Workflow for Emails | Online Help - Zoho CRM

Workflow for Emails

Configuring workflow rules makes it easier to manage daily activities as a lot of work gets automated. For example, every time a contact enters CRM a task is automatically assigned to the sales rep to call them and gather details, two days after the call an email is automatically sent to the contact, if the contact expresses interest in your product their status will be auto-updated as "Interested". In this way, daily business activities can be streamlined to reduce manual work of the team members and to make sure that every task happens within the stipulated time. 

Similarly, various automatic actions can be triggered upon receiving or sending an email. Let us take a look at the some business scenarios.

Business Scenario

Case 1: Automating the creation of tasks if an email is addressed to a specific sender or is not replied for a few days

Consider this, one of your employees is unavailable for a week. During this time she receives an email from one of the customers, Mike, requesting for an urgent product replacement. Mike doesn't receive a response for two days and sends out another email addressing the Sales Manager. The email remains unanswered for one more day, following which he calls the support team for assistance. Though the issue was resolved the same day, the incessant delays caused in the interim must have left a negative impression with the customer. Such occurrences can be prevented by triggering the automatic actions through workflow rules.

These could be the conditions:

  • When an incoming email has not been replied for two days
  • And the email is sent to

This could be the action:

  • A task will be assigned to the send an immediate response to the customer.
  • An email notification will be sent to the peer group alerting about the unattended email from the customer.

Case 2: Stop sending automatic email campaigns to the leads that have responded to one of the email campaigns

Consider that you have set a workflow rule to send email drip campaigns every two days to the unqualified leads, and want to discontinue sending the emails once the lead responds to any one of those emails. You can create two workflow rules:

  1. Workflow rule for sending email drip campaigns every two days:
    • Workflow rule for the Leads module. Give the condition as - when a lead is created and the lead status is "unqualified"
    • Send instant email notifications
    • Set scheduled email notification on Day 2, Day 4, Day 6, Day 8 and so on from the rule trigger time.
  2. Workflow rule to discontinue the email drip campaign once a lead's response is received:
    • Set the rule for incoming emails with following conditions - emails must be sent to the and the event type is promotional event.
    • Set instant action as - update the lead status field to qualified

Configuring workflow rule for emails

Any email service such as Gmail, MS Outlook, Yahoo mail, Zoho Mail etc. that has been integrated with Zoho CRM using IMAP can be used for setting up workflow rules. The configuration comprises the following three steps:

Workflow rule for emails is not supported in Sandbox yet. 

Part I: Rule Execution

You can set rules for both incoming and outgoing emails. The rule can be executed for emails at different stages like:

  • For incoming emails: Received, Unreplied, Opened and unreplied.

  • For outgoing emails: Sent, bounced, opened, clicked, opened and unreplied, unreplied.

Part II: Specify Condition

Once you have defined "when" a rule should be executed you need to specify the condition(s) that should be met for the rule to execute. You can set conditions either for a specific email field or a module.

  • Based on the email field : You can select a specific email field as a condition. For example, if the attachment contains "proposal" or if the sender is "" then execute the rule. The email fields you can choose are: attachment name, CC, sender, sent to, has attachment, and subject. Also, if you have set more than one condition, you can choose if the rule should execute when "all" or "any" condition(s) is satisfied.
  • Based on the module: You can select the module for which you want the rule to get executed. You can select Leads, Contacts, Unknown or Custom modules. You can choose an unknown module when the sender is new or not yet added to your CRM account. Note that, if you have selected an unknown module, it is mandatory to set conditions based on email fields. For example, you can set rules like if any email from an unknown sender is sent to the CEO's email address then certain action must be performed.

  1. You can select an unknown module only for the incoming emails.
  2. The unknown sender can be added as a lead or contact in CRM. Once the sender’s record is created, the subsequent emails will be considered as email received from that lead/contact. That is, the sender will no longer be considered as an unknown sender.

Part III: Specify the immediate (instant) action

You have to specify the action that should take place once the conditions are met. You can choose the following instant actions:
  1. Email notification
  2. Task
  3. Field update
  4. Create record - only for unknown
  5. Webhook
  6. Function
  7. Notify - via Slack or Cliq
  1. For an unknown module only webhook, functions, and create record actions will be available. Once the sender is added as a record in CRM, you will be able to set other actions such as: sending email notification, update fields, and creating task.
  2. Email is not considered as a standalone module in CRM, therefore you will not be able to create tasks under Automation > Actions > Tasks.

To set workflow rule for emails

  1. Go to Setup > Automation > Workflow Rules.
  2. Click Create Rule.
  3. In the Create New Rule page, do the following:
    • Select Email from the Module drop-down list.
    • Enter the Rule Name and Description.
    • Click Next.
  4. Select Incoming email or Outgoing email and the condition under When you want to execute the rule?
  5. Click Next.
  6. In Condition do the following:
    • In Would you like to set conditions for email fields? click Yes/No
    • Mention the email fields, if you choose Yes.
    • In Apply this rule to, select the module.
    • In Which (module) you want to apply this rule to? select All or specify the conditions.
    • Click Next.
  7. Select an Instant Action.
  8. Click Save.

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