Business Solutions | Zoho CRM and the Power of Email

Sep 23, 2020 | General

Written by: Stacy Metcalf

Read time: 3 minutes

A study by Marketing Sherpa found that 72% of customers prefer to be contacted through email1. So, how do you stay organized as a team? How do you ensure that the information gathered from these emails will be shared among key employees in the sales and customer service processes? The answer is email integration within Zoho CRM.

Even if you have your email already integrated, how can you be sure you have the right option for your company? This article is your guide.

Zoho provides many options and it can be hard to decide what is best for your team.

1. You can use the built-in Zoho Mail without any email account integration. This will allow you to send emails from your CRM and have them associated with your leads and contacts. This is a clean and easy way to use email within Zoho CRM and can be used in conjunction with other options listed below. However, if you decide to go with this option alone, there are some limitations to be aware of. Depending on which version of Zoho CRM your company is utilizing, you will have limitations in the number of emails you can send per day. Also, this is to be used for outbound emails only; you won’t see any inbound responses inside your CRM.

2. POP3 is best used from a single device as it does not provide any sync between devices. Your emails will be downloaded from your remote email server, then they can be deleted from that server and held only within your CRM. POP3 is supported by virtually all email clients. Additionally, if a user leaves your organization their emails will remain in your Zoho CRM associated with the proper contacts. 

3.  IMAP Integration is likely the most utilized option right now. There is some recent news that Microsoft is deprecating support for IMAP but no need to worry. Zoho CRM is implementing new OAuth flow for Outlook as IMAP. IMAP is a two-way synchronization between your email client and Zoho CRM. Emails are constantly synced both ways and the read/unread/archived/deleted status is maintained between the mail server and all devices accessing the email account. This is recommended when users will need access to emails from multiple devices such as a field sales team.

4. Another option is using a functionality called BCC Dropbox within Zoho CRM. Requiring very little configuration (but it’s a manual task for each user), this is a good option when your email isn’t always something you want stored within your CRM. BCC Dropbox provides a unique email address for each user in your Zoho CRM which can be added to the BCC field on outgoing emails. This will then associate the outgoing email with the appropriate Lead or Contact record.

5. Last but certainly not least is setting up an integration with your mail clients such as Gmail, Microsoft Office 365 or using the Microsoft Outlook plug-in. Whereas POP3 or BCC Dropbox stores a copy of the email directly to your CRM, this is not the case with API integrations. Here, emails are called directly from the Mail servers through the API. The benefit is greater security and privacy.

Additionally, with the Microsoft Office 365 integration the applications include email services, scheduling events, contact management, task management, messaging, and document sharing. The storage and security features let the organizations archive content, perform searches, and execute compliance tasks. With the Microsoft Exchange extension for Zoho CRM, you can synchronize information between the Microsoft Exchange server and the Zoho CRM in real time, and access that information within Zoho CRM.

The bottom line is, don’t waste time switching between email and your Zoho CRM. Keep a copy of your email attached to your records to keep communication organized with prospects and customers. A single location of communication and associated sales information creates more effective future conversations and easier conversions.


Side note: Deactivating a CRM User when using setups that include API or two-way synchronization such as 3. IMAP or 5. mail client integration requires specific steps. You will be required to switch a user’s email integration to POP3 to maintain all emails before deactivating the User. If you would like more information about your options, please contact us at or 866-880-4228.


For more information on POP, IMAP and other email options within Zoho CRM, visit here


1 Marketing Sherpa