Customizing JIRA Email Notifications using Zapier and SparkPost

Using JIRA, Zapier, and SparkPost to customize email notifications

JIRA Service Desk is a great product. It provides all the essential features to set up a fully functional business and customer friendly service desk. It is, like the rest of JIRA, quite flexible.

But there is one area that I believe is seriously lacking in terms of flexibility. Email Handling!

Whilst many users will prefer to login to the portal and raise requests, others will prefer to email. The majority will prefer to receive change notifications for requests by email too.

The ‘Default’ Email Notifications feature is baked into JIRA Service Desk. This will send customers email notifications using Atlassian’s own built-in HTML email template.

JIRA Service Desk Notification Example

JIRA Service Desk Notification Example

But many JIRA Service Desk customers want to send these emails with their own branding, own look and feel, and customized data items in the body of the email.

The lack of ability to customize this essential function has been outstanding for a long time. Check out JSD-218 – As an Admin I want to be able to customize the Service Desk notifications’ subject, content and format

Read through the 330+ comments and you can see there is a lot of frustration in the community with Atlassian’s lack of progress on this issue. Only recently Atlassian announced a slow rollout of features related to Email customization in a beta program for JIRA Cloud customers.

The comments do provide some workarounds using ScriptRunner and velocity template modifications but I wanted to see if I could come up with an alternative that didn’t involve add-ons.

Without further ado, let’s define the requirements. We would like to be able to do the following:

  • Send emails in response to events on issues in JSD.

  • We want to be able to completely customize the look and feel of those emails.

  • We want to be able to insert data from the issue into those emails.

  • The emails should come from an email domain that the customer recognises and won’t be blocked or treated as spam.

  • Customers should be able to reply to these emails.

In this article I will show you how you can do all of this in JIRA Service Desk (for both cloud and server versions). We will use a combination of JIRA’s webhooks, Zapier, and SparkPost.