One of the benefits of having a CRM is the ability to see and track engagement in a wide variety of ways - contributions, bulk mailings opened, registrations for events, and so forth. CiviCRM also provides the ability to track direct ‘touches’ with constituents via activities, and I know a lot of you use Civi’s built-in email function to send and receive emails to constituents so you or your colleagues can review the correspondence later.
A number of you have asked, though, about the best ways of tracking the follow-up emails that go back and forth after that initial email from Civi. Some of you copy and paste those emails manually into activities, which can be a colossal time suck. Great news for you - we have a solution for giving you that time back… CiviCRM includes the functionality to process emails into activities ‘automagically’ (to use a Paul Keogan-ism)!
How does this work?
CiviCRM calls this “Email-to-activity processing.” Basically, you create an email address in your system specifically for this purpose (with some additional configuration to ensure Civi can access it); enter the credentials for the email into Civi; and enable a special scheduled job that goes into the email inbox, retrieves the email, and creates the activity. The sender is set as the ‘added by’ and ‘assigned to’ contact, while the email recipient(s) and the BCC email are set as the activity’s ‘with’ contacts. The body of the email goes into the Details section, and the activity type is set to Inbound Email.
Keep in mind that this relies on your staff actually remembering to BCC the activity email… although there are some workarounds for creating automatic BCCs depending on the type of email client you use, if you want to explore them.
Does this sound intriguing? Want to try it out? Contact your support email and we’ll be happy to talk with you about it, and help you set it up.