What is the difference between the sending domain and “From” address MAX

There is some confusion between two separate entities in the email construction: the sending domain and the “From” address. Let’s take a closer look at both to get a better understanding of what they are and how they’re different.

How can a sending domain look like

You can find both the sending domain and the “From” address in the headers of a received message. The sender domain can also be presented as a Return-Path, Sender, or Mail-From domain.

Return-Path: sender@senderdomain

Sender: sender@senderdomain


From: “My Name” <me@frommydomain>

As you can see, there are a couple of forms the sending domain can take, but its purpose is always to transport the message. What’s also worth noticing is that the sending domain and “From” domain don’t have to be aligned.

Where is the sending domain visible

The sending domain will show up in:

  •  the headers of all emails sent from your GetResponse MAX account,
  •  the opt-out and “change contact details” links,
  •  all links in the body of your messages once the click-tracking functionality is enabled.

We can picture the sending domain as an “envelope” that the message is delivered in (brought by a “mailman”) and the “From” header as a “signature” at the bottom.

Imagine a big brand having many departments within its structures. Let’s call it OurCompany. OurCompany is sending multiple messages from different departments and wants all of them to be correctly recognized. OurCompany has a domain, OurCompany.com, which is used as a sending domain. It also has several smaller domains for all of its departments. For example, Anna from the marketing dept at OurCompany uses her address in the OurCompanyMarketing.com domain, and Tom from the sales department, uses his address at OurCompanySales.com.

Example of sending domain and From address

When sending the emails, we can see what’s happening with Anna’s message:

Return-Path: sender@ourcompany.com
From: “Anna” anna@ourcompanymarketing.com

And when Tom’s sending his emails, the headers will look like this:

Return-Path: sender@ourcompany.com

From: “Tom” tom@ourcompanysales.com

As you can see, one sender is responsible for the transport of the message in both cases.
The From address is different in each case, and it plays the role of a signature that shows the actual author of the message.

Also, note that the “From” address has an additional field for the name: “[Name]“. This field can contain an identifier, name, or whatever you see fit for a signature that can be easily recognized.