The transactional email campaign gives you the possibility to survey your contacts based on events triggered in your Zendesk workspace.

One of the most common scenarios is to send a survey after a ticket was marked as closed in Zendesk, but you can definitely set up one or more triggers for automations that will fit your business goals.

Follow the step by step tutorial to learn how to configure a transactional email campaign in Retently, and how to connect it to Zendesk events using a webhook link.

Set up a transactional email campaign in Retently

To create a new campaign, go to the Campaigns page, choose a survey metric (NPS, CSAT, CES, 5-STAR), next select email as your survey channel, and from the dropdown list with campaign types, select the Transactional option.

Assign a survey template

In the campaign editor, start with choosing the survey template that your contacts, who match this campaign, will receive in their Inbox. You can select an existing email template, or create and customize a new one. 

Make sure the survey template has your company’s logo, otherwise you will not be able to select and use it.

When everything looks ok, hit the Assign button to add it as the main survey template in your campaign.

Filter your audience

As a rule, your campaign audience will be defined by the Zendesk event and only the contacts that trigger the event will be surveyed in this campaign.

However, you can apply an additional layer of filters to narrow down your audience.

Let’s assume that you have a Zendesk trigger that is fired when a ticket is closed, and you are also storing the country of your contacts as a tag. This would allow you to add some extra filters in Retently and survey only the contacts that live in a particular country.

Your audience filters would look as in the example below:

In most cases, there is no need to adjust the audience filters at all. But, if you have to, we recommend checking our article to learn more about the audience segmentation in campaigns or you can request assistance from our support team.

Edit the survey schedule

The first thing to do in the Schedule section is to specify how your surveys will be triggered. Since we are configuring this campaign for Zendesk, choose this service from the drop-down menu. 

NOTE: It’s important to select the needed service because the content on the Setup page will adjust based on your choice. For our goal, we will need a webhook link that will be automatically generated and available for you to copy in the Setup section.

Next, you have three options that will help you configure how and when your surveys will be sent to your campaign’s audience:

  • Sample audience: Choose what percentage of the triggered events will result in a survey being sent. When switched off, all triggered events will result in a survey.

  • Delay survey: Send the survey at a later date from the triggered event. When switched off, the survey will be sent immediately.

  • Throttle survey: Throttle helps avoid over-surveying customers. If a customer has been surveyed recently in this campaign, then any new triggered surveys will be discarded until a specific number of days have passed since the last survey was received. When switched off, customers will be surveyed in this campaign every time they trigger an event. This option won’t affect the schedule in other campaigns.


Reminders will help increase your survey response rate. For instance, if a contact didn't respond to your survey within three days after opening it, our system will send them a reminder email survey. This way, you will be reaching your contacts once more when they might be more likely to answer the survey. 

Moreover, you can choose a different survey template for your reminders, with a different wording or style, that might be more appealing to your survey respondents. You can create a new email survey template in the Templates section of your campaign, or on the Templates page.


In the Notifications section, you can create custom notifications and keep track of your progress.

When creating a new notification you will be asked to choose one or more event types you want to be notified about, the notification frequency (immediately, daily or weekly digest), and the channel (email or Slack).

Don't forget to save your notifications and make sure they are enabled. 


In this section, you can create a set of email auto-responders meant to engage with contacts who did not leave any text feedback, left a Detractor score or simply to ask Promoters to leave their reviews on specific platforms and spread word-of-mouth. Autoresponders will be sent to respondents with a random delay between 5 and 60 minutes from the moment they've answered the survey.


Webhooks allow you to send HTTP requests to another web application every time an event is triggered, be it new feedback, a bounced survey or an unsubscribed contact. Don't forget to save each created webhook and make sure they're enabled. 


In the Setup section, you will find a unique webhook link that will be used to receive contacts data from Zendesk and trigger the transactional survey. Make sure to keep this link handy because you will need it soon when configuring the Zendesk event.

NOTE: If the webhook link is not displayed, then go back to the Schedule section and make sure that Zendesk is selected in your services drop-down menu.

Activating your campaign

The final step is to activate the transactional email campaign by switching the toggle button ON. 

No surveys will be sent just yet because we haven’t connected the campaign to a Zendesk event. We will do this next!

Set up Zendesk events for your survey campaign

Set up a Zendesk target

Zendesk targets let you notify external systems about a new ticket or a status change of an existing ticket. In our case, we will create a target containing the Retently webhook link. Therefore, whenever a specific trigger or automation is actioned, the notification will go through the webhook link and will trigger the transactional survey in Retently.

To create a new target, you will need to access the Admin area in your Zendesk workspace and go to the Extensions category. In Extensions, make sure you’re in the Target section and click the “add target” link.

Next, you will be asked to choose the type of the target that you want to create, Choose the “HTTP target” option:

In the target editor fill in the following fields:

  • Title: Give your target a name so that it’s easy to identify its purpose later.

  • URL: Insert the Retently webhook link from the Setup page in your transactional campaign.

  • Method: Make sure the “POST” option is selected.

  • Content type: Make sure “JSON” is selected. This is the format of the data that will be sent from Zendesk to Retently.

Finally, next to the Submit button, choose the “Create target” option and hit the button to create it.

Now that you have successfully created the target, you can add it either to a Zendesk trigger or to an automation. Although there’s a slight difference between triggers and automations in Zendesk (which we will cover next), any of these two options will work just fine in triggering transactional email surveys in Retently.

Configure a Zendesk trigger

In your Admin area, access the Triggers page and hit the “Add trigger” button.

In the trigger editor, give it a name and description and configure the conditions that will eventually fire the trigger and send a transactional survey in Retently.

For our tutorial, we have the following condition:

Next, scroll down the page, and in the Actions section, choose the “Notify target” option. Then, select the recently created target that includes the Retently webhook link.

Once you select the target, an additional text input area will appear. In this area, you have to specify what data will be sent to Retently when your Zendesk trigger is activated. Retently will accept only the following data from your Zendesk workspace:

  • Email address of the contact (ticket requester);

  • First and last name of the contact;

  • Company name of the contact;

  • Tags that are assigned to the contact.

Note: From the properties listed above, only the email address is mandatory. The other properties are optional and you can delete them from the text area if needed.

This contact data is needed because before sending the transactional survey, the contact will be created as a new customer in your Retently account so that you can store their historical survey feedback and analyze their satisfaction with your company or product over time.

You can copy the following code:


   "email": "{{}}",

   "first_name": "{{ticket.requester.first_name}}",

   "last_name": "{{ticket.requester.last_name}}",

   "company": "{{}}",

   "tags": "{{ticket.tags}}"


Finally, create your trigger. From now on, every time a ticket will match your trigger’s conditions, the contact will be added to Retently and a transactional email survey will be sent immediately or according to your campaign’s schedule.

Set up a Zendesk automation

Another way to track events in Zendesk is to create an automation. The difference between Zendesk triggers and automations is that an automation is time-based. For instance, it will track an event that happened after a specified number of days.

In your Admin area, access the Automation category and click the “Add automation” button.

In the automation builder, set up the condition that will eventually trigger the transactional email in Retently. In our example, we are tracking 3 days after a ticket was closed:

Next, scroll down the page, and in the Action section, choose the “Notification: Notify target” option, and make sure that you select the target containing the Retently webhook link.

In the additional text area, insert the properties that will be sent to Retently when the action is triggered:

Copy the code here:


   "email": "{{}}",

   "first_name": "{{ticket.requester.first_name}}",

   "last_name": "{{ticket.requester.last_name}}",

   "company": "{{}}",

   "tags": "{{ticket.tags}}"


Finally, click the Create automation button. From now on, every time a ticket will match your automation’s conditions, the contact will be added to Retently and a transactional email survey will be sent immediately or according to your campaign’s schedule.

Manage custom properties via Zendesk

Using the Zendesk integration you can assign and update customer properties every time an event is triggered.

Create customer property in Retently

Start with creating a customer property in your Retently account, in the "Props & Tags" category. To create a new one, click the "Create property" button.

A popup will ask you to write the name of the new property (ex: Subscription, Signup date, Product name, etc.) and choose the type of the value that will be stored in the new property.

Retently supports the following four data types:

  • Text: The value will be stored as regular text.

  • Number: This property can store only numbers (this data type also supports numbers with decimals).

  • Date: You can store dates in the MM/DD/YYYY format, or the standard ISO 8601 and RFC 2822 formats.

  • Collection: You can store an array of keywords (ex: "item 1, item 2, item 2").

After you have created the property, it will be available to be added to your JSON text field in the Zendesk advanced automation option.

Identify the property name

By default, in Retently props are displayed in a user-friendly format, which supports capital letters and spaces. Basically, your property will look exactly as you have written it. This is known as the property's label.

However, dues to technical requirements, when saving the property in our database, we have to transform it in a supported format: all lower-case and with underscores instead of spaces. This is known as the property name.

Whenever you want to manage properties via transactional integrations or our API, you will need to use a property's name, because the label will simply not work.

But it's very easy to figure out what is the name of a property. All you have to do is to make all the letters lower-case and replace spaces with underscores.

Below I will list a few examples so that it's easier to understand how this works:

  • Label: Subscription (name: subscription)

  • Label: Subscription Name (name: subscription_name)

  • Label: This Is A Custom Prop (name: this_is_a_custom_prop)

Assign a property to a customer

After you have identified the property name, all you have to do is to add it to the JSON text field in your Zendesk automation.

After that, every time when the automation will be triggered, the contact will be added as a new customer in your Retently account, and the properties from the JSON field will be assigned, along with the values from the specified Zendesk placeholders.

Update the value of an assigned customer property

The values in a property that is already assigned to a customer will be updated automatically the next time your automation will be triggered and the contacts will match the automation rules.

Unassign customer property

Every time an automated rule is triggered, the contact's properties will be updated with the new values that will be sent via the Retently webhook. However, if no value is available for a particular property, then the property will be unassigned from the customer's record in Retently.

Did this answer your question?