How to Get the Most Out of a Shared Email Account

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There are plenty of pros and cons to shared email, but if you find the right solution it can lead to increased productivity and collaboration within your team.

What is a shared mailbox?

A shared mailbox, or shared email account, allows your team to work in a single inbox at the same time, sending and receiving emails from the same email address. This is great for companies that need to answer customer emails and want to publish email addresses like info@ or sales@ on their websites.

Why a shared email account might be good for your business

Shared email accounts are great for improving productivity in growing businesses. Here are a few of the top benefits:

You’ll vacation-proof your business

When all the email from support@yourcompany.com goes to one person, what happens when they’re out for a day or sitting on the beach for a week? With a shared email account, someone else can step in and your customers will never know.

Everyone’s on the same page

When email gets forwarded to individual people in your company, you don’t know who replied to what or what previous conversations with a customer looked like. If everyone’s working in a shared email account, everyone can see historical conversations – they aren’t trapped in individual mailboxes.

No more frustrating fwd’s and cc’s

When you need to get feedback on how to answer a customer, forwarding an email around your company just creates a frustrating thread of messages. It’s difficult to know who’s doing what and who’s going to end up replying. If you’re working in a single inbox, collaboration is definitely easier.

Why shared mailboxes don’t always work

Shared inboxes are great for productivity, but if you don’t choose the right solution, you may run into problems

Security can be an issue

If you’re just sharing your password to your Gmail account, you’re skimping on security. Also, Google might lock you out of your account if they see that too many people are logged into the account from different locations.

People can step on each other’s toes

If you’re sharing a Gmail inbox or are using an Outlook or Office 365 Shared Mailbox, you can’t see who’s doing what. You might reply to an email that another person in your company is also replying to at the same time.

It’s hard to distribute the workload

The typical shared email account doesn’t let you easily assign emails to different people. This can lead to confusion about who’s supposed to do what, and when.

Collaboration is tricky

Sometimes you need to discuss an email or leave a note to make sure someone who works on an email conversation in the future knows about past decisions. When you just have a standard shared mailbox, there aren’t many options to solve this problem.

You can’t see how well your team is performing

Having more people work on your shared email account can improve customer service. But you’ll probably want to know things like how long it takes your team to reply to emails. Basic shared email accounts can’t do that.

An alternative to a basic shared email account

The good news is that there are tools that can turbo-charge your shared email account and give your info@ email address superpowers.

Outpost solves the typical problems that a shared email account has and gives you the tools that boost your teams’ productivity by leaps and bounds. With Outpost, you get the tools to create shared email that grows your business.

  • Get everyone on the same page with internal notes and discussions. No more email about email. If you need to discuss an email with a team member, just send them a quick chat message in Outpost. No need to ever leave your email.
  • Respond in seconds with saved replies. If you send the same email often, Outpost lets you save frequently used text as an email template so you can reply faster with a consistent message.
  • Get the insights you need to increase productivity. Outpost gives you real-time analytics to see exactly how well your team is performing.

If you’re looking to solve your headaches with a shared email account, give Outpost a try. Sign up for a free trial or schedule a 1-1 demo with an email expert.

Posted in Email, Productivity

Noah Parsons

Noah Parsons

Before joining Palo Alto Software, Noah Parsons was an early Internet marketing and product expert in the Silicon Valley. He joined Yahoo! in 1996 as one of its first 101 employees and become Producer of the Yahoo! Employment property as part of the Yahoo! Classifieds team before leaving to serve as Director of Production at Epinions.com. He is a graduate of Princeton University. Noah devotes most of his free time to his three young sons. In the winter you'll find him giving them lessons on the ski slopes, and in summer they're usually involved in a variety of outdoor pursuits. Noah is currently the COO at Palo Alto Software, makers of Outpost and the online business plan app LivePlan, and content curator and creator of the Emergent Newsletter. You can follow Noah on Google+ or on Twitter.