I wanted to update everybody on Amazon's newest updates to their Buyer Messaging system.
Good News: Not much is affected.
So Amazon now lets buyers who don't want to recieve un-wanted buyer messages to be opted-out. Examples of "unsolicited 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
• Out-of-stock or delay notifications and offers of alternate products
Buyers can find this menu inside their Amazon account from: https://www.amazon.com/gp/cpc/homepage and then selecting Promotional Emails underneath the Email Preferences section.
First, there is no violation of any sort from Amazon's TOS standpoint. So you are good to go. At this point; the only thing that happens is that Amazon's Buyer Message system will refuse to re-direct and send the message to them. You will then recieve an email notice that says the buyer you are attempting to contact opted-out.
At this point; since Amazon doesn't provide a list or API of opted-out buyers; the only way to know is by getting this email from them when you attempt to send (but again, no worries; you are not violating any TOS, your emails just simply won't deliver).
Once you get this email; you'll simply want to head over to our Buyers > Blacklist section: https://app.feedbackz.com/blacklisted and punch in their Amazon email address.
You can contact the buyer directly by viewing their order inside Seller Central, but this is for Critical Information Only; if it is not any of the following, you would be breaking TOS by trying to send via this route.
• Product customization questions
• Delivery scheduling
• Issues with a shipping address
We are actually working on a few adjustments to the app to make life for us easier:
• Automatically adding any opted-out buyer into the blacklist
• Creating a universal database of opted-out buyers
• Preventing messages sent to opted-out buyers to count as an email credit
We are also in addition going to write some insights about this matter here, and hopefully will have something available soon.
That's it at the moment. Again; it doesn't affect much at the moment, although we do foresee Amazon tightening down various things on their Buyer Message system due to spam. But as long as us sellers follow the rules of their TOS, you will have nothing to worry about.
If the buyer leaves a review or feedback on our listing or seller accout (good or bad feedback), can we contact them?
i.e. if its bad feedback, to try and resolve it with them. And if its good feedback, to ask them to add their feedback onto the product listing?
Yes, you can contact them as you normally would do. It's only if they opted-out that your message wouldn't go through.
There is one way to still send to them, but if Amazon catches you using this for anything not "critical", it may get you in trouble.
And does this change effect Amazon.com, Amazon,co.uk and Amazon EU?
Yes, I believe it does affect all marketplaces. If not all; opt-out option will soon be available.
It would be nice if you guys made an option, like a check box, to automatically put customers who opted out on our blacklist, rather than have us manually do it.
Hey Ben, Thanks for your insights. We are working on a solution for this. =) As well as: 1) Creating a universal database of opted-out buyers 2) Not counting any opted-out sends as a Sent Email credit Hopefully, we'll have something here soon!
Thanks James, one other query ...
when you say "there is one way to still send to them but if Amazon catches you using this for anything not critical you could be in trouble", what are you referring to?
I would like to continue contacting customers directly if they leave a negative review on my listing or a postive review on my seller account. Is this acceptable to Amazon?
Hey Gary, So if a buyer opts-out of getting feedback emails and buyer messages in general. There is still one way a seller can contact a buyer; and that is by going through Manage Orders and clicking on the buyer's name. But this is for only Critical stuff; so if it's not apart of the list (see original post) then it would go against TOS. Yes, you can still contact them. =) This new update is simply just letting them opt-out; that is all. Nothing else changed.