Receiving requests by email

If your customers prefer to raise requests from the comfort of their email inboxes, you can set up an email address to receive requests in your service desk. Emailed requests are added to your queues, so your team can focus on customers without worrying about missing requests or multiple inboxes.

Here's how it works:

  1. A customer emails a request to your service desk email address. The request becomes an issue in your service desk and is added to a queue.
  2. An agent comments on the issue.
  3. The customer receives an email notification that contains the agent's comment.
  4. The customer replies to the email notification, and the reply displays as a comment on the issue in the service desk.

On this page:

Before you start

  • Make sure you have JIRA Administrator and Administer Projects permission.
  • Enable public signup, or add customers to your service desk project to ensure that you receive new requests.
  • Set up a suitable request type with Summary and Description as required visible fields. Any other fields must be optional.
  • Know which emails from your mail client will be processed

Customer requests and comments are processed differently than Jira mail. Issues created via Jira email handlers don't show up as service desk customer requests. For this reason, we don't recommend using a Jira mail handler for service desk projects.

Add an email account

Open your service desk project and go to Project settings > Email requests. Select Add an email address. Easy enough. Choose your email service provider and enter the requested details before selecting Next

If your Gmail or Yahoo! account uses two-step verification, you'll need to set up an application-specific password.

Choose a request type

When a customer emails your service desk, a corresponding request is created with the following two fields:

  • Summary (from the email subject line)
  • Description (from the email content)

To use the email channel, you therefore need to have at least one request type in your project with Summary and Description fields – we call these types of requests "suitable for emails". Associating email requests with a suitable service desk request type ensures that the emails are successfully filtered into your service desk queues. In this example, we have one suitable request type Get help:

Select a suitable request type for your email channel and select Done.

Verify your linked email account

Once you have chosen a suitable request type, Jira Service Desk sends a test email and creates a corresponding test request in your service desk project. Head on over to the Queues tab to find the new request:


New messages sent to your linked email account appear as service desk requests in your project. For more information about which emails are processed by Jira Service Desk, expand the option that applies to you: 

Emails using POP

Jira Service Desk looks for messages in your inbox that have...
  1. The "Deleted" flag set to false, and
  2. Were received after your email account and service desk project were linked.

To link your email account with a service desk using POP, make sure that your email inbox is empty by moving the existing messages to another folder, archiving them, or deleting them. Starting with an empty inbox ensures that you do not lose emails unintentionally, as POP emails are deleted after they are processed by Jira Service Desk.

Emails using IMAP

Jira Service Desk looks for messages in your inbox that have...
  1. The "Deleted" and "Seen" flags set to false, and
  2. Were received after your email account and service desk project were linked.

If you use IMAP, emails are marked as read (not deleted) after they are processed by Jira Service Desk. If you want existing messages to be pulled in by Jira Service Desk, you can move them back to your inbox and mark them as unread after the connection has been established.

Prepare customers for email greatness

Before you share your email address with your customers, you'll want double check the customer permissions for your service desk:

  • If anyone can email your service desk, then you're good to go! People who email your service desk automatically become customers. On the Email requests page, you can further control what happens to email addresses that are subsequently added to either the To or CC field of an email associated with a service desk request.
  • If customers have to be manually added to your project, then make sure your team creates new customer accounts for them. If people who aren't customers email your service desk, their requests won't be processed.

On the Email request page, you can also choose whether to allow emails from addresses which are currently not registered as customers of your service desk to be added as comments to the associated request. This is useful if a customer forwards an email to an external person regarding a request, and the external person responds with information relating to the request. The information will be recorded as a comment on the request. Note that the service desk will not send notifications to the external person regarding the request to preserve privacy.

Email channel notes

  • You can only link one email account to your service desk project.If you use more than one email address to interact with your customers, you might be able to set up forwarding rules or aliases to receive requests in the email linked to your service desk project. You will need to configure any forwarding rules or aliases in your email client.

  • If you are a Jira Administrator, you can refer to Managing the email channel to learn more about global mail settings.
  • If you encountered any issues during the email setup process, check out some common errors and resolutions here.
Last modified on Oct 8, 2018

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