Forums/Documentation/Configuring and using your email channel

Getting started with email in Zendesk

Anton de Young
posted this on October 07, 2011 09:20

View the overview video or read this topic to learn more about getting started with email in Zendesk.

Email is one way that end-users can submit tickets to your Zendesk and have conversations with agents to resolve their issues.

Here's how the email workflow works:

  1. When an end-user sends an email to your support address, the email creates a ticket in Zendesk.
  2. If an agent updates the ticket in Zendesk, a notification email is sent to the person who sent the original email.
  3. If the person replies to the notification email, the reply creates a comment in the ticket.

The conversation between user and agent continues until the issue is resolved.

Your default support address is You can also use other support addresses.

To manage your email channel

  • Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Channels > Email.

You have many options for controlling how your end-users interact with your Zendesk using email. This article gives an overview of some of the options and provides links to more information.

Using other email addresses for creating tickets

A default support address is created for you when you created an account with Zendesk. The address is However, you can provide your users with alternative email addresses for submitting tickets.

This section gives an overview of the options for providing other email addresses:

Using variations of your Zendesk email address for support requests

While a default support address was created for you as, you can create variations of that address to give your users alternative email addresses for submitting tickets. That is, the 'support' part of your Zendesk address can be anything. For example:


By using different email addresses for different situations, you can manage and track your tickets based on the email address at which the support request was received. For example, if your end-users send email to, you can create a trigger to route tickets received at that address directly to the Sales team. You can also track, via views and reports, tickets received at those different addresses.

You can have an unlimited number of email addresses within your Zendesk domain. You need to add each Zendesk email address you want to use as a support address in your Zendesk. For more information, see Adding support addresses for users to submit tickets.

Using an external email addresses for support requests

Accepting support requests via external email addresses is also supported. If you already have, or want to support, external email addresses, you can forward email received at those addresses to your Zendesk domain.

For example, you can receive support requests at and forward them to your Zendesk account, instead of receiving support request at

To make this work, you need to add the external email address as a support address in Zendesk and set up email forwarding on your email server. Additionally, you can edit or create an SPF record to verify that Zendesk can send email on behalf of your email server.

Using your own domain requires a little more set up on your part, and much of it is done outside of Zendesk and may require help from your domain administrator. For information, see Using an external email domain.

Accepting wildcard email addresses for support requests

You can enable the wildcard emails option if you want to enable end-users to send email to any variation of your Zendesk address, regardless of whether you've added it as a known support address. This option can be used as an alternative to, or in addition to, support addresses.

For example, you don't need to explicitly declare any of these email variations in your Zendesk.

This also means that variations are also supported. For example, if an end-user misspelled your support email address (for example, the email is also accepted and a ticket created.

Wildcard email addresses use your default support address as the Reply From address. So any email sent to a variation of your Zendesk email address that is not a known support address, will use your default support address as the Reply From.

To enable wildcard email addresses

  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Channels > Email.
    Zendesk Classic: Select the Settings menu, then select Channels > Email > Edit.
  2. Click Enable for Accept wildcard emails.

Importing email from your Gmail inbox

You can connect your Zendesk to your Gmail inbox and automatically convert email from Gmail to tickets in your Zendesk. When enabled, your Zendesk checks for new emails in your Gmail inbox every five minutes.

Also, when you use this feature, your Gmail address is automatically added as a support address in your Zendesk. You do not need to manually add it.

For more information, Enabling automatic ticket creation for your Gmail inbox.

Changing the sender information in your replies

You can provide your users with as many email addresses for submitting tickets as you need (see Adding support addresses for users to submit tickets). Emails received at any of your support addresses become tickets. And the sender information in your replies will match the address the email was sent to.

The sender information for your email replies consists of three parts: the friendly name, the username, and the domain.

The friendly name is the name of your support address, if any. The username, the word before the @ character, comes from the support address the email was sent to. The domain consists of a combination of subdomains: your account name and Zendesk or your external email domain.

There are three types of email addresses that are used in the exchange of email messages between end-users and your Zendesk.

Email addressDescription
Sent To This is the email address that support requests are sent to (for example,
Reply From This is the sender information that end-users see as the From address in the replies they receive from your Zendesk.
Reply To This is the sender information that end-users see when they reply back to the email they received from your Zendesk. Replies back from the end-user include the ticket number, as in this example:

Support address name <>

Note: The ticket ID is not included if you are using your own email domain.

When you enable personalized agent replies or agent display names for outgoing email notifications, they affect the sender information that end-users see as the From address in the replies they receive from your Zendesk (the Reply From email address). They also affect the sender information that end-users see when they reply back to the email they received from your Zendesk (the Reply To email addresses).

Personalized email replies

Enabling personalized email replies adds the agent's name to the Reply From address. See Enabling personalized email replies.

Reply From addressReply To address
Claire Grenier (Support address name) <> Support address name <>
Claire Grenier (Support address name) <> Support address name <>

Agent display names

In the Plus and Enterprise versions of Zendesk, agents can create display names that are used in all communications with end-users. When personalized email replies is enabled, the agent's display name overrides their real name. See Adding an agent alias.

Reply From AddressReply To address
Senhora Claire (Support address name) <> Support address name <>
Senhora Claire (Support address name) <> Support address name <>

Understanding how incoming emails are matched to tickets

When end-users reply back to an email notification, the reply includes references to the ticket so that the incoming email can be matched to the right ticket in your Zendesk.

The reply email includes ticket references in the following places:

  • Email header includes a reference to the ticket
  • Email body includes a hidden reference to the ticket
  • Reply To email address includes the ticket ID, if you are using an address in your Zendesk domain. For example:
    MondoCam Support <>

    If you're using an external domain for email, the ticket ID is not included in the Reply To email address.

Note: If you'd like to include the ticket ID in the email subject line, you can do so. Simply edit your notification triggers to add the placeholder {{}} to the subject line.

Adding signatures to your replies

Each agent's signature can be added to ticket comments and outgoing email notifications. This is set as the default on the Agents settings page. A placeholder is used to insert the signature that agents add to their own profiles. An agent's signature can include any text, such as their name, the name of their support group, contact information, and so on.

You can also create a signature template for your Zendesk if, you example, you want all agent signatures to include a standard wording and format for the company address.

For more information, see Adding an agent signature.

Changing the design of your emails

All of your email communication is sent using a template that you can customize. The template is in both HTML and plain text. You can customize the template to match your branding. You can also make some minor modifications to the wording.

This example shows that a header graphic has been added to the HTML template and the colors have been changed.

Customizing your email templates is described in Customizing your email templates.

Managing your automated emails

You can create business rules -- triggers and automations -- that automatically send out notification emails when certain conditions are met. The system also generates email.

Changing email generated by business rules

Zendesk provides you with several business rules that generate email notifications when certain conditions are met. Zendesk has a set of default triggers, including the following:
  • Notify requester of received request
  • Notify requester of comment update
  • Notify requester of solved request

Caution: Don't delete these rules unless you understand how Zendesk works. The email workflow in Zendesk depends on them.

Email notifications are usually generated at each stage in the workflow, such as updating the ticket, solving the ticket, and so on. Your business rules will contain many email notifications.

You can change the content of the emails, or create more rules. For more information, see the following articles:


Changing the system-generated registration and welcome email

If you require your end-users to register before submitting support requests, they get a system-generated email welcoming them and asking them to register. Administrators can change the text of the message on the Customers settings page.

If you don't require your end-users to register and log in to your Help Center or Web portal, they won't receive the message. See Updating end-user settings to allow anyone to submit tickets.

Blocking incoming emails

Zendesk suspends or rejects certain email by default. You can also control who can use email to create tickets.

Suspended and rejected email

Zendesk uses a spam filter to prevent your Zendesk from getting cluttered with bogus tickets. Spam email is caught and may be held in the suspended tickets queue or completely rejected if there's a high probability that the email is spam.

Email may also be suspended if it doesn't meet certain acceptance criteria. The suspended tickets queue is a system-generated view that appears in your list of views. You can review the emails and accept them as legitimate tickets or reject them as spam.

For more information, see Managing suspended tickets and spam for more details.

Controlling who can use email to create tickets

If you want to prevent certain users from creating tickets with email, add their email domains or email addresses to a blacklist. Their emails are either suspended or completely rejected. If you want to allow exceptions to your blacklist, add them to a whitelist. This configuration is known as a restricted Zendesk. For more information, see Using the whitelist and blacklist to control access to your Zendesk.

You can also set up a closed Zendesk where only the users that you add to your Zendesk account can submit support requests. For more information, see Setting up a closed Zendesk.

Managing user accounts created by email requests

When somebody submits a request for the first time, and you have an open Zendesk, an account is created for the user and the email address is added to the account. If the same user submits another request using a different email address, a new account is created. If this happens, you can merge the new account into the old account. For more information, see the following topics:.

A user can list more than one email address in their account. One is the primary address and is used for all email notifications. The other addresses are useful if the user sends support requests from any of one of them (either inadvertently or on purpose). The requests can be matched to the user's account.

Assigning email requesters to organizations

When somebody uses email to make a support request for the first time or otherwise registers with your Zendesk, the user can be added automatically to an organization based on their email domain. This is referred to as user mapping and an administrator can set this up by editing an organization's settings.

For more information, see Automatically adding users to organizations based on their email domain.



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Amy Hsueh


I just want to clarify one thing.  When I forward email from Zendesk to an exteral email address, the email will become a ticket in the system.  Is that correct?  Please advise. 

November 17, 2011 13:17
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Max McCal
Product Manager

Hi, Amy -

It certainly will. If you follow the correct setup, it will use the name of the original sender as the requester. Check out this article:

November 17, 2011 14:30
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Paulina Modlitba Söderlund

But how do I actually create multiple zendesk email adresses like the list above? I can't find instructions anywhere. The one address that I have got - - was created when I first registered an account. Now where do I create/specify new ones?

January 19, 2012 22:08
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Jill Kaselitz

Hi Paulina,

These email addresses don't need to be created within your account. If you were to send an email to or to right now, it would automatically create a ticket in your account. Any email that includes will be received as a ticket within your Zendesk account, regardless of what you insert before the @ sign. 

January 20, 2012 08:17
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Is there any way to filter / launch a trigger depending on who sends a mail to our help desk? I have certain users / light agents that, when sending us an email, should not be given the automatic "we have received your request"-mail that other users normally get.

If I could make certain users' reply-to email different than the default, this would solve the problem. But this doesn't seem to be possible. Is there another way to do it?

February 10, 2012 04:57
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Salvatore McDonagh


How can I forward on emails to an external email address that is not a zendesk agent - we have a specialised support person who is not on zendesk  who needs to resolve some of our tickets outside of the system. We just want to forward on the ticket as an email and close it in zendesk. Is this possible? We don't want to add her as a zendesk agent. Is this possible?

March 20, 2012 05:37
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J. Jace Gideon

I have the same question as the previous commenter -- is there a way to forward a ticket to an external email address?  Please let us know.  Thank you, Jace

March 27, 2012 16:19
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Catherine Mayfield

We also have to talk to external suppliers about issues for cases.

What I have done for now is to create a new organisation and add our suppliers as end-users of that organisation, we will then create a secondary case to speak with the supplier whilst referencing the original case and visa-versa.

It has yet to be tested in real world, so if anyone has a more elegant solution happy to hear it.

March 28, 2012 03:29
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Joy Carletti

If you're looking to notify an external email address about the contents of a ticket, but don't need the ticket to be updated from that external email address, you may want to consider setting up an email target for that.  There's information about how to set up targets available at  - you'd want to set up an email target to notify your external email address of the contents of the ticket.  Then you can set up a trigger that is tag-based (Conditions: Status less than closed, Ticket is updated, Tags contain any of the following 'notify_target' / Perform actions: Notify target) to keep your external email address in the loop. Then all you would have to do is manually add the tag when you want to notfiy your target email address.  If you have specific questions about this, let us know!

March 28, 2012 10:03
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A Pires

I was wondering about the "Multiple email address support". We have our end-users being an office where there are multiple people that can reach out to us. The office has a primary email and we also added the other people emails to that end-user. We would to setup if they send a support ticket from their email, it will reply to their email instead of the primary email. Is that possible? Any other ideas that we can implement this? Thanks

February 26, 2013 10:01
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Justin Seymour

Are you saying you've got multiple email addresses attached to one end-user account in Zendesk? When your end-user send an email in, if it is sent from one of their secondary addresses, they'll receive a notification back at that address. 

February 26, 2013 10:27
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A Pires


February 26, 2013 10:30
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Rich Lyman

Is there a way to look at the outgoing message log just to confirm that an email was successfully sent?

March 06, 2013 10:58
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Brandon K.

If you click events at the top right corner of the screen when viewing your ticket (Called events and notifications in classic and it is located near the submit button) you will be able to see all actions that occurred with each ticket update as well as if email notifications were sent out as well as which triggers were responsible for sending out the email.

March 06, 2013 11:06
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We would like to set the reply to address of a ticket by agent. e.g. if someone in sales originates a ticket manually, then the reply address would be sales@. If someone in support the reply address would be support@. It is strange that you can differentiated between these when the customer emails in, but it is not possible if the agent originates it for instance from a phone call.

March 24, 2013 10:13
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Brandon K.

@James: If you created these tickets through the email you wanted to show in the from field you could do this. Your agents would just need to forward in an email and use the Mail API to set the fields as you want them. You can find more information about the Mail API here:

Unfortunately there is no way to set the outgoing channel in the Zendesk app itself. If you create the ticket manually through the new ticket page, whatever is set in the default email address will be shown.

March 25, 2013 13:05
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Ricardo Planells

I have triggers set to notify a target of an ticket created for their specific department.

(example trigger: Plumber warranty issue: 

- Ticket is created

- requester is notified (can reply to email and add comment to ticket)

- email is sent to assignee ( Warranty Manager) (Can also reply to email and add comment to ticket)

- email is sent to Plumber (via notify target ==> email target created in extensions) ( when plumber replies a new ticket is created instead of a comment being added to the ticket they were notified about)



Is there a way to allow the notified target to update the ticket upon replying?

April 03, 2013 14:06
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Hi Ricardo. Using an email target is a smart way of notifying non-agents of ticket activity so they can take action outside of Zendesk. Unfortunately it will not grant them the ability to update the ticket as an agent would. This is a key way in how email targets differ from CC's. You could always CC the Plumber but then their comments on the ticket will be directly visible to the requester (which is not always desirable). On our Enterprise Plan we created a role called Light Agents that are specifically designed to have the ability to update a ticket with a private comment. Light Agents are free and there is no limit to the number you can have on Enterprise as this is their intended use case. 

I do have a less direct solution you might consider. What if you made the first ticket from the requester have the Problem ticket type? Then you could create a second Incident ticket that linked to the first one. In this second ticket you could make the Plumber the requester and they could reply to that ticket freely with task updates etc. Only when the Incident ticket is solved would you then solve the Problem ticket and let your internal support team do what they do best and follow through with the customer side of things. 

If that proposal does not work for you and you are not on the Enterprise Plan then I apologize that we were unable to provide a native Zendesk solution at your price point that meets your needs. Hopefully CC's or Problems & Incident Ticket Types help you achieve your goals while you consider the Enterprise Plan as a possible fit. Feel free to send an email to if you need more detailed assistance in any of the workflows described here.

Thanks for your time,


April 13, 2013 13:14
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We are curently redirecting from to

The reuester all redirected emails becomes and not the original sender. How can this setting be made?

Sorry if the answer for this has already been given. 

April 18, 2013 06:46
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Brandon K.

Hello Lmh,

It is possible that you are resending these emails instead of redirecting them. If you are forwarding, it is possible that your email server is replacing certain headers in the email that our system reads to determine who the requester is. Do you think you could check out the following article and make sure your email forwarding is set up as suggested?

April 22, 2013 12:09
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This is confusing.  Under Admin/Settings/Agents I checked the Enable Email Forwarding box.  Shortly after I received a support request in my corporate Outlook inbox from a user who has an End User account in ZD.  They wanted to ask me a question before submitting a request directly to our ZD support address and thus creating a ticket.  I told them I would create the ticket for them but when I forwarded their email, ("FW: Training Request" in the subject line) a ticket was created in my name and not the requester's.    

May 06, 2013 15:28
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Brandon K.

Hello Jon,

Do you think you could create a ticket with our support team about this? The email forwarding feature in Zendesk will look for the FW: and then set the requester according to the headers included in the forwarded email. If the correct headers are not included in the email our system will see nothing and put you as the requester. It is very possible that the proper headers were not included, and I know we have issues with Outlook not sending in the needed headers. We would be able to review your headers in a ticket and recommend any change better there.

Thank you!

May 07, 2013 11:29
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Lothar Lai
AOL Inc.

where did i see that you could email in a certain format and would map to certain fields in the ticket?

May 09, 2013 04:52
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Brandon K.

Hello Lothar,

Are you thinking about the Mail API? Here is a link to the article:

May 09, 2013 10:42
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Lothar Lai
AOL Inc.

YES!  Thanks, Brandon!  Your work is done, take the rest of the day off ;)

May 09, 2013 11:15
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Why customers don't get my replies? Provide me more information about this issue.

July 10, 2013 23:09
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Laura D.


It's likely that some of your triggers (which send out notifications to agents and end-users) have been turned off or modified. Go to Settings > Triggers and see if there are any triggers that have the word "requester" in them. If you need to reset any of the triggers you can see what the default setting looked like in the "Resetting default triggers" article.

If the triggers are still there, I see you submitted a ticket to our Support team - update that ticket with the requested information and they'll be able to look into what other settings could be causing this and they'll help you get sorted out. 

July 11, 2013 09:10
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Zak Klein

How can I hyperlink something in my reply to a a 'click here' instead of pasting a whole URL? Also, is there a way to change the font of just one or two words in my reply w/o having to change the entire message's font?

July 11, 2013 12:39
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Laura D.

Hi Zak, 

Markdown, which allows you to add formatting to ticket comments, allows you to change the links as you described. It doesn't let you change the font but you can change text to bold or italics. It does need to be enabled first, you can do that under Manage > Tickets > Agent comments processed by markdown. More details about turning it on are available in this article

July 11, 2013 14:26
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Our Scenario

We are receiving emails from two email address. When replying, Zendesk check the address to which the email was sent, and change the from address accordingly - perfect.

But if I create the request from Zendesk, how can I send the request from desired email address??

September 17, 2013 10:14
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We asked for this rather obvious (imho) improvement nearly 2 years ago. No joy from Zendesk unfortunately. Time for some action?


September 17, 2013 12:01
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Laura D.

Nithin and James, 

This is something our Product team is aware of and although there isn't anything specific planned it is something they're looking into. 

September 18, 2013 12:49
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Thanks Laura. The reasoning behind this is that we would like to use ZD for both Sales and Support. So we are moving into CRM territory with this. Particularly with both kinds of functionality we need to create tickets from phone calls. Also, being a small company, we need that the individual agent can choose what kind of call they are answering. So default by agent, but able to set it at the top of the ticket is important.

September 18, 2013 23:29
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Laura D.

Thanks James for the extra information, that makes a lot of sense. I'll pass that along as a use case so the Product team has it for reference. You might want to make a feature request for it too to get some extra input from the community. Either way it does seem to be something they are looking at :)

September 20, 2013 11:22
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Thomas Mather

Howdy!  Is there a way to send an e-mail to the ZenDesk address and have it added to an existing ticket (instead of make a new one).  There are times when our end users don't reply to the ZenDesk e-mails and send info directly to our agents.  I would like those agents to forward those e-mails to existing tickets instead of having to cut and paste.


Is there a way maybe to put a ticket number in the subject line (or send it to a to get this to happen?



October 18, 2013 12:32
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Arthur Mori

Hi Thomas,

For security reasons, what you mentioned is not possible in Zendesk. If this case would be true, then anyone with the support email address can append any number and if that number does match an existing ticket ID, then his reply would easily be included in the ticket.


October 27, 2013 22:17
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Jennifer Streckfuss

Hi! I want to modify the subject line of email replies sent from Zendesk.  Specifically, when a customer receives our reply to their email it adds the request # in the subject line in parenthesis.  I don't want our customers to see any reference to Zendesk tickets in email responses.


December 06, 2013 10:09
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Hi Jennifer, 

Sounds like you're hoping to establish an email-only help desk (where your customers don't sign directly into Zendesk to access their tickets. This is totally doable. To answer your question directly, you can remove all links/references to Zendesk from emails sent to customers by taking the following steps:

The next two steps will remove all Zendesk links from outgoing emails.

Second, you must remove the horizontal link bars from the email template.

1. Navigate to 'Manage' (the gear icon) in the left hand sidebar > 'Channels' > 'Email' (Or 'Settings' > 'Channels' > 'Email' > 'edit' in Classic)
2. Remove the "header"and "footer" placeholders from the HTML email template.
3. Select 'Save' in the lower right.

Third, from 'Manage' (the gear icon) in the left hand sidebar > 'Business Rules' > 'Triggers' (or 'Manage' > 'Triggers & email notifications' in Classic) you must remove all links from the message bodies of triggers that notify users. For example, the default trigger "Notify requester of received request" has an action that notifies the requesting user by email as shown below:

"Your request has been received and is being reviewed by our support staff. You can review the status of your request and add additional comments by following this link http://- <b>Your request summary is:</b>"

Simply remove the second line, which tells the users to log in by clicking on the link. Repeat this process for all the triggers that notify user users by email:

* Notify requester of received request
* Notify requester of comment update
* Notify requester of solved request

If you're truly going for the email-only help desk, check out these additional tips for setting everything up:

1. Navigate to 'Manage' (the gear icon) in the left hand sidebar > 'Settings' > 'Customers' (Or 'Settings' > 'End-users' in Classic)
2. Enable 'Anybody can submit tickets?'
3. Disable 'Ask users to register.'
4. Disable the checkbox under the 'User welcome email' text box.
5. Select 'Save' in the lower right.

Have a relaxing afternoon!

December 09, 2013 10:03
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Jennifer Streckfuss

Thank you for your email.  However, after following the above steps, our response email to customers is still showing the request # in the email subject line.  How do we remove that?

Here's an example:

Company Name Re: test2 (request #354)

The section highlighted in red is what we want gone.


Thank you in advance for your help!!

December 10, 2013 04:40
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Hi Jennifer, 

I was unable to find a Zendesk account associated with your email address. Would you mind sending an email to so we can investigate this further? Please provide your Zendesk subdomain, a recap of the inquiry and a few sample ticket numbers to illustrate the issue. If you are a Starter customer, please also indicate I requested you submit a ticket. We'll help you further from there!

December 11, 2013 12:20
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I have a question regarding the following scenario: I cc our account manager on certain tickets . She will occasionally respond to the ticket from her email account but sometimes there is sensitive information there that I don't want the original requester (the customer) to see. I know agents can add private comments using the mail api to a ticket but what about end-users that are cc'd on the ticket ( in this case the account manager) I don't want to add her as an agent since she doesn't use zendesk. Any solution ?


February 01, 2014 07:55
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Graeme Carmichael
@Maria, your account manager would have to be a light agent on the enterprise plan to keep their comments private from the end user. The enterprise plan offers an unlimited number of light agents that are restricted to private comments. If you are not on enterprise, the account manager would have to email the agent out with Zendesk and leave the agent to update the ticket with their remarks as a private comment to preserve the ticket trail. This runs the risk that the account mananger responds to the Zendesk ticket which will always result in a public comment.
February 01, 2014 09:18
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We are not on the Enterprise plan, we have the plus plan. Would it be possible to add a few light agents to that plan? In addition, sometimes the account manager will want to make a public reply to the ticket from her email and sometimes she will want it to be private and have the comment only visible to agents that are cc'd on the ticket and have the comment added to the ticket as a internal comment. Would a light agent have that flexibility?

February 01, 2014 10:12
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Graeme Carmichael
@Marla, sorry, but light agents are not available on the Plus plan. Light agents can only make private comments. If the account manager needs to choose between private and public comments, a full agent license is needed. The light agent can always make private comments for the assigned agent to relay to the customer if appropriate.
February 01, 2014 14:03
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Jehanzeb Afridi


Is there any way of modifying the "Friendly Name"  for an email reply inside triggers or some other way? Like

If I receive a request through, the "Friendly Name" should say Xyz Company Product1 Support. 

If I receive a request through, the "Friendly Name" should say Xyz Company Product2 Support and so on.


March 11, 2014 08:25
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Brian Green

Hi Jehan,

Yes there is and It's just a two step process.

1. Go to your email settings by navigating to settings (the gear in the lower left), then Channels » Email. Then Turn off Personalized Email so the friendly name is that of the email address first emailed and not that of the agent. 

2. Set the "friendly name" for that email address in the Support Addresses section on the same email settings pages. 

That's it!

You can read more about those settings here:

March 13, 2014 18:17
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Jehanzeb Afridi

Hi Brian,

Thanks for the answer. :)

March 16, 2014 23:24
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DX Degenaretion
April 06, 2014 20:04