Xiaoyu Chen, Rupesh Gupta, Guanfeng Liang, Romer Rosales, Hsiao-Ping Tseng, Ravi Kiran Holur Vijay
Providers of an online social networking service need to distribute messages to members for a variety of reasons. Common types of messages communicated by a social networking service to its members include membership and event notifications, connection requests, promotions, and information regarding other aspects of a member’s network. Such communication, if used judiciously, can help keep a member engaged. However, sending a message for every instance of event, connection update, or the like, can result in an overwhelming number of messages in a member’s mailbox. This may result in reduced effectiveness of communication if the messages are not sufficiently relevant to the member or the member’s interests. It may also result in a poor brand perception of the networking service. In this paper, we discuss our strategy and experience with regard to the problem of email volume optimization at LinkedIn. In particular, we present a cost-benefit analysis of sending emails, the key factors to administer an effective volume optimization, our algorithm for volume optimization and the architecture of the supporting system, and experimental results from online A/B tests.