Is LinkedIn Spamming Me?

I was updating my LinkedIn profile a few minutes ago while also feeling a little contact-envy toward James “I’m a nice guy and I have Friends” Archer. I started to peruse his contact list for people I already know and noticed Lea Alcantara on his list.

Lea is on my IM list and happened to be logged in, so I asked her if she wanted to connect. She said sure and sent me a request via LinkedIn. It was the standard request which puts in text for the requester. This was fine by me since I was expecting it. And expecting it here is key.

She IMd “sent you an invite!” except there was nothing in my in box. Nothing even after 5 minutes. Which is odd for email. So I thought I would check my junk folder, just in case. And there it was with the subject line of: Interesting Business Tool.

Now if I was a junk filter and noticed a subject line like that, from an email address I’ve never received email from before, I would put it in the junk folder too.

So, Konstantin Guericke (Konstantin is leading the efforts to spread the word about LinkedIn and to educate users about how to advance their career and business through their trusted contacts on LinkedIn.), I have a request, please…

It would be nice to receive an email with the subject: LinkedIn: A Request to Connect from [name]. Something like that. It will stand out and also cause me to pay more attention. It makes me wonder if I have missed other contact requests I have missed.

I’ve been on LinkedIn for a couple of years now. While overall I think it is cool to keep a professional network in place, and LinkedIn helps with that, I’ve never really used it. Have you? I would use it if I was actively looking for a job (instead of just wishing for a fun new job like I am now), but what else would I use it for?


After Jay’s comment on this post, I decided to do what he did…

Went to the home page:

linkedin home

Clicked on Add Connections and found myself here:

linkedin invite

The default Subject line was “Interesting Business Tool.”

I wondered what other connection types there were in the initial drop-down and below are 2 screen shots of how the text areas changed based on the type of connection you are trying to make.

linkedin invite clients

linkedin invite job

Not sure if I need this much help composing an email.

9 replies on “Is LinkedIn Spamming Me?”

  1. I read this and thought, “No way.” So, I invited myself to my network and note that the email subject is editable. The default subject is: Join my network on LinkedIn. Not only that, but the sender is my own email address.

    So, what happened? Did Lea modify the defaults? Did she have a different email address configured in Linkedin than you or your spam filters expected?

    Now, excuse me while I decline my invitation (or maybe I should pad my connections… :) ).

  2. Could be, I will have to ask her. If she did edit it, then my apa-logies to LinkedIn and curse you Lea! ;)

    Being a user of LinkedIn, rather than a designer or usabilityer, definitely coloured my thoughts as I wrote this post.

  3. I’d be outraged too if Linkedin did that to me. However, I’ve received enough Linkedin email that it just didn’t seem right. In general, I find Linkedin to be one of the better web apps/services I’ve used. I find that there are very few surprises.

  4. I assure you I kept all the default settings and merely added Matthew’s name and e-mail on the fields above the default e-mail greetings. I am lazy that way. :-)

  5. Bizarre. The first time I tried this, I used the “Invite someone to your network” section (nested in the My Network group). So, I tried the Add Connection button like you did and I still got the “Join my network on LinkedIn” subject.

    Are we victims of A/B testing? Is there something about your profiles that make Linkedin think “Interesting Business Tool” is a better subject?

    This feels like an episode of CSI.

    OK, a low-budget and really boring episode.

    OK, OK, it’s not CSI.

  6. When receiving an invitations, the sender should always have the name of the person who is sending it as the sender (unless we batch invitations, which we sometimes do to make sure our users don’t get too much email from us at once), so it should be clear that the invitation is from someone you know.

    Let me know if you think you found a case where it’s not.

    We definitely do A/B testing, so don’t be surprised if your LinkedIn looks differently than what others see :-)

  7. Thanks for taking the time to respond, Konstantin. :)

    As I said, since I was expecting the email I thought to look for it in the junk folder. I saw Lea’s name and marked it as not junk. That was easy enough, but it wouldn’t have been if I wasn’t expecting it.

    My guess is that since Lea used a new-to-me email address, coupled with the subject line, the junk filter took over.

    The good part is that all recent contact/connection requests show up on the home page (if you are logged in). But I rarely visit the home page, instead arriving via a link to my profile. It might be nice to see another identifier, perhaps above the tabs, that makes me aware of new requests? Just a random thought.

    Overall this is a small thing (though small things add up), and LinkedIn has made a lot of good changes to the site over the past couple of years. Now if I could just get some more hits when I search LinkedIn jobs for “blog” I would be happy. :)

  8. Matthew, this was a good post. I am a LinkedIn user as well, and I remember thinking “now that’s a real uninformative subject line”…but of course I was too dull to do something as cool as blog it.

    And while we’re on the subject of LI, what’s the deal w/ the “build your own LI web page?”

Comments are closed.