LinkedIn goes for the ego stroke. Deceptive or effective?

marketing and business — Ramsey Mohsen @ Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 - 5:34 pm

Did you get an email like this today?

Ramsey Mohsen's LinkedIn Top 5% Email (using this for a blog post)

It is interesting to debate if this was smart of LinkedIn to send this email from a PR/ marketing standpoint. 2 million people recieved the “Top 1% Most Viewed Profile”, others got the 5% email, and 20 million people received the 10% email. Vanity tactics like this remain a staple in terms of a tactic that will generate user participation to share content like this, it makes people feel important + influential (this formula is nothing new). But it would be interesting to see the metrics after today in regards to how many people who aren’t job seekers went back into their account to review their profiles, browse the network, and just kick the tires again. For LinkedIn, while they might catch some negative PR flack for the deceptiveness, they may be the ultimate winners by getting inactive users to rediscover LinkedIn again.

Interesting to watch as others have chimed-in with their opinions…

J.D. Rucker at Soshable rants about the number trickery:

When you really think about it, it’s not as much of an accomplishment as a great marketing ploy by LinkedIn to get their name out there and into conversations on Twitter. Top of mind… The math makes it seem less impressive. Even those who received the top 1% email might not have been as quick to brag about it had they realized they were one of over 2 million users to receive the honor.

Danny Brown has concerns of the long-term effects:

The problem is, ego-stroking this way generally doesn’t work long-term. Now that LinkedIn has placed these “1% leaders” on a pedestal, will they continue to make them feel special with regular outreach? Will they answer their email questions to support quicker than the rest of LinkedIn’s non-1% userbase? If you truly want to sustain long-term benefits and buzz around your brand, it takes more than a warm, fuzzy email as a one-off viral push.

What do you think? Deceptive or effective?


  1. I don’t approve of the deception, but I give their marketing department credit for getting a lot of people to re-visit their site.

    Comment by PhillyBandMerch — 02/13/2013 @ 9:43 am
  2. I wish they would have done something for us non-1-percent users. I am not a heavy user, but it would have been a great opportunity to show how LinkedIn would still be relevant to me (especially now that answers is gone). It also would have been interesting to see who the 1-percent users are in my network already (or in my 2nd degree network).

    Comment by Mike Ekey — 02/13/2013 @ 9:59 am
  3. Not sure it would qualify as deceptive as anyone could easily do the math to see how many total users were included in the campaign.
    As far as generating buzz and mentions I think it was pretty effective. Not only did they acknowledge those who are the power/most sought after users, they activated a fair number of those users by, essentially, having them validate the network. Now, will I use the platform more or upgrade to a paid version because of this? Probably not. However, I imagine it probably brought the oft-overlooked LinkedIn back front and center for other users who probably hadn’t touched their profile in months or years.

    Comment by dave_link — 02/13/2013 @ 5:41 pm
  4. I was a 5%’er and thought it was pretty cool at first glance but it didn’t do anything to make me more engaged over time (which is their real challenge).
    They need to find a way to keep me coming to their site more often than when I’m looking for a job….seems like a HUGE opportunity that they should focus on (similar to what Mike mentioned)This is on the same line as the “you have been endorsed for 19 skills by _____” and the “Someone in the Executive Leadership function in the Music industry from San Francisco Bay Area and 4 others viewed your profile” emails.
    Driving clicks or trying to actually build a tool that’s genuinely useful to people?

    Comment by ErikWullschleger — 02/13/2013 @ 10:10 pm

(c) 2015 Ramsey Mohsen