Can You Really Trust a Address?

You are a subscriber to many mailing lists; in fact, your company requires you to be a member of one list in particular; that subscription is important. But you cannot read everything all the time. Most likely some of the lists you receive, you delete as soon as they hit your inbox because the Subject Line does not interest you. One or two lists you mark to read later and a few you open, scan through and make a quick determination if the information is relevant then file as necessary. Can you relate to that scenario? I can.

Most mailing lists that you and I are subscribed too are as varied as you can get, but most seem to have something in common. If we have questions for the list author and hit reply, our reply is addressed to a email address. I know this isn’t true in all cases, but it is for most.

Sometimes newsletters contain a title, person or general email address to send your comment or inquiry, very helpful and appreciated. Nevertheless, the donotreply@ address remains popular. In fact, the list you’re required to be on uses one of these noncommittal reply addresses with no alternative contact information. And sometimes for this newsletter, you do have questions. It’s annoying.

That’s the consumer side, but you’re a list owner too.

From the list owners’ point of view, considering the volume of email being sent, the no reply address is a reasonable way to eliminate the need to monitor emails coming back as a reply. It’s a way to keep costs down, as no one is required to read and take action (if needed).

You as the email marketer know that it is wise to, always, have a way for your reader to get in touch with you. You know first-hand; giving your list members an avenue of contact is less frustrating and more considerate of your readers. You’ve been there.

For your list readers, give them a way to connect with the sender, if you are using a email address. Include phone numbers, calls to action, and alternative email address in the body of your message. Inform your readers that the person to contact about the newsletter is not the person who sent it (if that’s the case) or just don’t use a email address.

However, in those cases when you are working for a manager who insists on a no reply address, citing costs and labor, put the internet to work for you. Impress your boss by making replies more manageable; remove the SPAM (use filters), auto replies (Sorry I’m out of the office) bounces and manual unsubscribes to narrow your focus on the real replies.  He may reconsider.

But if the manager domaindoesn’t, tell them with a

  1. The list may lose Subscribers as not many will not whitelist a noreply@ address
  2. You can’t track auto replies
  3. Recipients may mistake the messages as SPAM
  4. Unable to respond or track certain errors like Request Timeout or Internal Server Error.
  5. Ruin your reputation

Although you can’t reply to this message you can leave a comment. I’d appreciate the feedback.  If you want to more contact me.