Our organization has grown past the point where one person can handle the inbound e-mail from our members. I'm looking for best practices from the community on how to handle this.

We don't want to give all of our staff access directly to the e-mail account. As staff come and go, we would have to connstantly change the password to that account. Also, giving everyone direct access to the account would require a tagging system to know who is handling what message. This seems less than ideal.

We could adopt a ticketing system, either something like osTicket or something like Zendesk. But I think it would be nice to have all of our interactions with our members in one clear place. After all, isn't that what a CRM is supposed to do for you?

I looked at CiviCase and at first glance it appears to be exactly right. But for some reason out of the box CiviCRM does not create a new case for each new inbound e-mail. Discovering this got me thinking that perhaps opening a case for each inbound e-mail is not the right approach?

So I'm looking for input from the community: for those of you who have grown past the point of 1 or 2 staff to handle inbound email, what do you do to capture the email and respond to it?

Thank you

EDIT: I looked at CiviRules, but unfortunately it lacks some conditions and some actions to make this possible:

  • I could say "Take an action when an activity of type Inbound Email is received"
  • But I could not say that the action should be to create a case.
  • Presumably I also could not say to assign the activity to the case.
  • I also could not say "Only take this action if the activity is not already associated with a case" (e.g. if the email subject has a case ID)
  • One of the orgs I know does use a type of tagging system to know who is handling, but they also have a designated daily person who is the default handler for that day so that everything gets handled. But to-date all the installations I've worked with have always involved at least some custom code to integrate with how the org works.
    – Demerit
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 12:53

1 Answer 1


Another option to explore is if CiviRules has a 'create case' capability that could be triggered from creating an Activity, which itself had been created by inbound email

  • Unfortunately CiviRules lacked the necessary conditions and triggers. I added some details in an edit to my original question. Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 22:39
  • Then I would think the solution is an extension that would eg work on basis that an email to email address X should trigger a new case, assign to default Coordinator etc if no #caseid is in the subject. doesn't sound like a big job
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 2:26
  • also did you read this? civicrm.org/blog/dahndy/… in case it adds any new thoughts
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 2:27
  • fyi we did some improvements to Inbound Email so #caseid works in case that gives you some ideas: civicrm.org/blog/petednz/…
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 2:59
  • oh. sorry that was to core not via an extension
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 2:59

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