Extracting Data from the Body of an Email using TaskPipes

One of the most powerful uses of TaskPipes is that of pulling data straight from the body of regular emails.

I personally receive dozens of email updates, ranging from property alerts via Zoopla/Zillow to payment emails sent by PayPal.

But what if you want to automatically pull out the square footage of every apartment; or extract the payment information from every transaction, whenever you receive a new email?

Copying and pasting is not the solution.

An Example

In this specific example, we introduce a fictional supplier of international SMS messages who sends us frequent pricing updates by email.

The emails looks like this:

TaskPipes Incoming Email

Most of the data we are interested in is within that ugly green table. I wish “Supplier Five” hadn’t let go of their in-house designer.

To receive emails in this format in TaskPipes, we create a new pipe with a “Read from Email Body” step. Defined within this step is a unique TaskPipes preview email address.

TaskPipes - Read from Email Body

If we forward our original message to that email address, TaskPipes will then display a preview of the incoming data. You will notice that TaskPipes cleverly pulls out tables and new lines of text like so:

TaskPipes Data

I can now define a few intermediate data manipulation steps, to get the data in the right format:

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 12.44.40

To run this process, I simply assign a custom email address to the pipe.

TaskPipes Email Trigger

Whenever an email gets sent to this address, the body of the email will be parsed and processed through each of these steps.

Exporting

To send this to a final location, I can use one of the many output steps, including Google Spreadsheets, API webhooks or direct database writing.

TaskPipes Pipe

Use the above process via the TaskPipes Examples Page – it’s called “Parse Data From Body of Email”

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Extracting Data from the Body of an Email using TaskPipes

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