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When you sign up and create a Freshdesk account, the first step you will need to do is set up your support Email. This is crucial for managing customer inquiries effectively.

In this article, you will learn about:

  1. Types of Emails
  2. Types of Mail servers
  3. Understanding how Email threading works
  4. Tips and best practices

Types of Emails

By default, Freshdesk provides an email address in the Freshdesk domain, for example, support@yourcompany.freshdesk.com, which can be shared with your customers. Any email sent to this address is automatically converted to tickets in Freshdesk. Additionally, you can configure alternate support emails in your own domain, for example, support@mycompany.com. 

Freshdesk allows you to add unlimited incoming and outgoing mailboxes so you can handle support for different scenarios.

For each support email you add, the Reply emails from Freshdesk will automatically use the respective support email IDs as the From email address. For example, if you receive tickets on support@acme.freshdesk.com, the replies you send to customers will have support@acme.freshdesk.com.


Note: You can add multiple emails from the Growth plan. However, if you are on the Free plan, you can add only one email.


Types of Mail servers

While setting up additional emails, Freshdesk provides you the option to choose the email server and email client to manage your email transactions:


Freshdesk mail server:  Manage all your incoming and outgoing email transactions via the Freshdesk mail server. If you choose to use the Freshdesk mail server, you have to additionally configure forwarding rules in your Email client to forward the emails to Freshdesk so that they are captured as tickets in your account. 


Custom Email server: You can also use custom email servers or public servers like Gmail or Microsoft for sending and receiving emails through Freshdesk. This lets you manage all your email transactions outside Freshdesk. 


You can learn more about adding new emails here.


Understanding how Email threading works

Freshdesk performs the following two checks to decide if an email reply should be created as a new ticket or threaded to an existing ticket:

  • Email markers check

  • Requester check

Email Markers Check

For every incoming email or ticket, Freshdesk looks for the following three markers to decide if the email is a response to an ongoing ticket conversation, thus preventing duplicate tickets. 

  1. Ticket ID 

  2. Message-ID 

  3. Unique Identifier


Ticket ID

By default, when a ticket is created in your portal, a ticket ID is generated. All the corresponding ticket notifications and updates between the customer and agent will have the ticket ID in the subject line in the format [#{{ticket.id}}]. 

For this reason, it is always recommended to configure the Email subject line with the ticket ID in the above format. 


When the customer or agent replies to the ticket notifications, Freshdesk checks if the ticket ID matches and threads the reply accordingly. Additionally, you can configure a unique threading identifier and add it to all the outgoing templates to ensure that ticket replies are accurately threaded.

For example, you can configure the ticket ID prefix, and add it to your agent reply template, and send out emails to the requestor. For instructions on configuring ticket ID prefix, refer to Configuring Advanced Email Settings.


Message-ID

Every email has a unique identifier assigned by the email provider called Message ID. You can find the Message ID in the 'In-Reply-To' or 'References' section of the Original email, using which a reply gets threaded to the original email. Freshdesk uses the same method to thread replies to tickets.


Note: The Message ID usually expires seven days after the last response on the ticket. This means if there are no agent-customer conversations on a ticket for more than seven days, the Message ID automatically expires. In this case, after seven days, if there is a reply on the ticket, the threading logic looks for the Ticket ID or the Ticket Identifier in order to thread the reply to a ticket. If no matches are found, a new ticket will be created even if it is a reply to an existing ticket.


Ticket Identifier

In addition to the message ID, Freshdesk also has a unique identifier for every email notification sent. This is done using a hidden div tag in the email. If the tag is present, the email will be threaded correctly. For example, if the customer uses plaintext mode to reply, the ticket identifier will not work.

Email ticket threading also works when two different businesses use Freshdesk. Specifically, each Freshdesk account will add an identifier as part of the email message in the hidden div tag so that ticket threading works in Reply and Forward scenarios.


Note: Helpdesk address recipient check

  1. If you configure two email addresses in Freshdesk and receive an email with both these addresses in the same email, two separate tickets will be created. For example, if you have support@abc.com and billing@abc.com, and the customer sends an email to both these addresses in the same mail, the ticket will not be merged instead, two separate tickets will be created. 
  2. Also in the middle of a ticket conversation, if the customer replies adding another support address, then that reply will be created as a separate ticket and also be displayed as a reply in the current ticket.

Requester Checks

Once an email is identified as a response to an existing ticket, Freshdesk checks if the sender's email satisfies one of the following conditions:

Sender's email address is:

  • Requester email address of the ticket

  • Agent email address of the ticket

  • Email address(es) in the CC of the ticket

  • Email address(es) to which the ticket was forwarded

Only when an email reply satisfies one of the Email Marker Checks and one of the Requester Checks Freshdesk appends the email response to an existing ticket.


Tips and best practices

To ensure that ticket replies are properly threaded and no duplicate tickets are created, ensure that you accurately configure the advanced email settings:

  • If you do not want to create a new ticket for each customer response, make sure to disable this setting.

  • It is recommended to ensure that the requester check option is disabled.

  • Additionally, also ensure to disable the “Create a new ticket when subject line changes”.

For more details, check Configuring Advanced Email Settings.