Not all features are good features. And it looks like that's the case for a seemingly cool feature Mailchimp introduced a while back, namely Manage Replies.
One annoyance you will face as an email marketer is a flood of Out-of-Office replies whenever you send a campaign to more than a few thousand people. That's exactly what Mailchimp's Manage Replies feature aims to solve. What it does is to route any replies to your campaign to their servers instead of your inbox. Then all the unwanted spam and OoO replies gets filtered out, leaving you only with replies sent by human beings.
Simple enough, right? Not exactly, and here's why you should probably deactivate the feature altogether: It is killing your open rates!
By using the feature your emails will actually have a different from and reply-to address, which is something that makes your email look more suspicious to spam filters.
And the result? A massive 13% drop in open rates! That was the result of a small test I did with an automatic welcome email over the last week. While keeping subject lines, content, and so on constant, activating manage replies slashed the open rates from 72.3% to 63%.
So do yourself a favor, disable manage replies for all your campaigns now. If the OoO replies are bothering you, set up a Gmail filter instead.
PS! Mailchimp is still my favorite mass emailing service , just avoid this one feature.
PPS! For those interested, the total sample size of my test was 272.
Photo Credits: Dollar Photo Club / Anthonycz