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Configuring your Helpy to receive email using Sendgrid
One option for handling incoming email with Helpy is to use an email service provider like Sendgrid, Mailgun or Mandrill. This article covers the process of setting up Helpy to work with Sendgrid.
Configuring your email to work with Sendgrid can be broken into several steps:
- Sign Up for a Sendgrid account
- Make MX record changes to deliver your email to Sendgrid
- Configure the inbound domain in the Sendgrid interface
- Optional- Forward your existing email addresses into Helpy
To complete this setup, you will need the following:
- A Sendgrid Account
- The ability to add DNS settings for your domain
- The domain your Helpy uses. Examples: yourcompany.helpy.io, support.yourcompany.io
1. Set up account.
Go to Sendgrid and sign up for an account. Sendgrid offers 12,000 free emails per month, which can be equally divided between SMTP and Inbound messages. To locate the free account option, view their pricing page and scroll to the very bottom. Or just click this link to sign up: https://app.sendgrid.com/signup
2. Make DNS changes to setup an inbound subdomain.
During this step you will need to access the DNS settings for your domain name. This is frequently managed by your web host or domain registrar, although it may reside within your network (more common for larger corporations) or with a third party like DNSmadeeasy. Two common domain registrars, Namecheap and Godaddy both provide this functionality.
Once you have accessed the DNS records for your domain name, locate the option to add a “MX record.” The MX record tells the domain name server what to do with email directed to the domain you specify.
It is important to know that if there are current MX records already listed for your domain, DO NOT CHANGE or remove them. This would break your regular domain email… what you receive at firstname.lastname@example.org
Instead, you will setup a subdomain MX record. Your new inbound domain will look something like this: email@example.com. It simply adds a subdomain to your regular domain. Click the button to add a new MX record and enter the following details:
HOST: This is the new host subdomain where mail will be received. The example above uses ‘inbox’ VALUE: mx.sendgrid.net PRIORITY: 10
3. Log into Sendgrid and add the Inbound mail handler
From the main Sendgrid dashboard, click on “Settings” on the left menu. About halfway down, you will see an option labeled “Inbound Parse”. Click this.
From the Inbound parse page, choose “Add Host & URL”. For hostname, enter new domain name you configured the subdomain MX record for. In the URL field, you will need your support domain name and a reference to the email handler:
RECEIVING DOMAIN: inbox.yourdomain.com DESTINATION URL: http://yourdomain.helpy.io/email_processor or whatever domain your support site will be hosted on.
Sendgrid requires your domain to be whitelisted. Follow their instructions to create the additional DNS CNAME records with the specific values they provide. Once those records exist, you will be able to have Sendgrid validate them.
The spam check is optional but probably a good idea. Leave “Send Raw” blank. Finally click save. Unfortunately, Sendgrid does not give an easy way to send a test message so you will not have to wait until all the DNS changes you made above take effect before you can test it out.
4. Log into Helpy and setup Inbound mail using Sendgrid as the provider
Now log into your Helpy using the admin login. Click on the settings link in the upper right to access your Helpy settings. On the settings menu, choose “Email”.
Next, locate the drop down titled “Inbound Mail Service Provider” and choose “Sendgrid”. Click Save Settings.
5. OPTIONAL Forward existing email into your new address
You now have the option to forward an existing support address like firstname.lastname@example.org into your new email address. To do this, you will need to access the settings for your email provider and configure it to automatically forward all messages to your new address email@example.com
The bigger email providers all provide a simple web interface for handling this, and will usually send a verification code to the email address you are forwarding into (firstname.lastname@example.org). Once this happens, log into your Helpy and find the code in your New queue. Copy and paste it into the box on your email host and voila! Your email should now be forwarded and start appearing in Helpy.