My favorite Salesforce Winter '09 feature so far: functional email to Salesforce

I already posted about Winter ’09 based on the early preview notes. Now that the release is live, there’s one little tidbit buried in the release notes that’s worth pointing out.

Email to Salesforce using a custom email address (send or bcc to the address) is relatively new, and until now it was a bit crippled.

If the email address of the person whose record you wanted to attach the email matched, everything was hunky dorrie. But what happens if the person’s record had a different email address, or no email address recorded at all? Or, if you wanted to attach the email to a case or closed opportunity as well as the contact record? You had to do it manually after the activity record was already in Salesforce, usually by resolving an “unresolved” task and relating the record within the task.

Now in Winter ’09, you can simply send your email as usual, then go back to the message, forward it to the Salesforce email address and add (ref: recordID1, recordID2, etc.) to the top of the body of the email. The release notes don’t specify a limit of how many records a single email can be attached to.

And you can set it so you get an email confirmation that the email was attached to the record, rather than having to go to the record directly to confirm.

Much better.


3 responses to “My favorite Salesforce Winter '09 feature so far: functional email to Salesforce”

  1. There is 1 deficiency in the current functionality. Whether you do the approach you describe above or just have it auto-associate to Opportunities, the end result is 2 activities are created instead of 1.

    One activity is created and associated with the Contact. Another is created and associated with the Opportunity. What should happen is that a single record is created and linked to both. Activities can be associated to a Who (lead or contact) and a What (any other object). The functionality should populate both. If you are looking at an Opportunity and have to click into every activity to know who you sent it to, the value is gone. You should be able to view your activities on your Opportunity and see, at a glance, the Contact associated to it.

    I have no idea why they didn’t implement it the right way. The current way doesn’t make sense.

  2. Ugh, I didn’t catch that with the one record I tried (90% of the time I am just attaching to a contact because not everything we do is opportunity-focused). It’s better functionality than it was before, but you’re right that it’s not ideal yet.

  3. I have a slightly different complaint: sometimes I want an unresolved email to be used as the basis for creating a new contact or lead. Salesforce doesn't seem to automate this at all, so I'm forced to manually create a Lead/Contact and then go back and manually link the unresolved email, editing the subject and removing the "Unresolved" so it looks pretty.

    Any tips around that issue?