Email troubleshooting guide

Article author
John Smith

This article provides a step-by-step guide to identifying and resolving the most frequently encountered email issues.

  1. Check your business rules

    Triggers and Automations, or business rules, are the features that control email notifications in Zendesk Support. A trigger that is not set up correctly can lead to an email notification at the wrong time, or not sent at all.

    Steps to resolve

    First, confirm that the default triggers that send email notifications are active in your account. Then, confirm that the conditions and actions in those triggers are configured appropriately. Finally, check the events on an example ticket to make sure an email was sent to the right user. If events indicate that happened, and they still did not receive the message, they may be suspended or rejected by your end user’s inbox.

    Here is a video tutorial to help you go through the steps to resolve:

  2. What to do if “this address is already used by…“

    When adding a new support address, you may encounter an error message that says “This address is already used by {user}.”

    Steps to resolve

    An email address cannot be used both as a support address and as an identity for an agent or end user. To use the email address as a support address, you must detach it from the user it is currently associated with.

    First, find the user that currently has this email address associated with it. Then, update or remove the user to free up the email address.

    Once you have updated or removed the user, you can return to Admin > Channels > Email to add the support address. See What does the error “This email address is already used by…” mean? for detailed troubleshooting steps.

  3. SPF, DNS, CNAME and TXT set up

    You may want to add your company’s email address to Zendesk so you can receive and handle tickets sent to that address. Once you’ve added the address to Zendesk, you may find that the configuration steps outside of Zendesk, with your domain provider, can get a little complicated.

    We recommend having your system or network administrator configure settings in your domain provider, but this quick video tutorial shows you or them how to configure the records provided by Zendesk.

    Gmail address

    You may encounter an error that says “Please make sure you’ve updated your Gmail settings by following the steps above.” when adding a Gmail address. This error occurs when the Gmail address is a Google Group, alias, or distribution list. See Unable to add Gmail address as an external support address for detailed troubleshooting for this error.

  4. Understanding and taking action

    Ticket suspension mechanisms in Zendesk protect your account from unwanted or malicious contacts that get in the way of your day-to-day work. It’s possible for you to spot a suspended ticket that you don’t want to be suspended, though.

    Understand the cause of suspension

    When this happens, first, check the suspended queue and find the suspended ticket in question. You’ll see a cause for ticket suspension listed.

    Once you know the cause for suspension, you can take action to prevent this type of ticket from being suspended in the future. See Understanding and managing suspended tickets and spam for more detailed information.

    Viewing, recovering, deleting

    You have the option to either recover or delete the suspended ticket in question. Viewing, recovering, and deleting suspended tickets explains how to do both.

  5. Avoid and control spam

    Receiving spam can be daunting. Below are steps for resolving and deleting spam tickets, as well as advice for preventing future spam.

    Steps to resolve

    First, determine how the spam tickets were created by looking at the ticket events. Once you know the channel spam is coming from, you can take specific measures to stop it. See I was hit by a spam attack. What do I do now? for detailed troubleshooting steps.

    Bulk delete spam

    Once you’ve been hit with spam tickets, learn how to clean them up in How can I bulk delete spam tickets in Zendesk? so you can get back to legitimate tickets.

    Preventing future spam

    We recommend taking some precautions to prevent spam from happening in the first place. See Tips to combat spam and protect your business for more information.

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