I received this email from a contact on LinkedIn:
I asked the contact if it was a mass email. He replied yes. And asked him not to send me any more mass emails. He replied, "You have been removed as a LinkedIn connection. Best of luck. FYI remove yourself from Linkedin to avoid messages from other connections."
The thing is I have 1400 connections on LinkedIn and am in over 20 groups. Like you, I already have a heavy email load. Getting 700 emails in a day is typical (depending on how many projects I am handling that week.) I work on trimming my signal-to-noise ratio on social networks. All notifications are off. If someone sends me a mass email that is of no interest to me, I will tell them. This sales guy emailed me that he received 20 inquiries and 1 negative (mine). Well, 20 out of 1400 is a 1.4% response rate which is pretty good. Most are probably window shopping, so he will have busy work for the rest of the week.
It's the other 1379 that I worry about. If he was removed by anyone, he wouldn't know. If he upset someone he wouldn't know, because most people don't reply like that. A majority probably just deleted it. But why use mass email to an unsegmented audience? Is that what you want associated with your name? On LinkedIn your name is the brand that your network sees.
It would be more effective to send out a personal note to each person. Does this take longer? Of course. Is it more effective? Yes. Does it get better responses? When done correctly.
Jeffrey Gitomer talks about giving Value first. His Sales Bible [affil] is excellent. The first and best sales book I read was Bob Burg's Endless Referrals [affil]. Seth Godin wrote Permission Marketing [affil] years ago; then wrote a book called Tribes. These are just 4 examples of books that could help you with email marketing communications.
It is difficult to get attention today, but that means you have to be Creative, not lazy.
And a quick social networks lesson: SOCIAL is the first name. If you wouldn't do it at a party or in-person event, like run around to everyone to push your business card on them, then don't do it online.
The sales guy sent me an e-book about Leveraging LinkedIn. I know the author. He is a LION - LinkedIn Open Networker. He is one of the networkers that think being connected to 17,000 people is an advantage. I don't understand the advantage, but that's me. How do you give a referral or a recommendation when you can't possibly know that much about a majority of the 17,000? What help can you be to your network other than to pass on mass emails?
Email segmentation is a factor for marketing success. So is network segmentation - at least to me.
The social media case studies show that interacting with your network (or followers or tribe) will get you success. Seth Godin argues that the Internet has ended mass marketing. In the book, High Probability Selling [affil], the lesson is that hard selling and cold calling are ineffective today. Too many gates up - voicemail, locked doors, doormen, spam filters. We need a warm lead, a referral or an intro. We are seeing a shift from pushing at the masses to pull marketing (or inbound marketing). It's about giving value first and staying in front of your tribe of high probable prospects. Not everyone is a prospect. It's a fact. Some people won't like you or trust you or ever buy from you. Many don't want or need your service; some can't afford it. Why would you market to these folks?
When selling Cloud Communications, you know who your best prospects are: more than 20 phones, multi-location, outdated PBX, moving or opening a new office, remote workers, and contact centers. I'm pretty sure that all of the 1400 people don't fall in these categories. And how many were actual decision makers? How much busy work do you want to do?
It wasn't a lot of work from the sales guy. How hard is it to mass email your whole address book? But how do you maintain your reputation while doing that? People have to like you and trust you to buy from you. The one instance of trust that was presented to the sales guy was "here's my contact info". Was that trust broken when he spammed them? Probably.
Using his own headline: Think Outside the Box! Stop doing all the easy stuff and get creative! Give your network value and you will see sales come in.