“Do Not Reply” Address? Don’t Bother.

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

It’s not often we invoke Sesame Street on this blog, but today it seems appropriate.

Let’s play a little game: which thing doesn’t belong in your email marketing campaigns?

  • Presenting subscribers with other ways to interact with your business – like on your blog, Facebook group, Twitter account or even in person at events your business will attend.
  • Writing in a conversational tone – like a “real person” talking to your subscribers.
  • Requesting feedback from subscribers on how your business – and your emails! – can better meet their needs.
  • Trying to learn why people unsubscribe by asking them.
  • Starting with subscribers’ permission and creating relevant emails that seek to build a relationship with your potential customers.
  • Sending your emails from a “No Reply” or “Do Not Reply” address.

If you guessed “Sending your emails from a ‘no reply’ or ‘do not reply’ address, give yourself a pat on the back.

“Do Not Reply” Addresses Have No Place In Your Email Marketing Campaigns.

Period.

All the other ideas in the list above aim to make your email marketing more social.

“Do Not Reply” addresses, on the other hand, try to take a permission-based, conversational marketing medium and mold it into an online version of TV or billboard advertising.

People who use “Do Not Reply” addresses…

  • … try to have one-way conversations in their marketing.

    Problem is, a one-way conversation isn’t a conversation at all. It’s a monologue.

  • … treat subscribers as a cost whenever they’re doing anything except buying something.

    To them, feedback isn’t free research on how to market better; it’s a cost to be avoided.

  • … don’t get that the main thing that affects your email deliverability is basically whether you make subscribers mad. Make them mad, they click the “spam” button. Enough of them do it, and you have a delivery problem.

    To subscribers, spam isn’t just unsolicited bulk email, it’s any email they don’t want. And not many people want to hear from people – or companies – who refuse to hear back from them.

    Business who use a “Do Not Reply” address don’t understand that they’re asking for spam complaints.

Good News: Most People Understand This. Better News: More People Will.

Most people don’t send their email marketing campaigns from “Do Not Reply” addresses – which was exactly what we expected to find when we ran stats on the “from” lines in all of our users’ campaigns a while ago. You guys are good :)

That said, there were a few people who were creating campaigns in AWeber and using addresses like noreply@example.com, do-not-reply@example.com and so forth (at their own domain, not example.com) in the “from” line.

We realized we needed to close that loophole and educate those customers, and we’ve done so.

When you create a campaign in AWeber, we check the “from” address for many common variants of “Do Not Reply” addresses. If a customer enters one, they’ll be notified that this is not OK and will be prompted to choose a new “from” address.

Our hope is that with a little guidance and education, we can help those businesses become better email marketers.

What Do YOU Think of “Do Not Reply” Addresses?

Have you ever sent a campaign using a “Do Not Reply” address? Ever received one? What do you think of them?

Share your thoughts below!