LinkedIn Spam and the Spamming Spammers Who Annoy Us

Let me tell you about my new and unexpected BFF Allen Cope, Marketing Specialist at SocialAuthorities.com. But before I do, permit me to set the stage.

I “heart” LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a valuable business resource to me. Like you, I’ve joined relevant groups and I interact in some of the discussion. Sure, there is an undertone of self-serving behavior from those who are either oblivious or simply don’t care, but for the most part it is a benign environment and I’m free to pull from it what I want and push my own point of view when I care enough.

Don’t Cross the Line

But there is a line that should not be crossed. And when it is, it would seem the only remedy is for the LinkedIn community to step forward and say “that is wrong.” That is why I want to tell you about Allen Cope, his employer SocialAuthorities.com and their client 3 Tier Logic.

The Big Lie

Don’t be this guy. Don’t work for this company. Don’t hire firms that do this.

So recently, Allen sent me an InMail with the message, “Hi Sonny, I am a fellow group member and I just found this great new piece of marketing technology that I thought you maybe (sic) interested in checking out. Here is the link ….”

Think of the lies inherent in this message: Allen “just found” this marketing technology? Really? And, even though he and I have absolutely no relationship other than a common group membership, he thought I’d be interested in it? I don’t think so. The entire message strains credulity.

Calling Them Out

So Allen, whose LinkedIn bio curiously refers to him as “Clinton,” has leveraged our mutual group participation to prey on me on behalf of his company SocialAuthorities.com, who apparently has been hired by 3 Tier Logic to build traffic to their demo site. Is this cool? No, it is abusive. It’s not only abusive it is entirely disingenuous.

So I’m calling them out for this unsocial behavior in this social medium. Vengeance is not my objective. Exposure is. Self-policing is our only path to civil discourse. If you act badly, people will call you out. And if you hire companies to use bad strategies to further your otherwise worthwhile business objectives, it will tarnish your brand. Be advised.

What do you think?

Should I have just clicked the spam button and been done with the matter? Is the value of LinkedIn increasingly being compromised by bad players? Is this getting worse? Is 3 Tier Logic a perpetrator or victim of their marketing firm’s strategies?

(Note: Thanks to (now former) Senator Al Franken whose excellent and unrelated book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, provided the inspiration for the title of this post. Other than that, he has no involvement with me or this post.)

Mobile Email is More Important than Your Mobile Website

We’ve been pounding the mobile drum for about three years now. Our advocacy is fueled by the overwhelming trend that can be observed in every website analytics analysis. Granted, the results vary depending on the demographics of your site visitors. But the increase in mobile access to your digital assets is inexorable. And, by the way, that includes your email as well.

While many/some firms who actually care about their site visitor’s experience have made the investment to provide some kind of mobile access to their website, most are still lagging far behind in providing the same consideration to their email recipients. Which, if you think about it, is counter-intuitive. Unlike a website that visitors can, by and large, elect to visit at a moment they have convenient access to a large screen display, email arrives randomly and is commonly viewed in the moment. And that moment has a good chance of being when the recipient is up and about.

I looked at the results of recent email campaigns and even I was surprised to see that about 50% of emails were opened on a mobile device. This would be compared to B2B website traffic that hovers around 20% to 30% mobile. So if one were to prioritize their mobile-izing effort it should be placed on email before the website. But this does not seem to be the case.

Granted, mobile email is a tad more complicated than a mobile website. Websites are viewed in browsers (Firefox, IE, Safari, Chrome, etc.) that to some limited extent and imperfectly interpret website stylesheet code in a common way. But email is viewed via email clients and these clients’ rendering of the email stylesheet on a mobile device are much more divergent. Nevertheless, there are some best practices for producing a reasonably coherent mobile email display.

Surprisingly to me, email publishers rarely view and test their own emails on the devices used by their subscribers. Is this laziness, ignorance or something else? I don’t know. What I do know is that email is a key component of the mobile evolution of the Internet. And about that I will keep beating my drum.