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How to set up an Email Channel

Stefan Dreßler May 17, 2019

Start with zero configuration

After creating your HelpSpace account, you will be asked to forward your emails to a generic address which looks like the one below:

xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx@xxxx.inbound.helpspace.io

You can also find this address on the Settings->Channels page in your HelpSpace workspace.

Setup your support email address

Certainly you want to receive and send messages with an existing email address like support@your-domain.com. We will lead you through some simple steps and explain why it's important.

For the following part you need to be able to:

  • Login to your email and domain provider
  • Setup an email forwarder
  • Add two domain DNS-Records

If you do not know how to configure these things, just send this article to your IT-Admin.

Inbound - Forward your email address

The forwarder will pipe all messages of this particular email address to your HelpSpace workspace.

Login to your email provider and setup a forwarder for your email address. The forwarder should point to your dedicated HelpSpace inbound address. This is something like:

xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx@xxxx.inbound.helpspace.io

You will find this address on the settings page in your workspace. Depending on your email provider, this changes will take some time. Usually not more than 15 minutes.

After you have set up the forwarder, all incoming emails will appear in your HelpSpace workspace immediately.

Outbound - Add DNS-Records as signature

DKIM and Return-Path records prevent emails from being marked as spam

The DKIM record confirms that HelpSpace is a legitimated email sender of your domain. The Return-Path record confirms that HelpSpace is allowed to receive bounced emails, so that we can provide this information back to your team.

What is an DKIM record?

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is a method to validate the authenticity of email messages. When each email is sent, it is signed using a private key and then validated on the receiving mail server (or ISP) using a public key that is in DNS. This process verifies that the message was not altered during transit.

Emails that are signed with DKIM appear more legitimate to your recipients and are less likely to go to Junk or Spam folders.

Adding the DKIM record

Set the type to "TXT" in the dropdown menu option. Then copy the DKIM hostname and value in the TXT field..

What is the Return-Path record?

The Return-Path is the address where bounces and other email feedback are sent. The default Return-Path for emails sent through HelpSpace is pm-bounces@pm.mtasv.net.

If you have a DMARC policy for your domain, you should set up a custom Return-Path to achieve SPF alignment. While you are adding the DKIM record you should also add the Return-Path record at the same time.

The Return-Path record enables us to provide important delivery feedback to your support team. Common bounce messages for instance are Mailbox out of space or Mailbox not found. Without Return-Path record, this messages will not reach your team.

Adding the Return-Path record

For your Return-Path domain, you need to create a CNAME record in DNS that points to pm.mtasv.net.

Delay time of DNS changes

Depending on your provider DNS changes can take up to 48 hours, but usually will be completed in a few minutes. We recommend waiting 30 minutes.

We hope reading this article was useful for you.

Please help us to improve and send us feedback to support@helpspace.io.

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