LinkedIn Congratulatory Email: Brilliant or Brainless?

Mike Allton
Mike Allton Internet Marketing Consultant, The Social Media Hat

Posted on February 13th 2013

LinkedIn Congratulatory Email: Brilliant or Brainless?
LinkedIn Congratulatory Email - Brilliant or Brainless?

You may have received or read about the emails that LinkedIn is sending out. To "celebrate" reaching 200 million members, LinkedIn has sent a series of emails out to select members, congratulating them on an achievement and thanking them for helping to build LinkedIn to what it is today.

This morning, I received mine, with LinkedIn congratulating me for being in the top 1% of profiles viewed. I assume the same exact message was sent to me and 2 million other LinkedIn users. I do know that other people have received emails that were somewhat different, so "profile views" was not the only category, and the percentages varied.

If you click the Read More button, you end up on a LinkedIn page with a nice letter from Deep Nishar, Senior Vice President, Products & User Experience. The page includes a pre-written post that you can share to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebookmentioning your new-found fame.

To most observers, this is a simple email marketing campaign, perhaps as a response to recent statistics indicating LinkedIn's monthly activity is not nearly as high as other social networks. Kred issued a similar campaign recently to users who had hit 1%, 5% and 10% levels.

As a marketing technique, I find this interesting. LinkedIn has obviously decided to stroke my ego a little bit, but they're not inherently asking for anything in return. They've provided me with some canned messages for social media which, presumably, would advertise LinkedIn a little bit to those I'm connected to.

So, LinkedIn gets to create a little buzz, generates some immediate activity, and potentially makes some users feel special. Is this a good long-term marketing strategy?

Buzz is obviously very short-term. No one is going to be talking about their "achievement" for long. It's also not the kind of topic that could even potentially expand beyond the initial individual. I dutifully tweeted the message LinkedIn provided, and I'm sure some of my Twitter followers noted it. I have not, however, received any retweets or favorites, and don't expect to. Since there's very little context with this 1% number, why should anyone else care?

Some recipients may have logged into their LinkedIn accounts to consider their profiles and maybe even look at the people who have been looking at their profile. Some people who saw the tweets and Facebook posts from recipients might have logged into LinkedIn to see what's up. But again, once the "buzz" dies down, all that gained activity will have plateaued.

LinkedIn Profile StrengthPerhaps most troubling is the idea that LinkedIn was making an effort to stroke my ego. This is a dangerous technique for marketers. If you're not careful, your users will come to expect this special treatment, and then what happens if you stop? This is actually nothing new from LinkedIn. Take a look at your profile and look at the right sidebar. The old profile completeness percentage has been replaced with a graphic that describes your profile. Apparently, I am a LinkedIn All Star, at least according to my profile gauge. i know people personally who are far better and more advanced at LinkedIn than I am, so I honestly question the validity of this label. And again, there's no context. How is this label measured? What exactly makes my profile an All Star?

It seems to me that, while well-intentioned, this is yet another "scheme" from LinkedIn to try and boost their numbers. I would much prefer to spend more time on developing and improving the platform. What do you think? Was this a brilliant marketing move, or just another brainless ploy to increase activity?

Mike Allton

Mike Allton

Internet Marketing Consultant, The Social Media Hat

I love to help small businesses and organizations that are interested in using the Internet more effectively. I provide a comprehensive set of consulting services, which include Social Media, Blogging, website development, SEO and Internet marketing.

I started my own website design firm in 2007 when I moved to St. Louis. Though I had been designing websites for years, it was always side jobs and part time gigs until I started my own firm. I now provide professional web development and Internet consulting full time.

For most clients and projects, we start with a new website. The new site is based on the Drupal Content Management System (CMS) platform so that the client may log into their site and add or edit content any time they need to. Each CMS includes a built-in Blog and other content types like FAQs and Testimonials. The CMS also includes a full compliment of SEO and Social Media integration options so that every time they create a new blog entry, that post is automatically shared with search engines like Google and Bing, and can be easily posted to social networks like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Once we have a great new website in place, I provide my business clients with ongoing marketing advice and assistance. I can tell them exactly what they need to do, or just do it for them, depending on how involved they wish to be. These ongoing activities can include blogging, creating and updating social network profiles, interacting with followers and readers, and managing online advertising campaigns.

I am the editor at The Social Media Hat (http://www.TheSocialMediaHat.com) where I regularly share articles discussing Social Media, SEO, Blogging, Writing, Internet Marketing and Business Technology.

My goal is to ensure that businesses are able to leverage the power and connectivity of the Internet to promote and grow their business. How can I help you with your own business today?

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Comments

Hi Mike, I received the same email and blogged about the same topic. I can say that this is a good social media marketing strategy used by LinkedIn. LinkedIn truly understand human behaviour, use our ego to help them to spread its news.

I blogged about this, you blogged about this as well. Which means, indirectly you helped them to spread even though you think this is yet another "scheme" from LinkedIn to try and boost their numbers.

You're absolutely right, Kent! :)

Hey Mike

Got me one of those 1 percenters yesterday as well.  I look at as just another way to get some free buzz both in the SM world and reengerize LI membership.  I will have forgetten about it (as most other 1 percenters, I suspect) by the weekend.

Heres to ya

Bob

Thanks Bob!

Got mine yesterday, only I was a top 5%. Felt big then. Feels small now. It's probably a smart campaign to the general user base who doesn't give it another thought. To those of us who do, it's bogus. Good piece Mike.

You're still big in my book Barry - cheers

Sorry to burst your bubble, Barry! Appreciate your comment though.

Perhaps we all conspire and vow to not say another word about it? We'll show 'em. No wait. I have a better idea. I'm going to blow some smoke to my community and tell each of them they're tops in my book. Maybe I'll get the same buzz?

When I first got the email, for a split second, I thought it was spam. My next thought was did everyone get one and what really defines the 1%? So it didn't make me feel special but it is a clever way to create buzz.

Thanks for an interesting take on this, Mike.

Like millions of others, I got one, and also enjoyed the ego stroke (although it did make me question the criteria for being in top 1%, since I'm not spending tons of time on LI). I didn't tweet or share it, though. I watched the reactions roll in, mulled over the pros and cons and thought about the same thing -- was it a hit or a flop?

Many have mocked it, while many others considered it and shared their thoughts -- like here -- with what amounts to almost a shrug. I'd say giving the digitally savvy an easy way to humble brag and share the LinkedIn brand, drive some clicks and traffic, and get a lot of social linkbacks is a longer term value than the short term buzz. After how, how often do most of us link back to LinkedIn? And that link value will be there long after the buzz as faded (Monday, if not Friday).

For me, if it got a lot of attention, it made people think, however briefly, and it got shared enough to put the brand in front of many plus generated countless links -- and at a minimal cost, since it was email -- it's a content marketing win. Kudos to LinkedIn for getting tons of its customers to spread the word, and to you for a nicely analyzed post.

Cheers -- Hunter

 

 

Thanks Hunter! You make a great point about the link value.

Remember President Obama's 1%? I mentioned it in my 1% post today, but never even thought to mention my 1% email from LinkedIn. LinkedIn could have sent us an email because we were in the 2 million most connected, or most active, or most annoying, rather than the 1% most visited. Thanking the people that are bringing traffic seems like good business. Ego doesn't kick in until you write a post about it (or comment on same).

 

;-)