How often have you got LinkedIn Invitations “to connect” from people claiming that you have done business with them in the past, when you are surer about the opposite than your kid’s birthday?
My guess is quite often. And if you have a generic title like CEO – which makes you a dumb target of luxury marketing whether or not you can afford them – you probably get more.
But, see what LinkedIn tells me AFTER I click on ‘Send Invitation’.
Firstly, why give me the option to select ‘I don’t know Ajay’, allow me to type my message, and then coolly tell me that I can’t send the message. Simply bad UX.
Aside from creating a bad user experience, LinkedIn is losing an opportunity here to advertise their InMail program.
Here is what LinkedIn can do instead
- Like Facebook, allow people to send a message to everyone, whether connected or not (remember, Users are doing it anyway, if you give a choice for people to be honest, most will take it.)
- When people select, ‘I don’t know xxx’, ask them if they want to send an InMail instead with assured delivery to the inbox. For those that are already InMail users, the message box could say, ‘You have YY InMails, send an InMail to XX instead.’
- Design and enforce penalties. Strongly forewarn users to be very careful when they say they know the recipient in any way. Inform them about the risks if the recipient disputes the claim.
- Allow recipients to mark messages with false claims as such without direct feedback to the sender. Most people would like to be polite.
- For the recipient, put all these unsolicited requests in a separate inbox and make it unobtrusive.