LinkedIn thought, “Customized Notifications? why not!”

What would you do when you get notified from different websites or apps? Everyday we receive numerous notifications on different devices that we use. Some of them might be useful while the rest will be useless ones. However, during our haste, we sometimes tend to erase the most vital ones and may lose them completely while we reboot our phones.

Do you get irritated when you receive notifications constantly on your device?

According to a study done by Localytics in the year 2015, it is found that over 50% of app users find notifications annoying, while the other 50% of users find it helpful.

There is no wonder in people saying notifications are ‘annoying distractions’, which is the reason why 50% of the people decline notification prompts. Anyways, applications cannot stop notifying users because they are crucial for user retention.

So, the challenge for app makers is to engage users with these notifications and increase customer loyalty. For that, companies should take initiative in understanding their target audience in order to better serve them and to prevent notifications from being seen as troublesome.

The plight of applications lies in making the users believe that push alerts are beneficial for them. They should understand a good notification is the one that is unique to a particular user. The most common expectation of customers of any business is ‘customization’. Personalization can take several forms, depending on how well businesses understand their clients. Personalized content includes things like a user’s favorite sports teams, a favorite pair of shoes, and so on.

On that note, in order to revive its users, LinkedIn has come up with a competent, yet humane notifications strategy. Usually the notifications in LinkedIn are mostly about the activities of the user, the content they have posted, their new contacts and timely alerts about your network. LinkedIn also gives job ads that the user might be interested in, updates on someone in their contact when they start a new role, their activities and details on who they are meeting and much more.

The trend of sending notifications currently has escalated to today’s chatbots and other automatic notifications and the recent trend is providing user-centric notifications that triggers them to look into the matter immediately. 

LinkedIn has made the request to send notifications in such a way that the users will feel like reading them and go back to LinkedIn and check what it is. Instead of directly asking “LinkedIn would like to send you notifications”, the alert message has been modified based on the customer profile to give personalized content, just like how Zomato notifications work. 

As the users have invested their time and energy in drafting and sending a message to a person, they are expecting a response back for sure. So, when LinkedIn gives timely notifications regarding the same, it will activate their excitement hormone or Dopamine and they will definitely log in to the app and look at the reply message. Because, people feel less frightened when the app makes them feel comfortable by asking contextual questions that require small steps.

These notifications give users the presence of a ‘human’ who is involved in specific, and makes the conversation human centered rather than just the product. So this makes them feel more connected to the interaction.

The psychology behind this is that humans care more about individual, recognizable persons rather than random groups of people.

As mentioned previously, there is another 50% of users who find notifications helpful!

This might be either because the messages alert users to things they are interested in or because the content provides valuable information. This is the tactic used by companies like LinkedIn, Zomato, YouTube, Swiggy and so on, such that their notifications are interesting and something the customer will look forward to.

Such personalized notifications give the user a feeling that his or her time is being valued and they are getting benefits for the time and energy they have spent.

For Eg: If you have sent a connection request to a person whom you admire, who is the CEO of your dream company and you are getting notified as soon as he accepts your request as “Mr. XXX is following you, would you like to have a word with him?” or ‘Would you like to know when Mr.XXX responds to you?” Such notifications will stimulate you and you will end up allowing or accepting the request to send notifications. This is the exact strategy of LinkedIn. 

Similarly, we would be eager or envious to know what others, probably our competitors, colleagues or friends are doing in their professional life. Are they attending any courses, webinars or have they changed the company, position and so on, are something that we definitely wish to know and get updated on. So, when a platform like LinkedIn makes this task easy by sending us notifications rather than making us search and find out their updates is a really commendable feature. 

According to a survey done by Localytics in 2015, 46% of respondents would disable push notifications if they received between 2 and 5 messages in a week. When asked if they would stop using the app if they received between 6 and 10 messages in a week, 32% said they would. Hence, sending too many notifications is not advisable. Because, there are high chances that the user might turn off the alert messages, once they find it exceeding the limit. 

It’s impossible to determine the exact cutoff point in terms of the number of notifications per day, but customers tend to believe that the fewer the alerts, the better.


However, this strategy of LinkedIn will definitely lighten up their goals because, when they send personalized notifications by understanding the behavioral psychology of customers with the help of personal data, the users will certainly respond to it as they will be left choiceless than accepting the permission request, in order to get updated and this will ultimately help the business of LinkedIn grow!