When to Set up a New Inbox
Help Scout makes it easy for your team to manage all your shared email addresses (e.g., email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.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.
This guide is for Help Scout Administrators and Account Owners to assist you in deciding how to organize your incoming email and manage those settings.
Help Scout gives you multiple methods to manage your shared email addresses. The best method for you depends on your requirements and how your team works.
- Multiple Inboxes - Your groups work autonomously, privacy between inboxes is important, and/or you're managing multiple brands.
- Teams - You organize by group, responsibility, or priority in the same inbox.
- Inbox Aliases - You work out of a single Inbox, but have multiple addresses your customer use and/or you want to sort, filter, and report by different incoming email addresses.
Note: You should not create Inboxes for your individual team members' personal addresses. See Challenges With Forwarding your Personal Address for more information.
Here are some of the situations that will fit into specific choices:
|Each email address goes to a distinct Inbox||Use the Teams feature to organize your Inbox||Multiple email addresses funnel to one Inbox|
|Privacy restricted on inbox||Visibility across teams is helpful||Full visibility is helpful|
|Users handle a single email address||Users handle multiple addresses||Users handle multiple addresses|
|Signature and domain 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|
Workflows are included on Standard, Plus, and Pro plans. More on Workflows: Get Started With Workflows
More on Teams
Teams is a Help Scout feature that is available on the Plus and Pro plans.
Your 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). This feature gives you more power to organize within your inbox, moving conversations out of the Mine and Unassigned folders and into team folders.
Check out Create and Manage Teams for much more information on Teams!
More on Aliases
You can forward multiple email addresses into a single Help Scout inbox. Perhaps you want to use specific email addresses to filter the types of requests, for example you have sales@ and support@, but it's really the same team handling those. Or maybe you just have a number of similar addresses, e.g. info@, help@, and support@ that you've used over time. Maybe you even have multiple domains, so you had firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, and both can be answered by the same team and share branding.
See Forward Email Aliases to an Inbox for more information on how to get everything set up in Help Scout using multiple email addresses with a single Inbox.
You can also use Workflows to automatically tag or assign conversations, set Custom Fields, or copy to folders to automate sorting and reporting based on the alias addresses.
Replies can come from either the main email address for the inbox or the email alias.
More on Multiple Inboxes
If you’re sure a new inbox is right for you, head over to Create and Manage Inboxes in Help Scout for help setting up another.
Note: Each plan has a set number of inboxes included, and you can add additional inboxes for $10 USD per month per inbox. When you click New Inbox, you'll see a notice to advise you of the additional charge if you're over your plan's limit. The Account Owner and Administrators with billing access can see how many inboxes are included at Your Plan.
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 Inbox for yourself or your teammates. Challenges With Forwarding your Personal Address explains the reasons we would strongly caution you against this plan.
If that’s your current workflow though, 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 individual 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 Inbox.
Using the To: condition, you can then set a Workflow that automatically assigns any emails sent to that alias to the correct team member. More on this feature: Get started with Workflows. Here's more on what we mean by assigning as well: Assign Conversations.
Since your team will all be working out of the same Inbox, 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. (See Use @mentions in notes for more on that feature.) 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.
To display a user's name along with your support email, you can change the From Name in the Inbox Settings (Gear > Edit Inbox) to User Name.
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 an individual address:
As long as your team members' Help Scout profile addresses match their actual 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 Inbox 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 individual address
This is an ideal use case for Help Scout and puts you in a great position to take advantage of our email integration. Check out Manually Forward Email to Help Scout for the full details on this feature.
Create your Inbox for the shared email address your team mostly works with, and make sure your team members' Help Scout 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 it from in Help Scout after that. 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 set the customer in Help Scout to the customer address, not the User.
If you still want things to look nice and personal, change the From Name in the Inbox Settings to User Name. The reply will look like it’s coming from your team member’s name instead of the Inbox address.
More on the Inbox settings in general here: Customize Your Inbox Settings.
Still not sure what the right path is for your team or just have further questions? Give us a shout — include as much detail as you can on your team's current work patterns or what you're looking to change up in your message to us, and our support team is happy to think things through with you.