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Tracking an email reply and linking it to a record?

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Stephen_Turban
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Hi Everyone! For our base, we do a lot of emails out to external people (students, contractors, etc.) . We generally want them to reply to our emails and so we set up other automations to bump them if they do not fill out a form. 

One issue we have is that often times people will reply to our email but not fill out the form. We're not currently able to address that - and so have to manually record that they've replied in the base so that we don't bump them. 

Has anyone found a workaround to track "email replies" such that we don't keep bumping them? I know usually this is done by attaching some sort of cookie to an email or similar. I know this is possible in Hubspot sequences, but I haven't found a similar solution in Airtable. This would be a big win if we could have something like this! 

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You could add a field called "email message" and put the email message you want to send to them in the airtable record, then let google apps script handle the sending out and tracking of the email, with the record id sent in the body/subject line of the email. A bit more complicated to set up though, but you could then track by airtable record and email conversation.

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13 Replies 13
Steve_Haysom
8 - Airtable Astronomer
8 - Airtable Astronomer

Hi Stephen

yes, I use google apps script to monitor email replies and update airtable when a reply comes in. You would just have to forward replies to a gmail account and set up the script.

You could potentially use a third party service like Zapier to create one record per email in your base, and then use automations from there to link the email to the person?

This is great - thank you.

Have you figured out an easy way to link it back to the original email that is sent out? Or the original record that kicked off the email automation? 

For example, if I send out an email to a customer saying "Please put down your deposit" (Let's call this the deposit email). I then receive a response from that customer on that deposit email chain and I want to link it back to both the email that was sent and the person who sent it  - have you found an easy way to do that? I know that you could potentially do some type of look-up on the email or try to pass the record-id somehow using a meta tag. But, if you have any simple ways to do it, that would be a big help! 

Really appreciate your response - very kind of you.  



Definitely that's possible - I think what I'd like to do is not to track whether a person has replied at all but whether they have replied to that exact email. For example, if I send out a deposit email, I'd like to know if they replied to that deposit email. But, after they pay deposit, I may send a new email that then asks for another payment. I'd want to then only track if they responded to that email payment email! 

Hm, I think I'm not understanding something.  If the person replies to Email 1 and Zapier or some such picks it up, you can then create a record in your base with the subject title and the sender (Email 1A).  Assuming "Email 1" exists in your base in some form, could you not use the subject title + sender from Email 1A to find the Email 1 and link it together?


You could add a field called "email message" and put the email message you want to send to them in the airtable record, then let google apps script handle the sending out and tracking of the email, with the record id sent in the body/subject line of the email. A bit more complicated to set up though, but you could then track by airtable record and email conversation.

I think that definitely could work - the key would be able to match up the email subject line (may need to remove the re: ______ piece) and then also the sender. I'm just wondering if there's an easier solution that is attached to a unique record ID of some sorts - I find that solutions that use look-ups are a bit brittle! 

I really appreciate this! 

It sounds like I should consider using Google App scripts to send out the email, which then has some built in functionality to track if an email was read/responded to, etc. Thank you for this!! 

was thinking about this further and the code I use takes advantage of the fact that gmail automatically groups messages by conversation, according to these rules so you can tell if someone has replied by simply looking at the number of messages in a thread.

Heres a bit of code perhaps you could start with:

const hasReplied = GmailApp.search("subject: " + recordId)[0].getMessages().length > 1 ? true : false

ie find the first thread that has messages with recorId in the subject and count the  messages in the thread, returning true if more than 1, as the first one is the one initially sent.