LinkedIn Fine-Tunes its Excessive Email System

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LinkedIn sends a lot of emails. It's common for members to receive email notifications about everything from work anniversaries to contact requests and new posts.

LinkedIn sends a lot of emails. It's common for members to receive email notifications about everything from work anniversaries to contact requests and new posts. But the company seems to have realized that quality is better than quantity when it comes to messages. LinkedIn is finally tailoring the rate in which it communicates with members to better match user behavior. In other words, instead of bombarding members with emails, LinkedIn is trying to be more considerate.On Tuesday, LinkedIn unveiled a new email and notifications platform called Air Traffic Controller (ATC). The platform uses learning algorithms to analyze your interactions with LinkedIn and customize the type and frequency of communications you get from the company, explains director of engineering growth Erica Lockheimer in a blog post.

"We realize that a one-size-fits-all method doesn't work," Lockheimer writes. "We want to give you emails and notifications based on what you prefer, not what's best for us."

For example, if you're frequently on LinkedIn's platform, you won't receive as many email notifications about your contacts' activities since you're probably already aware of them. ATC will also take into consideration whether you prefer to be contacted through email, push notifications, or SMS.

LinkedIn is not the only business that must improve its email communication strategy. Even though emails have not disappeared as many analysts and marketing experts predicted, plenty of companies need to deliver a better email experience or be shunned by their audience.

Testing and analytics are essential for improving a subpar email strategy, maintains Len Shneyder, VP of industry relations at SparkPost, an email delivery service. "The only way to know what you're doing is through careful analysis," he notes.

Shneyder offers the following tips for turning poor email practices into an opportunity for better engagement:

- Analyze your unsubscribes and complaints to email campaigns--can you tie it to a segment or content that you sent if you see spikes? If you can, then perhaps that segment or content was to blame and you should change who you're sending to and what you're sending.

- Review the times during which people are opening your email and stop sending messages early in the morning or on weekends if you don't see activity during those windows.

- Look for patterns in mobile message consumption (push notification, in-app messaging, SMS) versus email and determine which channels are most applicable on a per user basis.

- Test and analyze pre-headers as well as the number of offers in your messages.

- Determine which customers are opening the same email on multiple devices and see if you can figure out a better sending time, or an optimized format perhaps.

- Track emails through to conversion to determine if the offer was converted or another item.

Overhauling established email practices isn't easy but the companies that adopt customer and data-driven strategies are way ahead of their competitors.

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