Well, this is one way of making your customers feel special. Since Thursday morning, LinkedIn has been sending members an email congratulating them for having either one of the top 1% or top 5% most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012. As the email notes LinkedIn now has 200 million members, which means that LinkedIn has sent this email to approximately 10 million members – and that’s if LinkedIn is really sending this email to just the top 5% of members with the most viewed profiles.
LinkedIn obviously doesn’t think many members will do the math and realize they’re one of 10 million – even though they offer an infographic in each email with basic stats breaking down the demographics of their 200 million members. In fact, the company thinks most members will feel so special about being a top 1% or 5% profile, that they’ll tweet or share this information via Twitter or Facebook. With that in mind LinkedIn has provided members with an easy option to do so via the email. (To validate this psychological intent, many of those I follow on Twitter and are friends with on Facebook have done just that, flooding my streams with naive pride.)
But another aspect to the psychology behind this email campaign is a feature of LinkedIn that sets it apart from its competing social networks – the feature that enables members to see what other members have viewed their profile. This feature is only available to Premium members, who pay at least $16 per month to “Proactively manage inbound queries and interest in your profile.” Of course, it’s probable that most of the 10 million (or more) LinkedIn members who received this email do not pay for LinkedIn Premium, and therefore don’t see who has viewed their profile. Instead, these “basic” members get a teaser via email every week of a select few members who have viewed their profile, but for most this teaser is rarely enough to convince them to cough up a monthly premium just to get the full list of viewers.
With this email marketing campaign, LinkedIn has effectively planted a notion inside 10 million members’ minds that they may actually be more professionally interesting than they previously thought. As such, this may cause these members to believe it may truly benefit them to know exactly who is looking at their professional history, so they can – as LinkedIn suggests – use that data to be proactive in their careers.
While many are calling this campaign from LinkedIn “spam”, we think it’s an incredibly smart marketing campaign. It will be interesting to see if LinkedIn reveals how successful this campaign ends up being in converting Basic members to Premium accounts.
Did you receive one of the Top 1%/5% emails from LinkedIn? What do you think their motivation is for sending it? Let us know in the comments below.
In addition to writing about emerging news and trends in the performance marketing industry, she is a columnist for Forbes, covering the intersection of technology and society. She can be can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, or her personal blog... and usually with a cup of coffee in hand, too.