Automatic emails: “Please don’t reply”

If you’re a business, you should make it easy for your customers to get in touch with you.

Sometimes, you’ll want to send customers an email automatically: “Your order is on its way” is the canonical example. These emails may be automatic, but there’s no reason why they have be engineered to prevent people from replying to them. Doing so is a missed opportunity: if a customer has a question about their order, these emails are an chance to hook them up with whoever on your staff manages queries about orders. No support tickets, no generic email addresses, no waiting in phone queues: they can just reply to the email and get directly to the person they need.

That’s good customer service. If you’re going to send messages to people, it’s not polite — or prudent — to prevent them from sending messages back to you. Some companies have realised that a personal message is A Good Thing ™, but seem to have got lost half way, as in this rather strange example:

Thanks once again for shopping with Bingo Bob’s Superstore.

Kind regards

John Smith

Customer Service Manager

This is an automatically generated email – please do not reply to it. If you have any queries regarding your order please email

At worst, if you really don’t want a real person to deal with responses, set your automatic emails up so I can press reply and send a message to your generic customer services email address.

There’s no reason not to, and it saves me time — which everyone appreciates.