LinkedIn Contacts

Did you know LinkedIn has been removing features for years?

If you have been an active LinkedIn user for a number of years you might remember that LinkedIn removes features on a regular basis from their platform. At least one per year I would say.

Who remembers ‘Events’, ‘Polls’, ‘Reading Lists’ and many more retired features? And then there are features that just stop working without any warning, like 'Reminders', but that's another story altogether.

Share your favourite ones!

The reason sited always is that features are removed because they are not being used as much by members and therefore are retired to the internet abyss.

Below is an image of an email confirming their latest such action.

This particular feature, saving a profile to your contacts, which is being retired at the end of February 2016 is a handy little shortcut when you are searching for individuals that you wish to connect to.

You can (for now) save them to your contacts by clicking the star underneath the profile header or you can click the dropdown on search results and save them that way.  Especially handy when you have saved a favourite search for Lead Generation. See the images below on how this is allowed to be done currently. But not for long.

Maybe I’m a little suspicious.

I am a premium member and recently my premium account got a fantastic free upgrade. ‘Sales Navigator’.  A brilliant and very useful tool for Lead Generation and Social Selling. Really I mean it, it’s great and very useful. So now I don’t actually need to save anyone that I find on search to my contacts, I just add them to Sales Navigator and I am able to do much more with those profiles in Sales Navigator compared to the regular LinkedIn.

But there are lots of folks that are not on premium and have no intention of upgrading, but still would like to do some interesting stuff,  like saving and tagging people on LinkedIn without having Sales Navigator. 

Could this action by LinkedIn just be a ploy to promote Sales Navigator to us all?

I know, I know, actually not many of you realised you could do this anyway. I agree it isn’t very obvious at all and no-one actually advises you that you can do this, apart from LinkedIn Trainers.  And this is the reason, I guess, why LinkedIn are retiring it.

So my question to many of you is, ‘if you had known about this feature would you have used it or not?’

Be honest because this is like my straw poll to see what responses I get and maybe just maybe we can ask LinkedIn to reverse their decision. Now to help me,  please share this with your own network on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook.

Answer just 2 questions below.

I really appreciate your help with this.



Image credit: @gapingvoid

Did You Add Me to Your Mailing List?

One dysfunctional side-effect of the Internet are email lists and newsletters. I've already questioned whether the newsletter is on the way out in my ’Are You a Modern Seller’ blogpost. 

For over 2 years now I’ve been unsubscribing from newsletters and for the majority of those (95%), I’ve never ever asked to be added to their list. I'm not talking about spam mail. I'm talking about genuine newsletters and announcements, ranging from contacts I know or have met in the past to vaguely familiar people or companies and completely unknown companies.

How did they get my email address?

I know most lift it from my LinkedIn profile and that means they are a first level connection. From my website? Sure it's on there, so they can lift it from there too. From sign-up forms when I’ve downloaded research, white papers, interesting reports? Yep I'm guilty of that. Usually though I remember the ones where I've downloaded stuff and then I quickly unsubscribe from those when I receive the first promotional email.

How then should I get people on to my email list legitimately?

Using double opt-in or better still opt-out! It's the only way. You could have something that folks will be interested in downloading and on that web page you let them know that it will add them to an email list and state for what purpose. If you use the correct process, they will receive an opt-out email after completing the form. This means they can download the content and unsubscribe instantly, without ever receiving another email from you. Now this is real choice for the reader of your content. 

Will they remember you for this? Of course they will!

I highly recommend that you investigate what process you have in place for emailing folks and whether your process is filled with integrity.

  1. Are you scraping email addresses from LinkedIn?
  2. Are you collecting from websites?
  3. Are you using something like Nimble to transfer addresses to Mailchimp?
  4. Are you using external apps to transfer from your contact records to email clients?
  5. Are you adding addresses from business cards?

Please think carefully about these and maybe other processes and practices in operation inside your business. How would you feel if you knew that your contacts or connections were doing this?

Any recipient of your newsletters or email announcements must have had the opportunity to choose whether they wanted to receive your email. And more importantly, at any time they should have the opportunity to unsubscribe.

I'm astounded that some people still use the bcc: method to send their email out to their contact list from Microsoft outlook or Apple mail.

Once you change your approach, you will feel better about your process and know that you are treating your contacts, connections and acquaintances with integrity and respect. 

I know for a fact that this is how you would like to be treated. 


Image credit: @gapingvoid


Is 'LinkedIn Contacts' a sign of a full blown CRM?

20130306-192245.jpg Since the middle of 2012, LinkedIn have been rolling out new features, re-designed its user interface, upgraded the ability to include media on your profile and added more features to paid products for recruiters and sales organisations.

And now they are releasing ’Contacts’. The normal slow roll-out applies.

I predicted 4 months ago, without any prior knowledge that the natural extension of LinkedIn would be CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

I believe this is the start of it. It's a logical and sensible extension of LinkedIn, it makes complete sense. The hardest thing for sales people and marketers alike, is keeping up to date records of prospects inside customer databases, spreadsheets and address books.

Often people are employed or huge money is spent on cleaning data. There are organisations who sell directories to the most sought after professionals, like buying and HR professionals.

With LinkedIn, most business professionals will keep their details up to date. This means you have a database of contacts and prospects that will NEVER get out of date.

This is a sales professional’s and marketer’s dream. Link with this, all email communication, contact details and records of calls and interaction and you've got your dream CRM.

So now sales organisations have the triad of contact information directly inside LinkedIn, a ’social profile’, ’sales navigator’ and ’contacts’.

I can well imagine how this will develop further and do I think it would be worth upgrading to a premium account for this? Oh yes indeed I would. I am already a premium member anyway and was doubting some of the benefits, but now I can see how a premium member will receive some additional benefits in this integrated LinkedIn world.

By the way I don't think contacts is a charged product, but there are some features that are only available for premium members, what exactly I won't know for sure until I see the release.

The way I see it at the moment is that LinkedIn are the ’Apple’ of social media/networks. Facebook is the ’Microsoft’ and Twitter is just a ’News Ticker’ feed.

LinkedIn has developed a higher quality user interface compared to the others and its continuing to enhance this on their website as well as mobile.

They don't suffer from the volume of events and games invites either and now I know why they switched-off events last year. It's all making sense to me.

Their vision is right and they are doing the right things.

I am quite impressed as you can tell and I don't even work for the company!

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Success with your LinkedIn journey, it will be worth it.