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Trigger Zaps from new emails

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With Email by Zapier and IMAP by Zapier, you can trigger Zaps when you receive new emails. If you want to send emails in Zaps when something happens in another app, learn how to send emails in Zaps.

Tip

You can also connect email apps like Gmail and Outlook to receive emails in Zaps. View a full list of the email apps you can connect to Zapier.


1. Email by Zapier vs IMAP by Zapier

With Email by Zapier, Zapier receives your emails at a customized @zapiermail.com email address. With IMAP by Zapier, Zapier communicates with your mail server directly to receive your emails.

Email by Zapier

  • Email by Zapier uses a third-party service for inbound emails, so there is no guarantee over when the Zap will trigger and delays may occur. If you're working with time-sensitive emails, you can use IMAP by Zapier, or connect an email app that you have direct ownership of.
  • In order to trigger Zaps from a new email received, there must be a sender address. Auto-notification emails from Google Groups or other distribution lists will not trigger emails in Email by Zapier.
  • Emails sent to a @zapiermail.com email address must be less than 25 MB in size, including attachments.

IMAP by Zapier

IMAP stands for Internet message access protocol, which is a widely used protocol for email retrieval available in Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo! products among millions of mail servers worldwide. You can use it to trigger from HTML and plain text emails.


2. Trigger from new emails with Email by Zapier

  • In your Zap, click 1. When This Happens.
  • Search for and select Email by Zapier.
  • Click Continue.
  • In the Email address field, customize your inbound @zapiermail email address. This is the mailbox that will trigger the Zap when new emails are received.
  • Click Continue.
  • Go to your email client (e.g., Gmail) and send a test email to your custom @zapiermail.com email address.
  • Click Find Inbound Email to test the connection.

Tip

If you don't want to manually forward new emails to your custom @zapiermail.com email address.com, you can set up automatic forwarding in your mail client to allow new emails to automatically forward to your @zapiermail.com email address. Learn how to set up auto-forwarding in Gmail and Outlook.
To verify your @zapiermail.com email address to set up auto-forwarding, load the most recent email received by that email address in the Test this step section of your trigger or action. Click Re-test, then click the View your email link on the test success page. This will display the body of the email, where you can get the URL you need to verify the email address.


3. Trigger from new emails with IMAP by Zapier

  • In your Zap, click 1. When This Happens.
  • Search for and select IMAP by Zapier.
  • Click the Choose Trigger Event dropdown menu and select New Email.
  • Click Continue.
  • Click Sign in to IMAP by Zapier.
  • A new browser tab or window will open. Here, you'll set up your IMAP connection.
    -Host: This will be the URL for your IMAP server. For example, Gmail's is imap.gmail.com
    -Username: This is typically the username and/or email address you use to log in to your email account
    -Password: This is the password you use to log in to your email account
    -Port: choose either Port 143 (default) or Port 993. Consult your email provider's IMAP instructions if you aren't sure which you need.

Heads Up

In order to connect a Gmail account to a third-party IMAP tool, Google requires you to create an App Password. This is a password unique to your account that gives an app or device permission to use your Google account. This should also resolve any "Invalid Credentials" errors that occur when you try to set up IMAP for a Gmail account.

  • When you're done, click Yes, Continue.
  • Click Find Email to test the connection.

If Zapier finds an email, your test is successful and you can continue. If there are no emails yet in the mailbox, send one to it and re-test this step.


4. Troubleshoot common problems

Some emails aren't triggering my Zap

Zapier uses a third-party service Mailgun to parse inbound emails. Mailgun has some limitations with the types of emails they can parse. For example, Mailgun will not accept and post messages without a present email address in the sender parameter. Some auto-notification emails (e.g., from Google Groups) will fail to be parsed by Mailgun because the sender's address is empty in the email.

My Zap isn't triggering on time

Email by Zapier uses a third-party service for inbound emails, so there is no guarantee over when the Zap will trigger and delays may occur. If you're working with time-sensitive emails, you can use IMAP by Zapier, or connect an email app that you have direct ownership of.

Once you’ve set up your Zap to trigger from new emails, you’re ready to continue setting up the rest of your Zap, whether that’s setting up your action, or adding a search step.


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