‘How to Grow Your Email List with LinkedIn’ Workshop with Jess Campbell

January 10, 2024

Episode 52: Grow Your Email List with LinkedIn with Jess Campbell

As a social impact entrepreneur or a nonprofit executive, you’ve likely heard how important it is to grow an email list of your own. Maybe it’s on your to-do list or strategic plan. 

But people and their email addresses aren’t just going to drop from the sky. They’ve got to come from somewhere and what better place than LinkedIn – the place where so many of your people are already hanging out? 

My dear friend and email marketing queen, Jess Campbell and I partnered on a workshop to share the strategies of what actually has worked for us when it comes to growing an email list of engaged subscribers from LinkedIn. The workshop was so good I wanted to share a replay with you on today’s episode. Enjoy!

Introductions (Love Fest)

Jess Campbell: So, Tania and I met yesterday just to prep for this and we were like, “Let’s be all profesh, send each other our bios even though we know each other”. And then I decided to skim it, but I’m just going to tell you my version of Tania’s bio.

So, I have to let you all know that I met Tania a hundred million years ago because my grandmother actually was involved with Tania’s organization that she was the Executive Director of for many years. (New Directions for Women)

And I do not say this with exaggeration. I’m not trying to be over the top. When I tell you that Tania is one of the top 5 fundraisers I have ever encountered, I am so serious. She is phenomenal. And I’ve just loved watching her evolution as a business owner and taking all that she has applied as a relationship builder to her business.

So, then fast forward to, gosh, three years ago? Two years ago? When did we sit down?

Tania Bhattacharyya: Two and a half.

Jess Campbell: Yes. We went and we had lunch, and she was picking my brain. And I just knew that she was going to be the success that she is. At the time, she didn’t quite know yet that it was going to be LinkedIn that she was focused on, but she knew that was going to be her discovery platform.

And it’s just been so fun watching LinkedIn be your discovery place where you’ve been able to turn what you’ve applied as what you teach people.

So, if you’re not familiar. Tania, AKA the LinkedIn queen is the founder of Lumos Marketing, and she teaches very smart, ambitious social entrepreneurs, how to be thought leaders and, through mostly the vehicle of LinkedIn, how to tell their story, how to craft their brand message.

She’s so phenomenal. She’s also a super duper foodie. She’s the mother of Gary, her pride and joy, little pup. And she’s a super fan of Harry Potter.

What else can I tell you? She’s the best and it’s such a delight to do this presentation with her.

Tania Bhattacharyya: Oh, my gosh, Jess. I don’t even know what to do with myself when you say that I’m in your Top 5 fundraisers, because that’s such a compliment. Wow.

Jess Campbell: I said it before you even started this business. So, it’s for real true.

Tania Bhattacharyya: Oh, my gosh. Well, I don’t know how to go after that. But I think it should be easy for me because Jess is really somebody who needs no introduction.

I’m so grateful to have her as a business bestie. Like she said, we got to know each other when we were both nonprofit fundraisers here in Orange County. She’s a force to be reckoned with.

She has the amazing Confessions Podcast, which is incredible. I listen to every episode. She has the Raise More: Together Conference for fundraisers. She has The Make It Happen Conference for nonprofit consultants, which you should all come and be a part of. If you’re a nonprofit consultant, it’s taking place here in our hometown of Orange County next year.

She just came out with an incredible private podcast about fundraising. She has an epic email list you’ve got to join.

The list goes on and on. But what I love so much about Jess is… I’ve never told you this, but I feel like you’re the board chair of my campfire circle.

Whenever I have an issue, whenever I’m like “What do I do about this business thing?” Not even a business thing, but anything. I’m like, “What would Jess say? What would Jess do?” And, luckily, I can usually ask you and you have a brilliant answer. So, I’m so grateful for you.

Jess founded Out in the Boons, a company that helps nonprofits discover donors in their email list. She also helps nonprofit consultants build impactful businesses using email.

So, I just feel like this is such a perfect topic for us to collaborate on because it’s right in the middle of our Venn diagram of interests and knowledge.

‘How to Grow Your Email List with LinkedIn’ Workshop with Jess Campbell - The Campfire Circle podcast episode 52 Highlights

Why focus on your email list and LinkedIn together

So, before we get into the meat and the potatoes. I would love to know, Jess. Why did you focus on email as a focus and a niche in your business?

Jess Campbell: Email, for me… I said this actually in my email newsletter to my nonprofit fundraisers this week, I do what the data tells me. If the data told me that I would get the highest ROI, doing flips on TikTok, I would probably figure out a way to do that. But all the research, all the data, everything I know in my personal business has shown that email for my business and my audience has the highest return on investment.

So, for a lot of years, I focused a lot on the discoverability platforms. Instagram is where I personally started, and then I’ve slowly made my way over to LinkedIn and some other places.

I’ve run experiments, I have made tests, I’ve done it all. And at the end of the day, my email list outperforms my social channels 50 to 1. It’s not even comparable.

I’ve even been able to assess that if I send a sales email to my list of nonprofit fundraisers, which is roughly 3200 people, I can expect to get about $1000 back. And if I were to post on LinkedIn or Instagram, I don’t know if I would get a penny back. It’s just for me, not apples to apples.

But I will say that one thing that I’m recalibrating a bit, and this is something my coach Jordan Gill who I know you’ve worked a lot with too has said, but the traffic has to come from somewhere.

And for me personally, I still have seen more success in collaborations, a la my summits, a la my bundles, a la different kinds of projects I do with other people, but LinkedIn is right up there as well and you’re the queen of that. I know that you, for the vast majority of your business have been focused on LinkedIn and now we’re seeing the other side.

So, I think when they can work in tandem is really the perfect recipe.

Tania Bhattacharyya: I have a little bit of a story about that to prove your point.

Like you said, I’ve focused on LinkedIn. I used it myself as a nonprofit ED and then when I started my consulting business, I was like, ‘Well, let me just keep doing what I know how to do and use LinkedIn to really build supporters, find new supporters, build trust, et cetera, et cetera.’

But then earlier this year in March, I launched my first LinkedIn Content Sprint. I see a couple of alumni here and it makes me so happy to see your faces. But I saw how effective email marketing was in that launch because my VA set up UTM codes for me. And don’t ask me what a UTM code is, I’m not the tech person. I don’t know.

Jess Campbell: Be your Pisces self.

Tania Bhattacharyya: I do not know. But essentially, they’re like special tags for different links so that you can see exactly where traffic is coming from. I was shocked and bamboozled to learn that 3 times as many people visited the sales page for the Sprint from the emails that I sent about it than they did my LinkedIn posts about it, and I had about the same number of emails and LinkedIn posts.

But the really amazing thing about this is that I have 10 times as many LinkedIn followers as I did on my email. So, it just goes to show you the folks that are on your email list, I think, are invested. They’ve opted into your insights, and it’s just a powerful place to enroll people into your offers.

Jess Campbell: Yeah, I love that data. I’m so proud of you for having that data. That’s amazing. Okay, let’s get into some examples.

Productize your email list (and tease the heck out of it)

Jess Campbell: First up, we’re going to talk about productizing your email list. One of the things that I think is really important to do is to think of your email list as a product.

Even me, someone that’s been focused on email has thought about this 50%, but I’m just now crossing over into 100% by, for example, giving my email newsletter a name. Spoiler alert, I went with The Open Book. I just got the logo. It’s really pretty. So, my future emails for my nonprofit consultant segment will be called that, but really thinking of it as a thing and talking about it as a product is really helpful.

Then, when you have that information, you can tease it as such on LinkedIn. So, here are two examples of ways that I did this in advance of sending out my newsletter.

I really lean in marketing overall on that curiosity arm. Humans are just so hardwired to figure out answers and solve questions and so people don’t like to be left hanging and not know the thing, so I really lean on that.

In this 1st post, you can see “What do nosey people, my new private podcast, Threads and Chimp Empire all have in common? 🤔
I’m talking about all four in my weekly newsletter for nonprofit fundraisers that drops tomorrow.
If you want in on the goods alongside 3,093 #nonprofitfundraisers – get on the list stat ↗️”
and then I put the link in my first comment.

I’m going to let you, Tania, talk about where you should put links in LinkedIn posts, because I’m not really sure what the algorithm favors. But I think I heard that on podcasts, so that’s just what I do.

I do want to call out that using specificity wherever you can and who this is for is really important. So, for example, I’m trying to make it clear in this specific post on this side, that this is for nonprofit fundraisers, not so much nonprofit consultants.

I have two different lists. That’s a different topic and a different conversation, but I’m really trying to call those people out versus like, ‘anyone join my newsletter list’.

Same thing on this side. Again, I’m using that specificity to just invoke curiosity. So, what did “221 buyers
67% live show up rate

…in just 2 weeks.” have in common? I’m talking about this collaborative workshop that I hosted with some friends, and I gave a recap in an email.

So again, this is like pushing people, teasing it, telling people “sign up if you want to be the first to know about it”. I’m also very vocal on social that I save my best content for email, and I say that all the time so that people really understand that this is just the B version of my content. The A+ version is saved for email, and I do that on purpose.

Okay, should we go to the next examples?

Tania Bhattacharyya: Yes. I have just very recently productized my email list. I always sent out emails, but I’ve really productized it, which Jess shared a perfect example of what that is. But I like to think of my email list now as having a soul. It has a name. It has testimonials. It’s that 1st point of entry into my world.

Another thing before I get into these examples of why I think it’s important to productize your email list is there’s this industry stat that only 3% of people are ready when they first see something to purchase it. Regardless of cost, regardless of what it is. People need to warm up to it. So, when you have a free email newsletter, that’s essentially a free offer people can see “Oh, that’s my next step in that learning journey together.”

On the example on the left, it’s much like what just shared. It’s “Hey, tomorrow I’m sharing what’s going to be in that next newsletter, and why it’s valuable, why my ideal audience member would even want it in the first place.” And that’s easy enough to do.

In the second example is where I tease a newsletter after it’s already gone out. I don’t necessarily recommend that just because it takes more time. I use Flodesk, and I had to create a whole new segment and workflow to deliver it, which just can be a little bit time-intensive or annoying.

In the third example, and I’d love for you to try this, is where I actually featured a carousel with testimonials about the email itself. I think many of us have done this with our offers, our paid offers like a group coaching program or a course, but really, I want to just iterate: think of your email newsletter as its own valuable offer and treat it accordingly. And yes, it’s technically free, but I think people are still paying with their time and their attention and their excitement. So, collect testimonials about your emails, and treat it as its own thing.

Just to touch on the link thing that you shared, this is like the bane of my existence. Because my thing is, “Okay, do I appease the algorithm or do I just be easeful and lazy?” and I’m really stuck between those sometimes.

Technically, if you put a link in your LinkedIn post, it will thwart the engagement a little bit because LinkedIn wants people to stay on their platform. But if you say I’ll drop the link in the comments, you can do that. Or what you can do is wait a little bit, wait 15 minutes, and then add the link in later after it’s published.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have more questions on that.

Jess Campbell: That’s late-breaking. That’s good to know. Wait 15 minutes. Okay.

I love these examples and these visuals. That’s really helpful.

I would also say, when it comes to testimonials, a long time ago someone made the suggestion and it’s such a happy place for me now. Even today, someone replied to one of my emails with just the nicest comments and it just made me so happy. I just stuck it in a little folder, like a happy folder to either come back to when I’m having a shit day or to use as the testimonial when and if I need to share something.

I think you can also purposely ask people for their feedback or just as it comes in, just stock it away for later. That was something, I don’t know why, so simple didn’t ever come to me, but now I have it and it’s wonderful.

Optimize your LinkedIn profile to promote your email list

Tania Bhattacharyya: These are some ways that you can update your LinkedIn profile to really showcase your productized email.

So, when you pop onto someone’s LinkedIn profile, the first thing that you see above the fold is this top part that you see on the left. So, what I did was update my cover banner to really be focused on the newsletter.

I really want to highlight that this is the next logical way and the easiest way to take that next step with me. So, you’ll see here it has a vanity link to join. It’s not clickable, but that same link is then featured down in that circled red part. The landing page it takes you to shares more information, like the number of people on the list, the value you’ll get if you join, and you can see that landing page as a screenshot on the right side.

I think this cover banner can change and fluctuate based on what you’ve got going on in your business. As I get closer to September and I get ready to launch my next Content Sprint, I’ll probably change it to feature that. But I think of this as my default if you will.

Jess, do you want to show folks how to update that link?

Jess Campbell: Yes, I will. I actually made sure that I know how to do that.

I had to Google this. So, I am just going to open it really quick. That link that Tania was just talking about for whatever reason was not intuitive for me to find. So, we just wanted to make sure you all knew where to find it and how to update it so that you didn’t have to waste your time on Google.

So, you go to your profile. And I believe I went to this little pencil and you’re going to scroll all the way down to the bottom and you’re going to insert your link right there.

Then, I recommend doing some Link Text. Now, this is where the copywriters of the world and I are really struggling. “How nonprofit consultants grow.” This is not my best work, but with only 30 characters, you’ve got to get really creative. You can say, I guess, something like “join my email list”, but then it doesn’t really speak to… Is that nonprofit consultants? Is that nonprofits? Is that plumbing companies? I don’t know.

I would try and get as specific and clear as possible in this text, but you do have the option and this is really easy to change. So, if you’re just trying to get it done really quick and you want to come back to it again, you just go to that little pencil, scroll all the way down, put in your details, press save, and then it will be right there.

Tania Bhattacharyya: Yes. I love your CTA, by the way, it’s better than “sign up for my email list”.

Jess Campbell: Yes. I would like it to say something like “helping nonprofits something”, but there’s not enough characters.

Tania Bhattacharyya:  I like it. I think it piques my interest, the curiosity thing. I noticed that you included links to previous emails and I thought that was really smart on your landing page.

Jess Campbell: Yeah, thanks. That was inspired by someone. Who was it?…

I’m on an obscene amount of email newsletter lists, unsurprisingly. So, I draw a lot of my inspiration from the powers that be. There’s no such thing as original content, I’ll just leave it as that.

Okay, should we get back to it?

Tania Bhattacharyya: Alexander, I think, had a really great question around: What if you offer multiple services or should you prioritize your newsletter link or go to a landing page, which has a short list of your services?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I think it’s always a personal choice.

I’ve decided to prioritize my newsletter list because when I send out my weekly newsletter, and those of you who are on my list have seen this, at the bottom I include all of my services. And then I feel like they’re getting a little bit of value and being nurtured and being brought into my world, they’re not just seeing the services. So, that’s the way that I’ve gone about it.

Jess Campbell: Love that. Are there any other questions we can answer while I’m in discovery phase?

Attendee: So, I asked in the chat, but about creator mode. Right now, I’m not in creator mode because the automatic thing is that someone follows you and doesn’t connect with you. And I’d prefer they connect with me and not follow.

So, that’s why I haven’t changed it yet, but I don’t think you can do that call to action or something in your About. I’m just curious on that.

Tania Bhattacharyya: I think you’re right. I guess I could do an experiment and turn off my creator mode. Because you can toggle it on and off and see if that link stays, we could test that.

But I think you do have to be in creator mode to get access to that in the first place and I’ve worked with other people who prefer to be connected because then they could send messages back and forth, there’s more of an intimacy with your connections.

And it is extra work but what you could do is turn on creator mode just to get access to those additional tools. Then set aside some time once a week, once a month, whatever, and send a connection request to the people who have followed you recently, and just say something like, “Oh, I saw you followed me. That’s so nice. I really enjoy actually being connected with people so we can have more of a two-way relationship” and then ask a question about them or something like that.

Like, Tasha said, she actively connects with all followers.

Jess Campbell: Okay. Moving right along.

Using LinkedIn profile articles. Let’s hear it.

Tania Bhattacharyya: Essentially, LinkedIn articles are a great way to share longer-form content that will live on. And it’s also a great way to repurpose old stuff.

I have a podcast. I know many of the folks here have podcasts, YouTube channels, and presentations that they do, and so repurposing them into LinkedIn articles is great because these are indexed by Google – like they come up in Google searches.

So, I was just trying to find an example. I know this is meta, but I just googled yesterday “How do you create a LinkedIn article?” And the first thing that popped up was a LinkedIn article. It wasn’t a blog on someone’s website. It wasn’t something on HubSpot or some other thing. It was a LinkedIn article from this guy initially published in 2015, and he just keeps getting hits on it.

So, as you Google various things in the future, I want you to take note of this: that you’re going to see people’s LinkedIn articles in the Google search results mix.

I don’t know if you can see this, but the first link in this guy’s article is a link to his course. And so he just keeps getting hits on that. 

Similarly, on the right here is a screenshot of one of my LinkedIn articles. I literally just repurposed a blog that I had and I embedded the podcast player on there, which you can do in a LinkedIn article – you can embed a YouTube video, you can embed a podcast – but right here in the top is essentially a link to join my email list. So, in the future, if and when this article gets found in a Google search, it will just keep bringing people to my email list for years to come.

There’s something that I don’t think I did well with this, something I wish I had done differently, which is: with this strategy, you want to make sure that your headline in the article is almost SEO optimized. You want to make sure it has the keywords that people are actually searching for to find the solution that you’re outlining. And I didn’t do that very well. This is a kind of a fail. I think a better title would have been something, for this episode, like How to use your personal story in your brand marketing. I think more people would search that, than this term lived leadership, that is not really even a term.

All that being said, I think LinkedIn articles are an often unused resource on LinkedIn to really create something that will live on and keep funneling people to your list.

Jess Campbell: I have a couple of questions about LinkedIn articles, and I’m just curious about your opinions.

How do you feel about people who just literally send the same email that is the LinkedIn article? You know how that happens?

Tania Bhattacharyya: Yeah. I think that it’s helpful to change it up a little bit, for sure. I don’t think you need to write something brand new every single time.

I will have a little blip on LinkedIn. I’ll have the full transcript on my blog. I’ll have a little bit more of an insightful email that actually talks about why this is important. Then, on the article, I’ll generally just reshare the blog, just change it up a little bit though.

Because my thing is that most people if they are reading this again and they’re like, “Oh, I already read this.”

Actually, I think Britney Gardner’s here. She did a great LinkedIn live with me about repurposing and she had a great comment, which was that “if people are noticing that you’ve repurposed something, they’re on the edge of their seats, waiting for your next piece of content, they are remembering what you have to say, they’re loving what you put out.”

Sometimes you need to hear something twice (20 times). That was a long way of answering your question, but essentially repurpose more than you think you should.

Jess Campbell: And then I don’t know if this is my memory, or if this is really how it goes. But how do you feel about pushing out your article to all of your followers? Is that a thing?

I feel like I’m somehow on newsletters or articles or something where I didn’t really opt into them. And it, for me, feels very invasive, kind of like getting on someone’s email list where I didn’t opt-in, but maybe I’m just not remembering.

Tania Bhattacharyya: Yeah. I think there is an opt-in process. I think you do have to say yes, but sometimes we get all these notifications. I know I get all these notifications and I’m just like, Yes. You know what I mean? So that could have happened.

I get this question a lot. Should you start a LinkedIn newsletter? Which is essentially just turning your articles into more of a feed where certain people get it.

There’s a big positive that it gets into your email. But at the same time, if you’re building your email list, do you really want to create two different ways of sending stuff out?

I’m all about being simple. Like, I’m the Lazy on LinkedIn person. So, I think instead of starting a LinkedIn newsletter, I would put that energy and resources into creating an email list.

Now, if you have a marketing team, do it all. But if you’re a solopreneur, focus on your email list.

Create an enticing waitlist

Jess Campbell: Next, we’re talking about creating an enticing waitlist, which you and me both do. So, we’ll show you some examples of that.

For context, both Tania and I sell products, group coaching programs, done-for-your services. I know you a little bit less done-for-you services, but I know sometimes you do them. So, that’s our offer suite, those are our products.

You might have a business, for example, where you’re not necessarily creating a waitlist. Although, I could make the argument that everyone should be creating a waitlist, and you having the ability to call in business whenever you want, even if you work with three to five clients a year. I think a waitlist is always a really great strategy. But I just wanted to give that reference because this might not exactly apply for your business.

One of the ways that I did it was in a pre-announcement of my upcoming summit for nonprofit fundraisers called Raise More: Together. Here I just told a story and gave some examples around what makes my summit unique and different. And then I use the opportunity to announce all of the speakers who are participating in this round of the summit. Which is always exciting because I make a really valiant effort to find speakers who are the best on their topic, a lot of whom haven’t necessarily been heard of before, and I love sharing their information early and often.

But then I point people to the waitlist because my waitlist receives the lowest ticket price as well as some early access bonuses. So, it’s an incentive for people to actually join the waitlist and it gives me an idea on the back end of the interest leading up to it.

I do want to make a comment right here and actually I’m curious, Tania, on your opinion about tagging a bunch of people in posts. I can’t remember what consultant asked about this… Someone did a poll on this and I was like, this is so fascinating.

I will do this type of tagging situation when it’s super applicable, like when, again, it’s announcing speaker names or something. Personally, I’m not a super fan when I’m a part of a 20-person tag situation where they just are tagging me because they want me to comment. That’s maybe a personal preference. I don’t know. What do you think about that?

Tania Bhattacharyya: You’re spot on. And there’s actually an algorithmic sort of element to this, which is if you tag a bunch of people and some of them untag themselves, which you can do, it actually hurts your post. It’s not good for your post.

But on the other side, if these 20 people or so, if these speakers comment or engage with your post, and that’s a good thing for your post. So, you want to be careful. I think what you’re doing is perfect if they’re highly applicable to what you’re sharing here, then I would definitely go ahead and post them. But, yeah, that’s perfect.

Jess Campbell: Okay. That’s great to know, but yeah, it’s a great strategy. How about yours? What did you do?

Tania Bhattacharyya: Yes. Well, first I just want to double-click on what you said about wait lists and adding it, no matter what you do. I think we have a couple of nonprofit peeps in here, like fundraisers and stuff.

And the word launch can have a weird connotation or thinking “ I don’t launch anything.” But even if you’re a service provider with done-for-you services, you can still launch a podcast, and email newsletter, and new service.

I think if you’re a nonprofit leader, you can launch a… I don’t know, like gala. It’s not really a launch, but it is. It’s still a launch. It’s still concentrated energy for a specific thing. So, I think you can add a waitlist element to all of those things.

In my case, I launched a course in June and the people who joined the waitlist got the first part of the course for free. I have a clientfriend LaTresse who recently came out with her first book When Black Women Rise and people who signed up for the waitlist got the first chapter for free immediately.

So, I pulled the numbers from this waitlist situation for this workshop, and I had 174 people join the waitlist for my course in June. Now, some of those people were already on the list, but it was about 100 new people. And I think this is really key and this is a really big win because I think that launches are… it’s so normal to just look at the revenue or the “conversions”, but all the new people coming to our world are such a big win too, right?

Jess Campbell: I want to say one more thing that sparked in my head as you were talking, and you talk about this a lot, Tania, that LinkedIn is such an easy platform to learn.

I know you’ve tested this. I’ve tested this as well, where I will put a freebie or some sort of thing to engage with, and the post will have almost no comments, no reactions. That’s the only place I’ve shared it, and I’ll get 15 new subscribers.

So, I think a waitlist strategy is also a really helpful way as a business owner to get people to raise their hands to get people to reveal themselves and show you what they’re interested in as far as working with you goes, but you have to put it out there for them.

Yeah, your post might not have a ton of post engagement, but on the back end, it could have, like Tania said, a hundred people new to your list. That’s amazing from sharing a waitlist. And those are all people who may not be ready buyers right now for this upcoming Sprint, but then you nurture them, and they get to know your personality and maybe the next round they’ll be around. So, I just think that’s great. That is a definite win.

Okay. Now we’re going to talk about collabs.

The Power of Collaborations

Tania Bhattacharyya: Yeah. We love collabs. Collabs are where it’s at. We are obsessed with collabs. I think collabs are the most effective way to grow your list with engaged, aligned people because there’s an implicit trust factor. For example, with this collab, if people know you but not me, they’re like, “well, I guess I know Jess, so Tania can’t be that bad.”

I can share my example here, which is since this workshop is about LinkedIn, I would offer that LinkedIn lives are a really fun way to collab with people. I do about one per month. My next one is on the 31st with Dana Snyder, who I think many of you know about Ads to build your thought leadership presence. I just want to do a little plug. But you can secure signups for your email list by having a freebie that’s related to the topic of the LinkedIn live and shout it out throughout the live.

For example, I already brought up Brittany Gardner, who I know is here. She and I did a LinkedIn live together about repurposing. So, if she had a lead magnet about repurposing, we could be shouting those things out and referring to them throughout the LinkedIn Live because people are joining here and there they’re not necessarily there the whole time. But you can share why that freebie is helpful to what you’re talking about in the live to get a full understanding of the topic, and then yeah, see who signs up.

I would say you could each have your own freebie. If you really want to get creative, you could actually create a new freebie, which I don’t always recommend doing, this is a deeper collab at that point. But you could create something new and send it out for that live.

Like it says here, 150 people signed up for this workshop together, which is such an honor and such an amazing thing. So, this is just an example of a collab that has also grown our email lists from LinkedIn, because I only shared it on LinkedIn, maybe a Slack channel or two, but for the most part, LinkedIn is where I shared it.

Jess Campbell: Yeah, I know that I’m repurposing this graphic, but that’s because when I did a collab a few months ago with the names you see here, I did an experiment where I actually didn’t talk about it on any social platforms. I really wanted to test the health of my email list, and I think out of the roughly 221 buyers, over 110 of them came from my personal email list, which was amazing considering I did this with four other people.

So, if you picture this as a promo event for Roadtrip on LinkedIn to grow your email list, this is a way that you could do it, but I didn’t actually promote Roadtrip on LinkedIn because I didn’t promote it anywhere except my email list.

But that, again, just goes to show if I had done the opposite experiment where I only shared this tiny offer on LinkedIn, or on a social channel, do I think that I would have had 110 buyers? No way. I don’t know if I would have 10 buyers.

Again, it just goes to show how powerful your email list is and also where people take action. I think LinkedIn is a really great, as mentioned, discovery platform, but it’s a place where you get the quick hit and then maybe you’re like, I’m going to take care of that thing later versus I’m going to click that button, I’m going to put in my credit card details. I’m going to swipe my PayPal, whatever the thing is, and actually buy it.

I think that LinkedIn is a really great either introduction/reinforcement, but email is where I think people do way more of their buying.

Spark Convos and Community with LinkedIn Polls

Polls are great. I think that they’re always super fun. This is a post that I should have extended, I apologize, where I asked my nonprofit consultant community on LinkedIn what I should write my next newsletter about.

I’m one of those people that has too many ideas that are always bursting out of me. So, sometimes it’s helpful to get feedback from people about what they’re interested in reading about. As you can see in this poll, I got 41 votes where people said, this is what I want to read about.

So, what I actually did – I think maybe even Tania might’ve advised me on this – I reached out to every single person individually and said, “Okay, I’m going to write about the easiest launch ever or I’m going to write about financial truth. If you want to be the first to read about it, grab my email list right here.”

Then, what I did after that is I actually circled back to folks after it went out and then I said, “I’m not sure if you joined my email list, but here’s the link to my newsletter. If you want to read about the financial truth about collabs or the easiest launch ever.”

Whether or not they joined my email list, I think that this just again is me providing a lot of value and relationship building in the DMs where so much magic happens, and it was a really easy excuse to reach out to people.

I told Tania yesterday, if I didn’t get a hundred percent response rate, it was like 98%, it was really high. And it was in a way where I was leading with value, it didn’t feel yucky. So many people are in the DMs and they’re just so spammy. It wasn’t like that at all and I felt really good about it. I wasn’t shy or hesitant.

I love this strategy. I need to remember to do it more. How about you?

Tania Bhattacharyya: Just for the sake of time, because we still have a couple more slides. If you want a full down-and-dirty recap of how I use polls as a prelaunch marketing campaign for my Content Sprint, I have a whole podcast episode on The Campfire Circle Podcast about it. It’s called use LinkedIn polls to spark conversations or something like that.

I think that this makes a really great addition to launching something new because… This takes a bit of time, right? It’s a little bit of high-touch but these are folks who have essentially already raised their hand to say, this is relevant to me, this is how I fit into your equation. And you can personally invite them to join your list in a DM or to get an additional resource that’s really tailored to them. 

The other thing I want to mention about LinkedIn is it’s different from other social media platforms and that people might get back to you two months later and be like, “Oh yeah, I don’t check LinkedIn that often, but actually yes! I would like that.” So, just give this time to breathe as well as, is what I’d say.

Jess Campbell: Yeah, that’s a really good point. I definitely had people weeks after come respond to me, but in the end, it was really high.

Create 1 amazing freebie… and find new ways to share it!

Now we have “make one freebie and share it in new ways”, and you’ve got three great examples.

Tania Bhattacharyya: Oh yes, my High Five file.

You actually mentioned a happy file earlier. I just called this the High Five file.

It’s a common quote – I wish I knew if this could be attributed to someone specific – but in content marketing it’s like “good content marketers create once and then share it over and over again in new ways.”

So, you want to really come up with one or maybe just a few brilliant, valuable, free resources to support folks, that are then gated with an email, so you capture their email for them to receive it.

Then, think of many new ways to share it on LinkedIn. Because it takes people multiple times to take action. Not just that, but new people are finding you on LinkedIn all the time. And people are evolving, right? Now more than ever, and people need different resources at different points in their business.

So, here’re three examples of how I shared my High Five file, which is just a notion template to keep track of compliments or good feedback from clients or people in your audience, which then you can repurpose into content ideas or just have it when imposter thoughts strike.

This one lends itself well to posting on LinkedIn. On the left, I shared a compliment that I got a couple of times and then invited people to share their favorite compliment that they’ve received and it looks like I got 13 comments on that. So, I can’t remember, but people engaged. Here in the middle, I actually did a whole podcast episode about this freebie. On the right, I created a carousel of different high fives that I’ve received.

I could just keep doing this over and over every month at least once. So, I would say before creating a brand new freebie and taking the time and energy to do that, ask yourself, “Have I already shared this a dozen different ways?” and if not, maybe think about new ways to share that first.

Jess Campbell: Absolutely.

Freebie Audits and lots of fun ideas 

We want to do freebie audits. So, if you are so brave as to share a freebie idea you have, or one you are actually already using, and you would like Tania and I’s feedback on it, or how you could share it in a way that’s engaging and can grow your email list, we would be happy to do that.

If you want to either unmute yourself or put it in the chat, go ahead.

I know that might be a lot of pressure to share if you don’t have something. So, if you don’t, we can also make sure that we get some questions answered.

Tania Bhattacharyya: I see some juicy ones. And then I see some freebies.

Jess Campbell: Let’s do 2 or 3 freebies, really quick. Okay. I’m just going to pick Sonya. Am I pronouncing your name, Sonya?

Sonya Perez: Yes.

Jess Campbell: Okay, great. Do you want to tell us about your freebie?

Sonya Perez: Yeah, it’s within my email list.

It’s five days of Reflect, Reframe, and Recharge. So, each day I start out with inviting them to breathe for 10 seconds. I’m a leadership coach. Then, I have a bit of a pro tip on how that impacts your brain health and movement and so I go through the mental, emotional, and embodied responses as a leader, and I’ve just put it within my email list.

Jess Campbell: Oh, amazing.

Sonya Perez: So, I’m thinking… now, I’m getting a ton of ideas from this workshop, thinking maybe I need to put it into a PDF or other ways to repurpose that.

It’s been written, and the people that were on my list – I think I have a hundred something – they’ve liked it, but it’s getting more people involved in that.

Jess Campbell: Totally. The traffic piece, right? I’m curious. Tania, do you have any quick suggestions?

Tania Bhattacharyya: I feel like my piece of this is more about how to share it on LinkedIn versus the freebie itself.

I just signed up for it, by the way. So, I’m excited to get that. I’m a big fan of challenges and stuff.

I think a really interesting way to promote the freebie would be to ask somebody who may be a client of yours to do a LinkedIn live together about what they got out of participating in that challenge.

I think another thing that you could do is a poll about what stops you from pausing and reflecting. What are the barriers to that? Or on the other hand, you could do, what are the benefits that you get when you block off time just to be in the beginning of your workday?

Those are two thoughts I have off the cuff.

Jess Campbell: I would also say utilize that real estate under your profile picture, where you can do that link if you have creator mode and direct people straight to that freebie.

I would also say, going back to Tania’s examples around testimonials, if you have a way to share short text-based testimonials where you can tag the person that gave them, that will also hopefully increase their likelihood of engaging with your posts and you know LinkedIn spider webs everything.

So, you could also share it that way, so they’re sharing about how great it is, but you’re orchestrating it.

I love the idea of the polls and everything Tania said. So, yeah, those are four ideas right there.

Sonya Perez: What do you think about pop-ups on your website? Right now, it’s buried below, and I obviously need to figure out the tech piece of that. Do you recommend that pop-up on your website?

Tania Bhattacharyya: I have one.

Jess Campbell: Yeah, they’re really effective.

Tania Bhattacharyya: I also have it as the top bar on my website. So, if you go to my website, the very first thing on the top is a red bar, and it’s an invitation to participate in my freebie.

Sonya Perez: Okay. Is it okay that it’s not downloadable? It’s actually just this challenge of where it hits their inbox, it’s automated.

Jess Campbell: Yeah.

Tania Bhattacharyya: 100%.

Sonya Perez: Thank you.

Jess Campbell: You’re welcome! Okay, how do we pick? So…

Tania Bhattacharyya: How about we do Jeena’s? Because she’s the first one that put her thing in.

Jess Campbell: Jeena, do you want to unmute yourself and tell us about it?

Jeena Cho: Yeah.

So, it’s a free one-hour workshop. I teach mindfulness and meditation, mostly to lawyers. So, I offered a first one-hour workshop kind of addressing some of the common things that I hear, which is just this feeling of living in chaos, because lawyers keep track of their lives in six-minute increments and it’s a miserable way to live.

I was going to turn this as a way to promote my paid session course. I had 150 people register through different avenues and I had 50 people show up live and then I wasn’t able to convert any of them to sales. So, it’s just one of those really frustrating challenges.

Jess Campbell: I don’t know what price point your product was, but I also think that people might have just needed more warm up in between like challenge or offer to a sale. That’s not uncommon. It might not have anything to do with the quality of your freebie or the quality of your offer. It could just be a timing thing. So, I wouldn’t give up is what I’m saying about that.

I also don’t know how many sales emails you sent, but I am telling all of my personal clients to start doubling what they were doing a year or two ago because people just really do need to see it that many times.

Jeena Cho: How many times is that? I probably send out three sales emails that says, “Hey, I’m offering this thing, please.” and then I try to tweak it so I’m hitting specific pain points with each email.

Jess Campbell: Over how many days did you send those three emails?

Jeena Cho: Two weeks.

Jess Campbell: Okay. So, just like a reference: I sell a course, it’s a three-week open cart and I probably send 22 emails.

Jeena Cho: Oh, wow. Okay.

Tania Bhattacharyya: Same. Same.

Jess Campbell: Like, a lot more. A lot more.

Tania Bhattacharyya: Last day, I would send multiple. I know one coach who sends way too many, but like three on the last day, not 20.

Jeena Cho: Okay. All right. This is actually completely reformatting how I approach sending emails. Cause I’m like, I don’t want to be a pass. I don’t want whatever, but I have really good open rate. I have close to 50% open rates. So, I feel like people want to engage with my content.

Jess Campbell: The other thing that I teach and something I’m working really hard on right now is to focus less on the open rate and to focus everything on the click rate. I am really encouraging all of you, and this is something I’m training my email is to do: open ➡️ click. Because if they never click on anything, they’re never going to press that buy button.

Part of that is coming up with a really juicy subject line, something that invokes curiosity or something specific but that maybe doesn’t give the whole kit and caboodle away in the email. You’re forcing people to click away.

Since I’ve refocused my energy, both my email open and click rates have gone from 45~50%, which is just average for me, but a click rate of 2% to 3%, which by standards is good, but I wanted it higher. Now they’re 8 to 10%, which I’m jazzed on. I can’t wait to sell something to see how that translates.

So, I don’t know what your emails look like but in your warmup phase, your presale phase, you might want to practice that a little bit. Like, giving people content in your email that forces them to click away, even if it’s a click to your LinkedIn post or something, and then they follow you there. And then there’s this nice circle happening.

Tania Bhattacharyya: Yeah, they’re taking an action. I also have an idea, Jeena, that could be helpful for anybody else here. I know you focus specifically on attorneys, which is so great that you have that focus. I would almost create like a mini affiliate campaign and invite five attorneys that you’re friends with that you adore that would do anything for you. I know you’ve got those people in your squad. Ask them to share it on their LinkedIns and actually create something that makes it really easy for them to do that. But then you’re just expanding your reach in a really deep way. And I think people are really happy to do that.

Jeena Cho: This was very helpful. Thank you.

Jess Campbell: You’re welcome.

Tania Bhattacharyya: Of course.

Jess Campbell: Okay, I think we should maybe go to Q&A.

Let’s just see. Cause I know we also would be doing a bad job if we didn’t tell you ways that you can work with us.

Tania, do you want to talk about your Sprint real quick?

Tania Bhattacharyya: Oh, yes. Super quick. I’ve talked about it a couple of times, but my next LinkedIn Content Sprint is launching in mid-September or in October month. And pretty much all it is a group of folks. We create six months of strategic LinkedIn content, and it’s actually really fun.

I know we look very serious in the screenshot, but we have a blast and you get my copy coaching on everything that you create.

Jess Campbell: Definitely worth it.

If you’re specifically a nonprofit consultant, this is just for the nonprofit consultants in the group, we have a community, a Slack channel community, that is supportive. It’s for accountability. There’s a ton of resources. It’s super fun and we’re moving to a paid space. So, if you want access to the founding member price that is available through the 20th of July 2023. And come one, come all. I think we’ve got over 50 people who have joined so far, and I know that will double by the time that we reach August 1st. So, this is a QR code to access that founding member price and all are welcome.

Super Juicy Q&A Session

Then, Q&A. Let’s do it.

Heather had a question I saw. How do you feel about bio in individual posts, which I feel like it’s an emerging trend, and then would include a newsletter?

Tania Bhattacharyya: I think I know what you mean. So, you see a post at the end, maybe there’s a line or something and it’s “Hey, I’m Tania. I’m a thought leadership strategist for blah, blah, blah, blah.”

I like that idea. I’ve seen a lot of people do it. I think it’s smart, especially because your LinkedIn post is going to be shown to brand new people who don’t know you. I think it’s a good idea.

And everything is a test, right? I always say you can’t get this wrong. Just showing up means you’re doing it. I would test it and see how it goes. And I think you could absolutely say, “I send out a weekly newsletter about X. Join here.” or something. Do that for a month and see if there’s a difference.

Jess Campbell: I love that. Everything is a test. I live by the same motto.

Jordana asks If posts and articles show up the same way, should we post everything as articles for SEO purposes?

Tania Bhattacharyya: So, a post and an article don’t show up the same way. If you go after this webinar and try to create an article, it will ask you to create almost like a “what is this article about?” and that will show up as a post. However, the article will show up in a different part of your LinkedIn and it will live on forever in SEO land. But if you search for something, your post won’t show up in those results.

I don’t know if I’m explaining that well, but I think of articles as more longer-form and more going really deep into a certain topic.

Jess Campbell: Does switching to creator mode allow you to post collaboratively?

Tania Bhattacharyya: Like on Instagram? Like, how you can create a collaborator post? I don’t think so.

Jess Campbell: I don’t… I’ve never seen either.

Tania Bhattacharyya: Yeah. I’ve never seen it. It’s a good idea. It’s a smart idea. They should come out with that.

Jess Campbell: Here. Tammy asks, How do you use your personal LinkedIn page versus your nonprofit business page in terms of building your email list? So, trying to establish a personal LinkedIn page for some thought leadership, but the end goal would be email subscribers to the nonprofit business. Curious how these interact with one another.

Ooh, good question. Yeah, I have some ideas, but what do you think, Tania?

Tania Bhattacharyya: Yeah, this is a great question. This is one of the most common questions I get. And I always go back to the fact that people trust other people, right? They want to get to know and trust you as a human being.

So, I don’t even do anything with my LinkedIn business page. I created one so that my logo would show up on my personal page. But even back when I was in charge of marketing at my nonprofit, we would post something about, let’s say, our accreditation and we’d get some engagement. But if I, as the ED, posted about it, it would get so much more engagement.

So, I think it’s still helpful to have that presence as the nonprofit especially, more so than the consultant. But if your goal is email subscribers, I think 10 times out of 10, you sharing about it on your personal LinkedIn page is going to make that happen.

Jess Campbell: I agree. And I think there’s such a missed opportunity for nonprofit leaders to have a really big thought leadership presence on LinkedIn.

And to Tania’s point, you telling your origin story, you telling a story about what’s happening on the ground, or maybe there’s a New York Times article or something, and then your response to that, and then using language like, “join us for this” or “sign up for that”.

I think again to Tania’s point, will go over a bajillion times better from your personal page. I think you can have board members do that, staff members do that.

Tania Bhattacharyya: It takes a concentrated effort, but the results are so worth it.

Jess Campbell: Alexander asks, Do you ask people on your email list to invite their friends and colleagues to join? If so, what wording do you use?

So, there are tools like SparkLoop and some other competitors where you can actually reward people for sharing your email list with their colleagues, friends, family, whatever. And when they sign up, it uses a unique tracking link so that they can get stuff or win stuff. I’ve seen creators do it, where they might get a mug, or they might get a shirt or something. I’ve seen other creators gift free access to a workshop they have. But basically, there’s benefit to doing that, and that’s a way for you to track them.

If you wanted to do it just super old school, send them a note and say, “Hey, will you share this?”

My only suggestion when you are thinking of the language is to be super targeted and specific of who you want to join your email newsletter list. Because none of us want just an email list big for the sake of being big, we want it to be our ideal customers, right?

So, if you want to find nonprofit leaders who work at large scale, nonprofit hospitals in the Northeast region, and you want to grow your email list of those people, you need to say it at that level of specificity. Because you don’t want someone just sharing it with their grandma and now you have their grandma on your email list. She might send you the best High Five emails ever and that’ll make you feel really good. But, is she ever going to buy one of your products or listen to your podcast or whatever? No.

That would be my suggestion. I don’t know, Tania, if you have anything else to add.

Tania Bhattacharyya: Yeah. SparkLoop is definitely built for this. The bummer is I use Flodesk as I know many of us do and it does not integrate, which I’m so sad about.

I’m thinking about playing with adding to the end of my emails. Did you like this email? Send it to a friend by sending them this link and sending them to the opt-in page. But I don’t know. I haven’t figured it out like an elegant way of doing that yet in Flodesk.

Jess Campbell: And then we have, I’m curious if each of you write your own newsletters. I’m on Tania’s and I think one key component is the quality of the writing. Do you each author your own content?

We do.

Tania Bhattacharyya: I was just telling Jess the other day, if we all had universal basic income and we didn’t have to work, I would just write emails. Like, I would just write.

Jess Campbell: Me too.

Tania Bhattacharyya: Yeah. So, we do love to write. And I do think that’s something that you can hone over time because it becomes a process of self-expression. It’s not just about this is what I do in my business, but this is who I am, it’s what I believe in, it’s what I care about. And I think that is what’s coming through in our emails too.

Jess Campbell: As I get further and further in my business, I’m trying to make my newsletter the nucleus of my business. So, it’s like the inside and it’s where you get the best content. It’s where you’re the first to hear about where I have opportunities to work with me. It’s where I share links to things that will inspire, educate, and entertain you. Like, I want my newsletter to be the product at the very center of my business.

Now that’s a personal choice and, to Tania’s point, I like it. So, that would be challenging to outsource. That being said, I’m a copywriter, I write for other people. And if copywriting is the bane of your existence, you can find people and work with them to really nail your voice, and you don’t have to do it.

Okay. We have a minute left. Any question?

Tania Bhattacharyya: There’s a question here. Denise: I have 3 freebies and I have them all on 1 free resources page. Do you think I should just have them on 1 page?

That’s a really good question. So, I would love your thoughts on this Jess because I have the same thing.

I have an offerings page and I have my 3 freebies, but I have them: “If you are needing help on strategy, download this freebie. If you are needing help finding this time in your schedule to work on your LinkedIn, here’s a freebie. If you’re having self-limiting beliefs or systematically limited beliefs about your ability to show up as a thought leader, download this freebie.”

I thought that was a good idea, but then I realized a lot of people just download all three and then they’re getting all of the follow-up nurture emails, so they’re getting like a million emails from me. So, I actually don’t have a great answer to this. What do you think Jess?

Jess Campbell: If you go to my website, just because I know a couple of people have been inspired by it and are like, how did you do that? outintheboons.me If you go to that, you’ll see what mine looks like. So, long story short, I have them all on one page.

Everything has pros and cons. On the cons: if everything was separated out, I would be able to track analytics a bit better to know which freebie is the favorite. Now, I can do that on my email back end because I can look at the segment side, but it’s a little hard to track where people came from there or that kind of thing. But I think it’s really easy as a user experience. So, I think you have to choose.

I will also say, that when I was first starting my business, I got wind of Jenna Kutcher everything. I’m not a super follower of hers anymore, but I practiced what she did. I was like, she did it, I’m going to do it. Which was like “create a freebie every single week”. For almost a year, I did that, which I don’t recommend.

So, now I have hundreds of freebies floating around the universe. And it’s been a long-term goal to really cut the fat and figure out what my best ones are and only offer those. It’s just a little complicated for me because I also use Pinterest – that’s my number two lead gen source – and they’re all connected to pins, and it generates a lot of email subscribers so cutting them away would be bad.

So, I think you have to decide: do you want a great user experience? If you only have three, you could definitely test having them each on a separate page, and then you’d be able to check the backend analytics. But if you have hundreds like me, I don’t know if I would recommend having hundreds of pages.

Okay. We are officially at 17 and we said we would do 15. You all are the best. Thank you all for such amazing questions.

Tania, anything to add?

Tania Bhattacharyya: No, I think that’s it. Ditto. I agree. I love the energy in this room. You had amazing questions, and it sounds like I’m going to be seeing a lot of you on LinkedIn, which I love. And if we’re not already connected, if you’re not already connected with me and Jess, be sure to do that because we’d love to stay in touch with you.

Jess Campbell: Absolutely. All right, everyone have a great rest of your Wednesday. We’ll see you soon. Bye.

The Campfire Circle podcast episode 52 - Grow Your Email List with LinkedIn with Jess Campbell - Quote "Be super targeted and specific of who you want to join your email newsletter list. Because none of us want just an email list big for the sake of being big. We want it to be our ideal customers."

Resources from this episode:

Subscribe to the Boonie Newsletter: Join Jess and over 3,024 nonprofit fundraisers who want fundraising tips, tricks, and case studies to help them raise more money for their nonprofit organization every week in their inbox.

Get the Firestarter Weekly Email: Want my Wednesday recap on what’s working (or worth inquiring into) for folks building a thought leadership brand on LinkedIn? Join my list! 

Other Campfire Circle podcast episodes I recommend:

Episode 32: Beat imposter thoughts and content blocks with a High Five File

Episode 36: Steal my LinkedIn Poll Strategy to Spark Convos and Community

Episode 40: Measure the Magic: Tracking Resonance Instead of Reach

Connect with Jess Campbell: 

Website: outintheboons.me

LinkedIn: Jess Campbell

Podcast: Confessions With Jess and Cindy

Instagram: @outintheboons_ 

Connect with Tania Bhattacharyya:

LinkedIn: Tania Bhattacharyya

Website: lumosmarketing.co

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