By Jack Cumming

The other day, I got an offer in my email. Most of those get deleted, but something about this one intrigued me. I wanted more information, so without thinking, I hit “reply” and asked my questions. Guess what. It was a “no-reply” address. I quickly got a bounce message. My question was not only not answered. It was unheard.

Prospects Matter

My takeaway was that I don’t matter to this vendor. Of course, I don’t. They’re too busy racking up sales to pay attention to a mere inquirer. Business must be really booming. They don’t need me. And I realized that I don’t need them either.

Does this sound familiar? Does your employer send out no-reply messages? Why would anyone do that? Does your attitude send the opposite message? “Replies welcomed and heeded.”

Every one of those emails that go to no-reply addresses should instead be read and answered. Many are the most pertinent emails a business can receive. Your eblast may reflect your wishful thinking and omit the most telling information. Replies can help you get that message just right.

Clicking reply to a no-reply eblast shows interest that will be lost forever. That’s true for all businesses but especially for senior living. Senior living is grounded in trust. Yet, poor messaging, and sometimes senseless practices, have tarnished its reputation. That compels individual providers to have to overcome prevailing misapprehension to earn the trust of prospects, residents, and families.

Crusty Curmudgeons

Sometimes, thin-skinned marketing staff drive away prospects who lead with tough questions grounded in mistrust. It can be off-putting to have a prospect who opens with, “Why should I trust you with the care for my Mom?” Still, that’s the core question for which marketing has to provide an answer. This crusty question just jumps to the heart of the matter and bypasses all the phony niceness.

Worse, though, is the dreaded no-reply eblast campaign. That simply ends the conversation before it begins. I get a daily email from Medium. Sometimes I want to reply, but the sender is “no-reply.” AudioDigest just approached me with a “’Tis the season to give — and receive!” invite including a discount code, but any questions go to “no-reply.” My interest went to “no-buy.”

Stay Positive

The takeaway is to welcome questions, suggestions, whatever in response to your eblasts. Read them all and learn from the feedback that you never thought of in sending your message in the first place.

Of course, it’s important to make the message meaningful and not insipid. That’s the stuff of storytelling. But it’s even more important to take those skeptics, who start with the in-your-face hostile question, and turn them around from aggravating critics into enthusiastic supporters.

Marketing begins (and ends) with a superb product, well explained, and with an attitude that declares, “We’re the grownups in the room and you can trust us. We won’t disappoint you. We want to know you and be sure that what we offer is right for you … or your mom.”