The noreply address used to be a common sight in the past. I mean, you must have seen, at least once, an address that looks like [email protected] People thought that it’s the best way to avoid the flood of email replies after they’ve sent a company email to their subscribers.
An equally common misconception about this email address phenomenon is the thought that it was a good idea to begin with. While sometimes it can be a necessary feature of your digital marketing efforts, most of the time the noreply address is just a big, bad idea.
And here I’m going to talk about why this is the case.
A noreply (or also often no-reply) address is an email address whose sole purpose is to make sure the email arrives at the intended destination, while at the same time not allowing for a potential reply. It’s still an address on your domain, but it’s sort of a dead-end address for your receiver.
At first glance, it might look like it’s a great idea to circumvent a flurry of email replies (complaints, thanks, etc.) from your customers, and also as a way to protect yourself from any emails that have bounced, or notifications that you just don’t want to look at when you’re not at work.
The truth is, though, that the noreply addresses do more harm than good when it comes to email marketing strategies.
First of all, noreply addresses can confuse customers and make them frustrated if they see that the email correspondence only goes one way.
Basically, noreply addresses make up for a very poor customer experience. Have in mind that the digital marketing strategies and the best customer experiences should look like you’re having a tete-a-tete or one on one conversation with your customers.
And if your customers notice that they can’t really reach you once you’ve sent them an email, and they can’t engage with you by asking questions or by voicing any concerns that you can address, then that’s not really much of a conversation, is it? For them, it feels like they’re hitting a brick wall, and it can be a way to actually lose contacts, instead of gaining more and prompting engagement with your brand and products/services.
There are several reasons why it’s not a good idea to use the noreply address form. Let’s take a look at the main ones.
Some internet service providers (ISPs), as well as network spam filters and security settings in your customers’ personal email accounts, are set up to automatically place the noreply email to the junk or spam folder.
Some email service providers don’t even allow users to add a noreply address to their email address books.
This is, of course, bad news, because it directly affects your open and click-through rates, as well as your deliverability rates. And, it also affects your sender reputation and sender score.
When customers reach out through email, it means they want to share something and engage with your business in some way.
Maybe they have a question for you, valuable feedback for your brand, or a comment about a product or a service… Whatever it is, they deserve to be heard. After all, they make your business possible, and marketing wouldn’t be much important without it.
Of course, you probably already provide or intend to provide contact info or customer support. However, some of your customers, for one reason or another, will still want to reach out and reply directly to your campaigns.
Noreply addresses don’t allow this. The noreply address makes your emails seem unapproachable and too automated. And who will have the desire to interact with such a service?
Of course, for bigger businesses, it’s harder to reply to direct emails. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to think it through and find a way you can ditch (or at least marginalize) the noreply address and make sure your customers can contact you when they need to tell you something.
So, what are some of the things you can do so you don’t have to use the noreply address? Let’s take a look.
It’s simple. All you need to do is swap your noreply address for a regular reply address.
For example, you can use a more generic address such as [email protected], or [email protected] These sound much more friendly than [email protected] and they most likely won’t make your emails end up in the spam folder.
And then you can actually use a real human name as a sender’s address. It can be an actual employee’s name or it can be a fictitious alias that’ll make the email address sound more human.
Of course, people have used noreply addresses for a reason. If they have a designated customer service or customer service emails, they don’t want to be flooded with customer emails outside of those designated areas.
But your customers are all different, and not all of them will comply with this. So, the best way to save yourself some time is to actually give them as much info as you can about your products and services, as well as about the locations where they can complain or send feedback, such as customer service.
For example, you can always include a link to your Help page or FAQ page in your email correspondences with clients. You can also put a direct link to the FAQ page once a client makes a purchase, in case they have any questions related to the product or the purchase.
Basically, make it your goal to answer your clients’ questions even before they ask them. As you develop your business and as you create more and more creative and engaging content and service, you also have to develop a solid information base your customers can use.
Or, you know, if you don’t want to do all this, just try and set up a dedicated email address from which you’re going to be ready to receive customer feedback and complaints, and address that your customers will clearly know it’s been created exactly for this. It will help you big time in staying organized.
Sometimes, you can’t get around the noreply addresses. If you really need to use them in your email marketing campaign, then it’s a good idea to also measure their impact on it.
The only way you can measure this is, of course, through A/B testing.
Try it this way: split your email list into one group which will receive the noreply address and another group that will receive emails from a regular “from” address. Then, compare the results and see how big is the impact of the noreply address on your open and click rates, as well as on your deliverability, sender reputation, and sender score, and see if it has impacted other metrics as well.
Pay special attention to the open rates and the customer engagement, and see if your customers put more trust in emails with a regular email return address.
Adapting your business to new demands in the email marketing world is crucial. How else would you retain your customers, boost profits, and improve your reputation on the market? Of course, that doesn’t mean blindly following trends that sometimes might do more harm than good to your business. But, being open to novelties and experimentation is something you should nurture.
And yeah, sure, once noreply emails were useful, widely used, and even effective. But nowadays that has changed significantly. Today, the noreply address isn’t really something you should include in your email marketing strategy unless you really really have to.
As you were able to see, using the noreply address can affect your open rates and your sender reputation, as well as reduce the efficiency of your email marketing campaigns, in general. Not to mention that it can make it harder, or sometimes even downright impossible for you to get valuable feedback from your clients and customers.
The more your subscribers and customers engage with your emails, the better your open and click-through rates become, and the better your sender reputation and sender score. In addition, that makes ISPs trust you more, so fewer of your emails end up in the spam folder or get blacklisted.
If you’ve already got the noreply system in place, you should start thinking of ways to help you move away from it. You don’t have to do this overnight, but it’s a good idea to try other alternatives. For example, you can start by just using a regular email address people can actually reply to.
The important thing is to have your emails look approachable and professional at the same time. When it comes to email marketing, customer feedback should be one of your first priorities. It paves the way to better customer retention, brand loyalty, and customer trust. And, it also gives you valuable information about your business that you sometimes can’t get with any metric out there!