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When LinkedIn Sends an Email, Many Think It's Spam

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Fool users of the world’s largest professional network once, shame on you. Fool users of world’s largest professional network twice, shame on it. Well, guess what? LinkedIn (LNKD) users aren’t getting fooled again.

And that’s actually becoming a problem right now for LinkedIn.

You see, last week, after being the target of yet another security breach -- this time by a ring of Russian hackers -- and compromising the personal (and likely financial) information of 6.5 million members, LinkedIn’s subscribers aren’t taking any more chances. When an email, appearing to be from LinkedIn, arrives in their inbox, they’re hitting the spam button on Gmail (GOOG), Yahoo Mail (YHOO), and Hotmail (MSFT) faster than you can say “Join my network.”

A new report from anti-spam outfit Cloudmark suggests that legitimate LinkedIn emails being sent to users in order to warn them of last week’s attack and urging them to change their passwords are either being mistaken for another phishing expedition or are being counted among the megabytes of unwanted LinkedIn email alerts. Four percent of members marked this critical LinkedIn warning email as spam.

It’s your classic “social network that cried ‘wolf’” scenario.

But, according to Cloudmark, the LinkedIn email warning did follow the proper protocol. “It was DKIM signed, it addressed the recipient by name, and it did not contain any links, just a request to type a Linkedin URL at the command line.”

The fact that a sizable portion of LinkedIn users are taking the email as spam speaks to a larger issue about the company’s email notification policies. Two percent of alerts in general from LinkedIn, aren’t just deleted, but are tagged as spam. Meanwhile, less than 1% of emails sent to members from Pinterest, Flickr, Tumblr, and Facebook (FB) get the exclamatory stop sign.

Take heed, LinkedIn. Your members want an extra layer of encryption -- not news digests, feature announcements, and incessant updates on the new skill added to the profile of a guy we met three years ago at a conference.

I mean, what does a LinkedIn user gotta do to get an unsubscribe link around here?
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.