Email Parser

Email Parser - Features, Pricing, Alternatives, and More

Matthew Guay
Written by Matthew GuayLast updated August 27, 2018

What Is an Email Parser?

When you receive an email from your boss or best friend, you might read every word.

The rest of the time, odds are, you skim the message. Your eyes quickly dart across the screen, picking out keywords and phrases like New Sale and $4.99 and Payment Due: Friday, Nov 3.

Email parsers work the same way. You teach these programs how to recognize patterns in your emails, tell them what data is actually important and that everything else can be ignored, and then get them to save just the important stuff. Then, connect the email parser to Zapier's app automation workflows can copy and paste that important text into any other app you want—logging the orders in a spreadsheet, for example, or reminding you to pay your credit card bill tomorrow. As long as the emails are all laid out generally the same way, the email parser should be able to figure out what's important and copy the data for you.

Here's how, with Zapier's Email Parser—a free tool to copy text out of your emails.

  1. Make a new email parser
  2. Forward an Email to the Parser
  3. Teach the parser how to read your email
  4. Automatically forward emails to the parser
  5. Put your parsed email data to work

Make a New Email Parser

Zapier Email Parser Create

The first step is the easiest. Go to parser.zapier.com, make an account if you don't have one yet, then click the Create Mailbox button to add a new email parser.

Email Parser will then show you an email address like 1asdfe2fg@robot.zapier.com. Copy that.

2. Forward an Email to the Parser

Email to parse

Now it's time to send the first email to be parsed. Open your email app, and find an email like the ones you want to copy data from automatically. I'm going to have Email Parser notify me about new App Store purchases—so I selected an App Store email.

Forward the email, put your @robot.zapier.com email address in the To: field, and click Send.

3. Teach the Parser How to Read Your Email

Select the text you want the parser to copy, then give it a unique name

Time to put on your teacher hat. Once Zapier Email Parser receives your email, it'll show a text version of your email in the Initial Template box. All you need to do is find the important data and tell the parser that this is what to copy out.

Scroll down to the text you want the Email Parser to copy, and select it. With my App Store emails, I want to know what I'm being charged for, so I select the text of the product name. Type a name for that item in the box, click Save, and the Email Parser will replace the text with the name in curly brackets, like {{name}}.

Repeat that for everything else you want the email parser to copy. I went ahead and selected the total price, too.

Once that's done, click the blue Save Address and Template button at the bottom—and your email parser is ready to work.

The email parser will work best if the text you select is something written the same way in every email—perhaps a number after the word Total, or a link written after the word Click here. The value can change, but the email parser will work best if that preceding text is the same and in the same place every time. {: class="related-content" }

|||{% include "blocks/image.html" with url="https://cdn.zapier.com/storage/photos/689ac5d476802d164fd07ce2fe1475a5.png" caption="Select the same text you want to copy, and give it the same name to teach the Email Parser how to handle variations in your emails" link="" classes="center shadow" alt="Email Parser Second Template" %}|||

Want to make your Email Parser more reliable? Forward another similar email to the same address, then click the Mailbox link in the top right and click the link under Last Email beside your parser's name. That'll show your most recent email—with the text Email Parser selected in yellow.

If that's incorrect, click the Edit extra template link near the bottom. Select the same text you'd originally wanted to copy from your emails, give it the same names, then save this new template. And if you want, repeat that again with yet another email for an even more reliable parser.

4. Automatically Forward New Emails to the Parser

Gmail search filter

The Email Parser you just made is now ready to copy text from other similar emails—App Store receipts, in this case. We just need to send every new App Store receipt to the email parser.

The best option is to automate things with a filter in your email app to automatically forward messages that match the one you sent to Email Parser. Typically, your notification emails will all have something in common—they'll come from the same sender, and often have the same subject. App Store receipts, for instance, come from no_reply@email.apple.com and have the same Your receipt from Apple subject.

To watch for those emails in Gmail, you'll first need to add your email parser address to Gmail so you can automatically forward emails. Here's how:

  • Open your Gmail Forwarding settings—click the gear icon, select Settings, then click the Forwarding tab.
  • Click the Add a forwarding address button there.
  • Enter your Email Parser @robot.zapier.com email in the text box and click next.
  • Check your email—Zapier should send you a confirmation email from Gmail. If you don't see it, check the Email Parser app's mailbox—it should have the email. Either way, copy the confirmation code, then paste it in the box back in your Gmail Forwarding settings.

Now you can have Gmail automatically forward emails to your email parser. First search for the email address and/or subject of the messages you'll have the email parser process; I'll enter from:no_reply@email.apple.com AND subject:"Your receipt from Apple". Click the tiny down arrow on the right of the search bar to see the full Advanced Search options—then click the Create filter link in the bottom right corner. Have that filter forward the email to the email parser address you just added—and you should be set.

After a bit of mouse and keyboard exercise, you're done. Every time Apple sends you an App Store receipt—or whenever you receive whatever other email you want to parse—Gmail will send it along to the Email Parser.

5. Put Your Parsed Email Data to Work

Use Zapier to automatically use your parsed email data

Copying text out of emails alone isn't enough—you need to do something with that data. The easiest option is to connect your Email Parser to Zapier's app automations, which lets you send data from your emails to 1000+ other apps—from Airtable to Zoho.

Visit Zapier and log in or sign up if you haven't already. Then click the orange Make a Zap button in the top right corner. Select Email Parser as the trigger app, then choose the New Email trigger. Connect your Email Parser account if you haven't already, and pick the parser address you just set up.

Zapier automation with email parser

You can then put your email data to work. In the Action step, select the app you want to send your email data to. I wanted to get an SMS notification about my App Store receipts, so I picked the SMS app's Send SMS action.

To use your email data, click the + button beside any of the fields from your app. Here, I've added the purchase name and price from Email Parser to the SMS notifications—you could perhaps add names and emails to your email newsletter, log sales info to rows of a spreadsheet, or use your email data however you want.

Test the Zap to make sure everything works the way you want, turn it on, and you're done!


Now, whenever an email comes in with details you need to save, your email app will forward it to Email Parser, which will skim your email and copy out the important info, then send it to Zapier, which then sends it to the app that needs your data. It's the most productive Rube Goldberg machine yet.

Have any feedback on this overview, or something we should change? Let us know!

Email Parser Integration Details

Launched on Zapier October 26, 2013

Zapier combines Triggers (like "New Email") and Actions (like "Create Campaign") to complete an action in one app when a trigger occurs in another app. These combos—called "Zaps"—complete your tasks automatically.

The following Email Parser Triggers, Searches, and Actions are supported by Zapier:

New Email

Triggers when a mailbox gets a new email. Don't forget to set up your parser mailboxes at https://parser.zapier.com/.

New Mailbox

Triggers when a new mailbox is added.

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What is Email Parser by Zapier?

Built-In

Send emails to your custom "@robot.zapier.com" address and extract any data! Visit http://parser.zapier.com/ for more information!