How you handle email replies matters for great customer experiences

If your prepaid purchase is automatic, you may be missing out on an opportunity

Have you recently checked your email responses?

I’m talking about emails returning to your email address after sending an email campaign. Many reply automatically, such as out-of-office messages, but there are also personal replies. They are the ones I’m talking about.

You may have set up a response management system through ESP to handle this automatically, but it may be time to reconsider how to handle this process.

Let’s start with the change

I know everyone says it, but I repeat it because it’s true. Over the past twelve months, our behavior has changed, not just our marketers and our companies, but our customers as well.

Customers who have never or rarely shopped online may not create online solutions when their favorite stores close in 2020.

I am one of the people I have never used in my local grocery store, Instacart, or in the download because I am my own cook and I would love to see my vegetables before buying them.

Today, I know my UPS, Amazon, and Instacart drivers by name, which is more than I can say about some of my neighbors.

The early nineties

As we focus on how consumers shop online, we need to focus on another part of the story: how we repeat history.

Twenty years ago, our marketing mission was to teach consumers how to shop online. We take our customers and show them how to shop online. We learn and learn at the same time.

We’re back – we’re learning parts of our customer base about shopping and communicating online. Not only do we learn what it feels like to open, click and browse emails, but we also help them expand their knowledge of online opportunities.

Hear customers differently today

This is where response handling comes in handy. When Jeanne Jennings discussed this in a recent industry chat group, she got me thinking about the aspect of her email program that can help you get to know your customers better and connect with them in a new way.

Response Management is an automated feature that manages responses to your email campaign. Marketers often use this feature to search for keywords in their email responses, such as “Stop” or “Stop sending this email”, “I hate you!” or “# $ @ $% & *% #!” and process them as cancellations.

If you haven’t configured the settings on your email platform (too much), you may never have responded, but it’s worth checking how the system works for you.

You may not need to review 95 of the 100 email responses received after sending a campaign. However, the remaining five may be asked to comment. Sometimes people respond with product questions in their emails or ask for help with problems with their business.

Why? Because you can be new to online shopping.

That’s why you need to look at the responses people send from their email campaigns – it helps to see what is bothering your customers.

How to use response processing

Don’t try to handle all the answers by yourself. Most marketers don’t have the bandwidth to analyze the high response rate. But we need to study the messages that come back to get personalized responses and insights into what our customers are trying to do with our emails.

Therefore, we need to teach consumers that problems cannot be solved if they reply to our emails or contact someone in your company.

We will re-learn our customer support groups to handle complaints sent through this personal email. The job of this customer care group is to answer their customers’ emails.

Your email group must also have access to this information. If you see the message, share what you have learned from these emails with team members.

I have done this in several companies. What you learn is valuable to your business and marketing strategy. Not the bad one, but the email someone replies to: ‘Thanks! You are the best. 

Consultation for small teams without customer service groups

If you’re an email team made up of one or two people who send millions of emails every month, you can not filter replies in the email. You already have a lot to do. See how your email platform handles the reply feature.

But read on, because today you can be an email team, but in a small organization, you are not always a one-man partner.

How to use response management with customer service activities

If you have a medium or large email team, you are likely to have more skills in finding the reply email address and sharing it with the customer service team.

The logistics may seem daunting, but it’s very simple. If you give someone control over the cancellation process, you need to set up an internal website that will send and remove all email addresses.

The benefit of responding to replies is that your customers will respond to your emails. They assume that someone on the other side of the screen is looking at your messages.

The customer service team should be willing to review answers and look for ways the business can help people who have responded to a question, comment, or personal request and how to make money.

The other benefit is responding personally to this email. It can become a revenue stream when people contact you for help or more information, and the personal response of your customer service representative can lead them to make a purchase.

B2B Email Needs Personal Attention

When it comes to B2B, whether you are selling or marketing, you need to go through all the answers. You can also set up a shared mailbox where sellers and marketers can view the email.

In B2B, your volumes will be much lower unless you work at the Salesforce level. We have automated messages that go out all the time and we work strategically to make these messages as personal as possible so that they come from someone. But the end-user does not distinguish between automated and one-to-one email. The value of the B2B side can be huge.

‘No answer’ is not an option

One way to NOT handle replies is to use ‘no reply’ in the sender’s name (so no reply is limited to me). The right strategy is to add your brand to the sender and the email address of the sender and add comments to the email address that instructs readers to click on the link, even if you want to leave the list and tell customers how to do it. telephone numbers, contact forms, customer service email address, etc.) or set up an automated response with these instructions. ‘No answer’ is not the theme of your brand.

Conclusion: be careful!

This is not a complete guide to using response management. Your response email management strategy depends on your business, the size of your team, your email, the frequency with which you send messages, and whether you have access to customer service team support.

Do not feel bad if you have to use a fully automated steering process. But always look for opportunities to teach customers how to have meaningful interactions. If you really cannot respond to customer messages sent to your return address, follow the steps above to make sure they know what to do.

The customer’s ability to talk to you directly makes email work. You might think that you are sending a mass-market message to thousands or millions of subscribers. But the recipients think like my mother: “Costco sent me an email”, not “Costco sent me an email and another 9 million people”.

Test my theory, marketers. Respond to multiple emails or automated campaigns in your inbox. See what you get. A personal answer? An automated answer that tells you how to sign up or get a personalized answer? Nothing?

Take note of the client’s expectations for a personal relationship. Ignoring your answers means ignoring the growth potential.

Translate »