If John Doe sends you a message via Drop Box, it will be from John Doe (via Dropbox) [[email protected]], and if you reply to it, it will be returned to [email protected], and John will most likely read the response.

If John Doe sends you a message via LinkedIn, it will be from LinkedIn Messaging [[email protected]], and if you reply to it, it will be returned to LinkedIn Messaging <[email protected]>, and John will most likely read the response.

If John Doe invites you via LinkedIn, it will be from John Doe (via LinkedIn) [[email protected]], and if you reply to it, it will appear to be returned to John Doe (via LinkedIn) <[email protected]>, but really returned to [email protected] and John will not receive it.

If you get an email from SurLaTable, it might be from [email protected], and if you reply to it, it will be returned to [email protected], and the response will most certainly never be read.

Will people think they could and should respond to emails which are meant to be responded to? Is there anything that could be done to make them feel they could and should do so?

3 Answers 3


I agree with not naming the email no-reply if you expect one.

You could include a "reply" button into the email and make the link a mailto to the address they should be replying to.

I've also seen that some companies use the "from" email with the following format: "[email protected]". So that address also gives them a hint that they should reply hitting the button included in the email.

  • I don't think most of my user group would expect not to reply to the email, but instead click a link in the email. But maybe that is because of the email format they are receiving, so perhaps I should reconsider... Your "[email protected]" suggestion is pretty awesome. Who have you seem use this approach? Thank you Dec 10, 2016 at 2:04
  • @user1032531 I think it was trello or maybe Google when someone replied to a comment on a Google doc
    – Aldana
    Dec 10, 2016 at 19:57

Doesn't linkedin do something similar, and they hide the email address with a spoof address, they don't use no-reply.

I would examine the linkedin model and suggest you do not use the no=reply email as that would make me think there is nobody at the other end.

  • Thanks Peter. I agree no-reply suggests that one shouldn't reply, but what are the options? Looked at LinkedIn, and they have in my opinion a worse model than DropBox (see my edited original post). Dec 9, 2016 at 18:27

Lots of people don't look at the sender's email address. Why would they? They see something that looks like an email message and behaves like one, so they treat it like an email message, including replying to it, even if the "from" address is no-reply.

Some other people notice the "no-reply" address and won't reply. Because, of course, the address tells them not to.

If you want people to think they can reply to an email message, then don't send it from an account that tells people not to reply to it. Make sure the reply-to address is one that looks reply-able.

  • 1
    Thanks Ken, Then, people might copy the email, paste it into a new email, and it doesn't get sent. I didn't think people do this, but they do! See ux.stackexchange.com/questions/102305/… which gives some background history. Dec 9, 2016 at 18:29

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