Ever wondered why your email marketing strategies aren’t delivering the results you aim for? Perhaps, your open and click-through rates are nothing short of competitive, yet you’re still struggling with keeping your leads from unsubscribing.
No-reply emails might very well be the cause of that. Designed to reduce the clutter in the inbox resulting from dozens of email replies, they do more harm than good. Some even equate them to the real-life slap in the face — this is how impersonal and degrading they make people feel.
But companies still carry on creating no-reply email addresses and using them when sending transactions and marketing emails. It’s convenient — once you send out a no-reply email, you automatically remove yourself from the equation. Unluckily for you, the customer remains and, even if it wasn’t intentional, will bounce.
You can crack the code of when is the best time to send emails and hire the most digital marketing-savvy team to craft engaging email content, and yet it will be of no use if your customers can’t engage with your emails.
Keep on reading to find out just how wasteful no-reply emails are and what to do instead.
Why you should ditch using no-reply email address altogether
Don’t give in to the temptation of sending no-reply emails and resort to using email addresses that allow your customers to get back to you. Communication is a two-way street, and by devoiding them from replying to you, you’re getting rid of the possibility of creating a long-lasting relationship. And this is a big no-no.
Besides, by sending a promotional message that took your team a while to come up with, you’re making their efforts go in vain too. This is wasted time that can’t be returned.
Here’s what else goes wrong when you’re sending no-reply emails:
1. It reduces your conversion rate
That’s right — it turns out that your conversion rate gets in danger when you’re sending out no-reply emails meant to lure the lead-in. Those quarterly sales targets you’ve carefully planned out are very likely to not come to fruition because, well, there are no sales to speak of.
Turning leads into customers isn’t an easy task, and by interrupting the communication between you and the customer, you’re making it that much more difficult.
2. You’re making your spam rate spike up
Spam messages account for 47.3% of email traffic. This is almost half of the overall traffic, and no-reply emails make up a good chunk of it.
How do no-reply emails get marked as spam? Whenever the customer from your subscribers’ list attempts to respond to your no-reply email, the system informs him that his message can’t be delivered. This customer automatically assumes that your email is spam and moves it to his spam folder. The result — every future email from the same no-reply email address goes into the same spam folder, too.
But the repercussions don’t end there. With enough spam-flagged emails, the email provider you’re using can become blacklisted and cause every future customer email to not be delivered either. You can’t win here.
3. It has a chance of going against the GDPR laws
You don’t want to mess with the law, less so with the one that can directly affect your business. And technically speaking, no-reply emails fall into this category.
The set of EU laws titled GDPR (Global Data Protection Regulation) gives internet users the right to inquire how their data is used and reply with a request to unsubscribe from emails. No-reply emails breach both by default — if you get caught, you will be fined.
This caveat alone should make you question whether it’s worth fumbling with a no-reply email address for just fewer customer emails to sort through.
4. You miss out on the opportunity to connect with your audience
Last but not least, there’s the grand reason of them all — the lost opportunity to engage with those who are genuinely interested in doing business with you.
By prohibiting them to reply to your emails, you’re not only causing them frustration, but you’re also failing to receive feedback and find out what else they might be interested in hearing or purchasing from you.
It’s logical to conclude that no-reply emails put a shield between you and your customers — people you’re running your email marketing campaigns for. Instead of connecting with them on a deeper level by fostering two-way communication, you’re banning them from adding your email address to their address book and potentially becoming a loyal customer.
How to fix the issue and win the trust of your customers back
It’s not all lost. You can still shift the narrative and reap the benefits of reply-to emails even if some mistakes were made in the past. Take a look at what practices you can adopt today:
1. Get rid of the no-reply email address and replace it with the reply-to one
This one is self-explanatory — now that you know about the negative impact of no-reply emails, you should contemplate creating a new email address where customers can submit their queries and get their answers, too.
It can look like this:
To not overwhelm yourself with the sudden inflow of emails, check out what the next step entails.
2. Separate replies and other emails via an email automation tool
Manual labor is slowly becoming a thing of the past. The pace is even faster for the digital realm where email automation is a common practice. And while having a dedicated person managing the incoming customer emails is handy, you can step it up and employ inbox filters, autoresponders, and/or email automation software.
Gmail and Outlook are notorious for their filters that allow you to move your email from one folder to another. You can even set a specific keyword that the email would have to contain for it to be sent to the ‘Respond’ inbox folder.
The autoresponder option is also a great tool to use that lets your customers know that their email will be read and responded to — even if not immediately.
3. Leverage customer responses in your future emails and add links to helpful resources
It’s instrumental that you’re helping your customers with your replies and not just responding for the sake of responding. That is, if you see a pattern in the questions you’re receiving, it might be a good idea to address them on the FAQ page of your website and refer customers to it.
If the questions are more complex, consider writing a blog post or even recording a video with more in-depth answers. This way you’re killing two birds with one stone — answering the question and creating a resource that could then be linked in your future customer email replies.
4. Keep track of users who unsubscribe
One of the worst things you can do is keep sending emails to customers who’ve opted out of receiving emails from your company. This can easily annoy leads who felt neutral about you but are now forced to mark emails coming from you as spam or reply directly and ask to be removed from your email list.
While attractive in theory, no-reply emails prove to not be a practical solution to a less cluttered inbox. They are simultaneously reducing the efficacy of your email marketing campaigns, decreasing your conversion rate, and robbing you of the opportunity to connect with your target audience.
This kind of customer experience is a no-go in today’s competitive business arena where mediocre companies fail to survive. You must look beyond what’s trending and eliminate all that isn’t serving your business and your customers. Getting rid of the no-reply emails and adopting an email automation system is the first step to making a lasting impression.
Customer Experience Manager at Dixa
Mikkel is passionate about customer experience in every color of the beautiful customer engagement spectrum. He loves building great connections with his customers, which often lead to meaningful friendships that last a lifetime and inspire his work. Driven by the genuine belief that CX is the pivotal force that drives a successful business, he is currently at the helm of Dixa’s customer experience strategy.
Twitter handle: @MikkelVes