A Short Guide to Integrating Slack with Email

A Short Guide to Integrating Slack with Email

ClearFeed Team
ClearFeed Team
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A Short Guide to Integrating Slack with Email

ClearFeed Team
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Emails are pivotal in businesses and every organization’s workspace for communication. Mailbutler’s research shows that a whopping 347.3 billion emails are shared per day. Microsoft says the huge influx of emails has outpaced humans’ ability to organize and categorize them effectively.

At the same time, Slack has emerged as one of the top tools for transparent and organized internal communication. Employees these days like to work from Slack, and bridging the gap between email and Slack has emerged as a common challenge in organizations. This guide dives into the most common questions around email-Slack integration.

5 Key Advantages of Integrating Email to Slack

  1. A unified approach to tackling all communication: Slack enables you to integrate multiple communication channels into a single interface. Slack’s extensive app integrations allow updates from common enterprise tools like Jira, Zendesk, Salesforce, and others to be directly available within Slack. Email is one of the most prolific sources of communication, and bringing email into Slack means one never has to leave it.
  2. An alternative to Email Groups: Slack's channels enable users to organize conversations by topics like features or billing and client categories such as premium or SMBs, streamlining the delegation of queries to appropriate teams, particularly benefiting customer service communication. Integrating Slack with email expands the conversation to include external participants, enhances internal group communications, and becomes a preferred alternative to traditional email groups within organizations.
  3. Shared inbox: According to a survey by Hiver, employees tend to ignore 40% of the emails they receive. This is particularly problematic when it comes to receiving customer communication, where emails need a timely response. Slack-email integration resolves this issue to its core with its functionality to organize and track external emails in common Slack Channels. The presence of multiple participants in such channels means all customer emails can be seen by a broader team, and anyone available can respond to them.
  1. Automated workflows: One of the key advantages of bringing emails into Slack is the ability to leverage Slack’s in-built workflows. These automations can not only take actions inside Slack (like posting messages in specific channels) but can also be designed to perform various actions, such as:
  • Posting messages in specific channels with email details
  • Assigning tasks or creating issues in external tools like Jira based on email content
  • Sending notifications to relevant team members
  • Archiving or forwarding emails to other channels or users
  1. Reduced copy-pasting: Consistently switching between multiple apps and email tools causes digital overload and can be overwhelming for employees. This reduces productivity and consumes time unnecessarily. By syncing email with Slack, we can streamline communication and manage projects within a single workspace. Therefore, Slack-mail integration ultimately boosts productivity and enhances user experience.

How to Integrate Email with Slack?

There are several different ways of integrating Email and Slack. These include:

  • Creating an email address for a channel and sending emails to it.
  • Forwarding emails to Slackbot and receiving it in your Slack.
  • Using Slack plugin for Gmail and Outlook to send Emails to Slack easily.
  • Integrating Email and Slack using Ticketing software like Zendesk and ClearFeed.

In the following sections we go over these techniques in greater detail.

How to Send Emails to a Slack Channel? 

Slack allows users to send emails to Slack through a unique email address generated within the app for a channel or a group. This feature is available only with a paid subscription to Slack. The steps to create the email address are as follows:

  1. Go to the Slack desktop app. Open the DM group or channel where you need to direct the emails.
  2. Go to the conversation header. Click on the channel name if you wish to send an email to the channel. Click on member name(s) if the email is supposed to be sent in a DM. 
  3. Click on the Integrations tab. 
  4. Then, click on Send Emails to this channel. In the case of DM, click on Send emails to this conversation.
  1. [OPTIONAL STEP] Click on Customize email appearance, if you want to upload an image or emoji to be visible with the emails posted on Slack. 
  2. Select Get email address.
  3. If you like to create an email for the channel, click on Copy and then Share email address. It will post a message to the channel, and you can add any details that you would like to share with the channel members.

Sending emails to channels can be very useful in sending email alerts to Slack. Many software do not have a direct Slack integration - but send emails. Forwarding those emails to a channel can create shared visibility to alerts using Slack.

Points to Remember: 

  1. All the admins and owners of the workspace can manage the ability of other channel members to create email addresses. 
  2. In the case of multiple organizations working together on Slack, any organization can generate this email for a channel. The email would be visible to all members of the channel.
  3. This feature is available to Slack workspaces on a paid subscription (of any level).

How to Forward Emails from Inbox to Slack with Slackbot

Want to forward your emails to Slack directly and don’t have a subscription plan for Slack? Follow the steps below and use Slack like a pro.

  1. Go to your desktop and Click on your profile picture.
  2. Click on Preferences and go to Messages & Media.
  3. Navigate down till you reach the Bring emails into Slack option. 

Source -  How-To Geek

  1. Select Get a forwarding address. Your email address will be generated.
  2. Copy the email address and use it to forward your emails to Slack.

Points to Remember: 

  1. You must have the incoming emails option enabled for your organization or channel. 
  2. You might not want to opt for this method if you deal with a huge influx of emails.

How to Sending Emails to Slack Using Gmail/Outlook Add-on 

The email add-on functionality of Slack enables users to link their Gmail and Outlook mail to Slack directly. Let’s cover each of these add-ons one by one.

How to Connect Slack with Gmail

The following steps detail how to use the Slack for Gmail app to connect Slack to Gmail directly:

  1. Install Slack for Gmail from the Google Workspace.
  1. Once the installation is done, the Slack icon will appear in the right-hand sidebar of your Gmail.
  2. Select an email and Connect to Slack. 

Note: Make sure you have access to connect Slack for Gmail add-on to your organization’s workspace. 

  1. Once you connect to Slack, click the Slack icon and select Search Channels and people. Click on the workspace and select the channel or person you want to share the email with. Press Enter. 
  2. Select Send to [name]. Choose the View option and Voila! You have successfully sent your email to Slack.

How to Connect Slack with Outlook

  1. Go for Slack for Outlook add-on from Microsoft AppSource. Select the Get it now option.

  1. Add your Outlook account and sign in.
  1. Go to the Slack icon in the toolbar and click on Connect to Slack. 
  2. Select an email. Click on the Slack icon and search for the name of the Channel or member to which you wish to send the email. Select Send to Slack, and you will see the email in the Slack conversation. If you are working in a browser, select the three-dot icon and click on Send to Slack.

How to Integrate Email with Slack Using Ticketing Software

All support platforms, like Zendesk, Freshdesk, etc., allow customers to raise tickets using email. They also have integrations with Slack of varying capabilities. Thus, one straightforward way of receiving and responding to emails in Slack is to use a ticketing software that integrates well with Slack.

As an example, with Zendesk one can:

  • Receive emails from customers on an email-id integrated with Zendesk
  • Zendesk converts those emails to tickets
  • Users can setup Triggers to generate Slack notifications when such tickets are created

However, replying to emails from Slack for such platforms is not seamless. Users have to make multiple clicks to convert a Slack reply into an email. This is where software like ClearFeed can be very useful.

Related Read: How to Choose a Right Ticketing Software for Your Business

How to Reply to Emails from Slack

Conventional methods for integrating Slack and Email do not allow replying to Email from Slack. This is where advanced integration software can help. ClearFeed enables a bidirectional sync between Email and Slack and allows users to receive emails and respond to them - all from Slack. Let's dive into detail on how this works:

  • Users create an email id to receive emails on.
  • Emails on this id are setup for forwarding to an email id created in their ClearFeed account.
  • ClearFeed sends any incoming emails to a configured channel and triage-channel in the user's Slack workspace.
  • Users can read and reply to such emails directly from Slack. Posting a reply is as simple as sending a Slack message!

Readers interested in learning more can check out detailed documentation on Slack-Email integration.

What Are Some Key Features of ClearFeed's Email-Slack Integration?

1. Sync Messages and Attachments 

Clearfeed enables users to have a seamless flow of information between Slack and email tickets by synchronizing incoming emails, replies, and attachments in real-time. Replying to an email from Slack is as simple as posting a Slack message. The same is sent back to the email sender, as well as any additional people copied in the email.

2. Triage Channels for Private Collaboration

When responding to customer emails - internal collaboration is a must-have. ClearFeed’s Slack Triage Channel enables the teams to collaborate using private replies on email threads.

3. Track status of Email queries and replies

ClearFeed converts every incoming email into a trackable object. Users can see and update the status from the Triage Channel (or a web application). It also generates reminders on pending replies - making sure teams are responsive to customers, employees or partners.

4. Deflect Common Queries with Virtual Agent

Adding a GPT-powered virtual assistant in ClearFeed’s Email-Slack Integration optimizes the workflow. It suggests answers to the team on common queries. The suggested answer is only visible to the internal team and, hence, ultimately has the authority to decide whether or not to use it. It reduces the response time and ensures that teams don’t have to work on issues that don’t require human intervention.

D. Advanced Analytics and Interactive Web App Dashboard

Monitoring the metrics is a crucial feature of ClearFeed’s Email-Slack integration. With comprehensive analysis, you can identify SLA breaches, review and respond to requests across Slack channels and email, and monitor the response time. It ensures efficient and effective management.

Want to see ClearFeed’s integration in action? Contact our team at support@clearfeed.ai and book a free demo with our customer support specialist here

FAQs

Q1) Can Slack be integrated with Gmail and Outlook?

Yes, Slack can be integrated with both Gmail and Outlook, allowing users to enhance their productivity by connecting their email communications directly with their Slack workspace.

For Gmail, the Slack for Gmail™ integration lets you forward emails into Slack channels or direct messages (DMs) right from your Gmail inbox. This integration simplifies sharing email content and attachments with team members in Slack without having to leave Gmail.

As for Outlook, similarly, Slack can be integrated with Outlook. You can use the Outlook Calendar and Microsoft Outlook for Slack apps to send emails, manage your calendar, and join meetings directly from Slack. This integration also supports forwarding emails from Outlook to Slack, enabling seamless communication and collaboration without switching between applications.

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