Amazon Seller Buyer Messages Opt-Out Feature
Amazon’s recent opt-out option for the Amazon Seller Buyer Messages, where buyers have the option of unsubscribing from seller emails, has brought up many questions. The Amazon messaging system is the only means by which sellers are able to connect with their customers, provide customer service, and possibly increase customer feedback and reviews. Nonetheless, the opt-out option isn’t as harmful as many sellers might think:
Benefits of opt-out option… for both buyers AND sellers
If you think about it … the purpose of this option is to improve customers’ experience on Amazon. No one wants an angry customer publically vocalizing their frustration or claiming to be spammed by you, their seller.
No matter how helpful your emails might be, some buyers just don’t want to hear it. Additionally, if the first email causes the customer to opt out, it is very unlikely that they would respond to the second or third email.
How do you know who opted out?
Currently, there is no way for a seller to know which buyer has opted out. However, once a buyer chooses to opt out on Amazon Seller Buyer Messages, sellers will receive an email from Amazon similar to this, stating:
We were unable to deliver the message you sent for order [002-xxxxxxx-1234567] because the buyer has chosen to opt out of receiving unsolicited messages from sellers.
Amazon Seller Suppor”
What happens if you continue to send emails to buyers who opted out Amazon seller buyer messages?
Once you’ve received an email from Amazon similar to the one above, Amazon recommends removing those buyers from your mailing list, which prevents you from receiving repetitive emails stating that you have been blocked from sending messages to the same customer who unsubscribed.
Amazon also released a statement in March notifying sellers that no actions of account suspension will be taken if sellers email a customer who chose the opt-out option:
What kind of emails can I send buyers who opt out?
For customers who have unsubscribed or opted out of unsolicited messages, Amazon still allows sellers to send them a message that is “critical” to completing his or her order. According to Amazon, messages that are considered “critical” are:
- Product customization questions
- Delivery scheduling
- Issues with a shipping address
Whereas “not critical” messages are:
- Requests for seller feedback or customer reviews
- Order, shipment, or delivery confirmations
- Proactive customer service (for example: product manuals, tips for using the product, FAQs, suggestions if something goes wrong)
- Out-of-stock or delay notifications and offers of alternative products (please cancel the order instead)
As mentioned above, if a non-critical message is sent to an opted out customer, Amazon will not automatically suspend the seller’s account; however, sellers are highly recommended to remove those customers from their mailing list.
If a seller needs to send a message critical to completing the customer’s order, they may do it using Buyer-Seller Messaging, by following the steps below:
- Go to Manage Orders.
- Click the buyer’s name in the list, which will take you to Buyer-Seller Messaging.
- Enter “[Important]” anywhere in your subject, write your message, and click Send
Amazon adds, “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.”
Motivation to optimize your emails
Perhaps this change is also a good excuse to invest in tools that help you optimize your emails. There is usually a small number of customers that will opt out of seller emails. To decrease this number further, we’d recommend you refrain from directly asking for a 5-star review or offering incentives in exchange for a review. This is forbidden by Amazon and would result in your sellers account being suspended.
Instead, imagine yourself as the customer receiving your emails and think about what you would like to see or know from your seller about the product you have just purchased. What would an email that has great customer service and valuable information look like? You may optimize your emails in a way where they provide great customer service, are easily read, and provide helpful tips/information pertaining to the use of your product.