Is a noreply address really a good idea?
Some bad practices are stubborn in email marketing, as an old furniture standing in the corner. The no-reply email address is definitely one of those used mostly to send newsletters, transactional emails, etc. We’ve all witnessed such emails in our mailboxes as many marketing units still rely on them.
Why are no-reply addresses still around?
To keep it short, let’s say that marketing staff is not willing to receive as many emails as they send. If you have ever sent newsletters or marketing emails, you probably noticed that subscribers may reply automatically to inform about their absence, business change, etc. Others ask questions or react to a particular content or offer.
Using a no-reply address to send emails can be perceived as not wanting to be bothered by the subscribers’ answers. As a matter of fact, this is precisely why no-reply addresses are used so much out there.
What are the negative impacts of no-reply?
- It creates a distance between your brand and your subscribers: clearly, emails are supposed to favor exchange and interaction. Using a no-reply address sends pretty much the opposite signal telling your recipient that you are unavailable. This builds up a wall between you and your subscriber and is likely to create frustration when they would rather interact with you.
- It creates spam complaints: since one-way discussions are contrary to the values of emailing, the use of no-reply addresses is often assimilated to spam, phishing, etc. by internet users. Therefore, the number of spam complaints is often higher while emails are not even opened. firstname.lastname@example.org is clearly less attractive than email@example.com and people tend to trust it much less. This is clearly an obstacle to emails opening. Be aware that most suppliers such as Gmail can decide whether or not to put your emailing directly in spam based on the ability to interact with the email.
- It has an impact on deliverability: Given the two points discussed above, you won’t be surprised that this also impacts your deliverability. Keep in mind that deliverability is key to the success of your email marketing campaigns. If you miss out on deliverability, there is no way you can address your target properly through email while this is one on the most important marketing strategies.
- It makes branding impersonal: while social networks are excellent vehicles for brand-to-community exchanges, the use of an no-reply email address has the opposite effect. At the era of personalization, Messenger chatbots or AI, using a no-reply address seems to go against any best practice in marketing. Yet, we all know personalization is a great way to increase the performance of marketing emails. For example, here are the results obtained by Ouest-France because of the personalization of their daily newsletter.
- One-way communication: emails sent from no-reply addresses are one way. At a time where getting the users’ feedback is so important in competitive and changing markets such as the online press or e-commerce, not being able to get any answers might really deprive you of useful feedback.
- It prevents you from updating your database: how can you even know that some of your subscribers have changed their email address if you do not allow them to tell you so? Or that they are tired of receiving your emails? Missing out on such updates will clearly hinder your marketing success.
- Conversion impact: as said above, when deliverability is not optimal, your marketing KPIs suffer. Your conversion rate is likely to be negatively impacted by using a no-reply address
How to stop this bad practice?
First, find a colleague who will be able to sustain exchanges with your subscribers. Should you prefer, you can also use a mailing address of the type firstname.lastname@example.org. This is always better than an email address starting with no-reply. In this case though, you need to make sure to regularly check the email account and address the users’ requests. Also, be aware that most email providers give you the ability to filter the emails you receive. This is also true for automatic replies to your emailing campaigns. Finally, always make sure to update your database.