When it comes to Salesforce and email, it can get confusing to understand what the options are. Read on to discover 10 ways you can work with email and Salesforce together.
Some people may wonder whether integration to an email client such as Outlook is even necessary. If Salesforce could send and automatically process incoming emails, then couldn’t users just live in Salesforce and use it for all work emails?
So what can Salesforce do with emails? Within the application it is possible to send emails to contacts related to Salesforce records e.g. leads, contacts, opportunities and cases.
Note: The ‘from’ email address will be the email address you set in your email settings. In the email settings, you set the sender name, the email address that will be used as the reply address for the email that is sent and also whether to bcc the reply address that you are using when emails are sent from Salesforce. Setting a reply email address means that it will go to that email address, and not to Salesforce.
Workflows rules can be setup to send emails. Workflow emails work the same way as sending an email manually from a record, except that when defining the email alert, you can choose which from address to use. When sending Salesforce emails from workflow, you can also choose the template to use.
Either you can use the current users email address, or if you have setup organisation wide email addresses you could select one of those. For example you may setup an organisation wide email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org and the replies to this email box could be monitored by a number of people.
Its also possible to copy emails sent from your email client and associate with Salesforce records. The way to do this is to use the My Email to Salesforce function. My Email to Salesforce is accessable under Personal Setup – Email. Once enabled, this feature will give each user a unique email address that can be used as a bcc adddress when sending emails. If this address is used as a bcc, Salesforce will try and match the to email address to a record in Salesforce and if a match is found will save the email as an activity, for example on a lead, contact or opportunity.
Salesforce for Outlook is the Salesforce supplied tool for integrating Salesforce and Outlook. It does not have any additional cost. It is software that is installed on each user’s computer and adds features to Outlook to allow synchronisation and recording emails. Each user determines what synchs individually. Salesforce for Outlook doesn’t support terminal servers, such as Citrix.
If you are in a Citrix environment, then you will need to look for an alternative to Saleforce for Outlook, as it isn’t supported. Some products have been developed such as LinkPoint that add features to Outlook that enables synchronisation of contacts, events and tasks. It also allows for a click to record inbound and outbound emails to Salesforce. It can also display related information to the contact of the email such as opportunities and cases.
Another alternative if you are using Microsoft exchange is to setup Exchange integration. This is software installed directly on the Exchange server that enables synchronizing information directly between Salesforce and your Exchange server. The synchronization options and rules are setup on the Exchange server centrally and can be set at the team or individual level.
Contacts, Events and Tasks can be synchronized and categories can be used to determine which records will synch. It can also be setup to manually select emails to record in Salesforce or to automate the logging of all inbound and outbound emails.
Exchange integration also supports mobile devices, meaning that the emails you send out on the road from your phone can also be recorded in Salesforce.
The Email to Salesforce functionality will work with gmail, so to copy emails to Salesforce bcc the generated email address and Salesforce will try to match the to email address to a record in Salesforce. There is also an additional feature that Salesforce offers to make this easier. When activated it will add gmail links and buttons next to all email fields and in the activity history related lists for leads and contacts, and will automatically populate the bcc address.
The other option is to use a product such as Cirrus Insight, to synchronize and even view and create records directly from gmail.
Email to Case is the standard Salesforce functionality available to create cases automatically from emails sent to a specific address that has been setup for that purpose.
An email handler is code written in APEX to ‘listen’ for an incoming email to a specific address and to process them. For example, you can setup an email address for your partners to send orders to, in a specific format. The email handler could interpret the email and create or update records based on the contents of the email. Creating an email handler requires development and APEX to write the code.
There you have multiple options for working with emails in Salesforce, both for sending emails from Salesforce and receiving and processing.
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