Customizing your email templates

All the email notifications sent from your Zendesk are formatted for both HTML and plain text emails. Both formats are included in each email. The version end-users see depends on the preference settings of their email clients. You can customize the HTML template to match your branding by making a few simple style changes. You can also edit the information in the text versions of your emails.

The look and feel of the emails are controlled by an HTML template and a text template.

To edit the email templates
  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Channels > Email.
    Zendesk Classic: Select the Setting menu, then select Channels > Email > Edit.
  2. Modify the email templates.

    If you need help, see the following topics:

  3. If you want to start over with the unmodified version of the template, click the Revert to Default link below the template.
  4. Click Save.
In addition to customizing the email templates, you can change emails as follows:

Tip: If you have the Plus or Enterprise plan, you can modify and test email changes in a sandbox before deploying them publicly. See Testing changes in your sandbox.

Editing the HTML template

You can change the appearance of HTML emails by editing the HTML and CSS in the HTML template.

This section covers the following topics:

Note: If you signed up to Zendesk before July 12th, 2012, you have a different HTML template. See Editing the old HTML template for instructions. If you want to upgrade to the new template, see Switching to the new HTML template.

Changing the appearance of HTML emails

The HTML template consists of DIV tags and system placeholders.

The placeholders supply most of the content to the email. The {{delimiter}} and {{content}} placeholders are required and should not be deleted. The {{footer}} placeholder is optional. No other placeholder can be used in the template. For more information, see Understanding the system placeholders.

The DIV tags apply CSS styles to the content. By adding or modifying CSS styles, you can change the look and feel of the email as a whole, the delimiter, or the footer. To edit the styles, open the Email channel settings page and scroll down to Email Templates. Make sure to click Save when you're done.

Here's the relevant code in the template (reformatted slightly for clarity):

<div style="padding: 10px; 
            line-height: 18px;
            font-family: 'Lucida Grande',Verdana,Arial,sans-serif;
            font-size: 12px;
            color:#444444;" >

  <div style="color: #b5b5b5;">
   {{delimiter}}
  </div>

 {{content}}

  <div style="color: #aaaaaa;
              margin: 10px 0 14px 0;
              padding-top: 10px;
              border-top: 1px solid #eeeeee;" >
    {{footer}}{{footer_link}}
  </div>

</div>

For example, here's how to change the font color of the footer to teal:

...
 <div style=" color: #009966;
              margin: 10px 0 14px 0;
              padding-top: 10px;
              border-top: 1px solid #eeeeee;" >
    {{footer}}{{footer_link}}
  </div>
...

The font color is set to teal's hexadecimal value with the following style declaration:

color: #009966;
Note: The color of links can't be customized. Links are styled with CSS pseudo classes such as :hover. Example: a:hover {color:#FF00FF;}. Unfortunately, CSS pseudo classes are not supported in inline CSS, and major email clients like Gmail strip out any CSS that is not inline.

To add an image such as a company logo to the template, insert an IMG tag that references the image. Example:

<img src="http://YOURWEBSITE.com/logo.png"/>
Note: Before adding logos and other images, remember that most email clients don't display images by default.
If you want to add a hyperlink to the logo, enclose the IMG tag in an anchor tag, as in this example:
<a href="http://YOURACCOUNT.zendesk.com"><img src="http://YOURWEBSITE.com/logo.png"></a>
For more information, see the following resources:

Guidelines for customizing HTML emails

You can customize the HTML template extensively. However, keep in mind that designing HTML emails is hard because of the way HTML and CSS are rendered in different web browsers and email clients. Certain types of formatting can even be interpreted as spam. In general, keep your customization as simple as possible and follow these guidelines:
  • Do not use CSS3 style declarations. Stick to CSS1 or 2.
  • Do not add more DIV sections.
  • Do not use <style>...</style> to apply styles. Most email clients strip out the tag.
  • Keep text formatting to a minimum. Lots of bold text can trigger spam filters.
  • HTML5 is not yet supported, so don't use it.
  • Don't add lots of images (another trigger for spam filters) and downscale the images that you do use.
  • Use the ALT tag on all images. The tag displays a description of the image before users allow the images to be displayed.
  • If you know the width and height of the image, define it. This forces the email client to reserve the image space in the layout of the email before the images have been downloaded.
  • Background images are not supported in all email clients, so don't rely on them for information or functional design.

Editing the old HTML template

If you signed up to Zendesk before July 12th, 2012, you have a different HTML email template. Refer to this section to customize it. If you want to upgrade to the new template, see Switching to the new HTML template.

The older version of the template consists of the email text delimiter, a header, the content area, and the footer. All of them are contained within an HTML table.

The template also includes system placeholders that insert the delimiter, header, footer, and ticket content. The {{delimiter}} and {{content}} placeholders are required. The {{header}} and {{footer}} placeholders are optional. See Understanding the system placeholders.

You can make minor changes to the HTML to make simple branding changes. For example, here's how to set the background and font colors of the header and footer (relevant code in bold):

<td style="font-size: 12px;
            font-weight: bold;
            color: #fff;
            line-height: 1.5em;
            font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;
            width: 100%;
            text-align: center;
            background: #98c332; 
            padding:8px; 
            margin:4px">
  {{header}}
</td>

...

<td style="font-size: 12px;
            font-weight: bold;
            color: #fff;
            line-height: 1.5em;
            font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;
            width: 100%;
            text-align: center;
            background: #98c332;
            padding:8px">
  {{footer}}
</td>

The font color is set with this style declaration:

color: #fff;
The background color is set with this style declaration:
background: #98c332;

For a great example of a customized email template complete with sample files, check out Ben Lucier's post A better email template for Zendesk in our Community forums.

Switching to the new HTML template

If you signed up to Zendesk before July 12th, 2012, you have an older version of the HTML email template. To learn about the new version, see Introducing an all new email notification template by Jake Holman.

You can upgrade to the new version as follows.

  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Channels > Email.
    Zendesk Classic: Select the Setting menu, then select Channels > Email > Edit.
  2. Scroll down to the Email Templates section.
  3. If you customized the existing legacy template, you may want to paste the markup in a separate file as a backup.
  4. Select the Enable modern template option.

    The markup for the new template replaces the old markup.

  5. Click Save to start using the new template with your emails, or customize it first. See Changing the appearance of HTML emails.

Editing the text template

The text template is used when the user elects not to read email messages in HTML format. To edit the text template, open the Email channel settings page and scroll down to Email Templates. Make sure to click Save when you're done.

The text email template consists of two system placeholders:

{{content}}

{{footer}}

The {{content}} placeholder inserts the text delimiter, the ticket title, the text that is generated from business rules (triggers, automations, or macros), and the ticket comments. The {{footer}} placeholder is optional. You can remove it if you want. For more information, see Understanding the system placeholders.

Note: The {{delimiter}} placeholder is not required in the text template. The {{content}} placeholder contains the delimiter text.

If you'd like to add a line to your emails, simply add it to the template.

Thanks for contacting MondoCam Support!

{{content}}

{{footer}}

Showing user profile photos in HTML emails

To show user profile photos next to ticket comments in HTML emails, select the Show User Profile Photos in Emails option on the Channels/Email page.

Be aware of the costs and benefits of displaying profile photos. On the positive side, pictures lead to a more personal experience for your customers. On the negative side, most email clients don't display images by default.

The emails display the photos from Zendesk account profiles or from Gravatar. If you want to display your company logo next to ticket comments, upload it to Zendesk as your profile photo. Make sure the image size ratio is 1:1. The recommended size is 200x200px.
Note: The various rendering engines used by mail clients and web browsers may affect the quality of the images.

Adding or removing ticket links in emails

Your email notifications can provide a link back to the ticket being discussed. Example:

This type of link is defined in a trigger or automation, not in the template. For example, most of the default triggers have an action that sends an email notification with a link to a ticket. If you provide support with email only, you don't want customers to see a link to a ticket that would prompt them to log in. In this case, you must edit your triggers or any other business rules that generate email notifications.

To add or remove a ticket link in a notification trigger or automation
  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar, then select Triggers or Automations.
  2. Locate the notification trigger or automation and select Edit.
  3. Modify the action or actions as needed.

    The following placeholders insert ticket links in the email body: {{ticket.url}} or {{ticket.id}}.

  4. Click Update.
For more information on editing triggers to remove ticket links, see Removing placeholders that contain URLs from your notification triggers.

If you provide support through email only, see Setting up to provide email-only support. The article describes how to remove links back to your Web portal that would prompt your end-users to attempt to log in.

Editing the delimiter text and supporting other languages

The text in the email delimiter is used to inform the email recipient that any text entered into a reply must be above a certain line in the email.

When the recipient's reply is received in Zendesk, the delimiter is used to separate old content from new. The new content is added to the ticket as a comment. Without the delimiter, each ticket comment would contain the entire content of the email.

You can change the delimiter text. The setting is located on the same Email channel settings page as the email template, under Mail Delimiter. The text must be between 20 to 65 characters long.

If you support multiple languages in your Zendesk, replace the delimiter text with the {{txt.email.delimiter}} placeholder.

When you use this placeholder, the text in the delimiter is drawn from the translations that are provided for the languages supported in Zendesk. The language shown in the email message is based on each user's language preference. This is a convenient way to support different language versions in your email template. However, it also means that you have no control over the words in the translated versions of the delimiter. The default text string and the translated versions should suffice.

Note: If your users don't have a language preference selected, as is the case with unverified users in a Zendesk set up for email-only support (see Setting up to provide email-only support), the delimiter is displayed in your primary (default) language.

Using Liquid markup

Liquid markup does not work in the email templates. It only works in the business rules (triggers, automations) that generate the email notifications.

If you want to use Liquid markup to have more control over the content of email notifications, see Using Liquid markup to customize comments and email notifications.

Understanding the system placeholders

Most of the content in notification emails is generated dynamically by the Zendesk system. The dynamically generated content is represented by placeholders in the email templates. The placeholders are enclosed in double curly quotes, such as {{footer}}.

The placeholders insert delimiter text, the email contents, and a footer.

{{delimiter}}
Displays the line "##- Please type your reply above this line -##". The delimiter is used by the system to separate old content from new. When a person replies to an email, the new content in the reply is added to the ticket as a comment. This placeholder is required in the HTML template. For more information, see Editing the text in the mail delimiter and supporting other languages.
{{content}}
Displays the email content, which can include ticket comments and user profile photos. The content is defined in the trigger, automation, or anything else that sends email from your account. See Streamlining workflow with ticket updates and triggers.
{{footer}}
Optional. Displays the line "This email is a service from YourZendeskName." It also displays ticket properties, such as status and requester, in emails sent to agents. The properties are not displayed in emails sent to end-users. The list of properties can't be customized at this time.
{{footer_link}}
Optional. Displays the line "Delivered by Zendesk". The word Zendesk is a link to http://www.zendesk.com.
Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Pedro

    Hi there!

    Is there any way to change this particular default text to something else?

    "...

    Your request (xx) has been received, and is being reviewed by our support staff.

    To add additional comments, reply to this email or follow the link below:

    ..."

  • Avatar
    Pedro

    Also for the "first" user notification email:

    "...

    A ticket (xx) by USERNAME has been received. It is unassigned.

    Review it by following the link below: 

     ..."

  • Avatar
    Pedro

    Scrap that.

    It's so easy!

    Go to "Manage" > "Triggers & mail notifications" > edit "Notify requester of received request"

    That's it! Now you can edit the email body to your liking.

    The same applies to the "Notify all agents of received request" trigger.

    Ok, so it may not sound that clear, but hey, that's the beauty of it!

    I'm excited about the possibilities that Zendesk withholds and I hope that the team adds some nice tweaks so that we can further improve the user experience and customization of our zendesks.

    Hope we cover this on Zendesk's Barcelona Bootcamp! :)

  • Avatar
    Simon Topliss

    Is there a way to add a placeholder in the header text to include the organization name?

     

    i.e. <Organization>:  Ticket #672: Adding customer name to email

  • Avatar
    Arnaud de Theux

    Hi Anton,

    Apparently you changed the design of Zendesk Support email notifications?!

    Is is possible to have the same on my own notifications? I like the icon of the users, new font etc, looks better :)

  • Avatar
    Anton de Young

    Arnaud, 

    Yes we're experimenting with a new design. It's not complete yet though and is not available at this time. Watch the What's new in Zendesk forum for a future announcement about this. 

  • Avatar
    Shawn Wallace

    Question: in your "Editing the text in the mail delimiter and supporting other languages" section, the "Ticket #53 Auto ISO problem" link text is blue. I'm getting this, too, on my tickets, but want to change it to white. I've also gotten tickets from other orgs using Zendesk that have this same blue link. It appears to be styled white but comes through blue in every browser I try. How can I fix this so it's properly styled white?

  • Avatar
    Anton de Young

    Shawn,

    As I noted in Editing the HTML template, you can't change the hyperlink color in the HTML template. The cause of this is something deep under the hood. However, I'll ask Engineering about it. 

  • Avatar
    Sébastien

    Why there is no translation with "Your request ( xx) has been solved. To reopen this request, reply to this email or click the link below:" when I use automatic translation.

    What's going to happen if I translate this in French and an english user use the helpdesk.

    Thanks!

    Harsan 

  • Avatar
    pablo tisker

    Can I customize the font size on ticket fields, I could not find the answer to that, but it's provably me

    Thank you

  • Avatar
    Lisa-Anne Chung

    Hi Anton, 

    Were you able to learn anything from Engineering about that?  I'm having the same difficulties with the links.

    Thanks,

    Lisa-Anne

  • Avatar
    Gary Sargent

    As with Lisa-Anne... ditto for us.

  • Avatar
    S R

    Hi, quick question- how do i remove agent name from an email that the requester receives? 

  • Avatar
    Anton de Young

    Shawn, Lisa-Anne, Gary

    RE the hyperlink color in the email template. You will eventually be able to apply more customization to your email templates via CSS and then you'll be able to set the hyperlink color. It's on our list of enhancements but this is not ready yet and I don't have a release date for you yet. For now, the links are blue I'm afraid. 

  • Avatar
    Anton de Young

    Harsan, 

    Sorry for the delayed response. That text is contained in the Notify requester of solved request trigger. If you use dynamic content, you can create email notification text in each language you support and it will automatically be added to email notifications based on the user's language. See  Using dynamic content to provide multiple language support.

    .

  • Avatar
    Andreas Urban

    Hi Anton,

    We are testing the new "modern email template" which is available now. We really do like the new template style!

    Due to our coporate design guidelines we would need to change the font used in the {{content}} section. It seems like it doesn't change the whole content section. Text added via a trigger does change, the commet thread doesn't. 

    Could you help us with this? Thanks,

    Andreas

  • Avatar
    Joe Mizzi

    The color of the link back to the ticket in the {{header}} placeholder cannot be changed in gmail, because it strips out any CSS that is not inline. So doing <style>.zd_link { color: #ABC }</style>{{header}} still shows a blue link in gmail.

  • Avatar
    Marie-Josée Brault

    I have a question about modifying an email notification. Right now, when a ticket is created by an agent, the email acknowledgement that is sent is the same as if the requester had created the ticket. I would like to make a distinct email for the case where an agent enters a ticket for a requester, but I don't know how to differentiate the "ticket creator". Help!

  • Avatar
    Adam L.

    Marie -

    I believe this can be done by creating a trigger with the following conditions under 'meet all of the following':

    'ticket is...'+'created'

    'requester'+'is not'+'(current user)'

    'ticket channel is...'+'web form'

    Then, under perform these actions, you can set it to email the requester and put it whatever text you would like! Also, to avoid 2 notifications, if you'd like, you can even add a tag to this ticket (so you would put (for example) 'add tags'+'no_received' under perform these actions). Then, in your other received request trigger, you would add the condition (under 'meet all of the following') 'tags'+'contain none of the following'+'no_received'. This way only one or the other would fire.

    This trigger, when set up, will send a notification anytime an agent enters a ticket on behalf of the customer via the web portal. You can change the conditions and actions as needed, of course, but this should accomplish the basic goal you laid out.

  • Avatar
    Mona Caro

    Would it be possible to embed a hyperlink within the text in a macro?  It looks like it may be able within the Dynamic Content section creating a placeholder, however I'm not entirely sure.  I'm not a big fan of including long URLs to direct customers so this would be greatly appreciated.

  • Avatar
    Justin

    Hey Mona: 

    It's currently not possible to embed a hyperlink in a macro. All ticket comments are plain text. The link will render appropriately for your end-users when they receive the email notification, though it will be a full length, clickable target. We're working on rich text formatting for ticket comments. You can however embed and format hyper links in the actual HTML email template. 

  • Avatar
    Erin Frey

    Hi, is it possible to edit this text?  I can't figure out how to do it:

    ##- Please type your reply above this line -##

    Your request (#) has been updated. Reply to this email or click the link below:

    [link to zendesk ticket]

  • Avatar
    Justin

    Hey Erin: 

    Head over to Settings > Channels > Email and look for the Mail Delimiter field. 

  • Avatar
    Annie

    How can I delete the line that reads "This email is a service from Paint the Moon?" Thanks! 

  • Avatar
    Chip Roberson

    The HTML I see in this help is different from the HTML I see in Channels > Email > HTML Template. For example, there are no table tags. Am I looking in the right place or has the email format changed?

  • Avatar
    Justin

    Annie: Remove the {{footer}} placeholder. 

    Chip: You might be looking at the new email template: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/21723211-introducing-an-all-new-email-notification-template

  • Avatar
    Ben Lucier

    Hi folks,

    I struggled getting our email templates right and I've finally ended up with something I'm happy with. I wrote about it on my blog, along with instructions on how to modify the template. Here's the link: http://benlucier.com/blog/a-better-email-template-for-zendesk/ (I hope it's helpful!).

  • Avatar
    Justin

    Awesome post, Ben! Thanks for sharing! 

  • Avatar
    Jennifer Rowe

    Ben, this is awesome! Thanks for posting. I would LOVE it if you would create a tip in our Community Tips forum with the info in your comment. That will make it easier for people to find. Also, I will add a link to your blog post in this article itself as a community tip. I love this--thanks!!

  • Avatar
    Ben Lucier

    Hi Jennifer, I did a complete post for the convenience of your customers. Of course, I'd really appreciate any referrals to my blog. Here it is: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/22868368-a-better-email-template-for-zendesk

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