Setting up an Email Help Desk

This tutorial explains the steps you need to follow in order to set up a typical email help desk using Email This Issue without Jira Service Management.

Use Case

This tutorial covers the following use case:

1. An external customer reports a ticket via email, and a new issue is created from email.

2. A service management user requests more information form the customer by commenting the issue, and the customer is notified.

3. The customer replies to the email. The issue is commented, and the old content from the email is stripped out.

4. The service management user resolves and closes the issue, and the customer is notified.

Before you begin

These must be configured to be able to implement the above use case:

  • Mail handler

  • Event notifications


Configuring a Mail Handler to Process Emails

1. Go to INCOMING MAILS --> Mail Handlers.

2. Add an IMAP or POP connection to an email account, e.g.

3. Add a Mail Handler with the following parameters:

  • Name: give a descriptive name, e.g. "MyCompany Support Handler".

  • Server: select the email account you configured above.

  • Handler: select Email This Issue Mail Handler.

  • Project: select the project in which you want to track your ticket, e.g. Helpdesk.

  • Issue Type Select the type you want to use to represent a ticket, e.g. Request.

  • Specify a default reporter: a user who has Create Issue and Add Comment permissions in the project.

  • Leave other settings with the default value.

4. Go to Jira Administration --> Issues, add a text custom field, name it as External Participants, and add a Multi-User picker field called Internal Participants. Make sure the fields are accessible in the project and issue type you configured above.

5. Go to Email Templates under OUTGOING EMAILS and Click Add to add a new template, then name it e.g. Auto Acknowledgment. Customize your template, then click Save.

6. Go to INCOMING MAILS --> Mail Handlers and click Add, then set the attributes of the Mail Handler Context:

  • Project: select the project you configured your mail handler for (Helpdesk). You can leave Project empty to use this context for all projects.

  • Issue Type: select the type you configured above (Request). You can leave issue type empty to use this context for all issue types.

  • Select the Email Processing Strategy, most typically Create or Comment or Link Issues (Supports Split Regex).

  • In Acknowledge New Issues and Acknowledge New Comments, select the Auto Acknowledge template you created above. This will make sure that email senders will get an instant feedback from your Jira system that their emails have been processed. The email will contain the issue key as a reference number.

  • In User Recipients, select "Save to multi user picker field" and select the above created field: Internal Participants.

  • In Sender Field, select "External Participants".

  • In Recipient Field and Copy Recipient Field, select "External Participants".

  • Email Address Exclusion: enter the email address this Mail Handler is listening on (see step 2).

  • In Split Regex, enter the following:

/From: |___.|On .wrote:|----Orig.|On .(JIRA)./

7. Click Save.

You have now prepared Email This Issue to process incoming support emails.

See more here:

Mail handlers


Email templates

Configuring Event Notifications

1. Go to OUTGOING EMAILS --> Email templates and click Add to add a template for your outgoing emails.

2. Base your template on Default and name it e.g. Helpdesk Template.

3. Customize the template according to your needs, and click Save.

4. Go to OUTGOING EMAILS --> Notifications and click Add to create a new Notification Template, then name it e.g. Helpdesk Notifications.

5. On the Notification Events page click Add to add an issue event to the notifcation, and select an event type and the template you created above: Helpdesk Template.

6. Configure the event the following way:

  • Leave the JQL filter empty for now.

  • In the dropdown of Recipients (To), select the fields External Participants and Internal Participants.

  • Add users and/or email addresses.

  • Configure CC Recipients and BCC Recipients according to your needs. These must be enabled separately.

  • In Content, enter your email subject and body according to your needs. These values will be combined with the Template to build the emails content and layout.

  • Select an attachment rule to specify how attachments should be (or should not be) added to the email.

  • In Options, select HTML email type and other options as you wish.

7. Click Save.

8. Repeat the above steps to add all your events. Once completed, your Notifications will look something like this:

9. Go to Go to OUTGOING EMAILS --> Contexts and click Add to add a new context with the following attributes:

  • Project: select the project you configured your Context for (Helpdesk). You can leave Project empty to use this context for all projects.

  • Issue Type: select the type you configured above (Request). You can leave issue type empty, to use this context for all issue types. Template: select the template you created above (Helpdesk template)

  • Notification template: select the notification you created above (Helpdesk Notifications).

  • External Watchers Field: select the field you created for your Mail Handler, called External Participants.

  • Sender Name Pattern: enter a name that appears in the emails as the sender, you can leave it empty.

  • From Email Address: enter the email address you created for your mail handler (

Result: Your basic email support system is in place and is ready to serve you.

Read more here:

Email Templates

Event Notifications

Service Management Integration



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