Top 10 shared inbox tools to effectively manage team email

Sara Shaughnessy

Sara Shaughnessy,

Content Editor at Front

5 December 20230 min read

Discover the power of shared inboxes for boosting productivity & team collaboration. Learn how Front is modernizing email communication.

Seamless collaboration, shared visibility, and accountability are paramount to keeping a well-oiled customer support machine. Enter the shared inbox, where teams can better manage and collaborate on messages, leading to increased productivity and collaboration.

Table of contents

  • What is a shared inbox?

  • Top 10 shared inbox tools

  • How a shared inbox will transform your customer service

  • How to implement your shared inbox 

What is a shared inbox? 

A shared inbox is a centralized location where teams can manage communication for a shared email account or distribution list (like support@, hello@, help@). With a shared inbox, your team is  all looking at the same queue of emails. Emails can be managed as tickets, so shared inboxes help you have an organized workflow for handling email.

When one person replies, everyone who has access to the inbox can see it. When someone deletes an email, it leaves the inbox for everyone. Shared inboxes make it easy to categorize and sort communication in one place.

Shared inboxes in Front

What is team email and how does it differ?

Team email is a simple way to distribute information by providing a central point of contact to a group of teammates. Anyone who’s a part of a distribution list or group alias receives their own copy of every email. Someone can reply to an email, and unless they hit reply-all, no one else will see it. If someone deletes an email, everyone else can still see their own copy in their inbox. Any actions taken are localized to your individual inbox.

Team email becomes disorganized as your business grows. As teams grow or roles change, for example, it’s easier to manage a shared inbox and adjust permissions accordingly, rather than creating and maintaining multiple individual email accounts.

Top 10 Shared Inbox Tools


Shared inbox software, like Front, helps teams streamline communication with real-time collaboration and automated workflows. Front offers an efficient way to route, respond to, and measure all of your customer conversations, enabling teams to deliver exceptional service at scale.

Front provides a centralized communication hub that goes beyond traditional team email. Instead of relying on distribution lists or group aliases, teams can collaborate seamlessly in Front’s shared inbox. All team members have access to the same set of emails, ensuring transparency and preventing information silos.

What it is made for: Teams who want to deliver a premium level of customer service with streamlined efficiency and collaboration. 

Core features include:

  • Omnichannel shared inbox: Manage all your channels in one place. Bring together email, chat, SMS, social media, and more into one platform. Teams can manage messages from a single interface, boosting efficiency and reducing any switching between multiple tools.

  • Real-time team collaboration: Never worry about CCs, reply-alls, and forwarding. Front’s collaboration features, like internal comments, message assignments, and shared drafts enable teams to work together seamlessly on responding to messages.

  • No-code workflow automation: Use Front’s rules engine to design and build automated workflows. Easily route and assign incoming messages, helping teams reduce email volume and resolve issues faster, at scale.

  • Artificial intelligence: Front’s AI capabilities help resolve customer inquiries instantly and boost team efficiency. From instant chat resolution to email thread summarization and magic compose (AI-generated drafts), AI can help your team do more for customers in record time. 

  • Analytics and insights: You can’t improve what you can’t measure. Analytics and reporting features help users get visibility into team and individual performance, track key metrics, and identify areas for improvement. 

  • Integrations and API: Bring all of your most used tools and systems directly into Front. Important customer context is just one sidebar click away to help pull important details or reference historical data. 

  • Knowledge base: Centralize knowledge in your help center for easy access to information and FAQs, empowering customers, teams, and partners to instantly find the information they need.

  • Customer support: Front is known for its excellent customer support team [that consistently achieves nearly 100% CSAT!] and extensive knowledge base, providing users with assistance they need to maximize the value of Front and address any concerns.

Learn more about Front’s shared inbox solution.


What is it made for: Teams looking for a simple shared inbox solution with automation tools.

Core features include:

  • Internal collaboration: Helpwise emphasizes email collaboration features like shared inboxes, email assignments, and internal comments to facilitate teamwork and ensure efficient handling of customer inquiries.

  • Rules and triggers: Users can set up rules and triggers to automate tasks such as assigning emails to specific team members, sending automated responses, or routing emails to appropriate folders.

Help Scout

What is it made for: Suitable for teams wanting an integrated email and live chat solution.

Core features include:

  • Integrated shared inbox, live chat, and help center: Help Scout has a shared inbox, live chat, help center, and proactive messages, all available natively in its platform.

  • Self-service tools: Help Scout offers self-service tools like a knowledge base and help center capabilities, allowing customers to find answers to common questions and troubleshoot issues on their own.


What is it made for: Good for teams using Gmail to manage shared mailboxes.

Core features include:

  • Task automation: With Hiver task automation, users can create rules to automate various actions based on specific conditions, improving efficiency and productivity. 

  • Analytics: Hiver’s analytics capabilities enable teams to measure email message volume, response time, resolution time, and team performance.

  • Generative AI capabilities through Gmail: Hiver works on top of Gmail, so you can leverage all its AI capabilities.


What is it made for: Teams using Gmail who also need project management features.

Core features include:

  • Email thread chats: Gmelius Email Thread Chats provide a chat interface within the email thread itself, allowing users to have real-time conversations without leaving their inbox. 

  • Kanban-style boards: Gmelius’ Kanban-style boards provide a visual representation of tasks and their status, allowing teams to track progress, manage workloads, and collaborate effectively.

HubSpot Service Hub

What is it made for: Teams already using HubSpot needing basic shared inbox functionalities.

Core features include:

  • Integration with CRM: HubSpot’s shared inbox integrates with its CRM platform, allowing users to sync customer information, track email interactions, and view contact history directly within the inbox. 

  • Collaboration tools: HubSpot’s platform provides collaboration tools that enable team members to work together seamlessly. They can assign conversations to specific team members, leave internal notes, and share relevant information within the platform.


What it is made for: Businesses prioritizing a chat-first approach to customer support.

Core features include:

  • Full-service offering: AI chatbot, help desk, and proactive support offerings help manage both inbound and outbound customer support. Intercom’s help desk offers a shared inbox solution that contains all your conversations and tickets.

  • AI: Intercom features a single workflow builder for customers and leads. Fin, Intercom’s AI-powered bot, can be inserted and handed over at any stage in the workflow. 

  • Analytics and reporting: Intercom offers teams pre-built reports with a custom dashboard builder. Reports can measure and understand the full customer relationship.


What it is made for: Individuals and teams looking for modern and fast email experience that focuses on email productivity.

Core features include:

  • Superhuman AI: With Superhuman AI,  you can jot down some phrases, and Superhuman turns them into a full email. Superhuman AI matches voice and tone in emails you’ve already sent and applies it to everything it creates.

  • Keyboard shortcuts and commands: Superhuman offers a wide range of keyboard shortcuts and commands to navigate and perform actions within the email client efficiently. Users can customize shortcuts based on their preferences and workflow.


What it is made for: Customer support teams who need an integrated ticketing system where every submission is converted into a ticket and enters a queue.   

Core features include:

  • Ticketing system: Incoming messages are automatically converted into tickets, which can be assigned, prioritized, and tracked within the shared inbox. Each ticket contains relevant information about the customer, their issue, and any previous interactions.

  • Integration with other Zendesk products: Zendesk’s shared inbox integrates seamlessly with other products in the Zendesk suite, such as Zendesk Chat, Zendesk Guide, and Zendesk Talk. This allows support teams to access additional features and resources to better serve customers.


What is it made for: Single teams or smaller organizations seeking a simple shared inbox solution.

Core features include:

  • Collaboration features: Missive allows team members to work together on emails, chat, and tasks. Features like shared drafts, comments, and mentions facilitate collaboration.

  • Simple interface: Missive’s interface offers a clean design that focuses on simplicity.

How a shared inbox can transform your customer service

Using a shared inbox can keep your customer communication streamlined and your internal team super organized. 

Managing emails can become especially chaotic for scaling businesses for several reasons. First, as businesses grow, inquiries and support requests do too — managing a larger volume of messages requires more resources and can overwhelm support teams, leading to messages slipping through the cracks. Without a shared inbox, you also see teams sending emails about emails, duplicating efforts, or switching tools to direct message one other on the side about projects. Finally, traditional email doesn’t offer any analytics reporting or visibility into metrics, so you don’t know how your team is performing or where you need to improve.

Benefits of using a shared inbox

  • Improved collaboration: A shared inbox environment facilitates swift information exchange, enabling team members to work together efficiently in addressing customer inquiries and resolving issues promptly.

  • Centralized information: Centralized information within the shared inbox ensures that everyone has access to the same data and context, eliminating the need for repetitive explanations and reducing risks of miscommunication.

  • Reduced email clutter: Shared inboxes help reduce email clutter by organizing messages in one location, minimizing the likelihood of overlooked or duplicated messages, and enhancing overall inbox management.

  • Scalability: With shared inboxes, teams can easily expand as their operations grow without sacrificing efficiency or effectiveness. This makes it an ideal solution for businesses accommodating increasing customer demands and workload.

  • Visibility and reporting: Some shared inbox tools have analytics capabilities that allow you to understand performance metrics like response time or message volume. These insights can help you improve processes and measure your customer experience over time.

Common issues when you don’t have shared inbox software

  • Information silos: Without a shared inbox, team members may inadvertently respond to the same email, leading to duplication of effort and confusion for customers. Key context can also get lost or siloed in personal accounts.

  • Missed emails: Teams who don’t use a shared inbox may overlook important emails, particularly if they’re buried in individual team members’ inboxes or spam folders. This means delayed responses, poor customer service, and lost business opportunities.

  • Lack of accountability: Without a shared inbox, it’s hard to track the status of emails and ensure each inquiry is properly addressed. Lack of accountability can lead to dropped balls, unresolved issues, and frustrated customers.

  • Inefficient collaboration: Email collaboration can be inefficient without a shared inbox; team members need to forward emails manually, rely on CCs and BCCs, or use separate communication channels to discuss email inquiries. Fragmented communication can hinder collaboration, slow down response times, and lead to errors or miscommunication.

  • Difficulty in prioritization: Without a shared inbox, important emails may get lost in the shuffle, while less critical inquiries may receive undue attention — leading to inefficiencies and suboptimal use of resources.

How to implement your shared inbox

Shared inbox tools play a critical role in enabling effective email management at scale by providing organizations with a centralized platform for handling email communications collaboratively. 

By consolidating all incoming emails into a single shared inbox, team members can avoid email overlap, reduce the risk of missed emails, and maintain accountability for addressing customer inquiries. The shared inbox empowers organizations to manage email communications more efficiently, improve productivity, and deliver a superior customer experience at scale.

The Front platform can solve the complexities and challenges that come with scaling a customer service team, offering:

Seamless team collaboration: Work more efficiently with real-time team coordination.

Powerful workflow automation: Organize, route, and resolve communication at scale.

Fast resolutions with knowledge base: Resolve inquiries faster and unlock deflection to scale your support.

Boosted visibility for actionable insights: Measure performance to uplevel your customer experience while improving efficiency for your business.

Want to hear more about how Front can help your team?

Written by Sara Shaughnessy

Originally Published: 5 December 2023

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