Don’t let your hopes or a LinkedIn “expert” (charlatan) tell you otherwise.
This isn’t my opinion. I speak from experience — and that of my customers.
I don’t like to speak in absolutes. Nothing is certain in our world. But automating the gathering of lead data and sending messages to prospects wastes time, damages reputation and what’s worst is buyers see through it — instantly.
Also, LinkedIn is cracking down and suing service providers. It took a while but Microsoft has had enough.
Short-cuts rarely work in life. Buckle-down and do the work. And yes, I know you need to scale. Me too. Tech tools like LinkedIn help us scale time. But LinkedIn automation is ineffective.
Lately, it can also hurt you.
Automating Outreach and Scraping Contact Data
We need targets to call on: Companies, decision-makers and contact data. LinkedIn is a database. But gathering contact data is time-consuming. Plus, getting these contacts to connect with us (open the door to communication) takes time and effort.
Wouldn’t it be great to automate the data collection, connections and messaging? We could mass email messages to prospects — without much effort. We’ll reply to the responses, manage the leads.
Enter LinkedIn automation tools.
But beware of reality:
- Automated profile viewers and contact data scrapers are being sued by LinkedIn/Microsoft;
- Non-personalized (spammy) or “personalized” (fake personalization) messages aren’t helping sellers start conversations with buyers;
- Decision-makers are actually hiding from overzealous sellers and accepting fewer connection requests.
How Automation Software Works
You look up a group of contacts using a LinkedIn search. Boom. Software automatically:
- Grabs those search results
- Views each contact’s profile
- Scrapes the screen (cuts-and-pastes name, company, title, etc. into a spreadsheet)
Software will also:
- View profiles
- Invite people with keywords or titles to connect
- Automatically send them welcome messages when they accept
- Automatically endorse them
- Automatically send them congratulatory messages when they have a birthday, work anniversary or change jobs
- Automatically send sales messages to large swaths of your connections
Sounds great. But let’s pretend you are Microsoft (LinkedIn’s new owner).
You just paid $26 billion for this data. How do you feel about people scraping it? How do you feel about automating all of these non-personalized functions (which are all trying to look personalized and social)?
That’s why LinkedIn is suing these service providers.
Automation tools are popular. But these are often “companies” that have no public contact data themselves! Companies that, in fact, aren’t companies … and have (for years now) operated in clear violation of LinkedIn’s Terms & Conditions.
LinkedIn prospecting expert, Bruce Johnston, is blunt:
“It is instructive that I went through my list and less than half of the companies I added 12 to 15 months ago still exist.”