Configuring email approval
With email approval you can request email recipients to give you feedback or make decisions on issues (e.g. approve or decline orders) via email replies.
Note: Email approval requires multiple components in Email This Issue configured properly, so be sure to closely follow the following steps.
1. Configure an email template to send out a request asking recipients to approve or decline. Jump to this procedure.​
2. Configure a mail handler to process the replies. Jump to this procedure.​
3. Configure Workflow transitions for each decision types. Jump to this procedure.
4. Configure Field Rules to parse email content and find the decision tag to call the appropriate workflow transition. Jump to this procedure.​

Configuring an email template

Email templates enables users to create emails with a desired content, including custom fields, issue links, comments, previous email conversations, and so on.
In this section we detail what you need to do to configure email templates for approval. For a dedicated, step-by-step tutorial for customizing an email template, see Customizing the email template used with manual emails.
1. Add the following links to the email template to represent each decisions:
  • "<a href="mailto:[email protected]?subject=$!issue.key - Decision: Approved">Approve</a>"
  • "<a href="mailto:[email protected]?subject=$!issue.key - Decision: Declined">Decline</a>"
Note: Links must be "mailto:" type.
Result: These links will be shown in the email client as part of the email. Users will be able to click them, and generate a response email with subject containing the issue key and the words Approved or Declined, respectively.
Use this template to send the approval request email to the approvers. It is good practice to select the approvers (e.g. decision makers) in a multi-user custom field, then send the email with this custom field as a recipient.
For more information on automating approval request emails when the issue goes to "Approval in progress" see Sending manual emails and Workflow post functions.

Configuring the mail handler

The Email This Issue Mail Handler is a flexible handler with various uses for emails. In this section we detail what you need to do to support approval by email. For a step-by-step tutorial for configuring mail handlers see Setting up an Email Help Desk.
Important: When you configure the mail handler for email approval, make sure that the "Execute workflow transition" and "Initialize Fields" checkboxes are checked.

Configuring workflow transitions

Your workflow must be prepared to support decision-making. There must be a transition for each possible decisions you want to support. For example: add two transitions called "Approve" and "Decline" to a status "Approval in progress".
Read more about workflow transitions here.

Configuring field rules

Field Contexts and Field Rules allow you to manipulate issues and issue fields based on email content. What you need to do is a field rule to extract the decision information from the email content. See the following example that extracts this content from the email subject:
A field rule should be added with the following attributes:
  • Goal: Execute workflow transition
  • Regular Expression: (?i)Decision: (.*)
  • Match in: Email Subject
  • Value from: Capture Group 1
  • Order: 1
Optionally, you might want to store the list of addresses who already replied in the multi-user picker field. To do that, the following field rule should be added:
  1. 1.
    Goal: Set Fields in Existing Issues
  2. 2.
    Regular Expression: .*
  3. 3.
    Match in: Sender Email Address
  4. 4.
    Value from: Capture Group : whole expression
  5. 5.
    Issue Field: select a multi user picker field, e.g. something called "Already Replied"
  6. 6.
    Order: 1
Read more here:
​Field rules​

Further reading

We have a post on the Valiantys Blog on email approval enhanced with nFeed. You can read it here.