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For authentication emails and various other one-way communication applications often use no-reply@yourdomain.com. This comes across as unfriendly when compared to something like hello@yourdomain.com.

I know of the argument that we don't want to have lots of auto-reply emails or bounced emails sent to a real address, but isn't this just pretending something isn't a problem when it really is? Is there any real benefit to using a fake address?

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From a customer service point of view, using "noreply" is the equivalent of saying "we don't care if you have a problem, sort it out yourself but don't bother us about it". It sets the wrong tone, especially when email is a GREAT opportunity to get a dialogue with your customers going. So instead of noreply, pleasereply might be better. "Please DO reply if you have a question, problem or other concern, and our lovely customer support team would be delighted to help you out!" But that's not reality. Unfortunately. –  Rahul Sep 20 '11 at 12:09
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3 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Why not actually setup a hello@yourdomain.com address and have it auto-reply a nicely styled branded mail with a message like: "Thanks, but we can't check mail on this address. If you'd like to talk why not send us a mail at official@yourdomain.com. If you're trying to confirm your emil address, please just click the link in the first email we sent you.".

Set it to delete messages received so it doesn't fill up and break. Covers your bases for people who try to send email to this account, reducing user-frustration and increasing brand-advocacy.

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why would you do that instead of simply redirecting mail to official@yourdomain.com? (that is, unless you want to actively disencourage communication) –  Ricardo Tomasi Sep 20 '11 at 5:34
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@RicardoTomasi: Because if it's an active email address, you will end up reading all the out of office emails or any other autoresponders. That could mean hundreds of junk to sort through each day, and a lot of wasted time. –  JohnGB Sep 20 '11 at 6:45
    
@JonDarke: Very elegant solution. –  JohnGB Sep 20 '11 at 6:51
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@JohnGB it's trivial to implement filtering to catch most of those. –  Ricardo Tomasi Sep 21 '11 at 4:59
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It probably would be a good idea to explain that the address gets flooded with out of office messages, and that's why you don't send replies to a human by default. Let people sympathize with your problem rather than think you're just avoiding them. –  Patrick McElhaney Nov 5 '11 at 19:37
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The argument is that if users send earnest emails to an unmonitored inbox, they might be frustrated when no one replies. In practice, though, setting up a redirect to a monitored, generic mailbox is trivial, so practically speaking, 'noreply' emails aren't always justified.

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How is that any different from sending the mail from a monitored address in the first place? Unless I'm missing something, itt still doesn't solve the issue of autoresponse emails. –  JohnGB Sep 20 '11 at 6:46
    
I am saying that 'noreply' emails are usually unjustified. –  Jimmy Breck-McKye Sep 20 '11 at 9:35
    
I'm lost on what you mean by the redirect here. From your comment you mean just use a real address rather than setting up a redirect. Could you please explain? –  JohnGB Sep 20 '11 at 9:49
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As the one who is responsible for UX in our project I monitor the support and read the e-mails we receive from time to time. I often see e-mails from users where you can see the previous mail text. And it turns out to be a system mail like the welcome-msg every new customer receives. Mostly, those people are less tech-savvy and need help with an actually very easy to solve problem.

So if you configure your system that the noreply-mails are - being deleted without info, or - being returned by mailer daemon, or - telling them to write the same to a different adress you certainly frustrating those, who need help the most!

Redirect the noreplys and check them! It's your customer!

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