How NOT to market on LinkedIn

This is a public service email.

I don’t check LinkedIn that often anymore because it seems to be morphing into another time-wasting Flakebook-style newsfeed mush, but I pop on there every now and then because I have ads running. 

Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Commander William T. Riker wfrom Star Trek with their hands over their eyes in despair

Here’s how I felt after reading this Linkedin message. Read, take note and don’t do it!


(The ads are doing better and better, by the way)

A message was in my inbox the other day. Here’s what it said:


“Dear Vicky

“You will be pleased to hear that I have started a free weekly newsletter to keep all my Linked In connections up to date with developments in xxxxx and xxxxx. As I have your e-mail address I will add you to the list and you should hear from me in the next few weeks. Please get back to me if you would rather not get the newsletter or even better, get in touch if you would like a 1-2-1 chat about what I do and how I can help you meet your xxxxx obligations. As a thank you please use the link to receive my free printable – 9 Simple Steps to Improve Your XXXXX .

“All the best, [name]

“P.S. Please feel free to share the newsletter with your contacts!”

I’m sharing this with you because it’s a fine example of exactly what not to do when you’re building a list. Here’s my brief rundown:

  1. “You will be pleased to hear that I have started a free weekly newsletter” – no I won’t, I couldn’t give a shit. That’s a terribly arrogant way to start any marketing message.
  2. This was unsolicited from a random LI contact. There are far better ways to use LI messages; this is just spammy.
  3. “keep all my Linked In connections up to date with developments in xxxxx and xxxxx” – trust me when I tell you the Xs have nowt to do with me or my business and don’t interest me remotely. Three seconds’ research would have told this person that and saved wasting my (and their) time.
  4. Don’t make me do work to tell you that I don’t want to be added to your spammy email list – because it is spam, pure and simple. If you want people on your list, do the fucking work and get them to opt in.
  5. I’m given no reasons whatsoever to get in touch or download that free PDF – even if it was a topic that was relevant to me.

All in all this is an epic fail – study it and then don’t do it, either in your LI messages or your emails.

You’re welcome!



Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

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