Integrating your email inbox with your CRM platform sounds like the right thing to do. But dumping all your emails into the CRM without any kind of consideration will more likely turn your CRM system in a dump than anything else. The value of the logged emails would soon be lost. 

The challenge at hand consists of linking the most relevant emails to the right Salesforce records in a fast, easy and user-friendly manner. Not just linking the mail to the Contact or the Account, but preferably also to the Opportunity, Case or Quote that is discussed in the email. 

So it makes sense that Salesforce tries to integrate its system with the most used email clients out there, namely Microsoft’s Outlook and Google’s Gmail. This is a core functionality when striving for the coveted 360° Customer view!

In this blogpost, I’ll provide you with a short overview of the possibilities that the email integration allows for. You'll see that Salesforce Inbox offers the most advanced functionality however you can already go a long way with the out-of-the-box solutions.

Send emails straight from Salesforce


Since the early days, Salesforce has always allowed its users to send emails from practically each kind of record. Your emails can be sent via Salesforce itself or, since the Summer ‘16 release, there’s also the possibility to send emails via Office 365 or Gmail from within Salesforce.


In specific cases, you can also consider to set up Email Relay to send email from within Salesforce through your company’s email server.

Salesforce Outlook Integration and Salesforce Gmail Integration

Previously also known as Lightning for Outlook and Lightning for Gmail respectively.

This add-on to your own Outlook or Gmail email client allows you to access Salesforce directly from your inbox. Once installed, you’ll see the Salesforce sidebar which displays contextual information and possible actions, depending on the email you selected.
With just a few clicks you can link the email to several records, including the attachments. In addition, the sidebar also allows you to search your entire Salesforce database or to quickly create new Leads, Tasks, Cases, and so on.

For more information about Outlook Integration, click here.
For more information about Gmail Integration, click here.

Salesforce Inbox

Watch a video here!

On top of the functionality described above for the Outlook Integration and Gmail Integration, Salesforce Inbox offers some fantastic extras:

  • Thanks to Einstein Activity Capture (EAC) emails and calendar events are automatically added to related objects in Salesforce. As is customary for Salesforce, you can control who you share this information with.
  • You’ll be able to select a few open time slots from your calendar to add them to an email. When a time slot is no longer available, this will automatically be adjusted in the email, even after you’ve already sent it.
  • Emails are tracked and you’ll have insight into when and how often an email is opened.
  • Not only does Salesforce Inbox show you the information from your Salesforce database, but it also allows you to show extra information provided by third-party applications such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • In addition to the add-ons for Outlook and Gmail, Salesforce Inbox comes with an app for both iOS and Android so you can follow up your emails on a mobile device.
  • Calls are automatically logged in Salesforce if they are made from the Inbox mobile app.


The overview wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the time-honored Email to Salesforce address. This is an email address, specific to each user, to which emails can be forwarded in order to log them automatically in Salesforce. More information can be found here.

Last but not least, when you’re working with older versions of Outlook that might not be compatible with Salesforce Outlook Integration, you could still make use of the Salesforce for Outlook connector. More information can be found here.

And when all of the above does not satisfy your requirements and needs you can always look into the heavy duty, marketing automation solutions Salesforce has on offer: Pardot (B2B) and Marketing Cloud (B2C). Although these topics, along with Email-to-Case, will be covered in another blogpost. 

Would you like to know more? Contact us and we’ll gladly guide you to the right solution for you!