How to Utilize Email Lists to Grow Your LinkedIn Connections

Posted by Ben Kniffen in Uncategorized

The first thing everyone tells you to do when you create a LinkedIn profile is to import your email contacts and invite them to connect. It seems like a simple task but LinkedIn has implemented some major changes to their “connections” area over the past year that make aspects of this process a little tricky to figure out.

However, once you dig around a bit you’ll be able to utilize some extremely powerful tactics not readily found on the surface of LinkedIn.

And this is not just for inviting close personal connections you know but also for utilizing email lists that contain emails for your prospects as well.

Let’s take a look at how you can use your email lists to build a targeted database of connections on LinkedIn. It all starts with going to the “add connections” section of your profile.ben1

Once you’re in the “add connections” area, you’ll have the ability to load in emails in two different ways. You’ll see the two options when you click on the “any email” selection.ben2

Once you select “any email” you’ll have the ability to load emails into your profile in two different ways. The first is by uploading a CSV file and the second is by copying and pasting the individual emails in the window.ben3

Everything up to this point is pretty self-explanatory. It’s everything after this point that takes some investigating to figure out what the deal is.

Now, when you finally do upload your connections there is a good chance you will be taken to your “home” page and you will see this message:ben4

Many people see that and think there was an error and then go and repeat the same steps only to get the same results. They leave their computer thinking they can’t send out connection requests by uploading a bulk email list. But that is not the whole story.

Believe it or not, even though you see the error message, your emails did get uploaded into LinkedIn. They just didn’t get sent connection requests.

There are actually several more steps you need to take to actually send your connection requests off. It’s in those steps that you’ll see how powerful this section of LinkedIn can be.

To get the whole scoop, head back to the “add connections” section and click on “manage imported contacts” in the upper right hand corner of the window.ben5It’s in this little area, hidden all the way in the back of LinkedIn, that you have the ability to utilize some pretty useful tools.

The first key aspect of this section is that it gives you the ability to identify which of the contacts you have uploaded are on LinkedIn.

Some of the contacts in this section will have a LinkedIn graphic next to their name. If they do that means you know they are on LinkedIn.ben6

Why is this important?

Since LinkedIn only allows you to send a certain number of connection requests out, seeing who is on LinkedIn guarantees you’ll have the ability to send out connection requests to only those people who are on LinkedIn.

This is even more important important if you have an email list of prospects and you want to add them to your profile to expose them to your activity on LinkedIn. You wouldn’t want to waste sending out connection requests to emails that don’t have a LinkedIn profile attached to them.

Now, just because you see contacts listed in this section does not mean they have been sent an actual connection request. This is the second key aspect of this area.

You can send a personalized message to a bulk group of contacts.

Select which contacts you wish to send a connection request. Their names will appear in the box on the right hand side. Underneath that box is an area for you to add a personalized note to your invitation.

You can type whatever you want here.

The cool thing is not only can you type a custom note but LinkedIn will plug in the recipients’ first name when the connection request is sent.

When you’re ready, just click the “Invite selected contacts” button to send your connection requests off. It doesn’t get any easier than that.ben7For those LinkedIn members who have been handicapped for sending too many connection requests to people they don’t know, this is a great way for them to increase their network if they have a list of emails to use.

Since they have the email address of the contact, LinkedIn will allow them to send the connection request.

This is also a great way in general to go about building a database on LinkedIn. If you have the ability to build or create email lists of your targeted prospects then that saves you the time from have to spend hours upon hours sending out connection requests to begin with.

Not only will you save time, but it’ll also ensure that you do not get hit with the connection request handicap because you had email addresses for all your contacts you sent connection requests to.

It may not seem like much on the surface but the “manage imported contacts” section on LinkedIn has a lot of power in it.

Have any of you found success importing email lists on LinkedIn? I'd love to hear about your experience!

  • One more thing … even with the workaround, LinkedIn didn’t allow me to personalize the message. There was no checkbox option.

  • This does not work. LinkedIn will NOT import uploaded files period. Not even if you follow the .csv file recommendations (first name, last name, email address). I even exported my LinkedIn connections and used that file to create my email list file … same error.

    • K,

      Send me an email and benkniffen at and let me know at what point you are seeing an error. There have been times that I’ve seen functionality in LinkedIn breakdown on a profile by profile basis. Still, I have seen this process work enough to know that it is a functional tactic.

  • I see this strategy is to increase ones personal profile connections on Linkedin, can a company page in Linked implement this strategy and upload a list of emails so that they can follow the page?

    Just curious if there is a similar tactic to use for company pages on Linkedin