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As LinkedIn cannot read the messages, it had to formulate a way to determine which messages are more likely irrelevant – namely those which receive no replies. LinkedIn used to offer a “guaranteed reply” for its InMail. If the message recipient failed to reply, your account was credited back. In a complete reversal, LinkedIn has now decided those InMail messages which receive no reply are likely to be irrelevant. InMail credits are now returned when your message IS replied to. They are not returned when your message goes unanswered -- the complete opposite of its past policy.
Make no mistake, LinkedIn will still allow anyone to purchase InMail credits – it still wants all of the money it can get. Now, however, the new policy will perhaps force those wishing to send messages to take care to better optimize each message for the recipient. Or they will pay for it – literally.
It should certainly motivate senders to give more thought about what message they are sending, and whether the recipient would be interested in it.