LinkedIn, however, is careful about how far it goes even with native.
It frequency caps InMail units, so members see no more than one every 60 days. Users can also opt out and LinkedIn’s “review queue” team monitors InMail content for quality control, Skripnik said.
And, to be clear, Sponsored InMails are only served in LinkedIn's messaging environment, not a user's personal or business email.
Despite its emphasis on native and mobile ad formats, advertisers still want banner display, which is why LinkedIn struck an earlier deal with AppNexus in September to shore up more supply via open and private auctions.
LinkedIn aims to activate all display ads programmatically beginning in 2017, Glass noted, following its first real push to build out a programmatic offering this year.