Saving Third-Party E-Mails to Salesforce

By Tom Wong, Liz Kao, Matt Kaufman

Salesforce allows you to send e-mails to leads and contacts; however, the management of the conversations (that is, the back and forth of e-mail dialog that occurs) happens in your company’s e-mail management system of choice.

Many companies today are moving their e-mail systems online to reduce the costs of using and maintaining traditional e-mail software systems like Microsoft Exchange and Outlook. Don’t get us wrong; Outlook is the big gorilla of the e-mail (officially called “productivity tools”) space. At the same time, using web-based e-mail systems like Google Apps or Office 365 has gained a lot of momentum.

Download the Salesforce for Outlook plug-in to synchronize e-mails in Outlook with Salesforce.

If you’re using a web-based e-mail system, you can still save and track your outbound e-mails to Salesforce, too, which allows you to connect an e-mail to a record.

Activating the Email to Salesforce feature

To first activate the Email to Salesforce feature, have your administrator choose Setup→Administer→Email Administration→Email to Salesforce. Click the Edit button in the middle of the Email to Salesforce page to select the Active check box and enable Email to Salesforce.

If you have sophisticated e-mail security policies and know whether your e-mail domains support the SPF, SenderID, or DomainKeys protocols, be sure that the admin also selects the Advanced Email Security Settings check box. Salesforce uses these protocols to verify the legitimacy of the sender’s e-mail server.

If the e-mail server passes at least one of these protocols, Salesforce processes that e-mail and proceeds to log it as an activity under a lead or contact.

After you make your check box selections and click the Save button in the middle of the page, a pop-up box appears that optionally allows the admin to notify all Salesforce users about the Email to Salesforce feature.

Identifying your Email to Salesforce address

After your administrator activates Email to Salesforce, choose My Settings→Email→My Email to Salesforce to get to the My Email to Salesforce page. In the middle of the page, a highlighted field notes your Email to Salesforce address.

Whenever you’re writing an e-mail in your online e-mail system (Gmail for example), paste that address into the BCC field of your e-mail. When you send your e-mail, it’s logged as a completed task in Salesforce, under whichever lead or contact record whose e-mail address matches that in the To field.

If you send and receive e-mail from multiple addresses (and possibly from the same inbox), you can list all your e-mail addresses so that Salesforce can associate correspondence from those e-mail addresses to the automatically generated Email to Salesforce address. To edit your e-mail addresses, follow these steps:

  1. In the My Acceptable Email Addresses field, add all the e-mail addresses that apply, separated by commas.

  2. In the Email Associations section, select the Opportunities, Leads, or Contacts check box, depending on which object(s) you want Salesforce to attach your external e-mails to.

  3. (Optional) Select the Always Save Email Attachments check box to have Salesforce include any attached files on your external e-mails.

  4. (Optional) Select the Email Me Confirmation of Association check box to set your preference for whether you want to be sent a link via e-mail of your newly created e-mail record in Salesforce.

Saving an e-mail to Salesforce

After you set your Email to Salesforce special e-mail address, it’s time to use it.

Keeping your web browser open to Salesforce and the My Email to Salesforce page, open a new browser window to access your online e-mail system and compose an e-mail to a person whose e-mail you know is in Salesforce, associated with a lead or contact. (Make sure that your relationship with this person allows you to send test e-mails to him or her, or you might have some explaining to do!)

Simply copy the special e-mail address and paste it into the BCC field. When you’re done writing the body of the e-mail, send it, and voilà! Almost instantaneously, it appears as an activity associated with that lead or contact.