Trigger Zaps from new emails

With Email by Zapier and IMAP by Zapier, you can trigger Zaps when you receive new emails. You can also use Email by Zapier or SMTP by Zapier to send emails in Zaps.

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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 and use an email account you own.
  • 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 10 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, and millions of mail servers worldwide. You can use it to trigger Zaps from new HTML or plain text emails.

2. Trigger from new emails with Email by Zapier

  • Click the Trigger step.
  • Search for and select Email by Zapier.
  • Click the Event dropdown menu and select New Inbound Email.
  • 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 Copy to copy the full email address to the computer's clipboard.
  • Click Continue.
  • Go to your email client (e.g., Gmail) and send a test email to your custom @zapiermail.com email address.
  • Go back to Zapier and click Test trigger to test the connection.

Set up auto-forwarding on your email app

If you don't want to manually forward new emails, you can set up automatic forwarding in your mail client so new emails will be automatically forwarded to your @zapiermail.com email address. Check the documentation for your specific email app for instructions on how to complete this step.

When you set up auto-forwarding, you may need to verify your @zapiermail.com email address.

  • In the Test trigger section of your trigger, click the dropdown menu.
  • Click Load more to get the most recent emails received by the Zap's email address.
  • Select the email that contains the verification email to get the URL you need to verify the email address.

3. Trigger from new emails with IMAP by Zapier

  • Click the Trigger step.
  • Search for and select IMAP by Zapier.
  • Click the 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.
    • 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 one you need.
  • When you're done, click Yes, Continue.
  • Click Test trigger.

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

miscEye icon Note

To connect a Gmail account to a third-party IMAP tool (like Zapier), 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.

4. Troubleshoot common problems

Some emails aren't triggering my Zap

Zapier uses Mailgun, a third-party service, to receive inbound emails. Mailgun has some limitations with the types of email it can work with. For example, Mailgun will not accept and post messages without an email address in the sender field. Some auto-notification emails (e.g., from Google Groups) won't work with Mailgun because the sender's address is empty in the email.

My Zap isn't triggering on time

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

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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