Managing multiple email accounts and passwords can be a daunting task, especially for larger teams. Sharing the same email account and password among team members may seem like an easy solution, but it actually leads to several problems.
First and foremost, security is a major concern. Sharing passwords among multiple people increases the risk of hacking or unauthorized access. It also makes it difficult to track who is responsible for which emails and tasks, leading to confusion and potential mistakes.
Additionally, sharing one email account can result in a lack of accountability and poor customer experience. Customers expect prompt and personalized responses, which can be difficult to achieve when multiple people are accessing the same email account. It can also lead to delays in response times, as team members may not be aware of who is handling a specific inquiry.
Finally, using a single email account for customer support can make it difficult to track performance metrics and make data-driven decisions. Without proper visibility into who is sending and receiving emails, it can be challenging to identify areas for improvement and optimize your customer support strategy.
What is a Delegated Mailbox?
A Delegated Mailbox is a shared email address that multiple team members can access and manage. This allows for easy collaboration and delegation of tasks, without the need to share passwords or use multiple personal email addresses.
They are provided by many email service providers like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, which allows multiple people to access the same email account and manage it. It allows for multiple people to send and receive emails from the same email address, and also to see the emails sent and received from the same email address.
Delegated mailboxes are widely used for a number of use cases:
- For Customer Support Teams: A delegated mailbox allows for the head of customer support to efficiently manage and assign incoming emails to the appropriate team members, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks. The team can view assigned, pending, and closed emails, and access analytics such as reply and close times.
- For Sales Teams: A shared mailbox enables sales teams to collaborate effectively, avoiding double replies or missed opportunities by seeing when other reps are responding in real-time. This eliminates the need for password sharing.
- For Accounting Teams: Delegated mailboxes can be used to efficiently track and manage invoices, even for multiple regions and countries, through the use of automation and assigned folders. This allows for quick and easy access to invoice statuses without the need for additional inquiries.
Why does it make sense to use a Delegated Mailbox?
Using a Delegated Mailbox has several benefits for teams:
Keep relevant emails together
Delegated mailboxes allow you to avoid the messiness of constantly forwarding emails when you need someone else’s input on a thread, not to mention the risk of someone seeing a previous reply they shouldn’t! By allowing everyone to see the same threads from their own inbox, everything is kept in one place.
Give the public one easy way to contact you
Delegated mailboxes provide a single point of contact for people outside of your company, making it easier for them to reach out and for your company to redirect conversations to the appropriate person or department. Having a generic email address such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com is how people expect to contact any reputable company nowadays—you don’t even need to look up their email address.
Keep your team accountable
Delegated mailboxes bring transparency and visibility throughout teams, allowing for better teamwork and collective ownership over all communications. This can be especially useful for onboarding new team members and for keeping everyone informed about the company's activities.
Improve responsiveness and productivity
Shared mailboxes improve responsiveness and productivity by making it easier for team members to review and take advantage of each other's work and by providing a central location for external communications that is easily searchable and accessible.
Divide workload and track conversations
They make it easier to track conversations and divide workload, allowing for more effective management of leads and customer inquiries. This can be especially beneficial for companies with sales departments.
How to set up a Delegated Mailbox?
Setting up a Delegated Mailbox is relatively simple. Many email service providers, such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, have built-in tools for creating and managing shared email addresses:
How to set up delegated mailboxes in Outlook and Microsoft 365
There’s two ways to set up delegated mailboxes in Microsoft, ‘Send as’ and ‘Send on behalf of’—to be able to pull analytics, you should use ‘Send on behalf of’. Follow these instructions to get set up:
- Create a new Microsoft 365 account or identify the existing email account that you want to delegate, for example ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.
- Go to the admin center, and go to the Users > Active users page.
- Select the name of the user (from whom you plan to give a Send on behalf permission) to open their properties pane.
- On the Mail tab, select Manage mailbox permissions.
- Next to Send on behalf, select Edit.
- Select Add permissions, then choose the name of the user or users that you want to allow to send email on behalf of this mailbox.
- Select Add.
How to set up Delegated Mailboxes in Gmail and Google Workspace
Creating a delegated mailbox in Google Workspace or Gmail takes just a few minutes:
- Create a new Gmail account or identify the existing email account that you want to delegate.
- Open Gmail.
- Click on the Settings icon in the top-right corner and select "See all settings."
- Click on the "Accounts and Import" or "Accounts" tab.
- In the "Grant access to your account" section, click "Add another account."
- Enter the email address of the person or group you want to add as a delegate.
- Click "Next Step" and then "Send email to grant access."
- The person you added will receive an email asking them to confirm, while all group members will become delegates without confirmation.
- Note that it may take up to 24 hours for the delegation to start taking effect.
- You can add up to 10 delegates in Gmail, or up to 1,000 delegates within your organization if you're using Gmail through work, school, or another organization.
- For typical use, 40 delegates can access a Gmail account at the same time, while only a few delegates can access it simultaneously when using automated processes like APIs or browser extensions.
- If you're using Gmail through work or school, your organization may restrict email delegation, and if you don’t see the "Grant access to your account" section, contact your admin.
- If the account you delegate is a new account or the password was reset, the admin must turn off the requirement to change the password when you first sign in.
Once you have set up the delegated mailbox, you and your team members will be able to access it by clicking on the account dropdown menu in the top-right corner of the Gmail window and selecting the delegated mailbox.
How do I get analytics from a Delegated Mailbox?
One of the major drawbacks of password sharing is the inability to pull any metrics about who does what inside the box. To understand who is doing what inside a Delegated Mailbox, it is important to have full visibility into the activity taking place. Email Meter is a quick solution that can provide this visibility, giving you insights into things like who is sending and receiving emails, how often, and what the response time is. This allows you to make data-driven decisions about how to improve the performance of your team.
In conclusion, a Delegated Mailbox can be a valuable tool for teams looking to improve collaboration and organization, increase security and improve customer experience. Setting up a Delegated Mailbox is easy and can be done through many email service providers or third-party tools. And to get a better understanding of what's happening in your Delegated Mailbox, you can use Email Meter to get real-time analytics and insights.