Best practices, Deliverability

What is and why You should avoid no-reply Email addresses?

EmailLabs Team, 14 July 2022


We should be aware that communication is about having a dialogue, listening, and receiving messages. This is why it is not recommended to use “no-reply” addresses as the sender of the message – not only do users naturally expect to be able to reply to an email but this practice is also viewed negatively by some email providers and can contribute to a decrease in message deliverability.

“No-reply” address – to use or not to use?

There are several important considerations why we should not use a “no-reply” address:

    1. Marking the message as SPAM.
      Email communication is by definition two-way, so most users may not be aware that it is impossible to reply to such an address. If a user sends back an email and receives a “non-delivery” return message or no reply at all, he or she may be discouraged from further cooperation and additionally mark the message as spam. A desirable attitude is one where the brand not only speaks but listens to its customers, and ‘no-reply’ can give the impression that the voice of the customer is not important to the sender.
    2. Lack of flow of information.
      Being able to reply to a message is required for effective information flow. Imagine a situation in which a customer has a complaint about the service and processing of purchase in an online shop. He or she does not grab the phone to call the hotline but describes the case a few days later when is asked to give a rating in a separate email. By not allowing contacting us in response to the email, we cut off our way of receiving valuable feedback. Worse still, in this situation, the customer, unable to vent his dissatisfaction in an e-mail reply, will give negative feedback to the shop a few days later, when receives an automatic message asking to evaluate the performance of the order by e-mail
    3. Lowering the sender’s reputation.
      Even though a “list-unsubscribe” option or a link with an unsubscribe function is available in emails, which is usually inserted at the very end of a long message, some users choose the easiest solution, i.e. informing about the wish to unsubscribe from the list by clicking on “Reply”. This is because users are accustomed to the system functions of the mail they use; therefore, if the “reply” option does not work, they are very likely to mark e-mails as spam, which could hurt our reputation as a sender and thus impair the deliverability of our subsequent messages.
    4. Decline in email deliverability.
      The use of a no-reply address may reduce the deliverability of emails. This is especially seen for global email providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail. They evaluate a sender’s reputation based on the responsiveness of users to messages received, i.e. clicks, redirects to other tabs, and replies to emails. Do you not allow a reply? The quality of your email communication drops significantly in the eyes of providers. If you prevent recipients from contacting you and the CTR of your messages is low, you run the risk of decreasing the deliverability and conversion of subsequent campaigns. Over the last few years, we have also observed cases of messages from no-reply addresses being marked as spam by some mail providers, especially local ones. It is dictated by the use of less advanced anti-spam filters, which based on simple rules block acceptance of e-mails, automatically assuming that such correspondence is not desired by the recipient.
    5. No way to add an address to the Whitelist.
      By adding an address to the Whitelist or contact list, we send a signal that messages from this sender should not be evaluated by spam filters. Therefore, conducting communication from a “no-reply” address and thus not being able to add such an address to the whitelists may also result in lower deliverability.

Transaction mail received from a “no-reply” address, with no way to respond.

Are you concerned that you will be flooded with irrelevant emails by allowing users to respond?

There are ways to have an effective dialogue with your subscribers while not being bombarded by thousands of autoresponder replies and “out of office” notifications in the case of a large marketing mailing. For such mailings, it is useful to sort the automatic responses (autoresponders, replies from the server in case of incorrect addresses, etc.) in advance – many comprehensive mailing services allow you to manage the responses directly from the system.

No-reply: Summary

Conducting email correspondence from a “no-reply” address can not only affect how our customers perceive us, suggesting to them that their voice is not important to us. What’s more, it also affects the deliverability of emails. In times where providers like Gmail and Yahoo support two-way communication, measure the engagement of our recipients and classify messages according to these metrics, it’s worth remembering that it does not just click that matters, but whether recipients respond to our emails. So let’s not make it harder for them to get in touch, if not for the sake of a “good impression”, then for the deliverability of our emails, because it can simply be more profitable.

Do you have questions? Contact our team ([email protected]).

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