Inbox is a new product created by Zendesk, it allows multiple members of your company to manage emails together using a shared interface. You can add as many team members as you like who can communicate amongst themselves and respond as one to the customer: “Any team member can leave internal notes on an email thread. Exchange knowledge, discuss ideas, and come to a consensus before you reply. ”

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It’s currently in beta and is available for free forever if you signup during their beta period. They also have a free WordPress plugin you can download here, which allows you to place contact forms on your site.

Signup for Inbox »

Inbox Features

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  • Manage all emails to an account from one interface
  • Discuss emails between team members
  • Assign an email to specific member
  • Leave Internal notes on an email
  • Follow email conversations

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Signup for an Account

To get started, signup for your free account here or login with your Google credentials and pick a company name and subdomain to use for your account. Once you are logged in, you can add your first inbox by clicking the “Add a team inbox” button.

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After you have either added an existing email address, or created a new one with your zendesk subdomain you are all set to start receiving emails there. There is a “Create Sample Conversation” link which will add an email for you so you can see the layout and features available.

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If you want to leave a team note on the email, you click the link and a text box will appear, to tag someone type “@” and a list of team members will appear and you can click and leave them a note.

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Or you can reply to the email by clicking the “reply to …” button and a text editor will appear allowing you to type your reply, add CC recipients etc.

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All replies and team notes are shown in the email thread as follows :

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Any new emails are shown on the left of the screen ready to be replied to or assigned to a team member:

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You can also use inbox as an email app to send emails which will then be tracked in the system by using the “+” button :

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Using the menu icon, opens a side bar where you can add new mailboxes, team members, change settings, setup a contact form and get support.

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Free WordPress Plugin

Using the free WordPress plugin is super simple, simply upload and activate it. If you dont have a Zendesk Inbox account you can signup for one using the plugin:

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Or if you already signed up via the website, you just need to enter your subdomain that you chose and tick the “Show widget on site” box.

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If you now visit the front end of your site you will see it has added a “Help” button fixed in the bottom right hand corner  :

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Clicking that button will open a contact form box where people can submit emails to your inbox account.

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Conclusion

This is my kind of app – it’s super clean and easy to use, the interface is minimal and well designed and the front end form is also nicely designed. The functionality it brings to your customer email support is great if you have a few team members. I can see this working for teams to provide customer support as well as being used internally when working on projects. Being able to assign emails to specific team members is great along with being able to tag people and leave private comments only viewable by staff.

You could use this inbox to power your entire customer support system and the fact it is completely free while in beta forever is amazing so I recommend you signup now for it as Im not sure what the pricing will be when it’s launched fully.

Signup for Inbox »


Author:

Oliver Dale is the founder of Kooc Media, An Internet Company based in Manchester, UK. I founded WPLift and ThemeFurnace, find out more on my Personal Blog. Thanks!

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2 Comments

  1. Looks like Zendesk is responding to HelpScout, a smaller competitor that works this way natively.

    • Hi Dave, Thanks for the comparison. HelpScout is a neat tool. Zendesk also offers internal collaboration natively, but with Inbox we’ve made it even easier, and focused just on email.

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