Tip #95: Track emails using Forward Mailbox

CRM MVP Jukka Niiranen recently posted a great post covering the difference between activity tracking and synchronization in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This is a frequently misunderstood topic, and Jukka does a fantastic job of explaining how tracking from Outlook gets the email into CRM, and synchronization updates activities automatically once the activities are in CRM.

So if you have users who are using CRM without Outlook and you want to track sent emails, one option is to use the forward mailbox option of the email router or server synchronization.

Things you need to know about the CRM forward mailbox feature:

  • CRM monitors the forward mailbox and tracks emails to CRM users or queues.
  • The user or queue’s email address must appear in the To or CC line.
  • The user associated with the email forwarded to the forward mailbox must have “forward mailbox” selected for their incoming email tracking method on their CRM mailbox settings.
  • The email must be forwarded as an attachment to the forward mailbox to be tracked.
  • The email address cannot be in the BCC line.

The forward mailbox is frequently used to provide a way for emails sent to a queue to be automatically converted to a CRM email in the queue, but it also can be used for tracking emails sent from outside of the Outlook client.

  1. Set up the forward inbox. This mailbox can use whatever email address you want. For example sake we will call this crmforward@company.com. .
  2. Create another email account and associate with a CRM user. For example sake, we will call this crmtrack@company.com using Microsoft Exchange 2010 or 2013. In CRM, set the user’s incoming email
  3. Log in to the crmtrack@company.com email box. One of the best ways to do this is using Outlook web access. Create an exchange rule to forward emails where crmtrack@company.com is in the to: or cc: line to forward the email to crmforward@company.com. Make sure you choose the option to forward as attachment.

Now when users create an email on their iPad that they want to track in CRM, they can CC the email to crmtrack@company.com. The Exchange rule will forward the email to the crmforward mailbox, from where it will be automatically tracked in CRM. CRM will automatically resolve any email addresses in the header to any accounts, contacts, leads, users, or custom email enabled entities.

Downsides to this approach:

  • Users cannot set the regarding object when they CC the email to the crm tracking email address; however, the standard activity rollup will make the email appear in the activity history of the parent accounts or contacts of any people who are activity parties on the email.
  • Recipients of the email will see the crm tracking address in the header, so you will want to be sure to use an innocuous sounding address for your tracking email address.

2 thoughts on “Tip #95: Track emails using Forward Mailbox

  1. […] Edit 2014-03-21: For anyone interested in exploring options for tracking emails to CRM from any device, be sure to check out this article by Chief CRM Tipster Joel Lindstrom: Track emails using Forward Mailbox. […]

  2. […] Tip #95: Track emails using forward inbox– I love these kind of tips where you find that something used primarily for one purpose can meet another need. This one came from a project where we had users using Mac where Outlook was not an option, but it was still a requirement to be able to track emails. […]

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