Forward Email Aliases to a Mailbox
An alias in Help Scout is any email address other than your main address that automatically forwards messages to your Help Scout mailbox. 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 mailbox aliases.
In this article
What an Alias is in Help Scout
Suppose that your mailbox address is email@example.com, but you have other email addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org 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 mailbox? Check out When to Set up a New Mailbox for a handy guide and comparison!
Declaring the other addresses as mailbox aliases tells Help Scout that you're expecting to receive email automatically forwarded in from that address. You'll find the Aliases field at Mailbox Settings > Edit Mailbox.
Why We Need to Know
Let's say auto-forwarding is set up for email@example.com 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, firstname.lastname@example.org will be included in the CC field because Help Scout doesn't know that email@example.com is associated with your mailbox.
You'll see a duplicate thread of your reply in the conversation in Help Scout (the copy that was sent to firstname.lastname@example.org) in addition to the reply that was sent to the customer.
When you declare email@example.com as a mailbox alias, Help Scout knows that firstname.lastname@example.org is associated with your mailbox, 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 Mailbox Settings > Edit Mailbox 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 mailbox 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 mailbox.
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 email@example.com set up as an alias for the firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox, whenever you receive an email to email@example.com, you will see firstname.lastname@example.org in the To: field.
When you hit reply to that conversation, a From: dropdown will appear, from which you can select the alias email address. The main mailbox (e.g. email@example.com) will be selected by default. When you choose to send as the alias, this selection will be saved from reply to reply. The email address you choose will be displayed in the From field in the email your recipient receives. Your mailbox signature is not appended to emails sent from the alias address.
Note: Support for sending from Workflows is in the works! In the meantime, replies sent from any automated or manual workflows will be sent from the main mailbox 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 mailbox address.
- Open the Gmail inbox for your main mailbox 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 mailbox address, we’ll send via SMTP and fall back to Help Scout’s severs if that fails. If that happens, an email notification is sent to the account owner about the error. 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
For an alias with a different domain, emails are sent by the Help Scout servers. You can set up SPF and DKIM at that domain to ensure those messages arrive safely. Use an SPF record to help with email delivery and Use DKIM to Help With Email Delivery will help 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: