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To no-reply or not

One of the ongoing arguments in deliverability is whether or not to use no-reply in the From address of email marketing. There are very strong opinions on both sides. I’ve even had people ask me to comment or ask me to back up their particular point of view.

whiteboard drawing with no goal nor purpose

My point of view is pretty simple. This is a customer relationship issue not a delivery issue. The presence of a no-reply@ address in the From: address has no effect on deliverability. There are too many giant brands getting great delivery using no-reply to think that it’s a problem.

Thus it amuses me when folks try and get me to agree with them that no-reply is the Worst. Practice. Ever. and will terminally break your email delivery. It doesn’t and it won’t.

There is one piece that I will relentlessly mock companies for. Putting in a reply-to: address that is no-reply@company. Reply-To is not a required header and if you don’t want replies, then don’t add it. Putting in a no-reply@ address as a reply-to address is a sign a company doesn’t understand email and is just cargo culting their way to the inbox.

4 comments

  1. Sally G says

    As a reader, I am annoyed with no-reply addresses—why send me something and not allow me to react?—but it is not a big deal, irritant only.

  2. Harald Walker says

    I receive one newsletter regularly that ends with “Let’s be friends” (with links to social media sites). But the no-reply as sender clearly shows that the company is not really interested in a relationship with me as customer.

  3. Alberto Miscia says

    Good point Laura, but I think that no-reply can indirectly affect deliverabilty because it is unlikely that recipients would add this address to their address book / safe sender list or reply to it.
    The former has been always recomended by major ISPs (Hotmail in primis) as a way to have better deliverability, for obvious reasons.
    The latter (replying to senders) I have been told it would help the reputation as well but I have never been able to measue it or prove it in any way.

    It goes without saying that there are much higher priorities when it comes to deliverability but I like to think that everything counts, at least a tiny bit.

    1. laura says

      “no-reply@whatever” can go into your address book just as easily as alberto@whatever. There is, fundamentally, nothing to stop users from adding it to the address book. Plus, a lot of people do reply to no-reply and many companies using no-reply accept the email and monitor that mailbox.

      This is yet another example of cargo cult deliverability and it needs to stop.

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