Setting up an unformatted email template Follow

The default formatting for Zendesk Support emails is nice if you're setup as a ticketing system. But what if you want your replies to look like a response from a normal person who writes plainly without formatting? Removing the extra formatting can be a hurdle. We hope to simplify this process for you today!

Changing a formatted email to an unformatted one is as easy as making a few changes in your Zendesk Support settings. For example, you can take an email that looks like this:

TotW_-_Email_w_default_formatting1.png

and change it to something like this:

TotW_-_Email_w_no_formatting.png

Step 1: Update your triggers

By default, your triggers send out all the comments made in a ticket, separated by formatting. We'll work through deactivating unwanted notifications and removing the extra formatting.

Deactivate the "Notify Requester of Received Request" trigger

An email interaction starts when a user first sends an email. A default trigger in Zendesk Support sends a response telling the customer that the system has received their request. You probably want to disable this trigger if you want your email responses to look personal.

To deactivate the trigger

  1. Go to Admin > Business Rules > Triggers .
  2. Move the mouse over the "Notify Requester of Received Request" trigger, then click Deactivate on the right side.

TotW_-_Deactivate_Trigger.png

Remove the formatting from the rest of your triggers

With the "Notify Requester of Received Request" trigger deactivated, you should have one or two remaining triggers that send email to your end-users. One is  "Notify requester of comment update. " If you have an older account, the other one is "Notify requester of solved request." If you added other custom notification triggers that send email to requesters, you'll want to modify them too to get rid of the formatting.

To remove the formatting from outgoing emails from your remaining triggers

  1. Go to Admin > Business Rules > Triggers and click Edit next to one of your remaining notification triggers.
  2. In the email template in the Perform these Actions section, clear the Email Subject field and enter {{ticket.title}} instead. The {{ticket.title}} placeholder adds the subject of the original email to your response. If you like, you can preface it with "Re: ".
  3. Next, delete the email body and replace it with the following Liquid Markup syntax:

    {% for comment in ticket.comments limit:1 offset:0 %}
    {{comment.value}}
    {% for attachment in comment.attachments %}
    {{attachment.filename}}
    {{attachment.url}}
    {% endfor %}
    {% endfor %}
    This code takes the text of the last comment added to the ticket without any extra formatting. Be sure to add this to the top line of the trigger email body or the extra space will show up in your outgoing emails.
  4. Review your work. Your trigger action should look something like the following:

Step 2: Update your CC notifications

Your CC notifications are formatted in a way that's very similar to the way your triggers were set up originally. You'll need to edit this as well.

To change the CC template

  1. Go to Admin > Settings > Tickets .
  2. In CC email text field in the CCs section, paste the same Liquid Markup code that you added to your triggers:

    {% for comment in ticket.comments limit:1 offset:0 %}
    {{comment.value}}
    {% for attachment in comment.attachments %}
    {{attachment.filename}}
    {{attachment.url}}
    {% endfor %}
    {% endfor %}

Step 3: Update your email template

There's one other place that affects the formatting of your outgoing emails: your overall email template. This template is applied to all outgoing emails from your Zendesk account.

To remove the formatting from the email template

  1. Go to Admin > Channels > Email .

    If you still have the default template, it should look as follows. If you have customized the template, you can click Revert to Default to get it back.

    TotW_-_default_email_template.png
  2. Remove the following elements:
    • the {{footer}} placeholder
    • the {{footer_link}} placeholder
    • any extra text or links left in the box.
    Leave the {{content}} placeholder in the template. It populates the email with the comments you add.
  3. Remove the entire line immediately below and above the {{footer}} placeholder. This <div style...> code adds a line break to the email.

As for the {{delimiter}} placeholder, you won't be able to remove it from the email template. This is used to separate older comments from new comments. It's there to prevent the entire email correspondence from being added to each reply, which can quickly spiral out of control and make a ticket unreadable. The only way to hide this would be to change its text color to that of the background. To change the delimiter text to white, you'll need to edit the stylization immediately before it to this:

<div style="color: #FFFFFF;"> 

When you're done, the template should look something like this:

TotW_-_altered_email_template.png

For more information on what each of these placeholders do and how to customize the template, see Customizing your email templates.

Step 4: Change the "From" field

Finally, if you want to change the sender specified in the "From" line, you can to go back to Admin > Channels > Email . There are two places where you can change this.

First, you may want to set up a support address to customize what email address your end-users use to send requests. Otherwise you'll be communicating with your customers with a "@[subdomain].zendesk.com" address. To set up your own email to forward emails into Zendesk Support and then send emails out at that same address, you'll need to configure your external email address appropriately. For instructions, see Using an external email domain .

After setting up the email you want to use, you'll want to take a look at your support addresses. Make sure they're configured like you want them. You can remove any mention of the company after the agent's name by removing it in your Support Address options. For more information, see Adding support addresses for users to submit tickets.

Next, you'll want to check out the Personalized Email Replies option. When enabled, the "From" field includes the name of the agent making the comment on the ticket. This replaces your company name in your responses.

Congratulations! You removed all formatting from your ticket email notifications. You can now have smooth email conversations without your customers knowing that you're using Zendesk Support. How sly!

If you have any issues with this setup, please email support.zendesk.com.

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • 0

    Hi, really great resource here, it's a huge help for me as a beginner!
    I was testing out your formatting but found that users don't get the conversation history anymore. What's the tweak here, I'm sure it can be reactivated somehow, right?

  • 0

    Hi Leopold!

    You can change the Liquid Markup to include additional comments, but unless you do additional Liquid formatting there won't be any spacing between the comments, and no name to identify who posted the comment. If you want to include the entire thread, you might be better off switching back to the formatted template with the {ticket.comments_formatted}.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  • 0

    Is there any way to get the full history, similar to an email thread, but without the machine-look formatting?

  • 0

    Hi Rya!

    We do have ticket comment placeholders that are unformatted, which might work for you. You can find those here: Zendesk placeholders reference.

    You'll want to do some testing before you start replacing all your placeholders though. I'm not completely sure what the unformatted comments will look like, and you'll want to be sure it's not going to confuse your customers.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  • 0

    This is great! How can I take this one step further and make it look exactly as a gmail email - with Sans Serif font? Let me know, thanks!

  • 0
  • 0

    @Joseph & everyone here- I just posted a request to try to address some of the same needs as many users have stated in the comments here- namely how to format only the message section of an otherwise "unformatted" email template. I used your post here as an example of another Zendesk users with a similar need. I'm trying to drum up support to get the Zendesk developers moving on this idea so I'd like to have you look at my post and give it a thumbs up and leave a comment there so we can bolster the case and show the need for these features.

    Please take a look:

    https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/220847487-Add-a-placeholder-for-formatted-comment-values-maybe-comment-value-formatted-

  • 1

    After a day of testing and playing around, i have an outcome with works on 90% of email clients. I've posted the link below which has all the code for the email templates.

    http://moometric.com/integrations/zendesk/make-zendesk-tickets-look-like-real-emails/

  • 0

    @Nathan : Thanks that helped. Worked like a charm.

  • 0

    @ Nathan: The attachments are not going through though. This seems to be a blocker. Any suggestions?

  • 0

    Hi Prasun,

    Could you maybe send me a screenshot of your trigger and settings windows so i can double check what might be the problem?

    Please note that in Zendesk, attachments display as links, not actual attachments. Just make sure that the attachment isn't as a link when you scroll down through the email.

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

    Hi Prasun,

    The code looks correct from where i'm sitting. Are you sure the attachment isn't as a link in the email being sent to the customer?

    Feel free to test this out and open a ticket for my email webmaster [at] Moometric.com

  • 0

    Fixed it.

    Here is what works: ( Minor changes to Nathan's code. Used non formatted handles which solved the problem )

    <div class="latest-comment">
    {% for comment in ticket.public_comments offset:0 limit:1 %}
    {{comment.value}}
    {% if comment.attachments.size > 0 %}
    <br>
    Attachments: {% for attachment in comment.attachments %}
    {{forloop.index}}.
    <a href="{{attachment.url}}">{{attachment.filename}}</a>
    {% endfor %}
    {% endif %}
    {% endfor %}
    </div>
    <div>This reply is in reference to Ticket # {{ticket.id}}</div>
    <br>


    {% for comment in ticket.public_comments offset:1 %}
    <div style="margin-top: 10px; border-top: 1px solid #bbb;">On {{comment.created_at_with_time}}, {{comment.author.name}} wrote:
    <br>
    {{comment.value}}
    {% if comment.attachments.size > 0 %}
    <br>
    Attachments:{% for attachment in comment.attachments %}
    {{forloop.index}}. <a href="{{attachment.url}}">{{attachment.filename}}</a>
    {% endfor %}
    {% endif %}
    <br>
    {% endfor %}
    {% for comment in ticket.public_comments offset:1 %}</div>
    {% endfor %}

  • 0

    The code works great. Thank you Prasun and Nathan. I have a couple questions that you may be able to help me with.

    1) How can I keep my formatting (links, bold, italic, etc) in my responses? They are being removed.

    2) How can I have requester's formatting (links, bold) from being removed? This is also happening in the Conversations View within the ticket.

    Thank you for any guidance you can provide.

  • 0

    Hi Nancy,

    Glad it helped! I don't think you will be able to keep the formatting with this code. We are not using formatted place holders here.

    If you do happen to improve it at any point, please do share it with us. 

  • 0

    Does anyone have the code for the original default setting? If we want to revert?

  • 0

    Hi Rachel, You only need to click on the "revert to default" hyperlink to restore your account's default html template. 

  • 0

    Thanks Sean. Unfortunately we tried that and it hasn't worked - I think we may need to copy a different code into the trigger but we can't find the default code anywhere 

  • 0

    Hi Rachel, so sorry, I misunderstood. Here is an article that will help you restore the default state to your Triggers. If you have any more problems then you may want to open a ticket at support@zendesk.com

  • 0

    Rachel,

    Sean is talking about the settings under Admin>>Email>>Email Templates.

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