One question I’m often asked is whether you can send messages to multiple recipients through LinkedIn. You can, and there are several methods for doing so. However, be aware that LinkedIn is very concerned about spam, so be sure your message is relevant to your recipients or you could be reported for spam. Also, be aware that in order to prevent spam, LinkedIn limits group messages to be sent to no more than 50 connections at a time.
When sending group messages, you can only message people you are connected to on LinkedIn. That means if you’ve uploaded contact information from your address book but you haven’t connected with them on LinkedIn, you won’t be able to add them to your group message.
Message Multiple Recipients Manually
Go to your Inbox by clicking on the mail icon toward the right side of the top navigation bar on LinkedIn (it looks like an envelope).
On the top left corner, you’ll see the new message icon that looks like a square with a pencil. Click on that to bring up a new message. Start typing the names of your recipients in the “to” box. As you type, LinkedIn will bring up names of your connections that match, so you won’t have to type on the full name – just click on the recipient. Keep adding recipients, then type your subject line and your message.
If you don’t want all recipients to know that you are sending a group message, un-check the box at the bottom of the message that says, “Allow recipients to see each other’s names and email addresses.” Then click Send.
This method can be rather time-consuming. Fortunately, there are other ways to accomplish the same task, if you have an easily defined group of potential recipients for your message.
Let’s say that you have a client that needs some help in another jurisdiction, and you want to reach out to your connections in that jurisdiction to see if anyone can provide a referral for your client. You can send a group message to all of your connections in a specific area by filtering your connections and then sending a group message.
Go to the Connections tab and click Keep in Touch.
Scroll down to your list of contacts. At the top of your list of contacts, you’ll see sorting and filtering options.
For our example, we’d choose to sort by last name and filter by location, in this case California. When you filter by location, you can choose one of the options LinkedIn provides, or type in your own term for location. LinkedIn will then return results with all of your contacts that fit your parameters. You can check the Select All box at the top, which will bring up options, including a message option, or you can select recipients individually by checking the boxes that appear next to their photos. Then click Message at the top of the list and LinkedIn will bring up a new message already populated with your selections in the “To” box.
To use LinkedIn’s Tagging feature, go to the Connections tab and click Keep in Touch, just as you did above. Scroll down to your list of contacts. When you hover over a contact you will see some options appear below their information, including the option to tag them.
When you click on Tag, LinkedIn will provide you with some ready-made tagging options, usually based on the categories people use to connect, such as “friend,” “colleague” etc., but you will also see the option to add a new tag. Click on this option to create your own tags. You can tag one contact with multiple tags, essentially creating categories of connections which can make it easier not only to send group messages, but also to find people in your network who belong to a certain category.
Once your connections have been tagged, you’ll see their tag labels in your contacts and when you visit their Profiles.
Now you can send messages to everyone whose contact has a certain tag. Simply use the filtering technique described above, and filter by tag. Then select all or choose multiple recipients by checking the box next to their listings.
Send Messages to Groups
Finally, if your message is relevant to everyone who belongs to one of your LinkedIn Groups, you might consider starting a discussion within that Group. This will ensure the widest distribution of your message to the Group, including Group members that you are not directly connected to. But be sure that your message conforms to the Group’s individual rules, which you can find by clicking on the i button at the top of the Group’s page.
Although you can’t message multiple Group members at once through the Group itself (only Group managers can send messages to all members of a Group at once), you can message Group members individually by clicking the Send Message link under a group member’s name in the Group’s member listing, or by clicking on their picture on a Discussion page. Again, this method has the advantage of reaching people you aren’t directly connected to (as long as they allow messages from other Group members in their personal settings).