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LinkedIn Totally Blows Email Marketing Opportunity

Friday, March 25, 2011

Oh LinkedIn. Reid. Can I call you Reid? I know we don't know each other personally, but really: we have to talk. Sit down and let's chat.

You see, you just sent me this email about your 100 millionth member. (Congrats, by the way. Impressive).

But, you know, it has issues. It really is, frankly, a horribly missed opportunity. Plus you're breaking the law. Needless to say, that's not good for your pending IPO.

Marketing Fail

This was the perfect, perfect opportunity to give us early adopters something special. Some special feature. Free upgrades. Discounts. Extended trials of your premium services. Anything!

But instead you gave us, well, diddly. You emailed us all but failed to answer the 100 million question: so what? What was the point, Reid?

You just blasted all of us, your early advocates, and gave us nothing. No reason to go back to the site. No incentives. Not even a "hey, haven't seen you for a while, come on back." A little ego pampering about how insightful we are, kinda sorta, but maybe we knew that already, y'know?

Such a wasted opportunity.

And by the way: The Law called CAN-SPAM

Yes, CAN-SPAM is largely worthless. It is, nevertheless, the law. And you broke it, what, a million times?

See, your email wasn't transactional. It was marketing. So the law requires, amongst other things
  • Physical contact data.
  • Unsubscribe instructions.
And it didn't. Unless I'm blind; here's mine. Did I miss it?

You see, Reid, in the war against spam and in promulgating email marketing best practice, it's important that industry leaders like you and LinkedIn get this stuff right. And you didn't. Not even close. It's frustrating for us toiling away in the field when major Internet firms skip even basic compliance.

So, Reid. If you need an email marketing service or some consulting please do let me know. Happy to help you avoid wasting what is, in other news, a fabulous milestone. FeedBlitz makes sure basics such as compliance and authentication are taken care of for all our users, automatically.

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Blogger Susan Rubinsky said...

My favorite is that I used to get a lot of spam from an event sponsored by Constant Contact and there was never any unsubscribe info. I finally had to complain to Constant Contact for them to get the event people to get right with email marketing. Duh!

2:38 PM, March 25, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes individuals with opinions like this totally devalue what the purpose of internet and social media should be. First and foremost it's about sharing a message. Everyone doesn't want to be constantly bombarded with "goodies". There are some of us out there who appreciate simply being informed and are even relieved that there's no gimmick behind it.

And I think that you're kind of making customers look bad when you act as if without a reward they will never take action. I value LinkedIn because of the service that it provides when I need it and am prompted to action my value and information. I don't need a "free this" or "free that" to tell me when to use the website.

Also, I am in no way trying to undermine your opinion. I just think that it's important to point this out.

10:39 AM, April 05, 2011  
Blogger Phil Hollows said...

Hi @Anonymous: What *was* the message, though? "We just got really big" was about it. LI doesn't constanlly bombard anyone with marketing messages, so thi smakes this a doubly-missed opportunity. When you *are* going to "blast the list" make it valuable. For me, this message didn't pass the "so what?" test.

Not every email has to be an offer etc.; I agree that's typically a bad idea and content marketing is not about that at all. That said, a meaingful "thank you" was completely missing here. It's not about gimmickry; but if you're going to be "social" and thank your early adopters, do it with something of value. Up to you what "something of vaue" is, but as a marketer this was just a waste of my attention. Nobody can compel a reader to take action; but offering a *gift* is a great way to show you really mean it. In the context of this mailing, I tihnk that's what ought to have happened and why I think LI blew it.

It's also illegal and violates CAN-SPAM. That's just not acceptable in this day and age.

Next time, please comment with your identity. It will add to your credibility. #JustSaying

11:01 AM, April 05, 2011  

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