I’m in between cars right now, and slowly looking. I’m not traveling much lately thanks to COVID, so I’m in no rush.
Last week, I sent an inquiry to Subaru about a car on their lot. Here is a screenshot of the form I filled out:
Pretty simple so far — I’m asking about a car. There was no email opt-in list or anything, just a request for info.
Sure enough, the next day, they got in touch and we emailed back and forth a bit. They don’t have what I need right now, but it was a good conversation.
However, a few days later I got this in my inbox:
The email opt-in arguments are pretty simple. Do you require single opt-in? Someone just needs to request be on your list and you start sending them newsletters. Or do you require double-opt in, where they need to request to be on your list, then you send a verification email, and once verified you start sending them newsletters? Pick one.
There’s good arguments on both sides of that, but Subaru goes with “no opt-in” — if you get a potential customer’s email address, add it to the list! It’s a great way to build a list. If people don’t need to request to be on it, you can add anyone you want. 🙂
It gets more fun, though, because the email replies go to “firstname.lastname@example.org”. It’s a polite-ish way of saying “no-reply”, I guess, because an email to their thank-you address bounces back with:
Yeah, they don’t have time to talk, so leave them alone.
no-reply is such a bad idea
I talked about this a few years ago, but the problem only seems to be growing. A big reason that I moved from SunTrust Bank (now Truist) to State Bank (now Cadence) is because Cadence sends me emails from Ed instead of from no-reply.
In other words, Cadence says “Hey, here’s some information, let me know if you have questions” whereas SunTrust says “Hey, here’s some information but don’t bother us. If you have questions, call our 800 number and wait there for a while.” It’s baffling.
Subaru took it up a notch
SunTrust’s “noreply” emails were awful, but at least it was from a company that I asked to send me email.
Subaru had to be shady enough to add my email to their list without permission, and then be cocky enough to say “Hey, here’s some crap for your inbox, but we’re far too busy to listen to anything that you might put back in our inbox. Byeeee.“
I’ve said it for years. Just be human. If you can’t be at least a little human when I’m looking to buy a $40,000 car, then that’s a very big problem.