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Set up an inbox and view incoming emails

If you're using NationBuilder as your email provider, you've probably noticed there isn't an "inbox" in the traditional sense. Wondering why? Well, we believe people are more than just a name, so we wanted our users to have the ability to get a holistic view of a person and history of engagement with them by viewing their profile when emailing them. This allows communication to be more meaningful thus building stronger relationships with your community. 

Instead, we recommend creating a path to keep track of your incoming email. A path is a step-by-step workflow that allows for deliberate distribution of work and provides clarity on how individual support helps achieve your organization's mission.

Table of Contents

  1. Create an "Email" path
  2. Create "Inbox" steps
  3. Broadcaster settings - add people who email to a step
  4. Viewing your inbox/answering emails

Step 1: Create an "Email" path

Start by going to the People section and clicking on the Path pickerbutton. 

Click + Create path.

1. On the + New path page, type in the name of the path, in this case we recommend "Email."

2. Assign path to- Select the name of the person in charge of this path.

3. Click Create path.

Next, you'll create the steps that make up the path.


Step 2: Create "Inbox" steps

Now it's time to add steps to your path. 

1. Give the step a name. Create steps like "Inbox," "Needs followup," etc.

  • Note, the actual "Inbox" step needs to be at the END of the path. Why? You can only move forward automatically on a path, so if a message is in your inbox and you move it forward to a holding spot, it won’t go back to the inbox if the person emails you again. If the inbox is at the end, you can move the messages backward to a holding step. This way, if the person emails you again, their message will go back to the bottom of your inbox.

2. Assign step to- You can assign a single step to a control panel user. (Optional)

3. Click Create step. Steps will populate on the right side of the screen as you create them. You can click and hold the cursor on them to drag and reorder if you need to.

If you'll be using this path frequently, we recommend bookmarking it in your browser for quick access!


Step 3: Broadcaster settings - Add people who email to a step

Next, you need to set up your broadcaster to automatically add people to your email path/inbox step. Go to Communication > Select broadcaster > Settings > Email.

Check the box for "Receive incoming email for this address" and then check the box for "Add people who email to a path step." Use the dropdown menus to assign people who send emails to you to the Path "Email," on the Path step "Inbox." Click Save broadcaster.

Now you're all set to receive and respond to emails from within your nation!


Step 4: Viewing your inbox/answering emails

Now, when you go to check this path under the People tab in Paths view, all incoming emails will be slotted in your "Inbox" step. 

If you'd like to view/respond to an email, you can click on a person's name to access their profile directly from the path step. 

Scroll down on their Dashboard to find the email. You can then close out the path (either by completing or abandoning it) if you don't need to respond, or slot it into your followup step so you can reach out to them later. 


At this point you're ready to create meaningful interactions with your community. The "Inbox" path will help you see what is competed and what outreach still needs to be done!

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