Mail type email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and others - a challenge to common sense. Just think: this is a valid mailbox to which you can send a letter, but
do not need to. I know the same logical object - this is the "do not press" button. Something like this:
There are such things - protocols, standards, adopted usage patterns. All of them clearly suggest that if there is a postal address, you can write to it. If we needed a postal address that could not be written to, it would be described along with the entire protocol stack, which ensures the operation of e-mail. But he is not so stupid. And here our noreply appears on the scene.
What is noreply @ mail used for?
Let's see when in general a thought comes to a mentally healthy person to start something like email@example.com. The first obvious (and he is the most common) case is when you have a robot that sends out something regularly. And you want to protect the user from the dialogue with the robot. Since the robot needs a box, it is given a name like “not-write-here.”
Good reception for paranoids. I now know one large fraction in an online game called Test Alliance Please Ignore. An excellent case of fun, drive and cognitive dissonance.
In the case of mail there is no such fan and drive. And there is dissonance. Because, if you think about it, every case when a user (even sincerely not familiar with computers in general) writes a letter to someone is an informational transaction. Which at least this user is important. And she should get to the real person. And gradually it becomes clear that noreply is not a protection against user error, but an attempt by some of the specialists to absolve themselves of responsibility.
I'll explain now.
For a start, I looked at what our robots send out inside our own chain of stores. A striking example is morning updates from warehouses, where, for example, a product that has not been seen for a long time, or a product that went on sale for the first time, is shown. The sender's name is “Mosigra's AutoLink”, the address is noreply. Logically, a user (for example, a purchaser) can reply to this email with a bug report, just be surprised at something and ask to check the data. Or other useful information. Or not very useful, but fun, it also happens. Therefore, logically, if the senders had our common support box, it would be easier for everyone. Pay attention, not only to users, but also ultimately to support, because timely accurate bug saves up to 3-4 hours of working time. Such noreply we will change to human addresses with the next update.
Then there is a mailing to the customer base. Everything is simple - in the “from where” the technical garbage of the mailing list service is sent, but in the “to answer” my mail. The buyer sees exactly me (or as a last resort “sent on behalf of” before the mail). Not confused. On the other hand, I know a bunch of people who send me mailings with noreply. When I have a question, I, according to the logic of their interface, should poke into the signature, and not take advantage of the obvious and simple UI-pattern of “reply to the letter” behavior.
And the third case - any technical notifications like suspension of services, payments for various services, etc. Here, someone specifically screwed up - while I was looking for noreply @ in my mail, I was surprised to find my answer to the auto show of an account with a request to extend the contract for a year. Naturally, no one answered me. I even know what happened next - after 3 days another supplier of the same service was found. The funniest thing is that I seem to be a kosoruky idiot here, and the grandmother was not received by the one who set up his noreply.
What i suggest
It is clear that sending mail from someone’s personal mailbox is an idea so-so for many reasons. But the mail protocol is a magic thing! - allows you to specify not only the real mail of the sender, but also "Reply-To". And almost all modern clients, including web services, show this to the user very transparently. He sees that the letter can be answered, and immediately sees where it goes. He does not need to think about the features of implementation. It's simple.So, I propose to take you only two steps towards common sense:
- See where you use mail like noreply @.
- Replace this noreply @ with the real mail of the person responsible for this sector in “who to answer”. As a last resort, to firstname.lastname@example.org, because there surely is hell and waste, and the one who sits in this box will still send it to anyone.
As a bonus, I suggest to admire noreply @ inbox and marvel at the “dialogue with the robot” genre.
Or maybe you have a situation where noreply is really needed?
And yes, one more. I have already had direct shipments from our noreply for some time - there’s nothing wrong there. Even spam. A special pleasure, by the way, is to answer the next advertising agency by phone: “Yes, it is very interesting. Please send your offer to email@example.com ”.PS
According to the results of a heated discussion, I want to add a small FAQ:- What is the problem noreply?
That the user either does not know that it is impossible to write to such boxes (for example, he does not understand English or thinks that this is something technical), or he may be mistaken by habitually pressing the answer button and answering. And the letter will disappear.- Why acting noreply? You can simply specify a non-existing box and not even start it!
The problem will become even worse - the letters will disappear without result, or the user will receive a notification about the undelivered message. Which he may not see, do not understand, or see and understand, and just lose time rewriting the original letter again.- Why should I fence a new outgoing box?
Do not. The actual outbox does not interest us, only the Reply-To header is important. This is where there should be noreply @.- But you need a tool to write letters without the possibility of an answer?
The correct means from the point of view of the UI would be, for example, blocking at the protocol level the “answer” button. Now there is no such thing, and users are mistaken.- If there is a robot, then how to ensure that the recipient of the letter does not confuse him with a living person?
Make a forward from the mailbox of a robot for a living person or use Reply-To. Up to a heap in the sender name field, you can explicitly indicate that this is an auto-link or a robot.