Article | 3 min read

Tip of the Week: Saving Time with Mail API Commands

Last updated November 11, 2011

My, how times have changed! We’ve updated our Mail API a lot since this was posted. Here’s a link to the updated documentation.

The mail API commands within Zendesk allow you, as an agent, to update a ticket in a number of ways directly from your email inbox. They’re fun, handy and, best of all, easy to master. This tip is an intro to mail API commands and covers just a few of the many, including:

  • Adding a private comment to a ticket
  • Changing the assignee on a ticket
  • Finding information on other mail API commands

While “mail API commands” may sound nerdy, they’ll save you considerable time. And since saving time is cool, that makes mail API commands cool by default. Seriously, if The Fonz was a support agent, he’d use them. You should, too. Let’s jump in.

(Please keep in mind that these commands are only available to you when replying from a mail notification sent to your Zendesk agent email address.)

Adding Private Comments

Let’s first review how to add a private comment to a ticket. By default, Zendesk will send an email notification to all of your agents as soon as a new request is received in your account via the Notify all agents of received request trigger. While reviewing your customer’s requests, sometimes you may want to add a private comment to a ticket to notify your other agents of a recent issue or simply provide clarifying information. With the mail API command, you can add {{public:false}} to the subject line as seen in the screenshot below. The {{public:false}} command will post your update to the ticket as a private comment.


Since you included {{public:false}} in the subject line, the email notification will update the ticket with a private comment and an icon of a grey text bubble with the image of an envelope. The red arrow below points this out. The grey text bubble denotes that the comment was private and the envelope image lets you know that the update was sent via email.


Keep in mind that if you have enabled Settings > Tickets > CCs on tickets, Zendesk will automatically add you as a CC on the ticket you updated via email. This will allow you to continue to receive all future updates.

Changing Assignees

Another helpful mail API command is the ability to change the assignee on a ticket. Let’s say you are working on a ticket that needs to be assigned directly to your colleague Jennifer. By using Jennifer’s email address, you can assign the ticket to her using the following command: {{}}.

As seen in the screenshot below you can also use multiple commands together to update a ticket. In this example we will add a private comment and assign the ticket to Jennifer with {{ public:false}}.


These are just two of the many mail API commands available to use via agent mail notifications. Once you master these, it’s time to move on to other useful API commands.