Troubleshooting Mail Forwarding and Delivery Issues With Help Scout

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Inbound Email Issues

Inbound email refers to the emails being sent to your Mailbox address that is then forwarded to Help Scout.

Messages appear in Outlook / Gmail / my email provider, but not in Help Scout. Why?
Make sure your forwarding rule is enabled. Additionally, double check that you've got the correct Help Scout forwarding address as shown in your Mailbox settings in your rule. It won't work if there are any extra characters or blank spaces. Lastly, look at your spam folder to make sure your email provider hasn't stopped legitimate messages - most providers will not forward emails they've flagged as spam over to us.

Some of my customers are reporting they've emailed me but I don't see the messages in Help Scout. Where are my emails?
Log in to your Mailbox address inbox with your email provider to check if the messages were delivered there. If you don't see them there, the emails never made it to your inbox and wouldn't have been forwarded to Help Scout. Your email provider might be able to help figure out why those messages weren't received.

If you do see them there, make sure they are not in a spam folder or marked as spam. Most providers will not forward emails they've flagged as spam over to Help Scout. Check in with your email provider about what you can do to stop that from happening. 

If you do see the emails at your provider and not in spam, download the original headers and send those over to us. We will check our logs for the missing messages and let you know what we find.

There are emails in my Gmail Spam folder that I don't see in Help Scout. How do I get these into Help Scout?
If Gmail marks a message as spam, that message won't be delivered to Help Scout unless you manually forward it. When you forward from your Mailbox address the message will be parsed with your Mailbox address as the customer. Change the customer on the conversation that is created to link it to the correct customer. 

Gmail's spam filters can be a little aggressive. If you regularly find legitimate messages marked as spam in Gmail, there are several things we recommend:

  1. Mark the message as not spam. Gmail's spam filter learns based on your feedback, so marking the message as not spam will help prevent the messages from being incorrectly tagged in the future.
  2. Add senders to your contacts or approved senders list. If you're seeing a particular sender being routinely marked as spam who you work with (this can happen with automated alerts, for example), make sure to add that sender to your contacts list in Gmail. If you're using a Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite) account, your domain admin can add the sender to the approved senders list to keep them out of spam.
  3. As a last resort, bypass spam filtering at Gmail. If you're seeing more legitimate messages caught in your spam filter than you are spam, set up a filter with the condition is:spam and select Never Send to Spam as the filter action. (Find more information on Gmail filters at Google support.) Your messages will still go through Help Scout's spam filters once they reach us.

Why aren't my replies syncing to Help Scout when I respond from Outlook / Gmail / my email provider?
Best practice is to only access the emails for your Mailbox address using Help Scout after your forwarding is set up. If you respond to messages in your email client or at your email provider (Outlook, Gmail, Roundcube, etc.) outside of Help Scout, your replies to customers will not be sent back to Help Scout.

Outbound Email Issues

Outbound email refers to emails you send from Help Scout to other email addresses.

What's up with these bounce-back messages from
You'll see a bounce-back message when a recipient's server refuses an email. There's usually a reason for the failure located in the bounce-back email. Look at the Status line for more information:

Final-Recipient: rfc822;
Action: failed
Status: 5.1.2 (bad destination system: no such domain)
X-PowerMTA-BounceCategory: bad-domain

In the example above, the message was not delivered because the domain doesn't exist. Naturally, we can't deliver email to a domain that isn't active! There are quite a few reasons for delivery failure, and we'd be happy to provide some insight for specific cases if needed. Just get in touch!

My customer reports that they did not receive my email. Can you tell me why?
Spam prevention on the customer's side is the most common reason your email did not reach your customer. There is no way to guarantee any email you send from any source will not get blocked, but there are steps you can take to improve deliverability. 

If you are using Help Scout servers to send, make sure that you have set up SPF and DKIM so that Help Scout is an approved sender for your domain. Alternatively, you can set up Help Scout connect to a custom SMTP server or Google oAuth to send emails directly from your provider. 

I sent an attachment, but my customer says it didn't come across?
As long as the file is successfully attached in Help Scout and sent with your reply, the customer likely received the attachment. It's entirely possible they're just overlooking it, or their mail client is not displaying the file as it should. If you have any doubts, let us know, and we can take a look at the mail server to see if the file was delivered.

When the combined size of all attached files is over 8MB, we send the files as links instead of attachments. This conversion to links is to make sure your email gets through - some email clients will block emails with large attachments, and spam filters are also more suspicious of email with big attachments. If you're sending a large number of attachments, your customer might be overlooking the links.

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