The Benefits and Pitfalls of Email Parsers

Imagine if a technology existed that could read your email for you, and use that data to trigger a workflow, or automate something. The good news is that it already exists, and has for some time. It’s called an email parser. The bad news is that it is at best kind-of helpful, and at worst, wildly inaccurate.

Although email is rapidly becoming an outdated tool, it is still widely used and email parsing does have a place in the automation toolbox.

 

WHAT ARE EMAIL PARSERS?

The way email parsers work is that they use the structure of an email (usually text or HTML) to look for matches to pre-defined fields. The two email parsers I would usually recommend are Zapier Email Parser, and Mailparser.

So, using the Zapier parser as an example, you set up a template by highlighting and naming the data that you want to look for in the email. Then, by some dark magic (actually, some code) the email parser will return the data it has found in usable format (e.g. for...

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