When you email your subscriber, there are two things that help them identify you. Your name and your reply-to email address. Companies and marketers often overlook these identifiers. More often than not, subscribers want to reply to your emails and they look at the reply-to email address to do so.
However, many subscribers then go on to face no-reply email addresses staring at them. Many companies do resort to such practices and for a subscriber or a customer that can be infuriating.
Why Do Marketers Use No-Reply Email Addresses?
I completely despise no-reply email addresses. But I’m coming to that later. There are a lot of reasons marketers use no-reply addresses. If you are using it too, then you can probably relate to this.
#1: They do this to dissuade subscribers from replying. (Duh!)
#2: These are automated and unmanned mailboxes. That’s why reason #1.
#3: In order to save themselves from the trouble of getting thousands of replies. Bigger companies with large subscriber bases will be flooded with emails if they do not use such an email address.
#4: During this era of automation, no one has the time to go through and read so many emails.
Here’s Why You Should Not Use No-Reply Email Addresses
As a marketer, I can understand the reason why people use no-reply email addresses. It is okay to try and make lives easier by asking people not to reply. In fact, many of these replies are out of Office (OOO) auto responders from subscribers.
But, put yourself in the subscriber’s shoes. What if they have an actual question? What if they want to buy from you? What if they want to offer you some friendly feedback?
You are already using a no-reply email address so that people do not reply. But subscribers who are in need of help will not see that. They see someone who is unwilling to talk to them. Moreover, they cannot find any way to contact you easily. There are some who will attempt to mail you. But, little do they know that there will be no reply from your end whatsoever. This leaves them disappointed and they feel let down.
Email is a two-way street and you are meant to engage your subscribers via email. Your emails and your reply-to address should encourage people to send you emails. Think about how you can help your leads and customers and they will start appreciating your efforts.
These are the things that happen when you are using no-reply email addresses. (This is why you should stop using them ASAP!)
#1: Getting Marked As Spam
Many subscribers will not scroll down to the end of your email to find the “unsubscribe” button. Most will just hit reply and see your reply-to address, which is none other than the no-reply id. However, the minute they see your address, they think you of a spam address.
Many will think of reporting you. Everything that you have worked for might start backfiring if you are not careful.
Using a no-reply address might just increase the chances of you getting marked as spam. On top of that, when they see that no one actually replies back or their emails bounce, they will definitely report you as spam.
#2: Out Of Office (OOO) Replies
Many think of them as banal, but I think it is a boon. First, divert these emails to a separate inbox. That’s half your problem solved. In fact, it is THE VERY REASON why many people use no-reply addresses.
Now go through all these emails. Yeah, I know, crazy, right? Not quite. These emails actually carry valuable information. Many of these email addresses are out of use. In fact, many a time, you will see that the person who used the address no longer works there anymore.
#3: Getting Added To The Address Book
Do you dream of the day when every subscriber will add you to their address book? A day when you will no longer have the risk of being marked as spam? Well, you are decreasing your chances of getting added to a subscriber’s address book by using a no-reply address.
If you want to ensure your emails get delivered to every inbox, change your no-reply email address now!
#4: Damaging Your Own Reputation
When subscribers see a no-reply email address, they see a brand who does not care. Think about it. When you see no-reply, what do you feel? An organization that does not want to hear anything from you. Your subscribers too, feel the same. It might not be problematic right now, but in the long run, this can tarnish your brand’s reputation.
#5: Legal Obligation
In many countries, you cannot send emails with a no-reply email address. In a number of European countries, you need a working email address where people will be able to reply. So, this law applies to you as well if your business is operating out of that country.
How Can You Solve This Problem?
Right now, I don’t think that you have any difficulty in understanding that no-reply is downright arrogant and rude. Use something friendly for starters. Something that fills your customers up with warmth.
You have to think out-of-the-box if you want a solution. You have to make sure that it suits your purposes as well at the same time. However, once you stop using a no-reply address, prepare yourself to handle all the incoming emails.
You might require people, tools and even a bit of your marketing budget to do so. But remember, this is for the greater good of your company and your reputation. Anything that you invest in this will be beneficial.
#1: Create An Autoresponder
When you set up an autoresponder email, it solves two problems. First, this takes care of the problem of a non-responsive email address. People who do try to contact you do not have to wait endlessly for a reply.
Second, it allows you an opportunity to provide your subscriber with alternatives. You can give them access to other manned email addresses or phone numbers where they can reach out to, in a case of an emergency.
#2: Create A Dedicated Mailbox
An autoresponder is and always will be a stop-gap arrangement. If you truly want to do justice to your subscribers, then you should have a dedicated, manned mailbox.
You can set up a team who can address to any and all replies that they receive at this address. Plus, there will always be the autoresponder to back their efforts.
At this point, the autoresponder will just act as a sign of assurance from your side to a subscriber. It will let them know that you have received their email. Offer them a realistic timeframe within which you will reply back.
#3: Tackle OOO Replies
I have already mentioned the advantage of OOO replies. But it is annoying to sift through them. But if you are a B2B company, it is a given fact that you will receive OOO replies more often than not. Many email service providers do provide the option to setup your reply-to address to handle OOO replies. Once you do that, you are good to go.
The Only Way Forward- Say No To No-Reply Email Addresses
Always remember, an email is a form of communication. It is one of the direct pipelines that you have with your subscriber.
If you are snubbing this pipeline that might indicate that you do not want to communicate with your customer. While I am pretty sure that is not your intention, but people might misinterpret it anyway.