Forward email aliases to one mailbox
A mailbox alias is any email address that automatically forwards messages to your main mailbox address. If you've got a bunch of addresses that auto-forward, it would be a superb idea to add them to the Aliases field. This article will help you make sense out of mailbox aliases.
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What's the deal with aliases?
Let's say your catch-all support address is email@example.com. Just to be on the safe side, you might want to auto-forward some other addresses to make sure you're not missing any support requests. For example, you'd forward:
Declaring the other addresses as mailbox aliases tells Help Scout there's no need to create a duplicate message when you reply. You'll find the Aliases field from Mailbox Settings → Edit Mailbox.
Why is this important?
Let's say auto-forwarding is set-up for firstname.lastname@example.org. If a customer emails that address, the message is forwarded automatically to Help Scout. If email@example.com is not set as a mailbox alias, when you reply firstname.lastname@example.org will be included in the CC field.
You'll see a duplicate thread in the conversation in addition to the reply that was sent to the customer. Help Scout doesn't know that email@example.com is associated with your mailbox, which is why the address is added to the CC field.
On the flip side, if you declare firstname.lastname@example.org as a mailbox alias, Help Scout will ignore the address when you reply. It knows that email@example.com is absolutely associated with your mailbox, so there's no need to create a duplicate thread. At the end of the day, declaring mailbox aliases prevents confused team members and sloppy message threads.
Replying from an alias address
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.
When reply as alias is enabled, alias addresses must be unique across all other mailboxes in your account. The alias must also 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.
Once the alias is verified, you're ready to reply! Whenever an email is sent to your alias address, it will be unmasked in the To field. For example, if you have firstname.lastname@example.org set up as an alias for the email@example.com mailbox, whenever you receive an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, it will show up in the To: field in the conversation.
When a customer sends an email To or CC your alias address, a From dropdown menu will be available on the conversation. The main mailbox (i.e. email@example.com) will be selected by default, though you can chose to send your response from the alias the customer included (ie. firstname.lastname@example.org) - this selection will be saved from reply to reply. Whichever email address you choose will be displayed in the From field when the conversation is received by the recipient. Your mailbox signature will be removed from any response sent from an alias address.
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 Gmail.
- 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 documentation here.
Reply as Alias and SMTP
For a same-domain alias, 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. More details can be found here: Custom SMTP settings
For an alias with a different domain, emails are sent by the Help Scout servers. You can set up an SPF record at that domain to ensure those messages arrive safely: Use an SPF record to help with email delivery
Filtering by alias address
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 key-in on the incoming email address is a great way to do so. For example, if you wanted to tag and auto-assign all conversations that were sent to email@example.com alias, the Workflow would look like this: