Mail address per category

Is it possible to set up different mail addresses for categories?

The use case is as follows:

  • I publish an email address somewhere publicly.
  • People who mail this, actually mail the forum.
  • These people don’t need an account on discourse to post (they do not even need to know that, by mailing they are actually posting on a forum)
  • The category on the forum serves as the ‘inbox’ for this email address.
  • Replying to the post on the forum in the category, send a reply to the original emailer.

Or am I now making Discourse into some Frankenstein monster? :wink:

1 Like

You can do most of this - go to the “edit” page for the category, and choose the “settings” tab. There’s a setting called “custom incoming email address”. Set this to what you want for the category.

If you turn on the “enable staged users” site setting, then “staged” users will be created when people send email to that address.


As far as I know, this won’t happen unless the user actually signs up for an account.


I don’t know if I’d call it a Frankenstein monster, but I think it’s flawed.

1 - IMHO it might be OK if they knew ahead of time. I imagine most people expect an email to either go unanswered or to be answered via email. I also think most people expect that email will be relatively private and might be upset if the content was public.

2 - I’m not so sure Discourse would be the best choice for an “inbox”. Discourse is designed to be a discussion platform, not some sort of a “ticket system”.

Yeah it is a weird setup… But no one said the content will become public; the categories will be hidden and limited to a restricted amount of users.
Also; that a tool is designed to do one thing, doesn’t mean you can try to make it do something else. What works for me, doesn’t have to work for you. :slight_smile:

Basically what I am trying to see is to use a tool I already have (Discourse) for something new, so I don’t have to setup a new tool for this purpose.

But it might be that I will setup mailman for this purpose after all, if this fails.

Keep in mind this will result in some confusing UX for your email users. The emails they get as replies will have a link to the topic that’s been created, but if they try to go to that topic they’ll be unable to access it. This is why PM groups are recommended practice for this type of workflow.

Agreed. You just need to

  • set up a private group
  • add user who will need access
  • assign an email in the group settings page
  • publish email for group

Users who email the group email address will get staged if they don’t have account (assuming that is configured). You can still reply to them via group inbox, and users can reply via email (assuming that is configured). Works great as a support inbox.


Just this one I couldn’t get done…
Maybe I am blind, but I really can’t find a field to set an email for a user group…

I am in Admin > Groups > Custom > [mygroup]

the options I see are:

  • Name
  • Full Name
  • About Group
  • Add owners
  • Members
  • Group is visible to all users
  • Allow users to join/leave the group freely (Requires group to be visible)
  • Allow users to send membership requests to group owners (Requires everyone to be able to mention the group)
  • Automatically set as primary group
  • Who can message and @mention this group?
  • Users who register with an email domain that exactly matches one in this list will be automatically added to this group:
  • Apply the same email domain rule to add existing registered users
  • Default title for all users in this group
  • Trust level automatically granted to members when they’re added:
  • Avatar Flair Image
  • Avatar Flair Background Color
  • Avatar Flair Color

You need to setup incoming email.

Then you should see Custom incoming email address under the group settings.