As described in Choosing the email addresses to receive support requests, you can receive support requests at an external email address and forward the incoming email to Zendesk. In turn, Zendesk can send email replies to your customers via your external email address. External email addresses are owned and maintained by you, outside of Zendesk (for example, email@example.com).
- Add your external support address in Zendesk so that Zendesk can verify the address and display it in outbound email.
- Set up forwarding in your email service so that incoming email is forwarded to a Zendesk support address.
The following video gives you an overview of how to connect your existing support email:
Connecting your existing email account [1:39]
Things to consider
- Connecting your email is one of the last steps before going live with Zendesk. Hold off on forwarding your email until you’re ready to process tickets in Zendesk.
- You can forward email to any existing Zendesk address. You can also create one or more support addresses for forwarded email. See Planning your Zendesk support addresses for forwarded email.
- If you use a Gmail account to receive support requests and expect low volume, Zendesk recommends using the Zendesk Gmail Connector for Email instead of setting up forwarding. See Enabling automatic ticket creation for your Gmail inbox.
- If you can’t set up forwarding yourself (for example, IT needs to set it up for you), you might consider setting up forwarding first, before you add the external support address in Zendesk. Remember that email traffic is one-way (inbound only) until you add the external address. Zendesk only sends outbound email on your behalf from that address when a support address has been added, and it has passed forwarding verification.
Planning your Zendesk support addresses for forwarded email
If you use one external email address to receive support requests, you can forward email from that address to any existing Zendesk support address. You can use your default support address, another Zendesk support address, or create a new address.
If your customers currently send support requests to multiple external email addresses, you can forward multiple addresses to one Zendesk address. However, Zendesk recommends creating a Zendesk support address for each forwarded account instead.
In this scenario, first create a new, native Zendesk support address for each so you have a 1:1 mapping with your external forwarded accounts. Then, follow the steps in Adding your external support address in Zendesk to connect the accounts.
Although you don’t have to set up your addresses this way, creating multiple Zendesk support addresses to receive forwarded email has advantages. For example, you can more easily route tickets to groups based on the support address where they were received.
Adding your external support address in Zendesk
First, add your external support address to Zendesk. When you add your support address, your email will be verified, and you'll know whether you've set up email forwarding correctly.
- In Admin Center, click Channels in the sidebar, then select Talk and email > Email.
- If the Zendesk support address you are forwarding email to doesn’t exist yet, create it. See Adding a Zendesk support address.
- In the Support addresses section, click Add address, then select Connect
- Enter your existing support email address in the Enter current support address
field, then click Go.
If you have a Gmail address and expect low volume, you can click Sign in with Google instead to use the Zendesk Gmail Connector for Email. See Enabling automatic ticket creation for your Gmail inbox.
- Complete the on-screen steps to set up
forwarding on your email server.
This is done outside of Zendesk, and the exact steps depend on your mail server. The steps for Gmail are shown below as an example.
The wizard instructs you to enter your default support address as the forwarding email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), but you can use any existing Zendesk support address.
- After you set up email forwarding on your server, click Yes, I finished, then
A test email is sent to that address to verify that you've set up forwarding properly. If successful, a message indicates the address is verified.
If the test fails, you are alerted. After resolving issues, you must perform the verification again. See How to verify forwarding.
If you resolve the forwarding issue but don’t retry the forwarding check, email sent to the email address will create tickets but will not send Zendesk Support notification emails from that address.
- If you are forwarding email from multiple addresses, repeat steps 1-6 for each email address.
Setting up forwarding on your mail server
When adding your external support address to Zendesk Support, a wizard displays the steps you need to take to set up forwarding in both Zendesk and your external email account. The steps differ depending on the email provider you're using. When you are finished, Zendesk verifies that forwarding is set up correctly.
Some 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.
Refer to your email provider's documentation for more information about forwarding email. Zendesk can't provide support for third-party products, such as email clients. Contact your email provider if you need help setting up automatic forwarding.
Zendesk Support does not support multi-forwarding, or forwarding that goes through multiple locations before being sent to the Zendesk support address. If multi-forwarding is configured, the requester will be the first address that Zendesk can find in the Reply:To or From: fields in the email headers. This could produce inconsistent results and is not supported.
Additional steps when forwarding email
- Add a sender policy framework (SPF) record if you’re using a custom domain (for example, email@example.com) to verify that Zendesk can send outgoing email on behalf of your email server.
- Digitally sign outbound email from Zendesk to combat spoofing and prove that an email actually came from somebody in your organization.
I'm afraid there's no way to change this functionality at this time. Support is configured to always send the response to the requesters email address via email. If you were to send it to the forwarding email, this would just cause an email loop that would then forward that email back to Zendesk.
Apologies for not being able to provide an alternative solution for you at this time!
I have perhaps a unique situation, where all I want is for the initial email that is sent when a user is created to be sent from a different email address. I specifically do not want that address to forward to Zendesk, but i would like all outgoing Zendesk emails to use that address. Is this possible?
Can i use zendest API to embed in LCS blog?
The Microsoft Exchange and Outlook link is a 404 here — please update!
My name is Tod, and I am with the Zendesk Customer Advocacy Team.
Regarding the inquiry about using a non-support address to show where the Welcome email was sent from, this is not possible.
The address would have to be your Default email address listed under Admin > Channels > Email.
Let me know if you have any questions.
I am looking for some help with adding an external address. Here is the situation:
1. We have set up a default address of firstname.lastname@example.org. We have added spf records and the domain verification code for this
2. We have an existing external address that we have moved to Zendesk of email@example.com. This has been working fine in Zendesk. Note that this email address is on its own subdomain of cert.mycompany.com.
3. We have added an additional existing address that we would like to move to Zendesk -- I'll call it firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that this email is on the main domain of mycompany.com. This domain is highly regulated and we cannot make modifications such as adding a spf record or domain verification code just for the use of zendesk for addresses on the main domain. We have forwarding setup for email@example.com.
4. For testing, if we send an email from firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com, a ticket is created, the autoresponse ('Your ticket #x has been opened'), and any subsequent agent communications make it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. If we send an email from email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com, a ticket is created but the autoresponse and any subsequent agent communications never make it to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Do you have any suggestions on how to set this up?
Or how we can troubleshoot it, such as email logs or something else? I can see all of the Events that take place from within the tickets and they appear fine. I have also queried the API but this doesn't seem to allow you to see the emails not reaching the sender.
Hello, can I set up a rule like this:
if Emails are send to the eamaladdress firstname.lastname@example.org, there should be no ticket created.
Many thanks in advance!
Once an email reached your Support instance, it will automatically create a ticket and it is hardcoded in the system. As an alternative, you can create a trigger that will auto close the ticket that came from a specific email address. You just need to add the condition Ticket Status:Closed under Action.
This article is missing a key piece of information. When the G Suite admin is setting up forwarding, what destination address should be provided? Is it the default Zendesk Support address in admin->Channels->Talk and email->Email?
Update: Nevermind, the answer is here.
Thank you for reaching out to Zendesk Support. In regards to your concern, yes you need to use the email address selected as the default support email address in your email settings from the Support page. Kindly check the article, Automatically forward Gmail messages to another account from Google if you need further information.
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.
Thank you and have a wonderful day ahead!
Hi team ,
I am forwarding emails from a Gmail Account to Zendesk Support . Those emails include an attachment when forwarded, however some attachments are lost in my Zendesk Support tickets . Any idea why ?
This could be related to the file size of the attachments. When email attachment file size limitations are exceeded, links to attachments appear in email notifications instead (see Attachment size limitations).
I need help as my zendesk is not receiving emails.
Looking at the screenshot that you have provided, you need to configure email forwarding from your email service provider since the configuration is not done thru Zendesk Support. You might need to set up an email forwarding business rule, depending on your email service provider.
You can also check our supporting article, Allowing Zendesk to send email on behalf of your email domain for more information about this.
Thank you and have a wonderful day ahead!
Hi there, what would be the best practice when forwarding emails addresses to different brands? Would you forward to the main support email address and then adjust the brand (as per the screenshot) or would you forward the email addresses directly to the right brand support email address?
Hello Ana, thank you for your question!
Technically, both of these solutions would work, in the sense that you would be able to create tickets in your account both ways. Our recommendation is that you set up the forwarding with multiple brands like this:
This way, the tickets will be automatically routed to the appropriate Brand, and it also means you use the correct default address as reply-from per brand.
I hope this was helpful!
Is there currently any way to receive a notification if a forwarding address begins to fail?
We had a situation in the recent past where a support address on our Google side was updated without us being informed, so tickets stopped coming through. It would be helpful if in these instances Zendesk would share an alert that a support email had stopped working.
Thanks for your comment here. Yes it would only show when you look at the channels > email page and there is no notification for it. Though I completely understand what you're saying and agree that it would be a great feature to have. I would recommend posting this as a feedback for our product team to see and hopefully add in the roadmap for future improvements.
I've just discovered that when I forward an email from a client to our support alias to open a ticket, the requester is showing as the client (the email address the email thread originated from) instead of mine. How can I make sure that I am the requester on this new ticket, not the client who doesn't need visibility into the ticket? Thanks
I want to create tickets from any emails received at it-----------@---.com
I want them forwarded into zendesk to one of our support addresses it-----------@---.com
When I 'connect external address' it shows this message stating that we need to add support@------.zendesk.com as the forwarding address. I want emails forwarded to itops_____@_______.zendesk.com instead. How can I amend that?
Email addresses redacted by Zendesk Community team
Hi Jonathan Lilley,
The system sets the first email created upon creation of the account as the forwarding address and we don't currently have a way to change this. Once you have set up forwarding, it-----------@---.com will show as the sender address.
For Microsoft 365 / Exchange Online, documentation should mention that forwarding is to be done using ForwardingAdress, AND SHOULD NOT BE DONE VIA ForwardingSmtpAddress
Doing it via ForwardingSmtpAddress results on Zendesk side in
OOI, when using an external email address, i.e. email@example.com, does Zendesk recommend the use of an actual mailbox before redirecting to Zendesk, i.e. a mailbox that will store a copy of the incoming email, or does it recommend the use of a simple distribution list that will simply forward the email on to Zendesk?
In other words, does Zendesk reliably receive emails and hold on to them if there is an issue immediately raising a Zendesk ticket; and will subsequently raise a ticket when Zendesk comes online?
We highly recommend the use of standard emails over these options to ensure the maximum deliverability of your emails.
We do not support the use of aliases, distribution lists, shared mailboxes, Google groups, or any non-standard email clients/services at this time, due to added complexities of routing and issues troubleshooting. However, you still have an option to connect them if necessary.
Note: If you choose to use these options, Zendesk cannot assist in troubleshooting any issues due to being unsupported.
We have a problem where we have set our external support address to forward to a Zendesk support address, but tickets received show the requester as our external address, instead of the original requester. Is there a way that we can have it automatically show the original requester instead of our external email? I've been trying for ages and can't find a way to do this.
Hi Steven, thanks for writing in! May we know if you have reached out to support already to investigate this further? However, we are seeing this in the past from Microsoft which is also described here: Use rules to automatically forward messages. Auto forwarding or redirecting the email.
Hi Jupete, thank you so much for the reply. Changing the Outlook rules to redirect instead of forward seems to have done the trick. Fantastic, thanks!
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