Sender & Reply addresses - Best Practice

Selecting your Sender address

First of all the Sender address is divided into two parts:

  1. The Sender Name (example: “Your company name”)
  2. The Sender Address (example:

The Sender Name might be your company name or similar. The Sender Address is the email address that the email will be coming from. Both will be used to identify you as a sender and will show when receiving the email.


Sender address is NOT:

  • the same as a Reply address. If someone clicks on the Reply-button, their email will go to the reply address and NOT the sender address.
  • where bounced emails go. Bounced emails will be sent to something called the Return path of the email and is setup and managed by Carma automatically.


Best practice:

Most customers wish to use sender addresses that look the same as their domain. It just makes sense. No one would send out an email with their neighbors email account when doing business. Recipients tend also to look at the sender address to confirm that the email is not a spoof or scam. So it looks good even for the recipient.

  • Recent studies shows that the sender name or sender address triggers most of your recipients to read or open your emails, so use a name that they recognize (like your company name).
  • Do not change your Sender name or Sender address often. Your recipients might not know who the new sender is and tag you as spam before they even open up the email. They might have added you to their personal White list and if you change your Sender name or address; that personal White list is not covering the new name or address.
  • Remember that the recipients are expecting emails from the same Sender as they signed up for. So if they visit your website and sign up, they are expecting emails from the same name as the site (i.e. your company name).
  • The Sender address should exist. Even if you are using, that email address should exist and you should check the inbox for the address for emails regularly (this is especially important if you wish to get White listed at Hotmail or similar).

What might happen if you don’t follow best practice:

  • Recipients don’t open your email. Studies show that if recipients don’t remember your sender name they will think your email is an attempt to spoofing or spam, and won’t open your emails.
  • Recipients click on the spam button. If they don’t remember your name and get your email, our studies show that a lot will click on the Spam button. If a lot of your recipients click on the Spam button you might find it harder to get through spam filters.
  • You will not get White listing deals with Hotmail, Yahoo! or others.

Selecting your Reply address

In Carma you are able to use a different Reply address to the Sender address. The reply address is only used when the recipient is clicking the Reply or Answer button. So you might want your emails to come from your info@ address but if someone answers the email it should be sent to your support@ address. This is easily done by setting up a reply address in Carma. Actually, they are both setup in the same way and you can use all of your addresses both as sender- or reply address. So you will be able to select one address as your Sender address and a different address as the reply address.

Reply address is NOT:

  • where bounced emails go. Bounced emails will be sent to something called the Return path of the email and is setup and managed by Carma automatically.

Best practice:

  • Using Reply address as a possible way for your recipients to contact you is a great way to add costumer service. It’s just one of the possibilities for your company to help or even guide recipients to buy more of your products. So don’t see it as a problem that people might email you on this address. Look at the reply address as just one of the things that can get you to reach your goals.
  • Even in the best emails it sometimes is not possible to unsubscribe. It can be due to technical problems on the recipients side or even that the recipients can’t find the unsubscribe link and that’s why it should be possible to answer your emails with unsubscribe or other requests.
  • If you really don’t want your users to answer your email you might want to use a address. Remember that this address should still exist and you should check the inbox at least once a week to see if there are anyone emailing this address. This is especially important to you if you wish to be White listed at Hotmail or Yahoo!

What about using noreply@ email addresses?

While the Sender name and email address might seem like small details, they can make huge difference to the success of your campaign. By sending an email with a Sender address such as “” you are sending a message to your customers and it’s “Please don’t talk to us”.

“Sender” addresses like “noreply@” that (a) aren’t manned by a real person or (b) don’t exist at all can be an easy way to alienate your customers and eliminate feedback from your users. If you send your email from a noreply address, here are a few reasons to make the switch to something new (like an email address manned by a real person):

  1. A lot of ISP:s like Yahoo! and Hotmail measure the engagement on your sender address. This means that if your recipients reply to your emails the ISP actually considers these emails to be more important and your emails are more likely to be sent to the inbox instead of the spam folder. So replies should actually be encouraged. I.e. Gmail enables images for received messages where the sender is in the recipient’s contact list. Users are added to the GMail contact list every time a user “responds” to an email. From that point forward messages received from that user will have images enabled.
  2. Your email is more likely to be flagged as spam or deleted by the recipient if you use noreply@ email addresses.
  3. The message you’re sending to your subscriber (those current or potential customers) is that you’re not interested in receiving their email, even though it’s ok for you to email them. Is that really the message you want to send?
  4. You’re missing great (and sometimes crucial) customer feedback – user comments, unsubscribes –  that can help you to improve your marketing efforts (and see more return on investment).
  5. When someone replies to your emails, you’re likely to be automatically added to their contact or “Safe Sender” list at the same time which means all your future emails you send them will go stright to their inbox. Replies should be encouraged!
  6. Modern webmail & mobile email clients show people more than the name of the sender- they show your email address as well. Would you open email that was from
  7. Using a noreply@ address has been shown to decrease open rates, increase unsubscribe and complaint rates.

Not convinced? Check out what the pros have to say about it:

The CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business

Your “Sender”, “From”, “To”, “Reply-To”, and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.


MAAWG Sender Best Communications Practices:

“Senders should have the capability to process email-based unsubscribe requests. Senders should also consider making offline unsubscribe mechanism available. The sender’s “From” or “reply-To” email address should also be able to receive unsubscribe requests, unless otherwise indicated.”


How to set up Sender and Reply addresses in Carma?

You can read all about it here!