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On CiviCRM 4.5.5, I have an email address of contactus@example.org configured under Administration > Communication > From Address.

When I send the test email the reply to address is the correct email address.

However when I sent a membership renewal reminder the address is a random set of letters and numbers viz:

Return-Path: <b.85.1343.f05de58212341234@example.org>
Reply-To: <r.85.1343.f05de5812341234@example.org>
From: "APMA" <contactus@example.org>
To: "Paul Murdoch" <prmurd@example.net>
Subject: [CiviMail Draft] Your APMA membership
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2015 20:27:25 +1000
Message-ID: <E1Z458P-001P0k-9z@s42.example.net>
MIME-Version: 1.0

I am guessing this has to do with the automated tracking of newsletters or similar. However I would like the reply to email address to be contactus@example.org.

How do I debug, track this down and correct this?

1

Testing this on v4.6.3, you can define the reply address for a scheduled reminder by editing it at Administer > Communications > Schedule Reminders (civicrm/admin/scheduleReminders). Check if you can configure it there first? I've tried a scheduled reminder just now and see the expected email address when I receive it.

The "random set of letters" is a feature called Variable Envelope Reply Path ("VERP") which permits CiviCRM to better identify and track bounces, unsubscribes and other mail system errors by having them "return" to a unique, identifiable email address.

See also this question: How does Civimail reply tracking and forwarding work?

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