Getting started with email in Zendesk

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 support@myaccount.zendesk.com. 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

One support address is created for you when you create an account with Zendesk. This system support address is support@myaccount.zendesk.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 support@myaccount.zendesk.com, 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 sales@myaccount.zendesk.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 support@mycompany.com instead of support@mycompany.zendesk.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 help@mycompany.com is forwarded to help@myaccount.zendesk.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.

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 more information, see:
Note: If you want to use a Gmail account to receive support requests, you can automatically connect your Zendesk to your Gmail inbox. For more information, Enabling automatic ticket creation for your Gmail inbox

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, biling@myaccount.zendesk.com) 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, support@myaccount.zendesk.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 <support+id#@myaccount.zendesk.com>

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@myaccount.zendesk.com> Support address name <support+id#@myaccount.zendesk.com>
Claire Grenier (Support address name) <support@mycompany.com> Support address name <support@mycompany.com>

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@myaccount.zendesk.com> Support address name <support+id#@myaccount.zendesk.com>
Senhora Claire (Support address name) <support@mycompany.com> Support address name <support@mycompany.com>

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 <support+id1910@mondocam.zendesk.com>

    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 {{ticket.id}} 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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Comments

  • Avatar
    Amy Hsueh

    Hello,

    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. 

  • Avatar
    Max McCal

    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: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/20518663-forwarding-email-to-zendesk

  • Avatar
    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 - support@mycompany.zendesk.com - was created when I first registered an account. Now where do I create/specify new ones?

  • Avatar
    Jill Kaselitz

    Hi Paulina,

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

  • Avatar
    Mattis

    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?

  • Avatar
    Salvatore McDonagh

    Hi

    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?

  • Avatar
    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

  • Avatar
    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.

  • Avatar
    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 https://support.zendesk.com/entries/20012047-notifying-external-targets  - 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!

  • Avatar
    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

  • Avatar
    Justin

    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. 

  • Avatar
    A Pires

    Exactly.

  • Avatar
    Rich Lyman

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

  • Avatar
    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.

  • Avatar
    James

    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.

  • Avatar
    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: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/21543427-updating-ticket-properties-from-your-inbox

    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.

  • Avatar
    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?

  • Avatar
    Ben

    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 support@zendesk.com if you need more detailed assistance in any of the workflows described here.

    Thanks for your time,

    Ben

  • Avatar
    Lmh

    We are curently redirecting from support@ourdomain.dk to support@ourdomain.zendesk.com

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

    Sorry if the answer for this has already been given. 

  • Avatar
    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? https://support.zendesk.com/entries/20518663-forwarding-email-from-other-email-providers

  • Avatar
    Jon

    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.    

  • Avatar
    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!

  • Avatar
    Lothar Lai

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

  • Avatar
    Brandon K.

    Hello Lothar,

    Are you thinking about the Mail API? Here is a link to the article: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/21543427-updating-ticket-properties-from-your-inbox

  • Avatar
    Lothar Lai

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

  • Avatar
    Barbara

    Why customers don't get my replies? Provide me more information about this issue.

  • Avatar
    Laura D.

    Barbara, 

    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. 

  • Avatar
    Zak Klein

    How can I hyperlink something in my reply to a request..like 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?

  • Avatar
    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

  • Avatar
    Nithin

    Hi,

    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??

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