What is an Email Parser?

Categories :   E-mail Parsing

An email parser is a piece of software which allows you to extract data from incoming e-mails. Email parsers can be configured to pull specific data fields from incoming e-mails. By doing so they allow you to convert an unstructured e-mail into easy-to-handle structured data. Most email parsers will let you parse data fields from the e-mail body and e-mail headers. More advanced solutions can also parse data from e-mail attachments such as PDF and Excel files.

What are typical use-cases for e-mail parsing?

An e-mail parser can be used to pull data fields from any kind of machine generated e-mails such as purchase orders, contact form e-mails or e-mails sent by lead providers. This makes it an efficient and reliable solution for a variety of use-cases.

Popular use-cases for e-mail parsing are automating the order fulfillment in e-commerce, automating a lead generation process, centralising data which is sent by e-mail from different web-forms, …

Have a look at this list of e-mail parsing case studies and learn how e-mail parsing can be used to automate business processes.

Once an e-mail gets parsed, the data is available in an easy-to-handle format such as CSV, JSON or XML. The data an then be downloaded or be used to automatically update other apps.

Is e-mail parsing like web scraping?

Yes, e-mail parsing is very similar to scraping the web. E-mail parsing works like web scraping but instead of extracting data from HTML websites, it allows you scrape data from e-mails.

How does e-mail parsing work?

Most e-mail parsers allow you to either pull specific e-mails directly from your mailbox or provide you an e-mail address to which you can forward the e-mails you want to parse. Once the e-mails are available to the e-mail parser, a parsing algorithm will extract the data fields you are after from the e-mail. Most e-mail parsers are rule based and allow you to create custom parsing rules. Creating a parsing rule is usually straight forward and no coding is required.