Amazon have recently announced yet another change which we, as sellers, once again need to adapt to.
Amazon customers are now allowed to opt out of ‘unsolicited’ messages via the buyer/seller messaging system. Up until this announcement shoppers were not able to opt out of seller emails.
First of all it is important to note that Amazon will continue to make changes and we just need to adapt to those changes because we have no choice in the matter!
But it is only right that customers are allowed to opt out of receiving messages isn’t it? So is this latest change really so bad?
Amazon constantly strive to give their customers the best shopping experience, and those customers do have the right to say if they do not wish to receive emails, so Amazon are simply responding to that, and giving customers the option.
It is not such bad news for sellers because really, do you want to communicate with someone who is not happy to receive your communications? No, as a business owner those people are worthless to you anyway.
Even worse, if they are unhappy to receive your emails they may respond with negative feedback, which would be even worse.
Currently there is no way via Amazon seller central to obtain a list of customers who have opted out, but Amazon will email sellers to notify them of the customers who have opted out.
This is the kind of email to look out for:
We were unable to deliver the message you sent for order [111-1111111-1111111] because the buyer has chosen to opt out of receiving unsolicited messages from sellers.
However, even if a buyer has opted out of unsolicited messages, if you need to send them a message critical to completing his or her order, you can do it using Buyer-Seller Messaging:
1. Go to Manage Orders.
2. Click the buyer’s name in the list, which will take you to Buyer-Seller Messaging.
3. Select “Additional information Required” as your subject, write your message, and click Send.
If you tried to respond to a buyer and received a message that the buyer has opted out of unsolicited seller messages, please respond to the buyer on the original message thread (instead of starting a new thread) and make sure that his or her original message is included in your reply.
For your reference, the following messages are considered “Critical” to complete the order.
- Product customization questions
- Delivery scheduling
- Issues with a shipping address
The following messages are “not critical” to complete the order:
- Requests for seller feedback or customer reviews
- Order, shipment or delivery confirmations
- Proactive customer service (for example: product manuals, tips for using the product, FAQ’s, suggestions if something goes wrong)
- Out of stock or delay notifications and offers of alternate products (please cancel the order instead)
Learn more about Buyer-Seller Messaging and what messages are considered critical to completing orders.
Amazon Seller Support
So once you receive such an email follow the instructions and remove the person from any third party email service you may be using.
So from now on you should only send these ‘critical’ emails directly through Buyer-Seller messaging, with the subject line – “Additional Information Required”
Here’s how you would do that:
Click the buyer’s name on the Manage Orders page, which will take you to Buyer-Seller Messaging.
Select “Additional information Required” as your subject, write your message, and click send.
Please bear in mind that using subjects other than “Additional Information Required” will result in the message bouncing back if the buyer has opted out.
Buyers can also flag messages as inappropriate. Therefore, the content of your ‘Additional Information Required” messages should be ‘limited to requesting only the information you absolutely need to complete the order”.
So to sum up, what action do you as a seller need to take in order to be compliant with this latest change?
- Make sure to take action when receiving a notification of opt out email
- If you are using a third party email provider make sure you add the customer to your unsubscribe list.
Although I cannot comment on other email service providers, the one I use is Cash Cow Pro
This is the email I received from them about the changes:
“Amazon Customers Unsubscribing From Emails
Customers can now unsubscribe from emails directly in Amazon.
You might be getting emails in your Seller Central inbox about emails not being delivered or notifications from Amazon that the customer unsubscribed.
This is because that customer has opted out of your emails inside Amazon. This is separate to the opt out option that Cash Cow pro provides.
What normally happens is CashCowPro sends your email to Amazon and Amazon sends the email to the customer.
This helped us ensure deliverability as the emails came from Amazon.com
For those customers that have unsubscribed, Amazon is simply mot delivering them to that customer any more.
As a seller, you need to stop sending emails to those customers.
We have an existing solution now.
For any customer for which you get the notification, you can add them to your Unsubscribe list in CashCowPro (go to Messaging then the Unsubscribe tab).
Yes, this is a manual process and you will need to check which customers get the notification.
We are working on an automated solution.
Our team is building an automated solution over the weekend.
You will be given a unique email address and you can set up an auto forward in Amazon for these new unsubscribe notifications.
Then we will automatically add your customer to our unsubscribe list, and they will not get future emails.
We will let you know as soon as this is ready, please give us a few days to build it, a few more to test it and we hope to get this out asap in the next couple of weeks max.
In the mean time please use the temporary manual unsubscribe option.
For the many reasons I use CashCowPro for my Amazon analytics, please read THIS POST
The important message is to make sure that you do not send emails to the buyers who have opted out.
No penalty will be imposed for attempting to send an email to a buyer who has opted out of unsolicited emails. Amazon will simply block the message.
However after a period of time Amazon may well start to impose penalties if we continue to mail those customers who have unsubscribed.
So don’t do it – it is not good business practice and will not yield good results.
So my advice would be, despite the fact that there will be no penalty imposed right now, to make sure that you do respond to the opt out email notifications by adding them to your unsubscribe list, and check with your email provider what they are intending to do about this and if they intend to provide an automated solution.