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Recognise E-Mails that have been forwarded to Helpspot and set appropriate client details


In our company we often have clients email their support requests to our personal email address’s rather than to our support email. Unfortunately this seems like something that will always happen in our company.

As a result we find ourselves constantly forwarding email from our mail client to our support (helpspot) email address so that we can use helpspot to respond to the customer.

When we forward emails to our support email address the sender information is changed from the customers email to our own name and email meaning that when we open the request in helpspot it looks like the request has come from us rather than the customer. We constantly have to manually update the customer info.

Would it be possible to automatically recognize that the email has been forwarded, read the original sender data (that outlook kindly drops this into the top of the email) and adjust the customer data to reflect the original sender.

This idea is not new. – Highrise does it very well.

We have also incorporated the idea into some of our PHP apps and it seems to be working well. I would be happy to share this code with you if you are interested in taking a look. The code is not particularly complex.

Cheers, George


Hi George,

You can use redirection on some mail clients to do this. We are looking at trying to capture that information directly from the email. Most email clients don’t include any relevant headers when you forward which means you have to attempt to parse the message (as you know). This can be messy/dangerous especially when you get into different languages, etc but we’d love to take a look at working code you have if you’d like to share. Please email it in to customer.service



Hi Rik,

In the next release (coming very soon) HelpSpot will attempt to pickup that an email is forwarded and use that information correctly. It works pretty well for English email clients that use the standard formats (Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo).

There’s no way currently to set the customer ID via the rules. If this is an automated system sending in the emails though you could do it via the email parser API:


Hi Rik,

We’ll look at adding that, but it’s going to be some time before it would be available.

In the meantime there’s a few ways you can do this. First you could use Live Lookup. Even though you don’t have a DB with this information you don’t need one. Just create an array in your script with the email addresses and their corresponding customer ID’s.

Another option would be to query the database directly and look for requests (HS_Request) with no customer ID (sUserId) and update it based on the email in the request (sEmail)