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Outbound Email

Sending mail out of Actionstep is relatively simple. All you need to do is specify the SMTP settings and Actionstep takes care of the rest.

Inbound Email

There are three ways to get mail into Actionstep:

  1. POP Mailbox on your domain. You can create a new mailbox on your existing domain and enter the connection details into Actionstep. Actionstep will then connect to this mailbox every 5 minutes (or whenever a user clicks "check for new mail") and download all messages in this mailbox.

  2. Mailgun Wildcard: As an alternative to a POP email address on your domain Actionstep can create a Mailgun subdomain for you (typically <anything>@<your organization key>.actionstep.com). Any email sent to this subdomain will be instantly received by Actionstep (rather than waiting 5 minutes). You can select this option when you first signup for Actionstep.

    This option takes 48 hours after signing up for your new system before it becomes available due to verification.

  3. Outlook / Gmail Plugins: If you have one of our plugins installed in Outlook or Gmail then you can instantly copy the email and attachments to Actionstep from within those applications. Note: the plugins use the API to connect directly so you do not require a POP or Mailgun subdomain if you use this method exclusively. See Google Gadget or Installing the Office Plugin.


Choosing an Email Setup Type


POP Mailbox on Your Domain

The POP mailbox is a mailbox that Actionstep uses to send and receive email. We recommend creating a new mailbox in your existing email system* - treat this like adding a new employee to your team - with an email address that makes sense to you (actions@yourfirm.com, matters@yourfirm.com etc.). The new mailbox can be provided by any email provider that supports POP3 (Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook365/Exchange, your ISP etc.). Actionstep collects all mail from this mailbox to deliver to the relevant email users / actions / matters etc. within the Actionstep system. This mailbox can be either a single address (example.address@email.com) or a catchall address (*@email.com). A catchall address is definitely the recommended way to do this and will enable many more email features within Actionstep.**. Actionstep does not provide Mailbox hosting but we can recommend providers if you need help.

*Please note: It is not a good idea to use an existing mailbox as Actionstep removes all email from the mailbox as part of the process. This can cause confusion and problems that can be easily managed/avoided by creating a new mailbox for Actionstep.

**If you are unsure of your mailbox type assume it is a single address mailbox. 

*** For directions on how to configure a gmail / Google Apps catch-all mailbox click here.

How to Find your POP Settings

Your POP settings are set by your email provider.

Gmail Example

The gmail.com settings can be found by clicking on the settings icon and selecting Settings - Forwarding and POP/IMAP then clicking Configuration Instructions at the bottom of the screen. On the next screen select POP then Other and you will see the page below. These are the settings we need to enter into the Actionstep Email Preferences page.

gmail.com Settings Menu    gmail.com Server Connection Details

Entering the POP and SMTP settings into Actionstep

Please note that you will need account authority (permission to change subscription settings) within the system to access this page


Step 1: 
Go to Admin > Email > Email Setup.

You will then see the following screen. This is the screen where we set all the global Actionstep email settings.

Step 2: 

  a) Click on the drop down list on the left hand side and choose an email provider.  

     

       Outbound Only: Use this option if you only want to send email from Actionstep but not receive mail in Actionstep.  You will need to enter your email address, server name, port number, username and password.  In addition you will need to ensure your SPF settings in your email system are set correctly to prevent your outbound email potentially being marked as spam.  More on this below under the heading "Spam Filter Settings."  You can choose whether to use Actionstep's servers for outbound email or your own SMTP settings.  If using your own SMTP settings you will need to add this information, and may also need to change your default port if using port 25 for SMTP (which is the default - check with your IT provider if unsure).

       Microsoft Office 365:  If you are using Microsoft Office 365, you will only need to enter your login/email address and password.  

       Microsoft Exchange Server: If you are using Microsoft Exchange Server, you will only need to enter your login/email address, server address, and password.

       Gmail/Google Apps: If you are using Gmail/Google Apps you will only need to enter your login/email address and password.  (Note that Gmail/Google Apps only works with the business version of these products).  You will also be asked to select whether this is a wildcard/catchall account (this is recommended - more on this below).

       Other email provider: If you are using a different email provider to those listed above, you will need to enter the email address, server name, port number, username, password, and select whether it is a wildcard/catchall account  (more on this below).

  b) In all of the above options apart from the Outbound Only option, you will need to select the box to confirm that you understand that Actionstep will download (then delete) any emails already in this mailbox.

Step 3: Although not required, you can then add your Default User Email Signature & Mandatory Disclaimer.  

Step 4 (required): The last thing you need to do before saving your settings is to choose where failed emails are forwarded to.  By default this will select the email address you used to sign up for your database.

If after saving your settings, you navigate away from this page, and return to find that all of your settings have gone, it will be because there was an error in connecting to your external email. Please contact support@actionstep.com should you have any queries regarding this.

Signature and Disclaimer

Division Signature: This is the signature that will appear at the bottom of all emails unless a user already has a unique signature set in their email preferences.

Division Disclaimer: This is the legal disclaimer attached to all outgoing emails. 

Other Settings on the Email Setup Page Video


If you have issues with your Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP) you can use the Actionstep SMTP servers (available in the Known Configuration section). When using the Actionstep SMTP servers you will need to update your SPF record in your DNS listings. For details on what to change see Spam Filter Settings below.

Spam Filter Settings

If you use Actionstep's SMTP servers to send mail then you need to register these IP addresses in the SPF settings of your DNS configuration to prevent your outgoing emails being marked as spam. Update your SPF or Sender-ID record to include the following:

v=spf1 a mx ptr include:_spf.actionstep.com ~all

If you already have an existing SPF record, simply amend it with:

include:_spf.actionstep.com

 If your SPF record contains an "~all" then make sure the addition is before the all. The "~all" should always be at the end.

Spam Settings Video


Email Aliases

 

Here you can setup the Email Aliases and their corresponding users within Actionstep:

 

 

 

 Email Size Limits

The mail size limit will depend on the route that the message takes through the Internet and the capabilities of the mail servers on each end. Most mail servers will handle messages up to 10MB and, even though Actionstep can handle larger messages, our recommendation is to stay within this limit to avoid unpredictable results. This applies to email sent from, and received into, Actionstep.

Keep email messages under 10MB to avoid unpredictable results.

Setting Up a Wildcard Mailbox on Gmail / Google Apps

To setup a Gmail Wildcard account you must have a Google for Work account.

To create a catch-all address for delivering messages addressed to non-existent recipients:

  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console
  2. From the dashboard, click Apps, then click Google Apps > Gmail > User settings.
  3. (Free edition) In the Catch-all address section, select the Forward the mail to: radio button. (Other editions) In theEmail routing section, select the Route to catch-all address: radio button.
  4. Enter the user name to which mail addressed to unknown users will be forwarded. The user name must be a valid account in your domain. Do not include the domain name; Google Apps automatically adds @your-domain to the address.
  5. Click Save changes.

To disable your catch all account:

  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console
  2. From the dashboard, click Apps, then click Google Apps > Gmail > User settings.
  3. (Free edition) In the Catch-all address section, select the Discard radio button. (Other editions) In the Email routing section, select the Discard radio button.
  4. Click Save changes.

Wildcard and Microsoft Exchange

The Wildcard capability when using a Microsoft Exchange Server account depends on whether you are using standalone Exchange (hosted or on-premise) or if Exchange is part of Office365.

Standalone Exchange 

The procedure for setting up a wildcard mailbox on standalone Exchange servers will depend on the version of Exchange and local settings.  This needs to be setup by the qualified IT individual who manages your Exchange server.

Office 365 Exchange

A wildcard mailbox is not supported as a standard feature in Office 365 however you can achieve the same effect by setting up a relay rule.

Requirements: 
  •  Available for Office 365 Medium Business, the Enterprise plans and the new “Business” plan.

    It will not work on the Small Business plan due to no support for transport rules

  • All your mailboxes must be on Office 365 
  • The MX records must point to Office 365
Basic Procedure:
  1. Create a Distribution List & add all users as members (allusers@domain.com)
  2. Create a Dedicated Mailbox to Catch emails e.g. actions@domain.com
  3. Set the DomainType to “InternalRelay” (Doing this will make the Rules to take precedence)
  4. Create a Rule as below:
    1. If the Sender "Outside the Organization"
    2. Except if the recipient is member of allusers@domain.com 


Other Catch-All / Wildcard Settings

If you have a wildcard/catch-all mailbox on another mail server then you will need to enter the server-specific settings.

Catch-All Header

Note the catch-all header depends on which headers the mail server will use to determine where the wildcard message was addressed to. Actionstep uses this field to try to allocate the message to the correct action in Actionstep so it is important you set this field correctly.

Most mail servers use the "Delivered-To" or "Envelope-To" headers but some use the "Received For" header. You should check you mail server documentation to see which header it uses and set this field accordingly.

Known limitations of a Google hosted Catch-all / Wildcard mailbox

If you are using a Google hosted catch-all mailbox configured to Actionstep, it will consolidate copies of emails sent to the catch-all account under different aliases. This means that even though multiple users are CC’d into an email, only one user may receive a copy. This is a currently an issue with Gmail that we are unable to resolve from our end.



 

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