Mailbox names for common services, roles and functions

One of the questions that you may have when either setting up a new domain or reviewing your current domain situation is, what email addresses should you setup. Another one is what if any address names are required to be in place. This guide will assist you in those very questions and help you determine which is best, and which you do actually need. Here is a listings of the most common names and what they are used for.

Business-related mailbox names

These names are related to an organization’s line-of-business activities. The INFO name is often tied to an auto responder, with a range of standard files available.

  • INFO – Marketing Packaged information about the organization, products, and/or services, as appropriate.
  • MARKETING – Marketing Product marketing and marketing communications.
  • SALES – Sales Product purchase information.
  • SUPPORT – Customer Service Problems with product or service.

Network operations mailbox names

Operations addresses are intended to provide recourse for customers, providers and others who are experiencing difficulties with the organization’s Internet service.

  • ABUSE – Customer Relations Inappropriate public behavior.
  • NOC – Network Operations Network infrastructure.
  • SECURITY – Network Security Security bulletins or queries.

Support mailbox names for specific internet services

For major Internet protocol services, there is a mailbox defined for receiving queries and reports. (Synonyms are included, here, due to their extensive installed base.)

  • NEWS – NNTP Synonym for USENET
  • WWW – HTTP Synonym for WEBMASTER
  • FTP – FTP

Mailing list administration mailbox

Mailing lists have an administrative mailbox name to which add/drop requests and other meta-queries can be sent. For a mailing list whose submission mailbox name is: <LIST@DOMAIN> there MUST be the administrative mailbox name: <LIST-REQUEST@DOMAIN>

Common no reply mailbox

For some communities, websites and forums they choose a mailbox address to imply that the recipient cannot reply to the email. This is the NO-REPLY@DOMAIN or the NOREPLY@DOMAIN variant. Keep in mind that even though you may not wish to receive emails to that address, it must also be setup and functional. If a provider rejects the email back to this address and it is blocked, your domain risks going into spam databases. Do not risk that mistake.

Required mailbox addresses (strongly advised)

More and more the requirements of certain email addresses are becoming more prevalent. It is strongly advised to have these email boxes setup to make your domain more professional and on good standing. The ones you should have setup are as follows:

  • ABUSE – This is the standard email to use when anything abusive is going on with your website, community and or business. It is required to have this address.
  • POSTMASTER – The standard email address used for return emails. Now with DMARC compliance becoming of upmost importance one should have this address setup.
  • HOSTMASTER – This address is the standard used for your SOA record in your DNS zone configuration. To make your domain appear more professional and less spammy you should have this address setup and added to your SOA record as soon as possible. This must be same as domain too. For example, you have domain.ext then your SOA record should reflect hostmaster@domain.ext.

(for the above you may setup a redirect for those mailboxes to go to another mailbox if you prefer to get your mails all in one place, keeping the addresses able to receive appropriate emails.)

Company and Business employee mailboxes

The standard for these mailboxes is either firstname.lastname@domain.ext or the reversal of lastname.firstname Which ever works best for you. This keeps those address looking professional.

What to avoid?

  • subdomains for email boxes are generally considered spammy and are blocked by default in most forums and communities anti spam softwares. Use main domain instead to avoid this issue.
  • info and contact have become too common. These mail boxes generally get filled with spam bot messages.
  • Never blackhole nor make any mail address you have unable to receive messages. If a provider sees too many undelivered messages you risk being put on their spam lists.
  • Never sent any unsolicited bulk mailings. Also never use those types of services. Nobody reads those mails and all it will do is put your domain in the blacklist and possibly banned from your hosting network. Very costly mistake.

DO keep in that too that it is a legal requirement to have a method of contact on any website, forum and or community. This does not mean you have to physically put an email address on a site, a contact form will fulfill this obligation.

New domain?

When you purchase your new domain do not be surprised to see it listed in some spam houses immediately. Not to worry. It usually lasts for the first 30 days of any new domain registration, and is only a “grey area” not a permanent thing. This is put in place to further protect the email protocol from rouge entities from buying domains with the sole purpose of using them to spam bomb messages.

DMARC Complience

DMARC is a fairly new thing put in place to further protect your emails. It is a txt record added to your DNS zone at host level to enforce that your DKIM and or SPF records match the outgoing email to ensure it is actually from you and not spoofed. It helps with your own domains security authentication, and in turn helps anyone receiving emails from your domain to know they are actually from you. Many providers now require this record to be in place including Microsoft, Google and Yahoo. Emails from domains without this in place most often go into the spam folders. Be sure to get this record setup as soon as possible if you do not have it already.