MAD Perspectives Blog

 LinkedIn Outperforms Email Marketing

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A colleague forwarded an email to me a few weeks ago. It was a LinkedIn message he had received from a consultant connection requesting that he share a new white paper, accessible via a website url, with interested parties. We're all working in fast paced environments and often get emails, tweets and status updates about new white papers and presentations that may be useful to us. We ignore a lot of those messages, don't we? However, because this request came from a colleague, via LinkedIn, this white paper had increased value. As a result, it also had more click thrus.

I spoke to the consultancy distributing this paper, BackChannel. They had recognized the value of LinkedIn to help keep track of contacts and colleagues.  They had previously used email marketing to announce new services or content. However, they decided to test the power of LinkedIn.  They understood that everyone that they were connected to directly or via LinkedIn Groups, understood that their purpose for using LinkedIn was all about business. They decided to use a direct appeal to their contacts to promote the white paper. They referenced their professional connection to the recipients, the target market for the white paper and their goal to get the white paper into the hands of those who could benefit from it.

389 emails were sent within Linked In.  The results are as follows:

     - 158 contacts opened the message (40%)

     - 42 of those who opened the message, clicked on the white paper link (26% of messages opened; 9% of messages sent)

These are impressive results, considering that MailChimp (BackChannel's email marketing tool of choice) indicates that the open rate and click thru rate for campaigns in the consulting industry, are 16.3% and 3.3% respectively.  More interesting for BackChannel was the fact that over the next several days, a further 90 direct downloads occurred as a result of connections sharing the LinkedIn mail with their relevant colleagues.

Backchannel found that the power of LinkedIn, and its concept of six degrees of separation delivering value to business people, provided a unique outlet for sharing content. When a community understand a goal, share a common interest, they will promote and share content fulfilling the needs of the community.

Have you used LinkedIn to promote your content? Are you aware that you can integrate content from SlideShare (now owned by LinkedIn) into your profile? You can expand your personal or business' visibility, by sharing relevant content, through links and updates in your profile, your company page or groups.

What's your perspective?