The Free Ride is Over

At the end of November, LinkedIn introduced a new privacy setting pertaining to user email addresses. Whereas businesses could previously download and export data on all of their connections (including their email address), LinkedIn now gives users a choice as to whether their email is downloadable.

This dealt a huge blow to email marketers everywhere as the default option for each user is set to “No” as in “No; I don’t want people to be able to download my email address.” This is a huge issue for those who don’t have massive email lists. One of our clients even maxed out their LinkedIn connections at 30,000 for the sole purpose of having a baseline marketing list of 30,000 emails.

Ultimately, the free ride is over. So, what can you do to garner email addresses now?

Actively Promote a Newsletter

If you’re trying to build an email marketing list, it’s generally going to include content with some sort of light sales pitch, if even just your business logo being at the top.

For the most part, our clients have used the “content” portion as a regularly scheduled newsletter, covering details such as industry news and the state of their business. But to be a good news source, you need to have readers, so why not promote it?

From an opt-in form on your website to occasional social mentions, you’ll find that promoting your newsletter every once and a while can be a great method for slowly building a loyal following.

Pay to Play

Paid advertising, also know as pay-per-click, has run rampant on virtually every social media platform. Although this is initially a more costly option, it does save valuable time in the long run.

By setting up lead-based ad campaigns through platforms, such as Google Ads and Facebook, you can directly invite users to sign up for your email list. As an added bonus, social media platforms contain countless details on each user, allowing you to create razor thin targeting to ensure you’re only reaching out to the best prospects.

When Was the Last Time You Called Your Mother?

Admittedly, the business world is very vast, and not everyone is on the same level. For those just starting their companies, why not reach out to friends and family?

For starters, you probably already have many of their emails to begin with. Secondly, their probably less likely to get upset if you send them an email than someone you just connected with on LinkedIn (especially if you never met the person).

Finally, businesses ultimately live and die with their leadership. So, those just starting out, more or less, ARE the business. With most of your early days being referral-based, is this really such an out-of-the-box idea?


Although LinkedIn’s new policy settings are a drawback in the short term, a marketer’s job is based around adapting and thriving in ever-changing conditions. With all of the recent news regarding data privacy concerns, this was hardly a surprise.

To start building your email marketing list, send us a message at