How to add a Google Group
Follow these instructions to add your Google Group to a team inbox in Front. A Google Group is a free mail option that Google provides to companies who want to easily distribute mail sent to a single address to a group or team of people.
- The person who adds the Google Group needs to be a Front administrator.
- You need to have a Google admin role that allows access to Groups to be able to complete the setup - Super Admin or Groups Admin.
- Update your Google Group access settings so external addresses can publish posts. Also, make sure the Google Group allows members outside your organization to be added as a member of the group.
Helpful information before you get started:
- Google Groups are set up using email forwarding so Front will only have access to emails moving forward. No historical emails will be imported to Front as Google does not yet provide a Google Group API to access or import those emails.
- All historic Google Group emails will reside in individual teammate Gmail accounts, which Front can import history from.
- Remove any individual members of a Google group who will be joining your Front team. Because a Front inbox is collaborative, team members will have access to all emails imported from the Google group.
- If a team member is not removed from or unsubscribed from the Google Group prior to activating Front, they will receive a duplicate copy of every email that comes into the Google group-- one in the Front team inbox, and one in their private Front inbox.
Tip: Consider converting your Google Group into a Gmail account, especially if you want to retain a record of all messages sent from your Google Group and to take advantage of Front’s API sync capabilities. There will be a Google Workspace license cost associated with making a Google Group a Gmail account.
Click the gear icon on the top right of Front and into the Company settings tab.
Click on Inboxes on the left menu and Add a team inbox.
Choose a name for your inbox, and write a description if you'd like. Click Create.
Choose Google from the channel menu, then select Google Group, and click Continue.
Enter the email address for your inbox.
Follow the steps on the screen to complete setting up the forwarding in your Google Group access settings.
Navigate back to Front and click Test connection to validate the forwarding is set up correctly. If you have trouble validating, please contact us for assistance.
Once you’ve successfully validated the email forwarding connection, add SPF/DKIM records to your DNS. This will give Front proper authority to send emails on behalf of your domain and ensure uninterrupted email deliverability. More information about SPF/DKIM can be found here.
Choose the teammate access for this inbox, and whether you'd like to automatically add this inbox to their sidebars.
Complete the remainder of the inbox settings, and click Finish.
How to transition from Google Group to Front
These instructions are intended for admins who are ready to move their team to Front as their primary workspace for managing Google Group emails. By following these instructions, your team members will no longer receive Google Group emails in their individual Gmail accounts, instead, they will only be able to access those emails in Front. There are two options:
Unsubscribe from Google Group (Recommended)
You should choose this option if you want your team members to maintain access to the Google Group and its history through the Groups setting.
As a Google Group Admin/Owner:
Navigate to the Google Apps menu and click Groups.
Select the desired Google Group, and navigate to Members.
Excluding the Front forwarding address, adjust the subscription status of all members to No email.
As a Google Group Member:
Navigate to the Google Apps menu and click Groups.
Under My Groups, find the Google Group that's added to Front and update your subscription to No email.
Remove Team Members from Google Group
If you are interested in removing all team members from the Google Group you can easily do this from the Members page of the Group's settings.
How do I remove the Google footer on emails I send from Front?
You can remove the footer following this Google help article.
How do I create a new Google Group?
To create a new Google Group group by clicking the Create group icon in the upper-right corner of the page.
If you create a new group:
- Give it a name
- Give it an email address (be sure it matches the email address you've added into Front!)
- Set access level to Team
- check the box to allow anyone on the internet to post a message
Click on Create a new group when done.
You can also find instructions on how to create a new Google Group here. The Google Group will need to have these minimum permissions:
Note: All outbound mail will be sent for Google Groups via Sendgrid. You will want to set up your SPF/DKIM records to improve your deliverability.
Why don't I receive some messages?
Google Groups does not accept any incoming messages that have auto-reply metadata in the email headers, so these messages never reach your Google Group inbox nor Front. These messages include bounces, out-of-office messages, vacation responders, or any type of automated message that contains an Auto-submitted header. The reason they do this is so that these messages are not sent to the whole mailing list and result in spam for your members. Unfortunately, Front does not have any control over this, as it is being filtered out by Google before it gets forwarded to Front. If it becomes a problem, Google suggests working with the sender to edit their email headers so that they do not include the Auto-submitted header for these types of emails.
Recipient address changes when replying?
When replying, if the recipient address changes to an address other than the actual recipient that sent you the email, you will need to head to email options under the general settings area of your Google Group account. You would then need to make sure the Post replies to field is set to Sender chooses recipient.
This feature is available on all plans.
That's correct there are some settings in Settings > Email options > Email footer where you can remove everything, including a "Display how to unsubscribe from this group by email." option. However looking into this a bit yesterday it sounds like this unsubscribe remains for members outside the Google Apps organization, such as the Front forwarding address. Presumably that's for CAN-SPAM, etc. compliance.
There's probably a workaround entailing a new user/address where I could forward to both Front and the group, or perhaps making frontapp.com a domain alias for the entire org to "whitelist" it for Google Groups. But those solutions involve extra cost and noise in our Google account, it'd be nice if Front could strip that footer as part of the Groups integration.
I've figured out how to get rid of the unsubscribe footers. Hopefully, Google doesn't "fix" this.
In the Group settings page on the Admin Console make sure "Allow members outside your organization" is set to NO. This may seem incorrect because the Front domain is obviously outside of your Apps domain, but it disables the footer yet the emails will be delivered to Front normally.
Matt Wielbut thank you for this solution, couldn't find it else where. It does the trick indeed if we respond to one message only. for the correspondant it appears without the line. However, when the correspondant answers to our first message and we respond back, the line appears again at the bottom of the conversation. Does it happen to you as well ?
Cori Morris any updates on a newer solution ?