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I have an account at Google apps and most of my email is done trough Gmail. Now I just manually respond to support email. I was wondering if there is an easy way using filters and auto responders to create a support ticket system.

I think something like this would be great, but is it possible:

Gmail has to make a unique ID for every email that comes in. After that all the other incoming mails should be grouped using that unique ID and not grouped by email.

Something like that, or are there things I am not taking into account. I really don't want to use separate software for this, because I think with some small configurations this can do the trick quite well.

Or are there some free apps on the marketplace that do this already. I have searched for this but cannot find any.

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migrated from serverfault.com Apr 29 '11 at 11:50

This question came from our site for professional system and network administrators.

closed as off topic by Zuly Gonzalez Jul 9 '11 at 22:07

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What do you mean not grouped by email? Assuming people use the reply button in their email and don't mess around with the subject Google already should be grouping things together. –  Zoredache Apr 15 '10 at 19:56
Oh is the default grouping of Google done by subject or by email? –  Saif Bechan Apr 15 '10 at 20:25
I am still trying to figure out Google's grouping. I do not notice it as much in my personal email, but my work email is in Google Apps, and grouping is absolutely messed up. It groups mail by a common keyword somehow, so i have 20 emails with a word "computer" in the subject, sent by different people on different dates grouped together. This is the only thing i hate about Gmail. –  solefald Apr 15 '10 at 21:17
Not sure why this question was migrated here. This isn't really a startup question. –  Zuly Gonzalez Jul 6 '11 at 5:21
@Zuly you are right, I do not know who migrated this here. BUt its ok. Nice profile picture by the way. –  Saif Bechan Jul 6 '11 at 13:21

3 Answers 3

Assuming that users have to click on a link somewhere or submit a form to email you, you may be able to take an advantage of a thing called a recipient delimiter, which Gmail plays well with.

basically all you have to do is change all links that point to your email to something like

youraddress+support@domain.com. This is NOT a separate email address and it will STILL go to

youraddress@domain.com, however, you will now be able to set up a Gmail filter and sort anything that comes to youraddress+support@domain.com into a separate tag(folder). This does wonders.

Also, check out a little feature in Gmail labs called Multiple Inbox. It will allow you to separate youraddress@domain.com from youraddress+support@domain.com, but still be able to view both at the same time in your Inbox page.

This will do what you need. I have the same setup at work to separate trouble tickets from the regular mail.

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+1 Cool thank you I will look at the delimiter. Do you know of a setup where this can work when the email is not submitted from a form, but just with regular email. –  Saif Bechan Apr 15 '10 at 20:31
Not really. All of support systems are usually tied to a specific email address where users send mail to, so there is no guessing involved, however, Gmail can match for certain words in the subject or body of the email, so you may still be able to filter that mail. Other than that, you may want to notify your users to email all support requests to your +support address, and dome some manual sorting in the meantime. –  solefald Apr 15 '10 at 20:35
I have looked at this alternative, but I have a question. Can you explain the difference between your method, and just creating a new email address of just support@mydomain.com. I can also reply to the user with this email address instead of replying with justanadress@mydomain.com. –  Saif Bechan Apr 16 '10 at 0:01
hm.. i made a comment, but it did not show up. trying again yes, you could have separate accounts, i was just under the impression that you wanted to keep your original email address. with separate account its even easier. You can just forward your mail from that account to your Gmail, and apply the same filtering technique. –  solefald Apr 16 '10 at 0:46

@solefad: what Saif is (I think) referring to is that (in Google Apps) you can have multiple aliases which all point to the same account. In that way, the sender believes they are emailing support@yourdomain.com when at the Google Apps end that is just an alias for joe@yourdomain.com BUT allows easy filtering by To: address.

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With just Google Apps (i.e. GMail on your own domain name) I don't know of any way to build a 'real' ticketing system.

The simplest thing you can do is use just plain Google mail, with Google's own conversation tracking based on subject line, together with a keyboard text expander (like Texter, Snippets, there are many) to insert frequently used texts -- "thanks for writing", pointers to your website FAQ, et cetera.

You can also use one of the real support handling applications which integrate with email via POP3 -- f.x. FogBugz, Tender, ZenDesk et cetera. These generally give you online FAQ's, canned email responses, as well as robust email conversation tracking (i.e. the unique ID given to each mail, which allows you to keep all emails with a given customer in one view).

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