Pete Freitag Pete Freitag

Do Not Reply

web

Have you ever sent email using a donotreply@example.com or noreply@example.com from email address? I have done this many times myself, but then the other day I realized that this practice makes no sense, at least for businesses.

When I got an email last week with such a bold DO-NOT-REPLY from address after placing an order, I had several thoughts... What happens if I do actually reply? What If I have a question, how can I contact you, why can't I just reply to this email? What if I just had a really good suggestion to share, oh well? Why don't they want my communication?

I think we use the noreply as developers a lot of times without thinking how it will be perceived to customers - "this company doesn't want to talk to me".

There are probably some cases where the noreply makes sense, but they are few and far between.

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Do Not Reply was first published on March 17, 2009.


Comments

One way communication is definitely for the lose. It seems like we could make emails come from reports@.., invoice@.., alerts@.. and create aliases to the customer service group?
by Bradley Moore on 03/18/2009 at 8:07:53 AM UTC
@Bradley - Yes That is certainly better to direct the emails somewhere where they can be processed. I think there will probably be some cases where you want the person to follow a web / http based process, you could probably use autoresponders to accomplish that.
by Pete Freitag on 03/18/2009 at 8:21:12 AM UTC
I found the story.....quite a scary concept http://blog.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2008/03/they_told_you_not_to_reply.html
by Zac Spitzer on 03/19/2009 at 1:04:12 AM UTC
@Zac - I guess I shouldn't be surprised by that but I am a little. @hansen - I think it would probably be pretty easy to filter out the vacation autoresponders.
by Pete Freitag on 03/19/2009 at 7:30:12 AM UTC
I think this may be used to reduce spam, as these email addresses are usually used by automated sign-ups, etc.. No?
by Darren on 03/19/2009 at 10:38:56 AM UTC
But.. but.. Why don't you want my reply? I might have a good idea :P Actually, I don't really, but I do try to use an email address that makes sense. Would anyone want an invoice from a donotreply@mysite.com?
by Micheil Smith on 03/20/2009 at 6:18:34 AM UTC
OK but imagine you were the company that sent out the email... Of the 6,000 replies you receive some are out of offices (soft bounces), invalid emails (hard bounces), unsubscribes (even though there is another method to unsubscribe) or just straight up questions. Going through 6,000 emails to sort those 4 different kinds of replies is hell no matter what way you look at it. Best option - less the bounces go into the do-not-reply abyss, and provide a method to address the unsubscribes and questions.
by Jessica on 08/24/2011 at 12:27:12 PM UTC