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:
- When an end-user sends an email to your support address, the email creates a ticket in Zendesk.
- If an agent updates the ticket in Zendesk, a notification email is sent to the person who sent the original email.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use other support addresses.
To manage your email channel
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
- Changing the sender information in your replies
- Understanding how incoming emails are matched to tickets
- Adding signatures to your replies
- Changing the design of your emails
- Managing your automated emails
- Blocking incoming emails
- Managing user accounts created by email requests
- Assigning email requesters to organizations
Using other email addresses for creating tickets
One support address is created for you when you create an account with Zendesk. This system support address is email@example.com. 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 support address was created for you as firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com, 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 your own external email address for support requests
Accepting support requests via external email addresses is also supported. If you already have, or want to have, an email domain other than myaccount.zendesk.com, you can forward email received at those addresses to your Zendesk domain. For example, you can receive support requests at firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com.
To make this work, you must forward email from your external email addresses to equivalent email addresses in your Zendesk account. For example, email received at firstname.lastname@example.org is forwarded to email@example.com.
You can also forward all of your external support email addresses to just one of your Zendesk account domain email addresses, if you don't want or need to manage incoming email using the separate addresses.
In addition to setting up forwarding, you need to add any external email addresses as a support addresses in Zendesk and, optionally, you can edit or create an SPF record to verify that Zendesk can send email on behalf of your email server.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org) 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
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.
|Sent To||This is the email address that support requests are sent to (for example, email@example.com).|
|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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
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.
Understanding how incoming emails are matched to tickets
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 <email@example.com>
If you're using an external domain for email, the ticket ID is not included in the Reply To email address.
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
- 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:
- Streamlining workflow with ticket updates and triggers
- Streamlining workflow with time-based events and automations
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.