What exactly is a no-reply email address and why do we have a whole article dedicated to it?

A no-reply is an email address using the format “noreply@company.com”

Many businesses use a no-reply email address to discourage the recipient from sending a response to their transactional emails or email marketing campaigns, thus forgetting the cardinal rule of email, which is the fact that email is a one-to-one communications medium.

Other than breaking the cardinal rule of email, why would you not want to use a no-reply in your company?

Problems with using a no-reply

  • In many countries, sending an email with a no-reply email address is illegal. In some European countries, for example, you have to have a working email address that people can reply to if they have any kind of question about your email.
  • It is highly impersonal and leads back to the cardinal rule. Email is a one-to-one communications medium, and having a no-reply email address makes the medium no better than radio, television, or magazine advertising where the content is a one-way channel to the end-user.
  • A no-reply goes against mutual trust. Would you trust someone sending you communications to whom you cannot respond?
  • A no-reply can be highly frustrating to your recipients who may have a genuine need to respond to your email to ask a question or to make a comment on your email.
  • A no-reply basically tells your recipients that you really don’t care about them and what they have to say. Not the best way to grow a relationship!
  • It actually LIMITS business opportunities! What if your customer want to add to their order, or, ask a question before buying something that you are promoting in your email to them?
  • It actually decreases conversions due to all the reasons listed above, but, most importantly, there is no trust from the subscriber side.
  • Some Mailbox Providers, spam filters and email security systems, sends no-reply straight to the spam folder.
    • This decreases overall deliverability
  • Most mailbox providers do not allow you to add a no-reply to your address book, which leads to …
    • Decreased engagement, which leads to …
      • Decreased deliverability and inbox rate
  • Some people will actually reply to an email, asking to be removed from the subscriber list, instead of clicking on the unsubscribe link. They are afraid that clicking on the unsubscribe link will lead to even more emails and probably spam.
    • When they cannot reply because of the no-reply email address, they will mark the message as spam which again leads to lower deliverability and inbox rate!

Why and how to use a reply-to address

  • A reply to address nurtures the conversation, and thus the relationship, between you and your customers
  • A reply-to address can be …
    • A sales person’s address
    • A general email like sales@, support@, help@, etc.
  • DON’T use a generic friendly “From” names like “Customer Service”, “Account Verification”, “Newsletter”. Always include your brand name: “InboxJam Customer Service”, etc. A “From” name without your brand name is automatically suspicious, unless it is from a well known “person” in your organization.
  • Many ESP’s support the ability to have a different, from name and address, and, reply to name and address. This means your could have a from name and address of a well known person in your organization, but, have the reply to address be your customer service or sales address.

How to handle responses

  • Setup a dedicated email address to receive responses
  • Filter out automated responses
    • Anything containing words like “automated response” or “message delivery notification”
  • Generally, this is a support or customer service email address which goes into a help or service desk
  • It is a good idea to always have a link to help in all emails!
  • Out of office replies actually helps you! You will immediately know that the person will not be opening or taking any action on your email for a period of time, but, should not be marked as inactive because they have not opened for a while.