One of last week's posts (a repost from ASMP's Strictly Business blog) stirred a bit of a debate about permission-based marketing, LinkedIn and how aggressive is too aggressive when it comes to promoting yourself in today's economy. So we asked the author of the original post, Jim Cavanaugh, to comment on the comments.
Read the original post here...and his response below.
Many of the people I have added (to my email list) I have some connection to, either by having spoken with them previously or by working with someone else in their company. As I stated in the post, after they are added they receive a mini portfolio via regular mail along with an introduction letter. The letter is is personalized to each person. It states that I have added them to my e-mail list and that they will only receive one newsletter from me each month.
I use Constant Contact to manage the list and generate the mailing and it has an opt out feature that automatically removes them from the list if they choose to do so. With the over 650 people I have added in the last few months, only 6 have opted out.
The permission based aspect is that they have accepted me into their linkedin network. The purpose of Linkedin is business interaction. It is not a primarily social group like facebook. (But I have many clients there as well.)
Currently my open rate on the newsletters is about 54% and the click through rate is about 34%, far above industry norms. In addition, the follow up calls have generated more portfolio appointments in the last three months than I have been on in the last two years. My sales for the 1st quarter are also more than double the same time last year.
There seems to be an overly cautious attitude by some about “bothering” people. But business is about sales, making connections and connecting with potential business partners. Linkedin and other social media are simply the new tools. And tools that I believe are much more personal.
Will I get the occasional person who does not like it? Sure, I have had six so far. (And one called me to apologize for opting out and said it was a mistake!)
But again, I let them know I added them to that list, make it easy to opt out and never send more than one piece a month.