LinkedIn is preparing to roll out a change to its InMail policy that will have a stifling effect on those who abuse the messaging tool. These changes, which go into effect in January 2015, are aimed at rewarding those who send quality InMails that trigger responses while thwarting the efforts of inbox polluters.
Currently, LinkedIn guarantees an InMail response within seven days or the InMail credit is returned. That system, in my opinion, ushers in spammers and other users who generate a low response percentage by offering little incentive for adhering to basic principals that are intuitive to quality communicators and generate higher response rates, such as:
- Researching and qualifying recipients.
- Customizing and personalizing each message.
- Sending messages that are timely and relevant.
The new policy hinders the InMail spam affliction through a foundational change to the credit return system. According to LinkedIn, the following changes are being implemented in the new year:
- InMail credits will be returned for every response within 90 days, rather than for no response. InMail credits will not be returned for responses after 90 days.
- Premium members get more monthly InMail credits. Those subscribed to a Business plan, like myself, will get five monthly InMail messages, as opposed to three before. Members with larger plans will get additional monthly credits as well.
- Unused InMail credits will continue to accrue for 90 days so users can choose the right time to reach out.
Hats off to LinkedIn for tackling this issue. While I get a chuckle from the myriad of recruiting InMails that tell me I “might be a strong fit” for some irrelevant sales job, I have talked to a number of clients, business associates and industry peers whose LinkedIn experience has been somewhat befouled by the volume of feckless InMails they receive. The problem is even worse for business owners, as I quickly discovered back in June when I announced the launch of my startup PR agency. I have connected with some quality sales reps on LinkedIn during the following months, but they are outnumbered by InMails from salespeople who obviously did not bother to look at my website or even my LinkedIn profile.
I predict these changes will create a more productive and enjoyable InMail experience by increasing the overall quality and selectivity of InMails messages, and I am sure the folks at LinkedIn do, too.
This post was originally published in Brian’s LinkedIn blog.
Brian Hart is the founder and president of Flackable, LLC, a national public relations agency supporting the communications needs of registered investment advisors (RIAs) and other forward-thinking financial services firms. To learn more about Flackable, please visit www.flackable.com.