When you create a Freshdesk account, like http://company.freshdesk.com, you get a support email that looks like support@company.freshdesk.com. Any email sent to this address gets automatically converted into a ticket that you can get working on, in your Freshdesk account.

When an email gets converted into a Freshdesk ticket, the subject and contents of the email become the title and description of the ticket, respectively. And the person who sent you the email becomes the requester.

Of course, you wouldn’t want your customers knowing exactly what help desk provider you’re using. You’d want them to send you support emails to your own support address, like support@company.com. Converting support emails from vanity email addresses on your own domain into Freshdesk tickets should take you just a couple of minutes.

Quick guide on setting up your support email

  • Login to your support portal as an admin. Click on the Admin tab.
  • Under Support Channels, click Email.
  • Your default support email should be listed under the Global Support Emails section.

  • Click on the Edit button next to your default support email to modify it. This should take you to the Email Settings page.
  • Under Email Settings, give a Name to your email address (like company support). This will be the “From” name that your customers see when you write to them.
  • Enter your support email address. This email address is where your customers will send emails to. You can integrate an existing mailbox or you can create a new one.
  • Your support email address will also be the “Reply-to” address for all the emails you send from your support portal.
  • As you enter the support email, the “Forward your emails to” text box will be modified. It will append the crux of your support email address to your support portal name. Don’t worry if it gets too lengthy as it will be invisible to your users. 
  • Now, you’ll be able to choose whether all the tickets that come through this email address are to be assigned to a certain agent or a group of agents. This option will be really helpful when you set up multiple mailboxes. You can also choose to not do anything with this option at all.
  • Save your settings.

Once you’re done with the steps above, you’ll receive an email from Freshdesk to the support email address. Click on the verification link in the email to confirm your email address. You can also copy-paste the link to your browser and hit “Enter”. They’ll both work.

Now, it’s time to set up forwarding rules. If you already know how to do so, feel free to skip the section below to learn about creating SPF records, which help you improve deliverability. 

Setting up forwarding rules in Gmail

  • Open the Gmail account you want to forward from.
  • Click the gear button on the top right.
  • Select Settings.
  • Select the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  • Click Add a forwarding address in the “Forwarding” section.
  • Enter the email address you want to forward to (the “forward your emails to” address. That’s
  • right. The long one). Once you do, you’ll receive a verification email. Open your other email account and find the confirmation message from the Gmail team. If you’re having trouble finding it, check your Spam folder.
  • Click the verification link in that email.
  • Back in your Gmail account, refresh the web page.
  • On the same Forwarding and POP/IMAP page in Settings, check that Forward a copy of incoming mail is selected and your email address is in the drop-down menu.
  • In the second drop-down menu, choose what you want Gmail to do with your messages after they’re forwarded, such as keep Gmail’s copy in the Inbox (recommended) or archive Gmail’s copy.
  • Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page. 

Creating an SPF record to improve deliverability

In addition to setting up your support email, you are sometimes required to create a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record with your domain name registrar to ensure that all your emails get delivered properly. An SPF record will ensure that emails sent from the specified domain are not marked as spam by any email clients. It can be done quickly, in a matter of minutes, by modifying your Domain Name System (DNS). 

Quick guide to creating an SPF record 

  • Go to your domain registrar's website.
  • Login to the domain control panel.
  • Open your DNS configuration settings.
  • Edit your ZONE File and look for TXT or SPF record.
  • Specify the following value: v=spf1 include:email.freshdesk.com ~all . 
  • Save your changes.

But what if an SPF record already exists?
You can just include the SPF in the same line as your existing record
v=spf1 include:spf1.domain.com include:spf2.domain2.com include:email.freshdesk.com ~all

Adding BCC email

The top-level management might want to know what’s going on in support without the hassle of being added as agents and logging into a helpdesk. Add these email address as BCC to your support inbox while setting it up.

How do I do that?

  • Click on Email, under Support Channels.
  • Click on the Add BCC link above the support emails listed.
  • Type in all the email addresses you want to add as BCC, separated by commas. • Click Save.
  • You can also use your own email servers to send and receive emails. If that doesn’t seem like your ballgame, feel free to skip it in favour of finding out how forwarding emails from private email addresses to your support inbox works.

Using custom email servers to send and receive support emails

This feature can be used with any public services (like Gmail, AOL etc.) or private SMTP and IMAP servers. By using your own servers, you can make sure that all your email transactions are outside Freshdesk, and will be completely managed at your end.

You can also decide if you want to enable your email server for both incoming and outgoing emails, or just outgoing emails.

Quick guide to configure a custom mailbox

  • Click on the Email icon.
  • Click on the Edit button next to the mailbox for which you want to use custom server or you can create a new mailbox by clicking on the New support email button.
  • In the Email settings page, enter the custom email address of the mailbox you want to use in the "Your support email" text box.
  • Click on the Use your own mail server radio button.
  • From the Email System drop down, select the email system to which your server belongs.
  • You can use your mail server for both incoming and outgoing emails or just outgoing emails.

Incoming mail settings

  • If your email system is Gmail or AOL, your server name and port details will be pre-filled.
  • If it's some other system, you need to enter your IMAP server name for incoming emails and you
  • can click on the Use SSL checkbox to establish a secure connection.
  • You can click on the check box below that to delete emails from your own server after it has been
  • fetched into Freshdesk.
  • Use the drop down to choose the Authentication method.
  • Provide the login password for the email address you entered above.

Outgoing mail settings

  • If your email system is Gmail or AOL, your server name and port details will be pre-filled.
  • If it's some other system, you need to enter your SMPT server name from where you want the
  • outgoing emails to be sent.
  • Click on the Use SSL/TLS check box to establish a secure connection.
  • Use the drop down to choose the Authentication method.
  • Provide the login username and password for the email address you entered above.
  • If your username does not have your domain name in it, you will have to enter your domain name
  • in the text box
  • Click save to start using your own email servers.
Please note that the authentication method varies for different email servers. For example, Gmail uses plain or CRAM-MD5 authentication. Choosing the wrong authentication method will lead to an error while saving.

Forwarding emails from a private inbox to your support portal
Support agents who have a personal relationship with customers receive a lot of support emails in their own inboxes. You might want to keep track of such emails too as agents spend time finding solutions for them. They can simply forward these emails to the support email address integrated with your helpdesk (or assigned to you by your helpdesk) and create tickets. And these emails will carry the sender's (customer's) name as the requester of the ticket instead of the name of the person who forwarded the email (the agent).

How does this work?

Tickets that are forwarded from a verified agent's email address will be created in the name of the customer who sent the email to the agent.

But when you forward existing emails from a mailbox (where this mailbox is not associated with an agent), the requester will be the mailbox and the timestamp of the ticket will be the time the email was forwarded.

You can change this setting by following these steps:

  • Login to your support portal as an Administrator
  • Go to the Admin tab
  • Click on the Email icon under the support channels section
  • Below the list of email addresses integrated with the helpdesk, you will be able to see the "For forwarded emails, use original sender as requester" option. 

  • It will be enabled by default. You can switch it on or off based on your use-case. 

PS: Please avoid using a Group Email for converting emails to tickets. Gmail and a few other providers suppress email notifications when an email is sent to group emails. Sometimes tickets will not be created and chaos will reign.

Also, whenever an email is sent from one of the mailboxes you configured in Freshdesk to another (or if the one of the configured mailboxes is in the CC), ticket will not be generated. This has been done to prevent email looping. So it's always a better idea to forward emails to support to create tickets.

For Exchange/Office 365 Customers

  • Microsoft rules state that the emails will be ‘redirected’ to the other contact.
  • Check the properties of the shared mailbox.
  • Under Mailbox Features click on Mail Flow settings. This has an option to enable forwarding. • You can enable this and select the internal mailbox/contact to forward to.