Email reply-to address effect on delivery?

bikegremlinbikegremlin ModeratorOG
edited July 27 in Technical

Hoping @MichaelCee has the tried and tested answer - and hoping his answer will help other members as well.

What's it about?

Consider these 4 domains:

  • example.com
  • news.example.com
  • pigeons.com
  • gmail.com

Say I configure all the domains' SPF DMARC and DKIM properly (gmail.com is already configured by Google). OK?

And say I use news.example com for sending emails.
From email is like: [email protected]news.example.com

If I don't configure/change the reply-to email, it's all good.

But, what about these scenarios:

1)
What happens if I configre a reply-to email to be:
[email protected]example.com (so, I'm using the "root" domain for the reply-to address)?
Does this increase the chances of my email getting to the spam-box?

2)
The same question for using [email protected]pigeons.com (properly configured, but completely different domain).

3)
Finally, if I set the reply-to to be [email protected]gmail.com - for that I'm sure it would trigger some spam filters (correct me if I'm wrong).

If 1) is OK, it could save me some time configuring stuff.
If 2) is good as well, it could save me hours, if not more.
3) is most probably a bad idea - but I'd appreciate a confirmation.

BikeGremlin I/O
Mostly WordPress ™

Comments

  • Can't help with the different domains - but we use sub domains like: mailing.superrareporn.cn
    And
    Newsletter.superrareporn.cn

    Whilst keeping reply to emails at [email protected] and seem to have no issues since changing to that setup from the bog standard SMTP from [email protected]

    Thanked by (2)bikegremlin lentro

    I sometimes worry that I'm so correct in all I say, that there might be something wrong with me

  • A lot of mailing lists (e.g. mailman) can be configured to send out mail as the original sender but Reply-To: the list. I've never seen problems with that (but due to lazyness, someone else took over running my mailman list, so I've got no data on that from the last 5 years), but maybe the AI eventually works it out, especially for already established lists.

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  • mikhomikho AdministratorHosting ProviderOG

    I would say that on a technical level, it won’t matter as long as DKIM, SPF and all other things are setup correct.

    On the other hand, some users might find it suspicious if the reply and notice another email address in their email draft. To be honest, some will never notice this.

    Whatever you do, be consistant. Once done, keep it like that unless you have to change it for a very good reason.

    Thanked by (1)bikegremlin
  • bikegremlinbikegremlin ModeratorOG

    @mikho said:
    I would say that on a technical level, it won’t matter as long as DKIM, SPF and all other things are setup correct.

    On the other hand, some users might find it suspicious if the reply and notice another email address in their email draft. To be honest, some will never notice this.

    Whatever you do, be consistant. Once done, keep it like that unless you have to change it for a very good reason.

    Talking about scenarios 1 and 2? Or all 3?

    The current setup is chaos. Reply-to for different branches uses a mixture of differnt domains, gmail, even yahoo.

    And it's a hassle for me (which I don't minde since it's a one-time work to get it fixed) - and for the users to change it (which could be more of a problem).

    BikeGremlin I/O
    Mostly WordPress ™

  • I would say its not an issue.

    Eg SpamAssassin would have a rule to detect this (FromNotReplyTo), but i have never seen it in use, probably because it would do much more harm than help.

    Thanked by (1)bikegremlin
  • edited July 30

    At some mail gateways the heuristic score is increased a little bit. But if you the mail wasn't spammy before, this should not be a problem.

    Also, there might be some additional checks (e.g. URIBL or for gmail.com additional freemailer-points at heuristic) for the reply-to address.

    Thanked by (1)bikegremlin
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