19

The situation:

I'm emailing new customers with some general info they need to set up their account. Usually, this information is more than enough. But, there's a possibility that they might have some questions left. So, I want to be polite and at the end of the letter, I suggest they email me if they have any questions.

The question:

Is it ok to say, the following:

For any questions, please consult our Help Desk – or email me at email@example.

Considering, that the email I give in the sentence above is the same I send my letter from.

Or is it better to say:

For any questions, please consult our Help Desk – or reply to this email.

  • 2
    If you use HTML mail bodies, you might also put a mailto:email@exmple hyperlink on the phrase "reply to this email". – Bergi Oct 9 '17 at 11:16
  • 5
    @Bergi Clicking on the link, though, is not the same as replying to the mail -- it opens a new mail thread. I think this time we really want the user to click "reply". – Federico Poloni Oct 9 '17 at 11:32
  • Plus, plenty of people use webmail that may or may not handle mailto: links correctly. – Someone Somewhere Oct 10 '17 at 5:41
  • 1
    For any questions, please consult our Help Desk – or reply to this email. – I am the Most Stupid Person Oct 10 '17 at 11:44
  • 1
    Just in case: don't send from a noreply@domain.com address - this is horrible UI and breaks expected email behaviour -> reply :-) – Fabian Blechschmidt Oct 11 '17 at 8:40
50

Both seem perfectly fine to me but as far as preference goes, I'd say go with the second option.

For any questions, please consult our Help Desk – or reply to this email.

The reason being that it eradicates confusion. If you write the email address, a lot of people would think it is different from the one you sent and would write a new email to reply. This is because most email clients don't directly show the email address (they rather show the alias) and most users won't go through the process of checking whether the one you mentioned is the same or not

  • 4
    Good answer. I'd add that "email me at" seems very informal, so depending on the audience may not be suitable, e.g. it likely wouldn't be an appropriate phrase for business users. – Steve Jones Oct 9 '17 at 9:44
  • 8
    "Email me at..." or equivalent would be really useful in the case of "Please don't reply to this email, instead email me at..." In this case telling the recipient they're free to reply askign for help is not just good UX but good customer servcie (+1) – Chris H Oct 9 '17 at 10:50
  • 5
    Email me at - a future way to circumvent the help desk system - you may find yourself inundated with help requests aimed directly at you. – Mauro Oct 9 '17 at 11:24
  • 16
    Oh, if only there existed a reply-to e-mail header exactly for this purpose... Oh wait... – Federico Poloni Oct 9 '17 at 14:33
10

I agree with Shreyas, the easiest option for users is to directly reply.

However, in some cases these options don't need to be mutually exclusive. What if the user has no issues with their account, but something after logging in?

(Email contents)

Regards,

-Website


Need help regarding this topic? Reply directly to this email.

Need something else? Open a new issue by emailing help@helpdesk.com.

  • You probably misunderstood the question. The main reasons I'm struggling between the two options I suggested is because this email - email@example.com and the one I'm writing from are one and the same address. And why would you add a semicolon after Help Desk? It's not like "email@example.com" is a link to the Help Desk. – Oksi Oct 10 '17 at 12:44
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    @Oksi I don't think I've misunderstood, however I tailored my answer to fit your formatting which may have been confusing. My minor argument is that listing the email out tells the user it's an option for contact, although replying is likely the easiest method. – Alan Oct 10 '17 at 13:01
  • As a user, I do not like choice. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paradox_of_Choice. Now I have to both reply directly to the email and open a new issue by emailing help@helpdesk.com. Unless there is a meaningful distinction (reply to this email or call 999-999-9999) I only want one choice. – emory Oct 10 '17 at 18:41
  • 1
    You don't have to do both, or either. Reply to this message if you have a question, or if you have an new (unrelated) issue in the future send an email. Two common user-support tasks with two actions. – Alan Oct 10 '17 at 18:44
3

I think both are acceptable statements. It all depends on how you want/need the response... one creates a new email while the other is a reply to the current email, which can give you a little history in the customers current issue/problem.

1

Email me at” or “reply to this email” both are fine for me but when you are using it in email - I would recommend the second option, reply to this email. This is more appropriate for the email, and match with your sentence.

0

Include your e-mail in plain text form, somehow. Often I get forwarded e-mails in which the addresses in the header have been obscured by the person's display name, and their actual address is not to be found anywhere. So if you do opt for the second method ("reply to this email") then at least spell out your address in a signature block, or somewhere.

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