Forwarding incoming email to Zendesk Support Follow

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

Note: The information in this article applies only to support requests from end-users. Automated support requests are not permitted through the email channel.

You configure email forwarding in your own email account, not in Zendesk Support. 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 originates from an external support address will result in a suspended ticket.

After you set up forwarding, make sure you've added your external email address as a Zendesk Support address (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.

Note: After resolving any issues with the forwarding verification, you must perform the forwarding check again. If you resolve the forwarding issue, but do not retry the forwarding check, tickets submitted to the email address will create tickets, but will not send Zendesk Support notification emails.

Optionally, you can edit or create an SPF record to verify that Zendesk Support can send email on behalf of your email server (see Setting up SPF for Zendesk to send email on behalf of your email domain). You can also digitally sign the outbound email from Zendesk. See Digitally signing your email with DKIM or DMARC.

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

Have more questions? Submit a request


  • 0

    Reply address: Must not belong to a user

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

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    @Jason. Go to Manage > People and search for "" 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.

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    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!

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    What should the name of the spf record be?

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    @Grant: This depends on your DNS provider. Here is a list that may help:

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    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

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    @David: Info on GoDaddy SPF record here: Whitelisting "notifications-" means that email address must be able to forward. Either create an alias that forwards, or whitelist in your mail admin settings.

  • 0

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

    However, if we lookup what the SPF record for actually is, it says it is:

    v=spf1 ~all

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

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

  • 0

    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 : ;

    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 ?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: .

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

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


    I appreciate any help I can get! Thank you!

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    I was disappointed to see that the article's recommended SPF record was updated in August from to , 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.

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    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 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. and not from

     I saw a setting in channel option where I can set the default reply address. Here we were using 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.


  • 0

    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.

  • 0

    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!

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    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 is ONE, which is not an IP, so therefore resolves to which is TWO and not an IP so therefore resolves to which is THREE and not an IP and therefore resolves to 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

    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.

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    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...

  • 0

    @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.

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    @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.

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    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.

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    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.




  • 0

    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: 

    Also, this article gives an overview of the default triggers:

    Please let us know if you have more questions!

  • 0

    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.

    Hugs from Brazil.

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    would a forward from to also work?

    And ticket updates would be transparently sent from

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


  • 0

    Hi Scott and Forrest and all,

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

    Please let us know if you have any more questions.



  • 0


    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:_ a: ?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!



  • 0

    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 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:_ a: ?all

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


  • 0

    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.


  • 0

    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 :-)


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    I updated this article to show that is the better SPF option, and not


  • 0


    we try to configure the spf so we can receive mails from zenDesk ( at our own domain mail server(

    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 ip4: ip4: ~all

    I really appreciate your help,


  • 0


    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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