any variations of your ad creatives that you want to A/B test within LinkedIn’s Advertising platform), you will move to audience targeting. Under the Target a list section, you will include your LinkedIn contacts and exclude your email list subscribers like this.
This will ensure that LinkedIn shows your ad to only the first degree connections that don’t match anyone on your email list subscribers, assuming your LinkedIn contact uses the same email for their account and their email list subscription. If you have a large contact list, you can further refine your target audience to include or exclude only your LinkedIn connections with specific job titles, skills, or other professional characteristics.
8. Analyze and repeat.
Based on how quickly you add new people to your LinkedIn first degree connections and your email list, and how successful your first LinkedIn Ad Campaign goes, you may want to analyze your results, determine which ad creative and copy converted best, and continue to run new ad campaigns.
To run new ad campaigns using this tactic, you’ll need to export your LinkedIn contacts, import them to your Matched audiences, and export / import your current email list subscribers for your exclusion list. This will ensure you get ads to the right people.
As you can see, LinkedIn Advertising allows you to target specific audiences that are more likely to sign up to your email list based on familiarity. If you see good results with your first campaign, make it a point to continue growing your LinkedIn contacts (30,000 is the current max) and continue running ad campaigns to your contacts to move them into the next stage of your business’s funnel.