If you are wondering what is the simplest way to link an external mail lying inside your Outlook, Lotus Notes or Gmail to a Salesforce record, you have come to the right place. In this article, I will show you can easily step up what is called email to Salesforce and use it effectively to attach an email to say an opportunity record.

By doing this you don’t only make the information in Salesforce richer and more meaningful, but also enable your organization to make correct decisions next time you are closing an opportunity with the same business partner. Though highly useful, this is one of the underutilized feature of Salesforce in my opinion.

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Activating email to Salesforce

Before you use this feature, it needs to be activated. This can be done by Salesforce administrator in a few simple steps. Look at the screenshots below which explain the steps involved. This section can be found in set up section of Salesforce.

Setting up eMail to Salesforce

The screenshots below which explain the activate email to salesforce.

Activate the email to salesforce

Knowing your e-Mail to Salesforce ID

So now that administrator has successfully set up this feature, let us look at how a user can find his / her email to Salesforce ID. For this the user can login to Salesforce and go to personal information as shown below.

How to find email To salesforce ID

The email to Salesforce address is displayed (changed in screenshot for security reasons). Also for linking the records to Salesforce, you can provide the acceptable from email addresses. If the email is sent from one of these accounts only then the mails will be linked to the Salesforce ID.

acceptable email and mail to salesforce address

How does linking external email to Salesforce work – Demonstration

For the purpose of demonstration, I created a new lead into my salesforce instance as shown below in the picture. You can notice that I have the record ID of Salesforce lead highlighted.

Lead records in salesforce

Let us say that I want to attach an external email to this record. I would compose an email with the following things in mind.

  • Keep your email to salesforce Id in To, CC or BCC of your email.
  • Mention the following keywords ref: XXX where XXX is the Salesforce record ID. For example in the above example this would mean 00Q0K00000t7qOX. This helps Salesforce to understand the record ID to which the email needs to be related with.
  • Note that from email should be one from the acceptable list of emails.

Example email body

Subject : email to Salesforce test

ref: 00Q0K00000t7qOX

This is to test the email to Salesforce feature to check whether the information gets attached to the particular record within the application.

As soon as the email is sent to Salesforce you would notice that you would get an acknowledgement that the process has been completed successfully.

Success Email to Salesforce response

The information creates a task within Salesforce which is assigned to the lead. This is shown in the picture below.

Task creation on email to Salesforce

Using API call to get email to Salesforce

If you want to retrieve the information via a program instead of logging into user’s console, you can do it in the following manner.

Do a retrieve call or query call to EmailServicesAddress. The EmailDomainName information provides the email to Salesforce Id. This ID is unique for a user.

Benefits of email to Salesforce feature

Following are the top reasons why an organization must encourage their users to utilize this feature to a maximum.

  1. Having a better history information within Salesforce.
  2. Easy to use feature which can enrich the record information.
  3. It helps make better future decisions. For example if an opportunity is lost, historic information will be available for the next deal with the same account.