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LinkedIn training tip – Email your Boston connections about a local event

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If you are having a local business event, and you want to send an email to your LinkedIn connections in Boston, how do you do it?  It ain’t easy…


Chris Brogan, social media rock star (and cool Boston guy), posted a question on his blog asking how he could send an email to his LinkedIn connections in Boston, since he is hosting a local event.  Here’s my answer to Chris, which was too long to fit in a blog comment reply:

Its ugly, but there is a way to do some of what you want if

  • you don’t mind having to send the mail through LinkedIn itself, which has a primitive email interface
  • you are sending it to less than 50 people at a time
  • your people fit into one of LinkedIn ‘s location categories. Yours do, but they are alphabetically sorted under “Greater Boston Area” and not “Boston, MA”

That said, here’s what you do:

  • go to your home page
  • under Inbox in the navigation on the left, click Compose Message
  • to the right of the “To:” box, click the blue “in”
  • in the upper left, click “By location”
    • as I said above, not all cities are sorted in alphabetical order
    • i.e. Boston isn’t under B, it’s under G for Greater Boston
    • (gee, that user interface isn’t greater)
  • make sure you click “Send me a copy” in the lower left hand corner so that it also goes to your real email file. That way, you can search on it later on if necessary

Even then, you can only send 50 emails at a time, so if you have more than that, you have to

  • send multiple emails
  • do a few letters of the alphabet at a time
  • keep track of which ones you’ve sent the email to already

All of this, of course, is what a computer was made for, so they certainly made it more difficult than it should be.  It makes you wonder if you should just get a typewriter and do it Amish-style.

Obviously, LinkedIn should just allow you to export more of the fields that they have in the database to your CSV file.  They have the information, and even pass empty fields (with headers) into the CSV file, which is just a cruel tease.

Its ironic that as a leader in social media, LinkedIn doesn’t seem to pay much attention to the users that give them ideas in the “Using LinkedIn” Q&A forum.

Hope this helps.

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