When to set up a new mailbox

Help Scout makes it easy for your team to manage all your shared email addresses (for example, marketing@domain.com, billing@domain.com, etc) from a single dashboard. Instead of hopping around from inbox to inbox outside of Help Scout, you can house all of your emails in a single Help Scout account.

Help Scout gives you multiple ways for managing your shared email addresses. The best choice depends on your requirements and how your team works.

  • Multiple Mailboxes* - Your groups work autonomously and/or privacy or explicit branding is important to you.
  • Teams** - You organize by group, responsibility, or priority in the same mailbox.
  • Mailbox Aliases - You work out of a single Mailbox, but want to sort, filter, and report by different incoming email addresses.

You should not create Mailboxes for your individual team members (more on that here).

Here’s a more specific breakdown of the best solution based on your situation.

Multiple Mailboxes

Teams**

Mailbox Aliases

Separate Emails into Distinct Mailbox Organize for groups of users, priority, or responsibility Sort and tag by incoming email address in a single mailbox
Privacy restricted on mailbox Visibility across teams is helpful Full visibility is helpful
Users handle a single email address Users handle multiple addresses Users handle multiple addresses
Signature branding important Generic signature is acceptable Generic signature is acceptable
Little collaboration between teams Lots of collaboration between teams Everyone works together as a single team
Unique saved replies, workflows*, and custom fields** Shared saved replies, workflows*, and custom fields** Shared saved replies, workflows*, and custom fields**

More on teams

Teams** can be defined for groups of users dedicated to a particular function, like Accounting, Returns, or a specific product; or they can be used to prioritize conversations, e.g, (level 1, 2, 3, or feedback vs urgent).  Teams give you more power to organize within your mailbox, moving conversations out of the Mine and Unassigned folders and into team folders.

You can  forward a team specific email address (alias) into a Help Scout Mailbox and use a workflow* to automatically assign the conversations to the correct team. Only users assigned to a given team will see that team folder in their Conversations sidebar. 

Replies from team communications can come from either the main email address for the mailbox or the  email alias.

More on aliases

You can  forward multiple email aliases into a Help Scout mailbox. In some cases, your team may want to manage similar emails all together, such as info@, help@, and contact@. You can also use workflows* to automatically tag conversations, set custom fields, or copy to folders to automate sorting and reporting. Note, that unless you are using the aliases to automatically assign to a team or individual user, all incoming emails will land in the Unassigned folder by default.

Replies can come from either the main email address for the mailbox or the  email alias.

Creating a new mailbox

If you’re sure a new mailbox is right for you, create your new mailbox* by going to the Manage menu under Mailbox, then select New Mailbox. See: Creating a new Mailbox. (Tip: Check your plan for maximum mailboxes before choosing this option, as mailbox counts vary by plan. Contact our Support team if you’re running short).  

Helping customers from individual, personal email addresses 

Help Scout is not meant to completely replace your email client, and we don’t recommend creating a personal Mailbox for yourself or your teammates. Here’s why:
  • You need to work exclusively from Help Scout
  • Email notifications and @mention notifications won’t work
  • You cannot email from one Help Scout Mailbox to another
  • You cannot CC or BCC multiple Help Scout Mailboxes at once
  • Since administrators have access to all Mailboxes, there’s no way to keep Mailboxes completely private
If that’s your current workflow, no worries! You can still benefit from Help Scout’s awesome tracking, reporting, and collaboration features without completely abandoning your current support process. We recommend a couple of tweaks depending on how your team works:

My team works exclusively out of independent email

You'll still need to create a shared address for Help Scout (there's no way around that), but you can set up aliases for your team members to make sure their login addresses for Help Scout don't match the forwarded address. Then,  forward the aliases into the shared Mailbox.
Using the To: condition, You can then set a Workflow that automatically assigns any emails sent to that alias to the correct team member: Get started with Workflows. Here's more on what we mean by "assigning" as well: Assigning conversations.
Since your team will all be working out of the same Mailbox, they won't need to CC or BCC other team members in order to loop them in. Instead, they can assign conversations or use @mentions to ping another team member:  Using @mentions in notes. When a team member is @mentioned, they get a notification in app via the notification station, or via browser or mobile if they wish:  Managing Help Scout notifications
If you want things to look nice and personal, you can change the From Name in the Mailbox Settings (Gear > Edit Mailbox) to User Name. That's how we have it set up in Help Scout! That's why it looks like the email is coming from Mo in your inbox, but the email address is help@helpscout.net.
If you go this route, your team will want to work exclusively within the Help Scout UI. 

My team handles some emails from a shared email address (like contact@ or help@) but mostly handles customer emails from a personal address:

As long as your team members' Help Scout logins match their email addresses, your team members can take advantage of our email integration to tackle emails from their personal address and Help Scout emails simultaneously. Check out these two articles to see how that works:
Your team will get email notifications any time conversations land in their Help Scout shared Mailbox from the comfort of their inbox and can reply from there. They can also manually forward in any emails that land at their personal addresses that they would rather handle and track in support. 
If you go this route, your team will likely want to work mostly within their own email inbox. 

My team mostly works from a shared email inbox, but handles a few emails from a personal address

This is an ideal use case for Help Scout and puts you in a great position to take advantage of our email integration.
Create your Mailbox for the shared email address your team mostly works out of, and make sure your team members' login addresses are their personal work emails. If a customer emails a support question to one of their personal work addresses, they can forward that one-off email into Help Scout and manage in Help Scout. You can use the email command @assign to make sure it’s assigned appropriately when it lands in Help Scout. We’ll recognize the Help Scout team member’s address and direct the reply to the customer. 
If you still want things to look nice and personal, change the From Name in the Mailbox Settings(Gear > Edit Mailbox) to User Name. The reply will look like it’s coming from your team member’s name instead of the Mailbox address.
When you leverage our email integration to reply to customer emails that land in your personal address, nothing slips through the cracks. Every email is tracked, tagged, and reported on in Help Scout.
* Multiple mailboxes, workflows and custom folders are available on the Standard, Plus, and Company plans.
** Custom Fields and Teams are available on the Plus and Company plans.


You can see a full breakdown of plan options here. Please reach out to our Support team if you have questions about any of our features or plans.

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