FAQs: Workflow for Emails

FAQs: Workflow for Emails

What's workflow rules for emails and why do I need it?

In Zoho CRM, workflow rules for emails allow you to automate and streamline your communication processes. Workflow rules are a set of instructions that you can define to trigger automatic actions based on certain conditions. You can automate your various business processes, such as changing the deals stage, automating tasks, adding functions, automating emails, adding tags, scheduling actions based on certain criteria, and so on.

When it comes to emails, workflow rules help you manage your communication more efficiently by automating tasks and ensuring that certain actions are taken in response to specific events or conditions.


Here are some key aspects of workflow rules for emails in Zoho CRM and why you might need them:
  • Automated Follow-ups: With workflow rules, you can set up automated follow-up emails based on specific triggers. For example, you can create a rule that sends a follow-up email to a lead if they haven't responded to your initial email within a certain timeframe.
  • Lead Nurturing: Workflow rules enable you to nurture leads by sending targeted emails at different stages of the sales funnel. For example, you can automatically send a welcome email to new leads or a series of educational emails to nurture them through the sales process.
  • Task Assignments: You can use workflow rules to assign tasks related to emails automatically. For instance, when a new lead is added, a workflow rule can create a task for a sales representative to follow up with an introductory email.
  • Data Updates: Workflow rules can be used to update data in your CRM based on email interactions. For example, if a lead clicks on a link in an email, you can automatically update their status or tag them with a specific label.
  • Notification Alerts: Set up rules to receive notifications or alerts when certain email-related events occur. This can be useful for staying informed about critical email interactions or responses from leads and customers.
  • Segmentation and Targeting: Use workflow rules to automatically segment your contacts based on their email interactions. This segmentation can help you target specific groups with tailored email campaigns.
  • Efficiency and Consistency: Automation through workflow rules ensures that certain tasks are consistently performed without manual intervention. This helps in maintaining efficiency and frees up time for your team to focus on more strategic activities.
Workflow rules for emails in Zoho CRM provide a means to automate and optimize your email communication processes. They help you engage leads, nurture relationships, and ensure that your team follows a standardized and efficient approach to managing email interactions within the CRM system.

How do I automate different email templates based on the fields selected? 

Engaging with customers is important for any business. It entails a profound understanding of customer pain points and their specific needs.

When dealing with a small customer base, composing individual emails manually is a feasible endeavor. However, as your customer volume grows, along with their diverse requirements, the manual approach becomes not only arduous, but practically unmanageable. In such scenarios, streamlining customer communication becomes imperative, and this is precisely where email templates integrated with workflow rules offer an elegant solution. These email templates facilitate one-click communication, allowing you to address the needs of multiple customers effortlessly. By simply triggering a workflow rule, you can automate the delivery of identical messages to various recipients, saving time and ensuring consistency in your interactions.


Email templates can be created in three ways:
  1. Create from scratch
  2. Using predesigned templates
  3. Inserting HTML 

To create Email Templates:

  1. Navigate to Setup() > Customization > Templates > Email.
  2. Click Add Template, then select the desired module.
  3. Choose a suitable template from the gallery, or create one from scratch.
See Also>>

To add an email template to a workflow rule:
  1. Navigate to Setup() > Automation > Workflow Rules > Add Create Rule.
  2. Provide the necessary details and click Next.
  3. Choose the desired option under WHEN to execute the rule trigger.
  4. In Conditions, choose Leads matching certain criteria, then select the fields accordingly.
  5. Choose Email Notification from Instant Action for immediate action, or choose Scheduled Action to execute the rule at a set time.
  6. Select the template that matches the field chosen above.
  7. Click Associate, then click Save.
You can also create separate workflow for each of the created templates, then map them to the workflow rules. After configuring workflow rules with email templates, the system sends dynamic emails when the trigger and the conditions match.

Can I create a case for the Contact every time I receive an email?   

Yes, you can create a workflow to create a new case when an email is received from a contact:
  1. Choose the execution condition as When an Email is Received.
  2. Choose Contacts as the module to apply the rule to.
  3. Choose email field conditions, if required.
  4. Choose Function as an Instant Action.
  5. Create a new function for the Contacts module.
  6. Copy and paste the following code to the Deluge editor:
    mp.put("Status", "New");
    mp.put("Case_Origin", "Email");
    mp.put("Subject", "New email received");
    mp.put("Related_To", id);
    createcase=zoho.crm.createRecord("Cases", mp);
    info createcase;

  7. Click Edit Arguments and name the argument 'id'. Mark the Contact ID field for the argument and save the changes.

How can I track the last time an email was sent to or received from my records?

You can track the last time an email was sent by creating a custom date field in the module and performing a field update action using a workflow.


  1. Navigate to Setup > Customization > Modules and Fields.
  2. Choose the module and edit the layout.
  3. Add the date or date/time field to the module and save the changes.
  1. Navigate to Setup > Automation > Workflow Rules > Create New Workflow Rule.
  2. Choose Emails as the module from the drop-down and write the Rule Name and Description, if required.
  3. Click Next.
  4. On the Workflow Setup page, choose the initial condition as When an Outgoing Email is Sent.
  5. Click Done.
  1. You can establish conditions for email fields, with the option to select "Yes" or "No" for Condition 1.
  2. Determine the scope of this rule by selecting from Leads, Contacts, and Deals.
    You have the flexibility to either target specific records or apply the rule to all [modules] Contacts/Leads/Deals.
  3. After making your selections, click Next.
  4. Choose Field Update as an Instant Action.
  5. In the subsequent dialogue box, create a new field update by giving it a name and select the module for which you want the field to trigger an action.
  6. Choose the Date/Time field and set the value to be the "Execution Day."
  7. Click Save and Associate.
Similarly, if you want to track both incoming and outgoing email activity time, you can create the same type of workflow rule for incoming emails and choose the same field update as described above.


Read more about configuring workflow rule.

Can I create a workflow rule to send an automatic follow-up emails if a response is not received?

Yes, you can create a workflow and define the condition as when a sent email is opened and not replied to for the specified number of days.

To create a workflow rule for sending automatic follow-up emails in Zoho CRM:
  1. Log in to Zoho CRM and access your CRM account.
  2. Navigate to Setup > Automation > Workflow Rules > Create New Workflow Rule.
  3. Choose a [Module], such as; Leads Contacts, from the drop-down, then write the Rule Name and Description, if required.
  4. Click Next.
  5. On the Workflow Setup page, select the rule execution time from the drop-down.
  6. Set the criteria in Condition . You can choose between specific records or all the records from your module.
  7. After making your selections, click Next.
  8. Choose Email Notification as an Instant Action.
  9. In the Email Notification dialogue box, click Create Email Notification.
  10. Write the Rule Name and select the "To" address whom you want to send the email notification to. You can add additional recipients, if needed.
  11. Choose the recipients for the mass email. Tick the checkbox to include all intended recipients in it.

Select an existing email template that best suits your message. Alternatively, create a new email template tailored to your specific needs.
  1. Once you have set up the email notification, click Save, then click Associate.
  2. Save the rule.
  3. Activate it to bring it live.


By following these steps, you can easily set up a workflow rule in Zoho CRM for automated follow-up emails

Can workflow for emails be configured for modules other than Leads or Contacts?

In Zoho CRM, the flexibility to configure workflow rules for emails extends beyond the standard modules of Leads and Contacts. You can also implement these rules for additional modules, including "Unknown" and "Custom" modules. The "Unknown" module is particularly useful for managing emails from senders who are not yet added to your CRM system. However, it's important to note that when using the "Unknown" module, setting conditions based on email fields becomes mandatory.

Can workflow rule for email be made active for specific users?

Within your workflow settings, there is an option to apply rules selectively to specific users. When configuring a workflow rule for outgoing emails, you can define conditions using the 'When the sender isn't' parameter. This allows you to input email addresses of the users for whom the workflow rule should not be activated. By specifying these exclusions, you can ensure that the defined workflow will not be triggered for those designated users, enabling a more tailored and precise application of your workflow rules.

Read more about specifying conditions.

Do I need IMAP integration for configuring workflows for email?  

Before setting up a workflow rule for emails, it's essential to consider two key points:

  1. Emails Sent from CRM Account: If the workflow rule pertains to emails generated from within the CRM account, IMAP integration isn’t necessary. As these emails originate from the CRM, they are already inherently synchronized within the system.
  1. Alternative Email Sources: However, for emails originating from other sources or external accounts, configuring IMAP integration becomes essential. This integration synchronizes incoming emails with your CRM account, enabling the workflow to be activated based on the defined criteria. In such cases, the IMAP setup ensures that all external emails are seamlessly integrated into the your CRM account, allowing the workflow rules to function effectively based on the specified conditions.

What actions can be triggered based on the status of an email?

Automated actions based on emails offer a range of possibilities, enabling streamlined processes within your CRM system:
  1. Task Creation: Automate the creation of tasks in response to specific email triggers, ensuring swift task assignment and management.
  2. Field Updates: Emails can automatically trigger updates in CRM fields, maintaining real-time accuracy and relevance of data.
  3. User Notifications: Implement automated notifications to alert relevant users or teams based on email content or criteria, ensuring timely attention to critical information.
  4. Custom Function Execution: Utilize email triggers to execute custom functions, enabling tailored actions or complex operations in response to specific email inputs.
  5. Webhook Triggers: Automation through email can activate webhooks, facilitating seamless communication between your CRM and external systems or applications for enhanced integration and data exchange.

The following actions are available for Leads, Contacts, and Related modules, as well as for other cases:

For Leads, Contacts, and Related Modules:
  1. Assign Owner: When a specific condition is met (e.g., email status is "X"), you can automatically assign a new owner to the lead, contact, or related module.
  2. Execute Circuit: This action can be a custom function or script that you've developed using Zoho's Deluge scripting language. It can involve complex logic or integrations with other systems. 

Actions by Zoho Flow:

Zoho Flow is a platform that allows you to build automated workflows across different applications like slack, Github, dropbox and many more including Zoho CRM. See Also >> Actions by Zoho Flow
Here are the actions for this category:
  1. Create Record: Automatically create a new record in Zoho CRM or another connected application when a specific email status is detected.
  2. Functions: Perform custom functions or operations within Zoho Flow, such as data manipulation, calculations, or conditional logic.
  3. Webhooks: Trigger a webhook to communicate with external systems or services. This can be used to integrate Zoho CRM with third-party applications or perform specific actions on other platforms.


For Unknown:

  1. Create Record: In cases where the email status doesn't match any predefined criteria, you can create a new record in Zoho CRM or another connected system.
  2. Functions: Apply custom functions or scripts to handle unknown scenarios. This might involve additional checks or conditional logic to determine the appropriate course of action.
  3. Webhooks: Use webhooks to communicate with external systems or services when the email status is unknown. This can help in integrating with other tools or platforms to gather more information or take specific actions.


Zoho CRM workflow rules, combined with Zoho Flow and custom scripting, offer a wide range of automation possibilities based on the status of emails in your CRM system. You can assign owners, execute custom scripts, create records, perform functions, and trigger webhooks to streamline your business processes.


Read more about instant actions.

What is the purpose of creating workflows for email?

By configuring workflows that respond to email statuses and recipient responses, you can automate various crucial actions within your CRM system:
  1. Notification Triggers for Unanswered Emails: Automate user notifications when an email remains unanswered within a specified timeframe, ensuring timely follow-ups and preventing communication gaps.
  2. Dynamic Field Updates Linked to Email Status: Utilize email status changes to update specific fields within the CRM modules automatically, ensuring that data accurately reflects the email's status or progress.
  3. Automated Task Assignment Based on Email Subject: Enable automatic task creation for representatives by parsing email subjects, streamlining workload distribution and task management based on email content.
  4. Alert Generation for Bounced Emails: Set up automated notifications for system administrators or relevant users when an email bounces, prompting investigation and resolution of delivery issues.
  5. Ticket Creation Based on Sent Emails: Automate the creation of support or service tickets based on outbound emails, ensuring that client queries or issues are systematically documented and addressed within the CRM.

Read more about creating workflow rules for emails.

How do I send an email automatically when a lead is created?

Workflow rules help you automate the process of sending an email to a lead as soon as they are added to CRM. Before you set up the workflow rule, you must create the email template.

To do this:

  1. Navigate to Setup > Customization > Templates > Email.
  2. Click Add New Template.
  3. Select the module to create the email template for from the dropdown list, then click Next to open the Template Gallery page.
  4. Design a template from scratch or choose a predesigned template and click Save.

To set up the workflow rule:

  1. Navigate to Setup > Automation > Workflow Rules.
  2. Click Create Rule.
  3. Select the Leads module in the Create New Rule pop-up and enter the rule name and description.
  4. Select On a record action for When do you want to execute this rule?, then click Create.
  5. Specify All Leads as the Condition.
  6. Choose Email Notification under Instant Action.
  7. Select the email template and click Associate.
  8. Click Save.

How do I send automated birthday wishes or reminders?

To automate the sending of birthday wishes or reminders, you can establish a workflow rule designed for scheduled actions. Configure the workflow to trigger on the contact's birthday by setting specific date criteria. Ensure that the workflow is set to recur annually, enabling the system to automatically send out birthday wishes or reminders each year based on the contact's birthday date.

What are the different conditions that can be applied within email workflow rules?

Email workflow rules offer versatile conditions, allowing specificity in two primary ways:
  1. Conditions Based on Email Fields: These conditions revolve around specific email attributes. For instance, you can set conditions based on email elements such as attachment name, CC, sender, recipient, presence of attachments, or subject. For example, you might create rules triggered by specific attachment names or sender email addresses.
    Additionally, you have the flexibility to choose whether the rule should activate when 'all' or 'any' of the specified conditions are met.
  1. Conditions Based on Modules: Module-based conditions involve selecting the context in which the rule is to be applied, offering options like Leads, Contacts, Unknown, or Custom modules. Selecting the 'unknown' module is crucial when the sender is new to your CRM account. However, it mandates setting conditions based on email fields. For example, rules could be established to trigger specific actions when an email from an unknown sender is directed to the CEO's email address, ensuring necessary follow-up or processing.

Read more about the workflow for emails here.

How can I automate notifications for inactive records in my CRM, such as leads that remain in a specific state for an extended duration? 

Yes, it is possible to set up automated email notifications triggered by prolonged inactivity in a specific lead state. You can achieve this through scheduled actions in workflow rules. To do so:
  1.  Navigate to Settings > Setup > Automation > Workflow Rules.
  2. Click Create Rule.
  3. In the Create New Rule window, select Record action, choose Field Update, and specify the Lead Status field.
  4. Choose All Records in the Which section.

  5. Add a scheduled action to execute 14 days after the Rule Trigger Time.

  6. Associate a custom function, allowing the configuration of the automated email as demonstrated in the provided image.


Note: Upon configuring this rule, any change in the Lead Status field will initiate an automated email 14 days from the modification date (rule trigger time). Notably, the criteria input.status != "Qualified" ensures that the escalation email won't be triggered once a lead reaches the Qualified status. Excluding the Qualified status ensures the rule applies solely to records that linger in other states for over 14 days, such as 'Not Contacted' or 'Junk,' preventing unnecessary notifications for already qualified leads.

How many emails can be sent per day using workflow alerts?

In Paid Accounts, the capability to send workflow alerts is limited to the lower value between (the number of users multiplied by 100) or 5000 emails.
For Free Accounts, the email sending limit for workflow alerts is set at 200 emails per day. Trial Accounts have a more restricted capacity, with a limit of 10 emails per day for workflow alerts.

Explore the full range of CRM features across different editions by clicking here.

What methods are available to automate email dispatch?  

Automating and scheduling email dispatch can be achieved through workflow automation within your CRM system. By creating a workflow rule for the leads module, you can set conditions to trigger specific actions, such as sending an email when a new lead is created. This enables the automated delivery of welcome emails or the scheduling of emails tailored to different stages of the lead lifecycle.

Can I create a single email address that can serve both the business and its customers, ensuring that when I update the business email, the associated customer emails also change automatically? 

In Zoho CRM, you can manage organization emails by going to Settings > Setup > Channels > Email > Email Configuration, and then selecting the Organization Emails tab. Here, you can add new email addresses and configure them according to your business needs. This feature is essential for managing your business's email communication effectively.

For creating a business email address, Zoho Mail allows you to set up email accounts using your company's domain name, like XXXX@yourcompany.com. This adds credibility and professionalism to your business communications. To set this up, you'll need to map your domain with your email provider by updating the MX records in your DNS Manager. If you don't own a domain, you can purchase one through Zoho and create your business email.

Also, You can do this by using custom functions.

Read more about how to create and use custom functions here.

We hope that this list of frequently asked questions about workflow rules is informative. If you still have questions that haven't been addressed, please let us know here. We will be happy to discuss them with our subject matter experts and add them in the future. And please don't forget to share your rating below!

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