Forward Email Aliases to an Inbox
An alias in Help Scout is any email address other than your custom address that automatically forwards messages to your Help Scout inbox. If you've got multiple addresses that auto-forward, you want to add them to the Aliases field so that Help Scout can handle them correctly.
This article will help you make sense out of inbox aliases.
A custom email address, such as email@example.com, must be connected to your inbox to use aliases in Help Scout.
In this article
What an Alias is in Help Scout
Suppose that your custom address is firstname.lastname@example.org, but you have other email addresses such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com out there that your customers also use to contact you. You might want to auto-forward those other addresses in to Help Scout as well, to make sure you're not missing any support requests.
Not sure if you need to use an alias or set up a separate inbox? Check out When to Set up a New Inbox for a handy guide and comparison!
Declaring the other addresses as inbox aliases tells Help Scout that you're expecting to receive email automatically forwarded in from that address. You'll find the Aliases field at Inbox Settings > Edit Inbox after you've connected your custom address.
Why We Need to Know
Let's say auto-forwarding is set up for firstname.lastname@example.org but you haven't added that address to your Aliases list. If a customer emails that address, the message is forwarded automatically to Help Scout. When you reply, email@example.com will be included in the CC field because Help Scout doesn't know that firstname.lastname@example.org is associated with your inbox.
You'll see a duplicate thread of your reply in the conversation in Help Scout (the copy that was sent to email@example.com) in addition to the reply that was sent to the customer.
When you declare firstname.lastname@example.org as an inbox alias, Help Scout knows that email@example.com is associated with your inbox, so there's no need to CC that address, so no duplicate threads!
Replying From an Alias
If you'd like to reply to conversations using an alias address, head over to Inbox Settings > Edit Inbox and toggle Reply as Alias on, as shown above.
If using Reply as Alias, the alias must be verified before it can be used in a reply. Aliases that match the domain of your main inbox address will be verified automatically. For aliases with a different domain, you'll be asked to verify ownership by entering the six-digit code that we'll send to the alias address.
When using Reply as Alias, an email address can only be added as an alias to a single inbox.
Verify your ownership of that email address, and you're ready to reply from it! Whenever an email is sent to your alias address, you will see it in the To: field in the conversation. For example, if you have firstname.lastname@example.org set up as an alias for the email@example.com inbox, whenever you receive an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, you will see email@example.com in the To: field.
When you hit reply to that conversation, a From: dropdown will appear, which will default to replying to the alias the email was sent to. Your inbox signature will not appear in emails sent from the alias address.
You may choose to send from the inbox address instead, in which case your inbox signature will appear.
Note: Replies sent from any automated or manual workflows will be sent from the main inbox address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org).
Reply as Alias and Google OAuth
If you're using Google OAuth to send your outbound messages, you'll need to make sure the alias is set up as a Send from email address in your Gmail account for your inbox address. As long as the alias is on the same domain as the inbox address, Help Scout will still connect to Google OAuth to send your email.
- Open the Gmail inbox for your main inbox address
- Navigate to Settings > Accounts
- Under the Send mail as: section, double check that your alias address is listed. If it's not, you can add it by clicking Add another email address.
You'll find more details on sending emails from an alias in Gmail's help article.
Reply as Alias and SMTP
If your alias email is on the same domain as your inbox address, we’ll send via SMTP. Depending on your email provider, you may be able to set up Send As permissions to avoid errors — check in with your email admin or support from your provider to ask if that's something your provider can do!
More details can be found here: Use SMTP to Send From Help Scout
If your alias is on a different domain than the inbox address, whether you're using Google OAuth or SMTP, emails are sent from the Help Scout servers. You can set up DKIM at that domain to help ensure those messages arrive safely. Use DKIM to Help With Email Delivery will walk you through those steps.
Filtering by Alias
For tracking purposes, you might want to route all emails to a certain alias address into a folder, or assign them to a team member to work on. Using the To: Workflow condition to look for the alias email address is a great way to do so. For example, if you wanted to automatically tag and assign all conversations that were sent to email@example.com alias, as well as show those in a folder, the Workflow would look like this: