The Argument Against 'Do Not Reply'
As an offline scenario, it sounds shockingly impersonal. But it's standard online practice. And a recent payment confirmation from Sprint—with multiple "do not reply" instructions—got Waldow thinking about possible implications.
Does anyone care? He concedes that many subscribers may not notice a "do not reply" notation. And even if they do, notes one of Waldow's colleagues, is it sufficient cause to find a new product or service? Probably not.
Does it lead to inadvertent CAN-SPAM violations? Are there legal ramifications if a recipient wants to unsubscribe, sends this request in reply to a "do not reply" message, and it goes unread? Another of Waldow's colleagues thinks not: "While [CAN-SPAM] identifies a reply message as an [unsubscribe] option, it doesn't state that the recipient gets to pick the option or that the sender [must] support all options."
So if subscribers don't really care, and CAN-SPAM has no objections, why should we worry? "Simple," says Waldow. "By not providing an easy, simple, clear way for your email subscribers to contact you—via an email reply—you are missing out on possible opportunities to engage with a customer."
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