Using a noreply email address is like inviting someone into your restaurant but then not taking their order. It’s like telling someone you just baked a pie but not offering them a slice. It’s like inviting someone over but not giving them your address.
It’s annoying, and yet businesses do this every day.
They send their message from a noreply email address, but when the reader is interested and wants to reply, they can’t.
Using a noreply email address doesn’t just frustrate your customers, there is more harm it can do. We’ll go over why you should stop using it below, but first:
What is a noreply email address?
A noreply email address is an email address using the format “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “email@example.com”. Addresses like this can’t receive emails and replies to them will go unanswered or will receive a notification of non-delivery.
Businesses use it to discourage recipients from replying to anything from customer support messages to sign up confirmations and email marketing campaigns.
Why you should stop using your noreply email
1. You’re telling your customers you don’t care
Which is more important to your business: saving time or building trust with your customers?
If you answered the latter, you shouldn’t be using a noreply email address.
The thought of having even 4% of your subscribers reply to your emails may be overwhelming, but denying them that opportunity tells them you don’t care. It sends the message that your time is more valuable than their concerns.
Moreover, trust is built through engagement. Would you trust someone you can’t communicate with? Chances are, your customers won’t either.
2. You’re missing out on important feedback
The best way to improve your offer and come up with ideas for new products is through customer feedback. While things like market surveys and Facebook polls require a proactive approach on your part, email replies do not.
Some of the types of feedback you’re missing out on when sending a noprely email message:
- information about a formatting error in your template that you missed.
- a heads up about a download link that doesn’t work./li>
- a positive comment you can use as a testimonial.
- an idea for a new product feature.
3. You may be hurting your email deliverability rates
How people engage with your emails affects your deliverability rates. So does preventing people from engaging with your emails.
Customers may stop opening your emails once they learn they can’t reply to them, which means they also stop
- reading them
- clicking links in them
- enabling the images inside them
A lot of ESPs (Email Service Providers) also don’t allow people to add noreply addresses to their address book (your guaranteed spot in their inbox) or, even worse, move them automatically to the spam folder. This means you may not ever reach a portion of your customers when using a noreply address.
Wouldn’t that be a shame of all those hours you poured into getting your email copy just right?
4. You lose an opportunity to keep your email list up-to-date
When you send emails from a monitored account, you’re bound to get some auto-replies and bounced email notifications back.
These are great!
While most email services will automatically remove email addresses that keep bouncing from your list, they won’t replace soon-to-be inactive addresses with new ones. So if you get an automated reply telling you that Subscriber X changed jobs and can now be reached at “firstname.lastname@example.org”, you can actually update their information in your list and keep them as a subscriber.
5. You cause friction and frustration
People are lazy. If you reach your customers in their inbox, that’s also where they want to reply to you. Many businesses do have a contact form and even a monitored email address displayed on their website but your customers don’t want to make the effort to go there. Chances are, they won’t even pay attention to your noreply address.
They get all excited about your new offer but have a question, so they hit reply, only to receive a noreply email message in return.
They get a little frustrated, but they still want to know more, so they go to your website. There they waste 5 minutes trying to find an actual email address, or they need to fill in your contact form twice because they missed that one of the fields was required.
Another point of frustration.
Yes, they may send you their question eventually, but their initial excitement for your product has now turned into frustration with your brand.
6. You mislead them
One of the reasons people do try to reply to a noreply address is because that “noreply” usually doesn’t appear as the sender name. Companies use their name or something related like “Company Support” for the “From” field, giving readers the impression that they’re more approachable than they are.
If you’re guilty of this, you’re also going against one of the rules of good email marketing: your sender name should match its email address. Sending a support email? Have “Company Support” as the sender name and “email@example.com” as the email address.
7 great noreply email address alternatives
Now that you’re convinced you should be sending from a noreply email address, what should you use instead? Here are some popular sender names and email address formats that work well for email marketing.
While “noreply” says as much as “I don’t want to hear from you”, “hello” does the exact opposite. It’s a friendly greeting, an invitation to interact. A good sender name to use with this would be the general company name.
A more general email address and sender name are great for sending things like sales campaigns.
People connect with people. It feels much more personal to get an email from a person than from a company or an anonymous “info@” and less intimidating to engage with as well.
You could use the name of someone on your team, that of the company’s mascot if you have one, or you could even run tests to see which name gets the best open rates.
Do make sure to include your company name in the “From” field as well. An email from “Julie” doesn’t tell your subscriber much but an email from “Julie from Mailcharts” makes it clear who it’s from while building brand recognition at the same time.
If you’re unsure when to use a personal name as the “From”, ask yourself if it’s likely that your subscriber will assume the email is automated or not. They probably won’t expect Julie to personally send out shipping confirmations.
But as with all things in marketing, you’ll want to test what works best for your brand.
If your company operates in more formal spheres, you might be inclined to use a full name as the sender name. Don’t.
Only use your full name as your sender name (and email address) if you’re an influencer or trying to become one. That means, if you’re a celebrity, an industry thought leader, or another type of influencer whose full name is your brand.
A good rule to follow is to name your email addresses after what they’re used for. Send support emails from a “firstname.lastname@example.org” address, your newsletter from a “email@example.com” email address, and shipping confirmations from an “firstname.lastname@example.org” address.
In the above cases, the accompanying sender names could be “Support at Company”, “Newsletter Title”, and “Orders at Company”.
You can also use this naming convention for different services your company offers. Transferwise, for example, has “TransferWise Rate Alerts” as the sender name for the rate alerts they send out.
Wrapping things up
- Noreply email addresses prevent you from building a positive relationship with your subscribers and may hurt your deliverability rates.
- Instead, you want to use monitored email addresses with matching sender names.
- Sender names can be personal or not but should always include your brand name.
Looking for more inspiration? Explore sender names and 1000s of email examples from your competitors when you sign up for MailCharts.