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Email Marketing Etiquette Part 1: Anonymous Email Marketing
In this series, we're going to take a look at the proper etiquette for email marketing campaigns, starting with the conspicuous anonymous email marketing and senders.
What exactly does that mean?
Each email you send already has a sender email address. For most companies, this sender is also the "reply-to" email address, usually stipulating that this sender address isn't the return address, say, if your customers have a question.
Further still, this anonymous email marketing sender email address is usually something to the effect of "firstname.lastname@example.org" or some other gibberish like "email@example.com."
You may be asking what the problem with either of those email addresses are. Well, frankly, they're off-putting. How can your customer respond to one of your emails if they have a question or a comment?
Sure, you have a mechanism already in place for comments and questions, but it usually takes your customers several steps to contact you; usually through your website in the form of a contact sheet. And, in several days some customer service representative will kindly get back to them.
You may be thinking that this really isn't a problem. You'll probably think that you already have the proper mechanisms in place to ensure customer satisfaction. So, why in the world do you need to change your sender or reply-to email addresses?
Simply, you're making your marketing system more effective and efficient.
Also, you're putting a name to an address. Your customers will feel as though your company cares about their comments and questions, instead of thinking that there is a barrier between the two of you.
So, what is the solution to this problem?
Well, first you can easily change your sender email address to an actual customer service representative dedicated to answering questions. Sure, in the short-term this may add a bit to your overall marketing costs, but the long-term benefit out weighs this investment.
Or, you can provide a separate reply-to email address hyperlinked in your email. Again, this email ought to go an actual human or a team of people that can immediately address the customers' concerns or questions.
Finally, the other solution to the anonymous sender syndrome is to eliminate the reply-to or sender email all together, by including a hyperlink to your customer relations page on your website. On this page, you can provide immediate assistance in the form of an instant messaging (IM) service. Be careful with this tactic, however. Many companies use an automated IM service. Have a team of people ready and waiting to chat directly with your customers. Along with the other suggestions, creates a relationship between your company and your customers. People like to know that they're important and relevant.
These generic email addresses used gives a feeling of anonymous email marketing, which is extremely off-putting and feels more robotic than human.