Configure Email in CRM

Configure Email in CRM

  How to configure email in CRM

  How it works

In Zoho CRM, you can have all emails to and from contacts associated with the particular record. This means you do not have to go to an external email program to search for email conversations between your organisation and a contact person. 

Emails can be associated with Accounts (Businesses), Contacts, or Deals (Opportunities). Below is a scenario in which this is useful:

When you are having a conversation with a new account/contact on a specific product (i.e. A membership), by going into the opportunity, all emails are filtered only pertaining that particular membership. It is an uncluttered view.

The icon wallet next to the email indicates that it is related to an opportunity. Clicking on the icon allows you to change the link (in case it was made in error). All emails associated with the contact (whether via deal or direct) are visible from the contact record. Similar to Accounts, all emails can be made visible on that account.

When the email channel has been configured for CRM, you cannot only send emails from CRM, but also from your regular email client (i.e. Outlook, GSuite). All emails from these clients will be made available automatically in CRM. They will be mapped to the contact (on basis of the email address), but will not be automatically mapped to a Deal (Opportunity). The protocol for mapping these emails is IMAP (POP is possible but not recommended). IMAP is like having another view on your email. It is best compared to reading emails on your mobile phone, if you read an email on your mobile, it is marked as read on the server, so on your other email client (i.e. Outlook), it is marked as read as well. POP works differently - it actually moves the email from the server into the receiving client (i.e. Outlook OR CRM) - it does generally does not leave a copy on the server, and it certainly does not mark the email status in sync across all your clients. For all businesses - if IMAP is supported by your email server, then it is STRONGLY recommended over POP.

Sending emails from CRM is simple - just hit the + symbol next to the emails, or click the button Send Email on the top of the record.

If you have enabled email insights, Zoho CRM keeps track of when the email is opened, and if any link has been clicked. This builds a “best time to contact” profile for the contact person, which can be used to schedule emails (highest probability to be on top of the inbox), or phone calls (improved probability of being able to reach the contact person at those times). This profile refines with the number of communications you have with that contact.

  Configuration the Administrator must complete

Prior to the employees being able to use the email functionality from within CRM, the administrator must complete a number of steps. The following is needed to complete this process:

  • Server details for making an IMAP connection to the email server

  • Login and password for the administrator email on the email server (the user login details the administrator needs as a user of the email service in the company)

  • Access to the Domain DNS settings to add the DKIM and SPF records


To set up the email in Zoho CRM, a CRM Service Administrator navigates to Settings, and under Channels clicks Email.

There are a number of tab pages with configuration, we will focus on Email, Email Sharing, Email Insights, and Email Authentication.



Under this tab, the administrator configures his/her own email synchronisation with CRM. When nothing is configured, it will show a Get Started button.

Select the required service and choose to connect via IMAP. 

Once successful - the server and login details are displayed.

From this moment on, all your emails sent via the server nominated for the connection are available in CRM, provided there is a contact in CRM with that email address. For example, all emails between this email address linked Contact Name, and will be visible in the Contact Name contact card. However, other emails between Aurelian Group and this email account, such as, or will not be visible, as this email address would not be linked to any contact. The checkbox “store sent messages on the server” allows for emails that are sent to be stored in Sent Items on the email server. It is advisable to test this with your email server prior to ticking this box - send yourself one message from CRM (you may need to create a temporary contact) - and see if this message appears in your sent items in your email client. If it does not appear, you need to tick this box (note: in Zoho Mail servers, this is not necessary - the emails are automatically stored in the Sent Items in the Zoho Mail server. Ticking the box will result in the message appearing twice). 

Below the server details, you find settings for email sharing. This is the same settings as done under the email sharing tab, but only applicable to your own account.

There are three options (for a single employee company, it really does not matter how you set this up, but when you have multiple users in CRM, a proper setup is required):

  • Private - all email sent and received via the email client (i.e. Outlook) are only visible to this user. This user can see these emails from CRM on the contact record, but none of the other CRM users can.

  • Public - all emails sent to and received via the email client are visible to all CRM users that have access to this contact. It is highly recommended to exclude your own domain ( from this - as that will keep emails sent between employees private at all times. 

  • Custom - the user choses per record (i.e. Contacts) if all email conversations are to be shared across the organisation or not. This is a per user per record setting (i.e. You may not wish to share your emails to and from This affects ALL emails from this user to and from this contact record. It is not possible to keep certain emails private, while sharing others.


NOTE: All emails sent from CRM are shared to the contact with all users that have access to CRM. The settings described above only affect the sharing of IMAP emails. Therefore, even if the email setting is set to Private, this only affects emails sent and received via the email client (i.e. Outlook), it does not affect emails sent via CRM.


  Email Sharing

The same as described above can be set up for other users of the CRM email channels. It is not possible to set up the email integrations from here, and the user must have made the email configuration prior to the administrator making the changes.

In this screen it is possible for the service admin to change the configuration of individual users - from private to public, or from public to individual accounts (custom). 

There are also some stats on how many domains are excluded, and how public emails are shared. The latter is a fine grained method that Administrators can set up to users and groups. NOTE: it is possible to share emails to only specific users - i.e. Mark shares only with Claire. Claire is Mark’s peer, and both report into Karl. In this setup, Clair can see Mark’s emails to contacts that she can access, but so can Karl, as managers can always see emails of subordinates in this setting (NOTE: if the emails are marked as private, then nobody else but the user can see the emails in CRM, regardless of the hierarchy. NOTE: reminder - this only applies to emails sent and received with the linked email server. All emails sent from CRM are always shared, regardless of the settings). 

Email Insights

If you enable Email Insights, CRM will keep track of the emails sent from CRM. It works by adding an invisible pixel on the email, which, when the email is opened, provides a signal to CRM indicating that the email has been opened. This helps building a profile of the contact person with regards to the “best time to contact”. Enabling this also allows for statistics on email templates sent from CRM (just like in mail campaigns, such as Mail Chimp or Zoho Campaigns). The CRM templates can be used for mass mailing (not their primary purpose, and Campaign is recommended for this), but also as reusable templates, that you send as a response to a certain action. The configuration of Email Insights is very simple - it is switched on or off.

Email Authentication

When sending emails from CRM, it does not pass your organisation email server, but the Zoho mail server instead. However, the email address/domain settings will still be the same as if you sent the email directly from your server. In order for this to work without issue, you need to tell the Domain server that CRM is allowed to send emails on behalf of your domain address. This needs to be set up only once per domain. In case of your domain, it needs to be set up in the domain server (i.e. GoDaddy) with an include on the SPF record, and a new Domain Key for DKIM. Failing to have this setup properly means that the emails sent from CRM will be marked as SPAM and quarantined by many recipients email servers.

Click Add Domain to start the process. A popup appears, and you need to add your email address - it is important that you use an email address of the domain you wish to map (in case of mapping your company- the email address is - therefore the domain is that will need to be updated with the SPF and DKIM settings).

The first thing that needs to be done, is to verify your email address (the one you just entered). Zoho will send you an email with a code, which you will need ot enter by clicking Enter Code. If you did not receive the email, you can click Resend Email. This step only identifies you as a recipient on the added domain, and that you are authorised to map and authenticate this domain.

The next step is a bit more complicated, and you may need the assistance of your webmaster. This step involves adding a TXT record to your DNS settings of the domain, as well as amending a record. Click Validate Records next to Authentication Pending for the instructions and settings that will need to be made in your DNS records.

Once the settings are made, click Validate Record - note: it can take up to 48 hours for the validation to come through.

  User configuration

Every user should configure their email channel individually. This is done in the similar manner as the Email configuration as described for the administrator, but no other configuration is allowed (i.e. The user only sees the Email tab, BCC dropbox (you probably do not need this) and Email Insights).

Note that the choices above for how to share emails is limited - this is because the administrator has made the choice for the user. If the administrator wants to give the control to the user, then this is done via the Email Sharing tab under the administrator account.



When the email mapping has been configured for the user, the SalesInbox can be configured. The SalesInbox is a specialised email client for sales people, directly in CRM. It changes the traditional email layout from chonological conversations to a sales prioritised configuration. To configure SalesInbox, go to the SalesInbox tab on the CRM page.