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Please do not reply to this important email

Maybe we've all been there. Maybe I'm passionate about things you don't care about. Either way; can we at least agree:

  • That the poster format is a terrible one for communication.
  • That email is for two-way communication.

The problem with posters is that it's easy to make one, with no action required, no information conveyed and you have one still composition to capture an audience. To persuade, sell, educate, inform or delight.

Contrast this with web-advertisements, and digital billboards:

  • Motion
  • Timing
  • Sound sometimes
  • Action points

It is incredibly rare to see well-funded, large businesses producing media that presents a concise message. In this way I guess memes are the last stalwart warrior of a long-line of mad-men style media.

So why send me an email I can't respond to?

  • Amazon
  • Digitalocean
  • Sitepoint

If you don't want a reply to your email. Should you be wasting the human time and effort, and electrons necessary to create and send it?

Emails are conversations. Great opportunities to have a two-way dialogue.

Would you like me to send a stranger to knock on your door, then scream in your face and walk off without a chance for you to respond to me? No I thought not.

More importantly. Most of the emails I get are to try to persuade me to buy, or pay for something.

Guess what. Barriers to revenue are terrible ideas for getting paid. There is no regulation I know of to present a no-reply address in emails.

Sadly I can imagine the conversations that lead to them.

  1. [Perception of] too much time spent replying
  2. Lack of tooling [availability / affordability]
  3. Organisational authoritarianism

None of these are good things. Zendesk is one tool that gives access to emails and links selected mailboxes and subjects, to the relevant areas for communication within a business. AWS offers SES which can use to write to a big folder in the cloud, which is globally available, with access control and logging in-place to put those emails. This allows you to maintain organisational visibility.

Emails themselves are usually facilitated by standards such as SMTP, IMAP, POP3, which all have popular libraries to roll your own solution, if you feel one of the many providers you use, isn't giving you enough creativity.

The real cost of emails is

  • Customer friction / frustration when contacting
  • Lost revenue
  • Lack of visibility and insight
In order for you to benefit in real-terms from no-reply emails, you'd have to be a scam artist. If you're not one, please stop identifying as one or acting like one.

If anyone is reading this. I wonder what they think of a shorter, punchier format? I'd genuinely like to know.