February 2, 2017
LinkedIn is a Resource, Not a Mailing List
UPDATE Dec-9-18: LinkedIn no longer allows exporting of your contact's email addresses.
"Can I add my LinkedIn contacts to my email list?" I get asked this a lot with regard to the Canadian Anti Spam Legislation (CASL). And my answer is exactly the same if you are planning to send only one individual LinkedIn contact a message - both fall under CASL.
Can you? Yes, it's not hard to do - Google 'exporting LinkedIn contacts' for instructions.
Should you? Like any other marketing activity, consider the implications. Review your LinkedIn list and remove people for whom your information isn't relevant. Know your target market and use common sense. Think about your target market's perceptions; many people do not know the legal definition of spam... but think they do.
Is it legal? Implied consent applies when businesses sell to other businesses (B2B). The email you are sending must be relevant to the person's job at the organization they work for. (Example: You can email a university professor to sell her textbooks, but not clothes... without express permission.)
My advice about adding your LinkedIn contacts to your emailing list? Use LinkedIn as a source of potential new contacts but look at each contact and make sure implied consent applies.
photo by TheBushCenter / Flickr
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