Set up a Shared Inbox for your Delegates

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There are instances where you might need to allow someone to compose and respond to messages on your behalf (for example, to support@mycompany.com - your main customer support email account). In this tutorial, we’ll discuss what a shared Inbox is, its limitations, and how to create one using Gmail in Google Workspace (GSuite).

🏢 This article is intended for Google Workspace administrators.

What is a Shared Inbox?

A Shared Inbox (delegated accounts) is a Gmail inbox that allows you to delegate multiple people (delegates) in your organization to access, manage, and collaborate on emails. Examples of this are functional email addresses such as support@mycompany.com or hr@mycompany.com.

This setup is ideal for teams that are constantly dealing with high volumes of emails (like technical support or customer service). Once configured, this will allow any team members (delegates) to read, create & send, reply, and manage (archive, filter, delete, label, change settings, ...) email messages. Using this setup also lets everyone see unanswered emails at a glance - prompting action on which email to prioritize and answer immediately.

Using a Shared Inbox gives you the advantage of answering emails faster by any team member that’s available. Another benefit is that it allows team members working across different time zones real-time access. It also fosters transparency, sharing of best practices, and collaboration among team members. And best of all, there’s no upskilling needed. A Shared Inbox functions, looks, and feels just like Gmail.


Limitations

Using a Shared Inbox with Mergo has its limitations:

  • Only the owner of the Shared Inbox account can use Mergo with this setup.
    Delegates will not be able to use Mergo (or any add-ons) when using the Shared Inbox account.

  • Mergo’s Campaign Tracking Report will not be able to monitor or track responses from all the delegates accurately.

    📌 Note: You can only track responses accurately from 1 delegated account.

    💡 Tip: To easily track campaigns, assign 1 specific campaign for each delegate. Once configured this way, your delegates can easily track individual campaigns using their own work accounts. To achieve this:

      • Campaign responses (from recipients) should be forwarded from the Shared Inbox account to the delegated account.

      • Leave all original responses in the Shared Inbox so everyone can see the responses.

  • As a precaution, Google restricts delegates from:

      • Using chat on behalf of the Shared Inbox.

      • Changing the Shared Inbox’s password.

      • Modifying many of the account settings.


A. Create a Shared Inbox (Admin)

You can add up to 10 delegates only if you're using Personal Gmail.
But up to 1,000 delegates can be added within your organization (work, school, or other institutions).

To set this up, the admin must grant a Team member (delegate) to the Shared Inbox account.

1. On your computer, log in to Gmail.

📌Note: You can't add delegates from the Gmail app.


2. In the top right, click Settings > See all settings.

3. Click the Accounts tab for Google Workspace users (Accounts and Import tab for Personal Gmail users) (a) > under Grant access to your account, click Add another account (b).

📌Note: If you’re using Gmail through your work or school, your organization may restrict email delegation. If you don’t see this setting, contact your admin.

4. Enter the email address of the person you want to add > click Next Step.

📌Note: You can only add email accounts that are within the same organization as the Shared Inbox.

💡 Tip: The email account you're delegating must have Require user to change password at next sign-in disabled.

5. Click Send email to grant access.

6. The person you added will get an email request asking them to confirm.

📌Note: It may take up to 24 hours for you to see them as a delegate after they confirm.


The delegate’s name and email address appear with the status pending.

You’ve successfully created a Shared Inbox.

In the next section, we’ll show your delegate how to accept the invitation.


B. Accept the Shared Inbox invitation (Delegate)

In this section, we’re going to guide the delegate on how to accept the Shared Inbox invitation sent by the admin.

1. On your computer, log in to Gmail > click the invitation.

2. Click the link under To accept this request, please click the link below.

3. Click Confirm.

4. You will be prompted that the confirmation is successful.

📌Note: It may take up to 30 minutes for the verification to complete.

At this point, the pending status turns to accepted in the admin’s settings, showing that the newly added delegate now has access to the Shared Inbox.

You've successfully accepted the Shared Inbox invitation.

In the next section, we'll show you how to access the Shared Inbox account.


C. Access the Shared Inbox (Delegate)

Team members (delegates) that accepted the invitation can now access the Shared Inbox using their own Google Workspace (GSuite) email log-ins. Once logged in, advise your delegate to:

1. Click your Google Account Profile.

2. Select the relevant delegation - to switch from your own inbox to that of the Shared (delegated) Inbox.

From here on, you (as a delegate) will be able to read, create & send, reply, and manage (archive, filter, delete, label, change settings, ...) email messages from the Shared Inbox.


D. Assign an Alias & Reply-to for your delegates (Admin & Delegates)

This last step needs to be done so your delegates can set up Mergo campaigns using their own Google account. But they need to select the Shared Inbox account for their Alias/From and Reply to fields.

Follow this detailed tutorial on how to set up aliases for your delegates (team members).

  • 💡 Tip: To easily track campaigns, assign 1 specific campaign for each delegate. Once configured this way, your delegates can easily track individual campaigns using their own work accounts. To achieve this:

      • Campaign responses (from recipients) should be forwarded from the Shared Inbox account to the delegated account.

      • Leave all original responses in the Shared Inbox so everyone can see the responses.