LinkedIn Groups Announces Newsletter-like Feature

March 23rd, 2009 | by Jason Alba |

LinkedIn emailed all Groups owners last week saying that there is a new feature, akin to a newsletter for the Group owner: LinkedIn Group Announcements.  This is pretty cool, as it allows me as a Group owner to actually send a message to all Group members.

Did I say “pretty cool?” I mean, this is THE BOMB.  You see, before this there were only a few points where I could communicate to my Group members, including the page where they signed up (if they read the whole page), and through the fairly new Group Discussions and Group News (which I think are seen more as spam than anything else, due to the types of “discussions” posted there).

So I LOVE the Announcement feature, even though I can’t go find the link to send an announcement from where I think I should be able to (you have to click on the Manage tab (which you see if you are a LinkedIn Group owner), and then the top link on the right is “Send an Announcement.”

One major drawback on this is that it is likely we won’t see the “download Group member” link anymore… in other words, no way to export Group members to a spreadsheet (and then import to a CRM or Constant Contact).

I love that i won’t have to import into Constant Contact to message all Group members, as I was just getting ready to do that.  But I will indeed miss the export feature.

I have another beef, which I’ll post tomorrow.

Otherwise, I’m very happy with this new feature.

  1. 8 Responses to “LinkedIn Groups Announces Newsletter-like Feature”

  2. By Brian Schuster on Mar 23, 2009 | Reply

    I’m not sure that I’m so excited about this. I’ve already received a few emails from some of my groups, but I don’t think it’s that valuable. The reason I join groups is to meet other individuals, not necessarily to get in contact with the group leaders.

    So when I receive these group emails they’re less useful as a source of information and more a source of forced marketing. I’ve just tuned out most of it.

    Do you understand why I think this, Jason?

  3. By Jason Alba on Mar 23, 2009 | Reply

    actually, yes, I understand and don’t disagree at all. I think it will depend based on different groups, however…. some may be more for getting input from a group owner and others are more “from the crowd.”

    One thing I neglected to mention, I think if a group owner abuses this feature they will lose people and regret it.

  4. By Brian Schuster on Mar 23, 2009 | Reply

    Not a bad point, though I doubt certain group members will actually listen.

    Just curious, what’s your LinkedIn group? I wouldn’t mind checking it out.

    Brian

  5. By Jason Alba on Mar 23, 2009 | Reply

    Yeah, I agree… and I think they are going to shoot themselves in the foot – I’m thinking of my “announcement” ability as a monthly newsletter… kind of. Regular bug infrequent.

    here’s my group:

    http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=59081

  6. By Lisa Hendrickson on Mar 24, 2009 | Reply

    I really LOVE this new feature as our group, the biggest in MN was just starting to do quarterly newsletters and had to exports to gmail. I sent out our newsletter a few days ago with ease and got great feedback.

    The key to emailing your group is give info, help others and give tips and other good information and you should be ok. We had a big newsletter, but we also told people how to start using the discussion boards as many folks don’t know how.

    I manage “LinkedMinnesota” with almost 7000 members now.

    Lisa

  7. By Jason Alba on Mar 24, 2009 | Reply

    Lisa, that’s excellent – great advice to “do it right.” I think about my own newsletter and know that if I didn’t provide value then it would just be spammy pitching, and people would unsubscribe as no value is added.

  8. By Andy Shaindlin on Mar 27, 2009 | Reply

    This is a major downgrade in functionality for me as a group owner. Access to individual email addresses is worth much more to me than the ability to send everyone in the group a message from within LinkedIn. Ideally, I’d be able to segment my group members (by industry, region, network size, title, etc.) and target subgroups. But as is, I’ve lost something very valuable and gained something not so valuable. Just for the record, the group I’m talking about is a college alumni group.

    Thanks for the post, Jason.

  9. By John Felkins on Apr 21, 2009 | Reply

    This seems to be a great feature. I must confess though I’m still focused on growing my group membership. I’m using LinkedIn to “tighten” a specific group that exists offline. The only challenge is, how to find each other on LinkedIn and then connect.

    Thanks Jason

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