How To Use LinkedIn To Grow Your Email Lists in 2024

How To Use LinkedIn To Grow Your Email Lists in 2024
27 May, 2024 • ... • 30 views
Antonio Gabrić
by Antonio Gabrić

As the “world’s largest professional network”, LinkedIn isn’t just the market leader in driving peer-to-peer interactions, it’s a monopoly. It enjoys all the perks of social media platforms, without being frivolous as they often are. All in all, it is a perfect place for B2B connections. And if you can find a way to preserve your LinkedIn community and funnel it into something more autonomous — an email list — it can be a game-changer.

In this article, we discuss what makes LinkedIn users special, the platform’s potential for email list growth, and the strategies marketers can use to bridge the gap between social and email.

Why should you utilize LinkedIn for growing your email list?

The very nature of LinkedIn and its audience makes it a perfect place to spark connections and grow your subscribership. LinkedIn now has over a billion users. These aren’t people doom-scrolling on the commute back from work, or lazy Sunday afternoons as this social network isn’t aimed at entertaining. LinkedIn audiences are attentive, interested, and for the most part, accountable.

People’s profiles are usually connected to their company pages or at least to colleagues. They’re not anonymous and therefore more aware when interacting with posts and their authors. When they express interest in your product, service, or industry, they mean it. And all it takes to find and reach these leads and make them a part of your B2B email marketing is a few keystrokes. 

Directing your audience from LinkedIn to email — a channel that allows you to nurture them at an individualized pace, with personalized offers and messaging — can redefine your business potential. 

How to make the most out of LinkedIn to grow your email list

One of the most compelling aspects of using LinkedIn to gain more subscribers is that you can reuse the same strategy. Here’s how to create an evergreen mechanism to funnel LinkedIn traffic to email lists:

Step 1. Optimize your profile

Sprucing up your LinkedIn profile might feel like an exercise in vanity, but so is checking your teeth for food before you flash a grin at a new client, and that never hurt anyone, did it? Complete profiles are favored by LinkedIn’s algorithm and get up to 30% more views on content, so aim to fill in all the fields listed here.

For your profile photo, use a clear, professional, and recent image with good lighting. Add the cover photo and headline, too — these elements are front and center on your profile page. List services offered, make a statement reflecting your unique identity, or flex hard-earned social proof.

A LinkedIn profile page with a cover photo showing a book, the headline “The Operating System for LinkedIn Creators.”, and a “Featured in” section with logos of media like Forbes, Vice, and more
Source: Justin Welsh’s LinkedIn page

In the About section, stick to audience-centric, result-oriented terms. List projects you’ve worked on (their niche, size, etc.) and accolades won and highlight how you benefited the organization or individual. 

Update the featured tab with your most recent and/or well-performing posts or links.

Featured section on Justin Welsh’s profile with a link to “The Operating system for LinkedIn” with the heading saying “Join 20K+ Gowing Their LinkedIn Audience”
Source: Justin Welsh’s LinkedIn page

Focus your attention on the upper part of the profile page as it’s your best shot to capture the attention of the visitors. And if someone has scrolled to the bottom of your profile, their interest is more than surface-level. Showcase your credibility and expertise in the Experience, Education, and Licences sections. To optimize the profile even more, list your skills and ask for skill endorsements and recommendations.

Step 2. Create helpful content

We’re talking content not just good enough to pull new followers on LinkedIn, but that’ll build an audience so loyal that they’ll follow you anywhere (in this case, your email list).

Research your audience before you start — their preferred quality, frequency, and format of posts. For example, you may discover that your audience prefers carousels and doesn’t interact a lot with text-only posts. This will help you create content that your readers will enjoy on LinkedIn and inform your emails.

For topic inspiration, follow LinkedIn and Facebook groups, Reddit and Twitter discourse, the news, and industry leaders. Then add your own insights.

Also, don’t hold back when providing value in content. A bad way to get email subscribers from a LinkedIn post would be by:

  • Setting the scene and laying out details of the problem.
  • Asking readers to follow, comment, send a direct message (DM), or subscribe to get the solution.

A good way to do this is:

  • Giving solid actionable tips and advice.
  • Offering a long-form version or case study of the same to email subscribers.

A prime example is Erica Schneider. She offers social media writing courses to entrepreneurs and others in leadership positions. Her posts are a balanced mix of hooks for writing posts, tips to overcome burnout, her personal experiences, and an occasional selfie.

A post with a dialogue of an angry and a happy cat and a carousel with a LinkedIn love & hate story
Source: Erica Schneider’s LinkedIn page

Sometimes, not always, she’ll remind readers to join her course or subscribe to her newsletter.

A post about making content not about oneself with a post-scriptum with a link to join the author’s newsletter
Source: Erica Schneider’s LinkedIn page

Other times, the value of her content suffices and knowledge-hungry followers seek out her newsletter and subscribe to it of their own accord.

Step 3. Do direct outreach and networking

To build a presence on and through LinkedIn, remember that LinkedIn is primarily a networking platform and many people don’t use it that regularly for anything else. In 2020, 63% of US citizens used Instagram daily while the same is true only for 22% of LinkedIn users. This means that out of 230 million people who use LinkedIn in the US — the platform’s largest user base — only a portion of those are regularly active.

A bar chart showing the frequency of LinkedIn use in the US as of the 3rd quarter of 2020. 22% used the platform daily, 63% — weekly, and 87% monthly.
Source: Statista

Content can draw in active users, but you’ll need a more direct approach to reach the silent majority. Use the advanced search function to find and narrow down profiles closest to your target audience. Apply filters for “industry”, “location”, “language”, etc. If you have access to Sales Navigator, you can further refine the search.

After you find who you are looking for, connect with them. When sending connection requests, accompany them with personalized messages. Mention a common connection, a topic this person has posted about, or one of the attributes (job title, company, location) you found them using. 

While you’re waiting for the person to accept your request, or even after you’ve connected, engage with their posts to keep the conversation from stalling. Leave comments that drive discussion, for example: 

  • Share a similar experience. 
  • Offer your views on the matter (expressed politely even if you disagree). 
  • Ask a thoughtful question.
  • Compliment the author’s take on the matter.

Don’t comment for the sake of commenting. Even a simple like on the post or their comment is enough to show you’re paying attention.

Once the person accepts the connection request, nurture the relationship by regularly sending them links to posts relevant to their field or resources like ebooks, white papers, case studies, etc. After 3-4 such messages, encourage them to sign up for your email list.

If, even after several tries, the person neither accepts the connection request nor shows an inclination to continue the conversation, it’s best to back off until they respond.

Step 4. Connect with your LinkedIn audience through email

LinkedIn, despite being unparalleled in its reach and audience quality, is ultimately not an owned communication channel. By opening an alternate, more reliable stream of communication with LinkedIn audiences, you’re simply hedging your bets.

Instead of depending on whether your audience will land on your profile and click through your newsletter link, you can also contact them through email. Use the Contact info section on LinkedIn profiles or their company website to gather your followers’ contact details.

These methods aren’t foolproof, which is why you may need to find their professional email addresses with tools such as Hunter Email Finder.

Email finder search results for the author of this article showing 3 web pages where the email is listed

The Email Finder shows you the best match based on search records. If an address isn’t listed, you can set up an alert and Hunter will notify you when it’s added to their database.

Since the email you’ll now send them isn’t an ice-cold one, leverage previous interactions to ensure it is received well. Here is a sample you can adapt to your needs.

Subject: A secret for my LinkedIn followers’ ears only

Remember that {resource shared on LinkedIn} on {topic} I’d DM’d you last month? 

{Solving pain point} is a complex issue in {industry} companies, and I wanted to find someone who’d cracked the code so I could take it apart at the seams and share everything about it with {job title}s like you, {first name}.

And I did. My May newsletter covers a case study on {client/industry leader} and how they achieved {x}. If you’re interested, just sign up here and {company_name} will be breaking records in no time!

People you contacted may not see your email the first time around, so schedule a couple more follow-ups (a maximum of 2-3) using a cold email automation platform like Hunter Campaigns.

Choosing a period for when to send a follow-up and adding a follow-up message

In addition to the email, you can also DM people on LinkedIn to improve your chances of getting a response.

Step 5. Add CTAs to your content and profile

A CTA provides the next step of action to profile visitors. In a post, a CTA capitalizes on the momentum, interest, and goodwill generated to nudge them to subscribe. Say you’re publishing a set of productivity hacks for fractional professionals. Normally, you’d plug your free tool (requiring an email sign-up) as one of the hacks and funnel readers to your email list. But LinkedIn has been taking an increasingly protectionist stance against users leaving the website. According to social-selling expert Richard van der Blom, posts containing external links have decreased reach by 55-60%. While you can occasionally use external links, err on the side of caution if you don’t want to risk a drop in engagement.

The good news is that these limitations don’t seem to apply to long-form content like articles and newsletters (more on them later). As a workaround, promote your LinkedIn newsletter in posts, and redirect readers to an email capture landing page through the newsletter itself.

You can also use other tactics like packing a CTA right on your cover photo and making it work together with a link to your company or newsletter account, like in this example:

A profile page with a CTA on the cover photo saying “Get your 7 Day Free Trial” and an arrow pointing down at a company featured in the profile
Source: Heather Murray’s LinkedIn page

Step 6. Use LinkedIn features for email list growth

LinkedIn offers a ton of possibilities for third-party automation tools to build and nurture genuine connections between users. Incorporate them in your list growth strategy to build a presence both on and outside LinkedIn.

LinkedIn articles

LinkedIn articles have a 110,000 characters (~15,000 words) limit. You don’t need to write a novella, but 500-word articles won’t cut it either. To write impactful articles, you need rock-solid content and details. For example, write in-depth guides, brand stories, case studies, expert interviews, and opinion pieces to capture audience attention and loyalty.

LinkedIn articles are also crowd-pullers. They’re popular on the platform, but also drive external visitors to your email list. This process starts from the discovery through Google search or reposts and continues to a LinkedIn connection and interaction with your other posts. Lastly, when the person is already deeply invested in your content, they will subscribe to your email list. Readers could also love your content so much that they bypass these steps and directly subscribe via the link in the article.

A five-step explanation of how LinkedIn readers become email subscribers from the discovery stage to the attachment

LinkedIn Groups

You can also find new audiences through professional groups. Search for terms related to your niche and select the Groups filter. 

Results for a LinkedIn search for “UX designer” with a “Groups” filter on

Most of these groups are strictly against self-promotion, so focus on sharing insights and having healthy discussions with members. Offer help and advice to establish your expertise. Your goal is to leave enough of an impression for the members to want to visit your profile and check out your other content. You can also send them connection requests and strike up a conversation.

LinkedIn Events

LinkedIn has live audio and video events that you can use to host podcasts and webinars. 

An event announcement for a LinkedIn lead generation webinar with Bob Low
Source: LinkedIn

Having conversations in real-time and addressing audience questions fosters a sense of connection that’s difficult to replicate. 

You can partner with experts and professionals from complementary industries and offer lead magnets to attendees in exchange for their email addresses. You can offer:

  • A recording of the event.
  • An ebook.
  • A free consultation or demo, etc.

LinkedIn Newsletters

Selzy Newsletter on LinkedIn with biweekly publication schedule

Newsletters are a sort of in-between content format — longer than posts but shorter than articles. What sets them apart from the other formats on this list is their regularity. Newsletters have a fixed publishing schedule that most serious LinkedIn creators follow to a T.  We’re talking content calendars, topic boards, and constantly being on the lookout for fresh ideas.

They’re a big commitment, but they offer you weekly/monthly catch-ups to keep your audience hooked and hungry for more. You can use those in addition to your regular newsletter or offer a snippet of content available to your email subscribers on LinkedIn.

Step 7. Optimize your landing page

When you finally have your audience where you want — on your website, their cursor hovering on the subscribe button — you can’t afford any slip-ups. 

An unclear CTA, a cluttered design, too many fields in the sign-up form, broken links, lack of social proof — any of these could cause you to hemorrhage months spent networking, creating content, and promoting it. You need to focus on perfecting the website or landing page, so nothing hinders conversions.

Create a landing page that’s in line with your LinkedIn identity. The tone of voice, visual elements, font — everything should be consistent with your posts. Add a compelling lead magnet to sweeten the deal for hesitant visitors. 

To make the experience more tailored, use dynamic landing pages. These are personalized according to industry, job title, or LinkedIn group membership demonstrating how much individual attention readers can get from you by signing up.

On this landing page, the sneaker brand Vessi modifies the coupon code and product catalog based on the referring affiliate: 

Two versions of the same landing page with changed banner images and codes
Source: Landingi

Put these tips into action and ask your audience for feedback. A/B test different elements to improve conversion rates.

Harnessing the synergy of LinkedIn and email

There is a world of leads out there that don’t just prefer, but crave one-on-one communication. They’re on LinkedIn to network and connect, person-to-person, and that’s exactly why they’re the perfect email audience. 

Use these strategies to find receptive and dedicated followers on LinkedIn and build personal connections with them that segue seamlessly into email:

  1. Optimize your profile.
  2. Create helpful content.
  3. Do direct outreach and networking.
  4. Connect with your LinkedIn audience through email.
  5. Add CTAs to your content and profile.
  6. Use LinkedIn features for email list growth.
  7. Optimize your landing page.
27 May, 2024
Article by
Antonio Gabrić
Antonio is an outreach manager at Hunter. For the last three years, he’s been helping SaaS companies grow their organic traffic and revenue through link building. At Hunter, Antonio is leading a link-building and outreach team to build backlinks that move the needle and connect with industry leaders.
Visit Antonio's

Latest Articles

Selzy Selzy Selzy Selzy