October 2, 2013
SPAM, don’t you hate it? LinkedIn takes a hard line against SPAM yet it still happens. What can you do to avoid SPAM from LinkedIn members?
When I state “SPAM,” I am not referring to smoked ham but rather unsolicited email messages. To be even more exact, I am talking about marketing emails and e-newsletter pieces that you didn’t sign up for from LinkedIn members. (FOR FURTHER CLARIFICATION: I am not referring to SPAMbot junk mail but rather *legitimate mailing lists* that your first degree network connections subscribed you to without your permission.)
Unfortunately, it is easy to SPAM your LinkedIn 1st degree network. All you have to do is download your list of 1st degree LinkedIn connections, sign up for a MailChimp account, upload the email list, create a dull, unimaginative email and click Send. Voila! SPAM!
Why is LinkedIn SPAM evil? Just because these people either asked you to be part of their LinkedIn network or accepted your request to be part of their network doesn’t mean they are open to receiving bulk, broadcast email messages from you. It’s best to operate on the up and up and ask before you add anyone to an email list. Aiming low and wide may be easy but it doesn’t produce good quality leads OR forge strong relationships.
Rather than talking about sending SPAM and the bad karma it invokes, let’s talk about avoiding SPAM.
1. Use an alternate email address as your primary LinkedIn email address.
You can have a number of email address tied to your LinkedIn account but only one can be your primary email. The primary email is the email that LinkedIn uses to send all correspondence. It’s also the email that shows up in the Contact Information section of your LinkedIn profile AND it’s the email address that can be downloaded by all your 1st degree connections.
By using a different email than the one you typically use, you are redirecting all LinkedIn correspondence to that alternate email. Now at this point you can get fancy. You can either set up some email forwarders to redirect actual LinkedIn correspondence back to your main email OR you can just bypass it by logging in to LinkedIn’s messages to get your direct messages and to heck with all the other correspondence.
As soon as you get an email newsletter that you didn’t subscribe to, scroll to the bottom of the email and click the unsubscribe link. This will take you through the unsubscribe process and should remove you from their email list. Sure you can click SPAM or throw the message in your junk folder but by unsubscribing you are actually removing your name from their list so they won’t continue to send you their junk.
What about all the email that LinkedIn sends you? That’s easy– you can unsubscribe from those messages too! In fact, LinkedIn provides you with a one stop dashboard that allows you to limit the amount of communication LinkedIn sends you.
Click here to set your email frequency
3. Be Careful Connecting
If you really want to avoid SPAM, you should limit the people in your first degree network to only those you know and trust. When you connect with your offline network, you decrease the odds of connecting with SPAMMERS. Of course you are also decreasing the odds of turning up in searches and finding opportunity. Ultimately, it depends on your LinkedIn goals. You may decide that you don’t mind a little SPAM if you also see expanded opportunity as well.
As a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker), my inbox overflows with both SPAM and opportunity. As much as I want to throttle the LinkedIn member trying to pitch me some silly, multi level marketing scam, I also realize that my expanded network offers a wider reach to great prospects. So I deal with the SPAM… through gritted teeth and the occasional obscenity. Somehow I am reminded of that Liberace quote, “I cry all the way to the bank.”
So let’s say you’ve already been SPAMMED and you want to regain control of your email inbox. Here’s a few tools that I use and LOVE:
SaneBox determines the importance of each email based on your past interaction with your inbox. It moves unimportant messages out of the inbox into a new folder called SaneLater, and summarizes them in a digest.
Mailstrom cleans out your inbox by removing hundreds (or even thousands) of messages from your inbox all at once.
OtherInbox not only helps you unsubscribe from subscription emails it also organizes your email into folders for you.
There are other email apps I love that go beyond email management… here are my secret weapons:
I use it mainly for the email templates but it also allows you to see who read your email, and set reminders on emails.
WiseStamp allows you to append a robust email signature at the bottom of all sent emails that includes social profiles and dynamic Email Apps.
Rapportive sits as a sidebar within Gmail and shows you relevant information on the person you are emailing. You can immediately see links to their LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook accounts along with previous correspondence. Rapportive is great for business intelligence.
WriteThatName / EverContact
EverContact (was WriteThat.name) automatically updates your Gmail & Outlook Address Books by analyzing email signatures for contacts’ contact information. I now have a contact list that contains more than just email addresses.
How do you deal with LinkedIn SPAM? What email apps do you use to manage your email inbox? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section of this post… just scroll down!
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