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How do you handle your clients emails?

A question for multi site owners (network?)



8:59 pm on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I wasn't sure where to open the thread but my guess ecommerce sites are more familiar with this.

1. You own like 2-10 websites
2. Some or many of your products appear on diff sites
3. Clients send emails to widgets .com, your site
4. You have to answer the emails

Some use a generic email address from some domain like "widgetprovider .com" but the truth is everyone of us expect answers coming from the same domain of the site we visited.

I know outlook, Opera and even Eudora offer multi pop3 email accounts to handle email from diff sites but, in the long term it sucks. How do you handle this kind of communication? any webbased solutions?

I'm playing with my code writing a webbased app on my own but it takes time, I enjoy doing it but... emails are coming faster than I could build this thing.

Comments welcome.


10:33 pm on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Why do you not like email apps? Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I prefer it that way. I know everybody has browser based everything now, but there are advantages to doing it the old way. I actually save file copies of emails. I can sort them by people making a positive comment, or requesting a future product, or whatever... then sort them into the accounts/sites. They're stored as regular text files, so I will have them forever. I don't have to worry about server crashes, moving accounts, searching for stuff out of a million emails... It's pretty easy. But keep a screen grab of all your email settings, so if your app prefs get lost, it won't be a hassle reloading them.


10:42 pm on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member drdoc is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

1) Don't use POP3. Use IMAP4 instead. That way you can access the email from multiple locations.
2) If you must use webmail, and your email service provider of choice does not already support these capabilities through a web based interface, either:
a) ... set everything up in Gmail and access your email through there
b) ... install a webmail client that either already has these capabilities, or can easily be modified to support them

There is no sense in reinventing the wheel.


4:30 am on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Well I was against webbased solutions (and still against) but I've been writing my own software for a while so I'm totally confident on privacy and uptime issues (more than relying on third parties).

I'm now working from diff computers and devices, this pushes me into web based solutions. I'm also in need of collaborative replies and user assigned cases. I can't do that with pop3. Gmail sounds good, mail.com sounds better (away from gmail) ... Gmail is a service, mail . com is a service too so it doesn't hurt to mention both, both allow me to manage several email accounts. I just don't like G or privacy exposure.

I'm playing with code. Ticket system solutions are what I'm aiming for but none of them seems the right one by now. Thanks for the comments.


7:13 am on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I gave up using multiple emails and now I use only 1 Gmail for few shops. It seems ok with customers.


2:22 pm on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Ive been looking for a hosted solution with no success. I think the ultimate system would be a queue type system, emails come into the queue and based on rules defined will send the email to appropriate pop/imap email addresses. The solution would keep track of emails that had no responses to.

Sorry, not helpful but is the start of a wish list


9:53 pm on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I'm building the tool and is going pretty well, it looks right now as a ticket system. It allows canned or template answers, it sends the responses and keeps a log, each email as "one case" and the replies stay on the same case.

The original email is sent to me by website form (plain text email), I answer to that pretty easily from the system.

Problem: when the user replies in HTML format, that sucks! I'm having problems converting html emails into plain text format, lots of garbage, not everything comes in <>, some email systems insert {} and other stuff...



10:28 pm on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

But it's so much easier to find all the customers message in my Gmail...


5:35 pm on Aug 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I've been using Gmail (Paid version) but am looking to switch ecommerce sites over to a ticket system. Any recommendations? ZenDesk?


6:02 pm on Aug 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

What would be the benefits of ticket system ?


3:26 pm on Sep 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

explorador, you could take a look at one of the open source ticket engines to see how they strip out the superfluous HTML?

Have you set a 'ticket' email address for each domain (e.g. sales@ or help@) so that they get queued automatically?

I'm reasonably quickly getting to the same conclusion of writing my own system, not so much to manage multiple sites but rather to have a unified interface for my CRM so that I can send emails/upload files and have every bit of contact for each order in one place.


6:42 pm on Sep 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I use google apps (gmail) to do this. All of my contact@ email accounts come into one account, sorted nicely, when I respond they send using the proper domain name they originally came in on.

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