Parsing emails

Workflow automation: Set ticket and contact fields from incoming emails

With nearly half of the world’s population becoming active email users, billions of emails are being exchanged every day.  Customer-facing teams in domains like Customer Service,  Customer Relationship Management experience a high number of inbound messages on a daily basis. Some examples are user registration, customer onboarding, warranty-related emails, messages that convey status, or other email interactions with customers. Many times, these emails are formatted and follow a defined pattern. (i.e) Information contained in these emails has a specific structure. It is critical for businesses to make sense of incoming emails, extract the information, and leverage it wisely.

Challenges in extracting information from emails

1. Manual effort and increased time duration

Organizations using help desk systems typically copy the essential information from the message and paste it manually in ticket or contact custom fields. With the increase in the volume of the inbound messages, processing them becomes time-consuming

2. Multiple formats of inbound messages

Usually, there would be more than one way in which an inbound message is received. It may differ in the format and quantity of information. For example, when an organization receives warranty registration emails, the information in the mail would vary based on the product or the type of customer.

3. Prone to human error

With the intensive manual effort being involved, there are always a fraction of cases that are prone to human error. It is likely to cause rework, delay in delivery, decrease in customer satisfaction or may even lead to a lost business opportunity.

Read incoming emails and automate actions using HappyFox Workflows

HappyFox Workflows allow you to read all inbound messages to your help desk system and automatically detect patterns in the email. You can then extract the required information and automate a wide variety of actions like setting ticket custom fields, changing contacts, adding a reply, sending a response and much more. It consists of two steps that are shown below.

1. Extracting Values from the Email Message

Using the ‘Extract values from Text’ action in HappyFox Workflows, you can parse an incoming mail. This is done by indicating the pattern in which the mail is received. Text values of the message can be replaced with field names like {Product}, {Customer Name} and so on. By doing this, the pattern of the incoming mail is set for HappyFox Workflows to detect it. 

The 'Extract values from text' action enables you to set and detect patterns.
The ‘Extract values from text’ action enable you to set and detect patterns.

2. Automated Workflow Actions on Tickets and Contacts

Once the incoming email is parsed, the extracted fields are available to be used. Businesses can automate various actions based on their business processes. Once the information is captured and made available in custom fields, it helps organizations to report on these fields, create queues, use in notification templates or for automating further workflow actions.

Consider an example where emails for new user warranty registration gets triggered as a ticket. The content of the email has product and customer information in a defined format. HappyFox workflow automation software is used to parse the information in near real-time and extract fields like Product, Customer Name, Customer email, Phone, Store, Address Line 1, Address Line 2. Then, actions like changing the contact to the required customer name, updating customer details are automatically performed. Additionally, a follow-up response to the customer containing the extracted information is sent by a workflow action. 

The extracted information is used to set custom fields  (eg. city, Address Lines)
The extracted information is used to set custom fields (eg. city, Address Lines)

Benefits of Email Processing & Data Entry Automation

Saving Time and Money  

The time spent on manual tasks like copy-pasting information would be totally eliminated. It also obviates the need for using any email parsing API services. This results in faster cycle-time, reduced costs, and increased savings. 

Increased Agent Productivity

With repetitive tasks being automated, bottlenecks are removed and customer support team members can now focus on more important tasks related to ticket resolutions and customer interaction. Manual processes are automated through workflow tools and it clearly leads to process improvement. Various other teams like sales teams, human resources can automate their processes to achieve more in less time.

24×7 – Always On Email Automation

Irrespective of the volume of the incoming emails and time of day, HappyFox workflow automation software ensures complete workflow management and maximum efficiency. Organizations ranging from small businesses to large enterprises can benefit immensely by automating their workflow processes.

Flexible to accommodate multiple patterns

With HappyFox Workflows, teams can configure more than one pattern for the same incoming mail. This expands the scope of the incoming mails and the amount of information extracted, resulting in intelligent solutions. 

Streamline Process Automation

HappyFox Workflows can effect actions on multiple other systems. An action that extracts information from the email can be followed up with a wide variety of actions across various external systems like HappyFox Help Desk, Zendesk, Salesforce and more.

Use Cases of parsing emails using a workflow automation software

New Registrations

As explained earlier in the blog, a majority of new registrations of users, products, warranties involve reading incoming emails. Automating workflow actions here is a clear opportunity.

Server Alerts and Monitoring Systems

Systems which monitor the status of servers and other critical systems, send periodic emails. These emails typically get converted as tickets. It becomes critical to detect minor differences in the values. This can convey information regarding server name, status, incident time, the current owner or any other detail. Extracting such values from the emails and automating subsequent actions like merge tickets ensures increased uptime and efficiency.

Capturing standard ticket information during agent replies

Support agents frequently summarize the complete ticket information while moving the ticket to a specific closure status. This helps other agents and stakeholders to get a quick overview of the ticket. In such cases, HappyFox workflow automation software can be used to detect specific parts of the message as Issue Name, root cause, the resolution provided and so on. The extracted information can prove to be a rich source of customer insights.

Enhancing customer relationship management

CRM systems prove to be a crucial tool in converting leads into business deals. With each customer interaction being recorded diligently, it is a rich source of triggering various workflow automation as per their business needs. With HappyFox Workflows being able to connect with Salesforce, standard messages in salesforce can be extracted and used for subsequent automation actions.

Social Media

Most ticketing software has the ability to interact with customers through social media. Posts in forums like Facebook and Twitter are active channels for ticketing communications. The information posted here can also be extracted to identify issue description, type, and other parameters.

Leveraging Workflow Automation

With automation on the rise, it is imperative organizations to consider automating their business processes.  It is important to use workflow automation tools to accelerate their automation journey. Apart from top tools like HappyFox Workflows, Zapier and Kissflow, other tools like Integrify, Nintex and Flokzu are present in the market. 

HappyFox Workflows provides rich capabilities to extract content from any text message and automate various workflow actions. With an unlimited number of emails, supporting the extraction of any part of the email and the ability to detect patterns on any inbound message, it ensures faster cycle-time and maximum automation.

Get a demo of HappyFox Workflows and accelerate your automation journey.


Hari Narayanan Venkateswaran

Inspired by Products, Technology, and Life! Works in Product Team at HappyFox.