Forwarding your incoming support email to Zendesk

To receive support requests at an external email address (instead of your Zendesk email address), you need to forward email received at your external email address to an email address in your Zendesk account.

You configure email forwarding in your email account, not in Zendesk. Exactly how this is done depends on the email provider you're using. A number of email providers allow you to create email forwarding rules so that you can select the incoming mail that should be forwarded to your Zendesk account.

Note: Be sure to set up automatic forwarding, as described in this section, rather than manually forwarding. Manually forwarding an email that originate from an external support address will result in a suspended ticket.

Follow the steps for your email provider to set up forwarding.

After you set up forwarding, you need to add your external email address as a support address in Zendesk. See Adding support addresses for users to submit tickets. When you add your support address, your email will be verified and you'll know whether you've set up email forwarding properly.

Optionally, you can edit or create an SPF record to verify that Zendesk can send email on behalf of your email server. See Setting up SPF for Zendesk to send email on behalf of your email domain.

Microsoft Exchange and Outlook

To forward email to Zendesk using Outlook hooked into an Exchange server, you can set up a redirect rule. To do so, follow the instructions in Microsoft Outlook 2007: Automatically forward my messages to another e-mail account.

Another option is to set up email forwarding on your Exchange mailbox as follows:
  1. Create a Contact in Active Directory called Zendesk Support with the email address support@yourdomain.zendesk.com.
  2. Enable forwarding on support@yourcompany.com in the user properties in Active Directory.

For detailed instructions, refer to How to configure a mailbox to forward mail to a mail-enabled contact. Also, check Forwarding email--Exchange 2003 for steps from our own Skip Moore at Zendesk.

Community Tip! Rick Griffith forwards email directly from Active Directory/Exchange without the need to create an Exchange mailbox or configure the Outlook client to forward. He uses a Global Distribution Group. Here are his steps:
  1. Create a Contact in Active Directory called Zendesk Support with the email address support@yourdomain.zendesk.com.
  2. Create a Global Distribution Group with a local email address like HelpDesk@yourdomain.com and make the Zendesk Support contact a member of this new group.

    With the Zendesk Support contact as a member of this group, any emails to Helpdesk@yourdomain.com (or any aliases or additional SMTP addresses that you want) are forwarded to the support@yoursubdomain.zendesk.com.

If you are using an Office365 hosted exchange instance you can forward email to Zendesk. To do so, see Configuring Offic365 Hosted Exchange with Zendesk by our own Adam Panzer at Zendesk.

Community Tip! Rory says he uses hosted exchange and can't do the external contact trick in Exchange. To work around this they use a mail server on one of their web hosts that does allow 'send as' and make Outlook resend via that email account instead of their exchange server. They use an Outlook macro to simplify things. To use this approach, first create that mail account on another server (customers will see this email address if they're CC'd on a new ticket that you resend, so name it sensibly), then follow the steps in Forwarding email with hosted exchange using Outlook macro.

Google Gmail and Google Apps

If you are using Google Gmail, use the steps in Forward email to another account to forward email to Zendesk. If you are using Google Apps, use the steps in the community tip How to use Google Apps email address and your own domain with Zendesk in our forums.
Note: When you set up forwarding in Gmail, Google sends a verification code to your Zendesk email address, which should show up in your Zendesk as a ticket. You'll need to enter this verification code in your Gmail account settings, under Forwarding, to complete the forwarding setup. If you don't receive the verification code, check your Suspended Tickets view to retrieve the message and the verification code.

Community Tip! Alexandr Dyba says Gmail (@ Google Apps) filter forwarding puts Zendesk on steroids! He's using one dedicated address (and its aliases) to sort and route different requests. He says it's relatively easy to create and maintain a business logic to automate all possible uses of Zendesk in the company. All requests can be handled by Gmail filters in one simple account and by creating a "Ticket was received at" trigger in your Zendesk.

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Comments

  • Avatar
    Jason Godden

    Reply address: Must not belong to a user

    Why is this happening?  I set up a mailbox techsupport@domain.com and had it forwarded to support@domain.zendesk.com and now when i try to update the reply-to within zendesk, I get this.

  • Avatar
    Aaron Pewtherer

    @Jason. Go to Manage > People and search for "techsupport@domain.com" remove the profile, or change the email address associated. This will allow you to change your default reply-to address. Having an email address from your Zendesk that matches and enduser(or agent), would create a mail loop.

  • Avatar
    Jason Godden

    Yep, that was it.  Sometimes we overlook the simple answers!  I was assuming it meant that it cant be a user on our exchange, and I had no idea how it would work otherwise.  Thanks for the quick reply, Aaron!

  • Avatar
    Grant Ricker

    What should the name of the spf record be?

  • Avatar
    Aaron Pewtherer

    @Grant: This depends on your DNS provider. Here is a list that may help: http://support.google.com/a/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=1409901

  • Avatar
    David Baker

    Could someone just give me the instructions for how to set up GoDaddy's SPF rule?  I set up a new SPF, but then I don't know what to do from there.  I also don't know how to whitelist notifactions-support@mydomain.com

  • Avatar
    Aaron Pewtherer

    @David: Info on GoDaddy SPF record here: http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=182475 Whitelisting "notifications-" means that email address must be able to forward. Either create an alias that forwards, or whitelist in your mail admin settings.

  • Avatar
    Chuck

    Thank you for updating this article so that people will now use the following:

    include:_spf.zdsys.com

    However, if we lookup what the SPF record for _spf.zdsys.com actually is, it says it is:

    v=spf1 include:_netblocks.zdsys.com ~all

    and it is the SPF record for _netblocks.zdsys.com that actually points to the underlying IP addresses.

    So, I highly recommend that you simply change the SPF record for _spf.zdsys.com so that it doesn't need to include _netblocks.zdsys.com and rather just has the IP addresses mentioned in _netblocks.zdsys.com in it.

    The danger of leaving it as it is. is that it has an unnecessary DNS lookup, which may force some people to reach the maximum of 10 DNS lookups that the SPF protocol allows, especially if they are also including other SPF records such as Google etc.

  • Avatar
    Marius Buibar

    Ok guys, I'm so confused right now. Let me tell you my problem.

    I have a domain at namecheap and the email for this domain at godaddy. Every DNS change I control it from namecheap. now I don't want to use the zendesk email address , I want to use my email : support@company.com ;

    What spf do I need to at in namecheap dashboard ? Until now I added @ at Sub-domain (so the spf is for the whole domain) and I added a TXT record : v=spf1 include:_spf.zdsys.com ?all

    I have to tell you that even before I added this spf, zendesk was able to send email to my customers using the external email address: support@company.com .

    The problem is I can't replay to tickets from the email directly because it will send the replay to my email support@company.com, not to my customers' email.

    Also I understood that it should also create a ticket for the emails I get on support@company.com (not submited via the zendesk interface) , but it doesn't at the moment.

     

    I appreciate any help I can get! Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Seth Wylie

    I was disappointed to see that the article's recommended SPF record was updated in August from support.zendesk.com to _spf.zdsys.com , but, even as my ZenDesk account's "Owner", I didn't receive a notification email.  I would happily subscribe to a monthly or quarterly newsletter for the techies who are in charge of making sure that their organization's ZenDesk is working smoothly.

  • Avatar
    Shrinil Kudalkar

    Hello,

    we have 3 different IDs for our company being used for ticketing in Zendesk

    My question is about the response or reply email ID.

    Whenever we send emails to our IDs on Zendesk, the notification to Agents and also to Requester of ticket (customer) goes with the ID Notification-support@mycompany.net. Here “Notification-“ gets added to our default ID.

     As we have 3 different IDs support, sales & marketing. So the notification to the requester should also go from the same IDs to which they send request to (Eg. Notification-sales@mycompany.net) and not from support@mycompany.net.

     I saw a setting in channel option where I can set the default reply address. Here we were using support@mycompany.net till now.

    But as we have 3 different request IDs we need to have 3 different reply IDs as well.

    Is it possible to do this change? If yes then how.

     

  • Avatar
    Laura D.

    Hi Seth, 

    Sorry for the lack of initial communication about this change. We do have a few ways we contact customers when we know something may impact their account including creating tickets for customers before making changes and in product notifications but we missed doing that here. As you point out there's room for improvement, please be assured we're continuing to find additional ways to communicate these kinds of changes effectively.

  • Avatar
    Laura D.

    Hi Shrinil, 

    I'll create a ticket for you in our system, I believe there's a way to get this to work but we'll need to check on a few things and it might take some back and forth. Look out for another email in a moment!

  • Avatar
    Paul

    This article detailing SPF must be a joke of some kind. You can only have 10 DNS lookups with SPF, 8 really, when you deduct A+MX for the domain.

    Using support.zendesk.com is ONE, which is not an IP, so therefore resolves to mail.zendesk.com which is TWO and not an IP so therefore resolves to _spf.zdsys.com which is THREE and not an IP and therefore resolves to _netblocks.zdsys.com which is FOUR and that resolves to IP's (that don't count further).

    Why are you forcing users to use HALF of their allowed SPF records for no reason whatsoever? Then suggest to also include smtp.zendesk.com?

    Uh... you do realize their business is not run 100% inside Zendesk right? Maybe they also use Gmail and Mailchimp and Sendgrid and such?

    Please. Get you act together Zendesk. Your recommended SPF was designed by a 5 year old.

    This is the service and expertise we get for $1000/year PER USER?

    An inexcusable mess.

  • Avatar
    Brian Adkins

    Paul, 

    You think ZD is a mess?  Well, you're right... but Office 365 (Microsoft) eats up 8 SPF DNS lookups all by itself.

    good times...

  • Avatar
    Sean Cusick

    @Paul - We're currently in the process of re-doing how we handle SPF lookups. I am going to create a ticket for you to provide you with some more information on that.

  • Avatar
    Scott Sullivan

    @Sean, it would be super helpful if you could share with this topic so we all benefit. I too am interested in cleaning up our SPF entries since we have multiple mail services for our domain.

  • Avatar
    Forrest Miller

    I'm going to throw my hat in here as well and say I would like to know what happens with the "re-doing how we handle SPF lookups" issue.

  • Avatar
    Maurice Knopp

    Dear Zendesk team, dear community,

     

    I've setup SPF correctly and Zendesk receives mails, but I am not able to send E-Mails though I thoroughly followed all steps described here. I suppose I should be able to send emails via zendesk even if SPF would not be setup correctly.

     

    I tried emailing several addresses on several domains and I was not able so send mails out from zendesk. 

    Could someone of the zendesk team look into our account and setup outgoing mails correctly? That would be great.

     

    Thanks,

    Maurice

  • Avatar
    Laura D.

    Hi Maurice, 

    I looked at your account and the reason no emails are being sent is that all of your Triggers are inactive. Triggers are the mechanism that controls outgoing messages. I recommend reactivating the default triggers. You can customize them or create your own if you need a customized workflow but not having any means no emails will be sent to your customers. 

    You can find out more about triggers here: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/20011606-Streamlining-workflow-with-ticket-updates-and-triggers. 

    Also, this article gives an overview of the default triggers: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/21515217.

    Please let us know if you have more questions!

  • Avatar
    Eduardo Cupertino

    Hi everybody,

    This tool maybe is a way to select the best choice - a syntaxys SPF validador. I still making some tests... I am nearest to to the sucess.

    http://www.kitterman.com/spf/validate.html

    Hugs from Brazil.

  • Avatar
    Arjan Salomons

    Hi,

    would a forward from support@myDomain.com to support.mydomain@mydomain.zendesk.com also work?

    And ticket updates would be transparently sent from support@myDomain.com?

    We already have a support mailbox support@myotherdomain.com which pulls in mails via Gmail.

    Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Sean Cusick

    Hi Scott and Forrest and all,

    You'll want to review this article as it has been updated. We recommend that you use mail.zendesk.com as your SPF record as it has the fewest number of lookups.

    Please let us know if you have any more questions.

     

     

  • Avatar
    Buck

    Hi,

    This is a great post. Unfortunately I still don't understand SPFs or how to add/remove parts without compromising them and forcing myself (and my ecommerce site into email hell - which I can't afford to do).

    Here is the SPF record we were told to use by our shopping cart system (through which we send email), which is also accounting for the fact that we use the "send as" feature in gmail. Unfortunately, they weren't willing to help us configure the SPF to deal with the other servers our mail is sent through.

    v=spf1 include:_ spf.google.com a: srvspf03.3dcartstores.com ?all

    How do I add zendesk without messing up the SPF?

    In fact, I also need to account for the fact that we send mail directly from our domain's own email system which is at godaddy, so if you're game to add in coverage for that too (if you happen to know it), I'd certainly appreciate it!

    Thanks,

    Buck

  • Avatar
    Krijn Faber

    Hi Buck,

    SPF records can be quite hard to understand. Basically what we want to do here is add another include for the Zendesk mail servers and an entry for your own email domain at GoDaddy to set them up as authorised parties for sending email on your behalf. All Zendesk mailservers are included in the mail.zendesk.com record and the entries for your own domain are usually set in the MX records for the domain.

    The new record which you should use is as follows:

    v=spf1 mx include:_ spf.google.com a: srvspf03.3dcartstores.com include:mail.zendesk.com ?all

    If you update your record to that value you should be sorted for all systems that send mail on your behalf :-)

     

  • Avatar
    Buck

    That's awesome, thank you! To clarify one thing - I've attached a screen cap of the MX portion of our DNS - does this mean that I don't have to add any of these to the SPF because they're in the MX? I didn't understand that portion of your post.

    Sorry for my ignorance. I've read so many SPF horror stories, I really don't want to go there!

    Thank you again.

    Buck

  • Avatar
    Krijn Faber

    Hi Buck, You're most welcome!

    About the MX part you are totally right, as we included an MX portion in that SPF record it will automatically take all records that are in your MX priority queue and add them as permitted senders for your domain.

    This SPF record is totally valid and won't end up in a horror story of any kind :-)

     

  • Avatar
    Jennifer Rowe

    I updated this article to show that  mail.zendesk.com is the better SPF option, and not support.zendesk.com.

     

  • Avatar
    Michael Knobloch

    Hi,

    we try to configure the spf so we can receive mails from zenDesk (support@ownDomain.com) at our own domain mail server(some.user@ownDomain.com).

    Sendings mails to other domains works perfectly fine, but we do not receive any mail to our own domain.

    This is the SPF we use at the moment:

    v=spf1 include:support.zendesk.com include:smtp.zendesk.com ip4:62.146.100.8/24 ip4:62.146.100.9/24 ~all

    I really appreciate your help,

    Michael

  • Avatar
    Oliver Mott

    Hi,

    Apologies if this has already been covered but if I am using the 'import from Gmail' functionality - which works great, how can I make it so sent emails from Zendesk go into the sent folder in the Gmail account, as they don't at the moment?

    Normally I presume we would need to change the SMTP settings, which I don't know if you can and I don't want to mess with the Gmail integration.

    Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

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