Last week LinkedIn made a “big announcement” that they were cutting down on the number of emails they were sending out in response to member feedback. Very admirable.
They also had this as one of the points in their quarterly sales announcement to the Stock Market. Really? Slow news day perhaps.
Why do I find this less than inspiring? I suppose because although they state that they have managed to cut out 4 out of 10 emails that they are sending out, although they decide which ones. Personally I prefer to be in control and decide which emails I receive and which I choose not to … and you can be, in fact you have always been able to be.
You control ALL emails from LinkedIn
This is another of the less well known elements of the “Privacy and Settings” page – essentially, you do have control over all of the emails that you receive to your main email account from LinkedIn. Not 40% but all of the emails. While I joke a little about it, this can of course be hugely useful because of the way that you can make certain that the key elements of dialogue from LinkedIn arrive safely while ensuring that your already bulging inbox is not put under further strain by LinkedIn occasionally over zealous email system.
How do we change this?
If you go to your Privacy & Settings page that the then you are faced with a rather austere looking screen, sporting a nice yellow upgrade button. Ignore all that and head down to the four tabs at the bottom labelled Profile, Communications, Groups, Companies and Applications and Account.
Click on the Communications tab and choose the link at the top marked “Set the frequency of emails”. This gives you the following 5 sections currently:
Here’s what you can do in each:
1. Messages from other members
This for me is the most important section and so I tend to keep the most important ones in this section as “Individual Email” – I want to hear from other members, this is what it’s all about. Engaging and entering into a dialogue, so just like my other main forms of communication – email and phone – I want to be notified as quickly as possible to have the chance to respond.
2. Updates & News
Here these are the digest and news elements that LinkedIn automates from our activity. In most cases, I prefer to choose what I listen to and so it may be appropriate to reduce the frequency of the emails that fall into this category but some can be useful as well – the “Connections in the News” for example can give some opportunity for you to get in touch to congratulate them or just to keep you up to date with news worthy activities of your closest advocates.
3. Group digests
Here you can control the updates that LinkedIn send from the Groups you belong to – you can alter these independently from each of the Groups as well but here you have the chance to do so all from a single screen. Ideally, I’d recommend that you create bands, according to the use and importance of the Group – get daily updates from your key ones, and perhaps turn the majority of the others off so that you are not inundated with emails. You can still see activity in these less important ones by visiting your Groups homepage to see new discussions etc.
These are the little flags that, on the desktop interface, appear in the top right hand corner next to your Inbox icon. I find that a lot of these don’t actually create an email but the ability to control them is welcome nonetheless. The one that does is the ‘endorsements’ notification – so if you’d prefer not to receive an email every time that someone endorses you (particularly for something you don’t do) then this is the place to go. [“Controlling LinkedIn Endorsements” explains other controls you have available to you]
5. Messages from LinkedIn
The final set are more automated messages from LinkedIn – offers and the like. Again, your decision but, for me, I prefer to turn these off although I recognise that there may be the odd element that I would like to hear about that I will now miss.
(Settings shown above are the ones that I use because of the way that I use LinkedIn – I’m not suggesting that this will be right for everyone, so do work them to your advantage.)
So, while I’m not suggesting that this forbidden zone of the Settings page should be a place of daily pilgrimage, I think you’ll recognise that there is a lot of control that you can exert over the emails coming at you. So, get your primary email set to your work address, cut out all the unwanted email noise and get down to the real business reason you were on LinkedIn in the first place.