Notifying external targets Follow

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You can notify external targets when a ticket is created or updated. External targets are cloud-based applications and services (such as Twitter and Twilio) as well as HTTP and email. Here are some examples of how and why targets are used:
  • Sending an SMS text message when an urgent ticket has been unattended for more than 48 hours
  • Sending a notification to a Twitter stream when a new urgent ticket is created
  • Creating a Salesforce case from a ticket

Those are just a few examples. See Setting up a target below for more information about the targets available. Targets are used in automation and trigger actions. First you configure a target and then you specify the target using the Notify target action.

Setting up a target

In addition to generic targets for HTTP and email targets, you can use predefined targets for well-known cloud-based applications and services.
Table 1. Targets
Target Description
Using the Basecamp target, you can push ticket updates to a project as:
  • New messages in a project
  • New comments in a specific message
  • New ToDo list
  • New ToDo item in a specific todo list

You need to enable API access in your Basecamp account to use this target. For information about setting up Basecamp, see Setting up and using the Basecamp target.

Campfire Send notifications to a Campfire chat room. See Adding Campfire.

Use this target to send SMS messages using your Clickatell account.

Follow the steps in Clickatell HTTP API Guide to setup the account, add a HTTP connection and obtain an API ID.
Email Send emails to specific addresses. You can define the action in a trigger or automation.
Get Satisfaction

Post public comments to Get Satisfaction topics for tickets created using the Zendesk moderator tool in Get Satisfaction.

By creating this target, the necessary triggers and views and also add a useful widget in the home and ticket pages (you can remove those widgets if you don't need them) will automatically be created.

HTTP Pass information in the request body of HTTP requests to third-party services and REST APIs that accept JSON, XML, or form-encoded content. See Creating integrations using the HTTP target.
Pivotal Tracker

Create stories in Pivotal Tracker from a Zendesk Support ticket to easily prioritize support issues in your project backlog.

The Pivotal Tracker target sends the Zendesk Support ticket ID to Pivotal Tracker when creating a new story.

If you have enabled Pivotal Tracker's native Zendesk integration in the target Tracker project, a link back to the Zendesk Support ticket is created in the new story.

Create a Salesforce case from a Zendesk Support ticket.

When you set up this target, an example trigger is automatically created for you.
SugarCRM Push ticket data to a SugarCRM case.

Use this target to send SMS messages to a mobile phone using your Twilio account.


Send notifications to a Twitter stream.

Note: Make sure that you protect your Twitter stream if you don't want notifications to be readable by the general public.
URL Pass URL parameters to any URL. You can use placeholders as values. Example:{{}}. Set up a script on your server to receive the request, and then you can do just about anything from there. See also the HTTP target above.
Note: We don't recommend using URL/HTTP targets to update tickets in Zendesk Support, which can result in multiple issues. Use for external targets only.

Send notifications to a Yammer stream.

Follow the steps in this Yammer Target Guide to create a client application in Yammer and authorize this target to use the Yammer API. For more information, see Notifying your Yammer feed.
Note: To set up many of these external targets, you'll need to consult their documentation. Some targets, such as Twitter, merely require that you authorize your account before you can begin posting messages.
To add a target
  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Extensions.
  2. Click the Targets tab.
  3. Select Add target.
  4. All of the target options are listed. Select the type of target and enter the required target information (which varies from target to target).
  5. Click Create Target.

Managing your targets

Once you've set up targets, you can edit, delete, and deactivate and reactivate them.

To edit a target
  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Extensions.
  2. Click the Targets tab.
  3. Locate the target you want to edit and click Edit.
  4. Make your changes and then click Update Target.
To delete a target
  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Extensions.
  2. Click the Targets tab.
  3. Locate the target you want to edit and click Edit.
  4. Select Delete Target.
To deactivate/reactivate a target
  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Extensions.
  2. Click the Targets tab.
  3. Locate the target you want to deactivate and select Deactivate.
  4. To reactivate the target, select it from the list of inactive targets and select Activate.

Using targets in automations and triggers

Once you've set up targets, you can use them in automations and triggers. Here's an example of a trigger that notifies a Twitter account when an urgent ticket is created:

Since you're interacting with external targets, there may be a delay between when a trigger or automation runs and when you'll see the results in the external target (in the example above, that would be your Twitter home page or stream).

Zendesk Support attempts to send the notification 21 times. If all attempts fail, the target is deactivated. You'll then need to reactivate the target before you can try using again. To avoid this, keep in mind the following common causes of failure:
  • The message body in the trigger or target page is blank.
  • There's a problem with the receiving server.
Have more questions? Submit a request


  • 0

    Adding slack would be nice to notify teams with certain triggers.

  • 0

    Hi, we are currently implementing triggers to call back to our internal system to log ticket details. Our internal back end system is offline overnight so cannot accept updates from the trigger during those hours.

    the docs above state "Zendesk attempts to send the notification 10 times. If all attempts fail, the target is deactivated" - what is the timeframe / strategy used for the retries? Can this be modified? can triggers be scheduled only to fire during a given time frame?

    thanks, Colin

  • 0

    Hi Colin,

    The triggers fire in quick succession if they fail, and the functionality in this regard cannot be modified. Triggers can be set to fire after a specific event, so if your agents only made the event which triggered the notificiation during those hours, then the triggers would only fire during those hours. Lastly, these trigger conditions may interest you to control the time: Ticket: Within Business Hours? and Ticket Schedule: Is?. These will use the business hours set in the account. Please note that you must have business hours available in your plan to use these conditions.

    James Peterson

  • 0

    Thanks for the speedy reply James. I've looked at those trigger conditions, and presumably that would stop the trigger firing outside of business hours (or the defined schedule)?

    Would there then be another way to pick up those ticket updates that were missed? Automations or is there some part of the web API that would allow us to poll for events that had not fired the trigger?

  • 1

    I would perhaps use an automation with the same business hours logic. The automation will be attempted every hour and with a condition you can make this not execute outside of business hours.
    Note that you will be using a tag to nullify the automation conditions so you may need to clear the rag at sone stage also.

  • 0

    Hi Colin,

    Thinking about this a bit more, you could try using the triggers, and then tag the tickets if it is outside of business hours. Then, you could use an automation like Colin suggested to catch those tickets, checking for the tag which indicates the ticket update was missed.


  • 0

    James, Colin, thanks for the info. We are checking with the business owners about how critical this is. I can see we can make it pretty reliable, but there will always be the possibility to miss events. If they say they need them all we'll have to revert to a pull model using API.

  • 0

    Is there a plan to provide this support for Help Centre/Community posts?

    I'm trying to keep up-to-date with posts and updates on the Help Centre and community by posting updates to Slack.


  • 1

    If you are on Office 365, you can set up Inbox Rules to Forward to Text Message. So what we do to send SMS messages is:

    • Create a Zendesk Trigger
    1. Criteria: Whatever you want
    2. Action: Notification: Email User"
    3. Email Subject: Add some keyword, we use [ZDNotify]
    • Create an Office 365 Inbox Rule
    1. Criteria: the message includes specific words in the subject '[ZDNotify]'
    2. Do the following...: send a text message to '###-###-####'
  • 0


    > Zendesk Support attempts to send the notification 21 times. If all attempts fail, the target is deactivated.

    I don’t understand the meaning of this sentence. It seems very vague.

    What do you send 21 times? What does it mean "the notification" ?

    You retry sending the same request 21 times , or  21 is a threshold of sum of failed  requests ?

    And, what does “If all attempts fail” mean? Does failure involve HTTP 4xx response ? HTTP 5xx response? or other failures?

  • 0


    The terminology 'notify target' is used in triggers to select a target. "Notification" refers to the outgoing http request which is configured in the target. 21 is the threshold for consecutive target failures. If 21 consecutive requests are sent and the returned http response code is anything outside of the 2xx range the target will be deactivated and the owner will be notified of the deactivation. 

    Hopefully this helps answer your questions. Let me know if you have any follow-ups. Thanks!

  • 0

    Hi Daniel,

    Your answer is really helpful for us.

    Thank you very much!


  • 1



    Is it possible to have one target (email)with a set of different email addresses? So that I should not create 5 targets but just one with 5 addresses in it?

    or, is there already a solution like that one?


    I was thinking that maybe MailChimp but so far that is not working for us. 



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