How to share Gmail inbox among GSuite users
Many companies create one shared Gmail inbox (e.g., [email protected], [email protected], etc.), and hand over the login credentials to multiple employees, who log in from different computers and answer emails in parallel. One account with a shared user and password leads to collisions between company employees, inefficiency, and lack of ownership. Moreover, if multiple users frequently access the same account from different locations, there is a risk of a temporary lockdown. You should use GSuite shared groups instead and other collaboration features.
GSuite shared groups allow Gmail users to send and reply to messages using the group's email address. Each user works with the group messages in her/his own Gmail inbox, and there is no risk of lockdown.
To create a shared group, follow the steps below:
- Log in to the Google Admin Console.
- Go to the Groups app (needs Groups administrator permissions)
- Click the Create Group button on the title bar.
- Type the name, description, and email address of the new group.
- Click the Next button.
- Choose the Access type:
- Public - open for posting for employees and people from outside (recommended for [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and alike addresses);
- Team - open for posting for an internal team or department;
- Announcement only - open for posting for group owners only;
- Restricted - open for posting and viewing for an internal team or department.
- Click the Create group button.
The setup and configuration of the new email group take a while, but in a few minutes, it becomes active. Updates of Group directories finish in a day or so.
The activated group automatically delivers all incoming messages to the group address to all members of the group. A member of the group receives the incoming group messages to the personal Gmail inbox and can reply either from the personal address or from the group address. However, a member of the group cannot see the outgoing messages or the replies of the shared group members.
There are three different solutions for sharing outgoing messages for Gmail groups:
- Collaborative Inbox in Google Groups for Business;
- Auto BCC for Gmail;
- [email protected] email sharing.
Collaborative Inbox is a feature of Google Groups for Business, which you need to enable in your Google Admin Console. Google Groups allow you to create a mailing list with the address [email protected] or [email protected] for your support or service teams. When a customer sends the email to the [email protected], your customer service people receive a copy of the message to their Gmail inboxes and can reply or forward the email. Other actions are available in the Google Groups interface:
- Assign or re-assign the incoming request to another team member;
- Mark the request resolved;
- Add and remove tags for the request;
- Search and filter requests by tag, status, and team member.
- Google Groups for Business is a part of the GSuite subscription;
- Collaborative Inbox feature provides issue tracking capabilities.
- Gmail and other email clients don't support Collaborative Inbox features;
- The issue tracking model works well for support and customer service but fails for development, marketing, and sales teams;
- Direct communication between the customer and the team member isn't visible to other members.
Auto BCC for Gmail
Auto BCC for Gmail is a Google Chrome extension for sending automatic BCC or CC copies of outgoing emails in Gmail.
- The service free of charge and doesn't require GSuite subscription;
- Auto BCC works for individual and organization accounts.
- The extension requires the Google Chrome browser;
- The extension doesn't work with desktop and mobile clients;
- Each team member needs to install and configure the Auto BCC extension;
- Administrators of the organization have no control over personal Auto BCC rules.
[email protected] Email Sharing
[email protected] app for GSuite shares all incoming/outgoing emails of GSuite shared group. The service monitors inboxes of the shared group members; finds the direct and indirect messages related to the shared group and copies the missing emails to the Gmail inboxes of all members.
- Administrators control the email sharing of the group for all GSuite users of the organization;
- The service works for all types of email clients: web, desktop, or mobile;
- Team members don't need to reply from the group email address (e.g., [email protected]) and can use personal email addresses (e.g., [email protected]).
- No issue tracking features;
- No free subscription plans.
Collaborative Inbox, Auto BCC, and [email protected] are affordable solutions with the functionality limited to essential components. If you need more advanced CRM solution, check GSuite Marketplace, but prepare to pay twice as many as for the G Suite subscription.