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Logging emails (Smart Bcc & Smart forward)
Logging emails (Smart Bcc & Smart forward)

Easily log emails you send to the supporters in your database, using our 'Smart Bcc' and 'Smart forward' features.

Updated over a week ago

Beacon makes it easy to log the emails you send to your supporters from your Outlook or Gmail (or any other platform!) into your database, using our 'Smart Bcc' and 'Smart forward' feature.

Your Smart email address

Every Beacon account has a unique email address (e.g. [email protected]) that you can Bcc on the emails you send to, or Forward the emails you receive from your supporters.

You can find your account's unique email address in Settings > Email via the sidebar:

Logging emails you send (Smart Bcc)

Add your account's smart email to the 'Bcc' of the email that you're sending.

If the person or organisation you're emailing in exists in Beacon (based on the email addresses you send to) then the email will be automatically saved to their timeline.

If they don't exist in Beacon, we'll create a person and then auto-log the email to their timeline.

This feature works in any email provider, including:

  • Outlook

  • Gmail / G Suite

  • Yahoo

  • iCloud

  • iOS Mail

  • Apple Mail

  • Mozilla Thunderbird

  • Any other email client

Logging emails you receive (Smart forward)

Bcc-ing above works great for emails that you send to supporters, but what about emails that you receive?

It's easy to log these as well - just forward the email directly To the same smart email address (e.g. [email protected]), and your emails will get automatically logged into Beacon.

Note: Different email clients handle forwarded emails in different ways. Currently, forwarding in Beacon is supported on the following email clients:

Outlook desktop

Gmail / G Suite


Apple Mail (iOS and Mac)


Email visibility

Users can control the visibility of emails they send to people's timelines in Beacon, using the padlock icon on the emails:

Screen Recording 2019-10-19 at 12.52 pm

By default, emails logged to timelines in Beacon can be read by all team members in your account. If you'd like to change this, each user can change this on the Settings > Email page:

Note: Only the user who sent the email can control the visibility of an email to the rest of your team.

People who don't exist in Beacon

If you Bcc or forward to Beacon an email with one of your supporters, and they don't already exist in Beacon, by default we will create them for you, and then log the email to their timeline.

If you like, you can change this behaviour, so emails will only be logged to people who already exist in Beacon:

Frequently asked questions

Can I automatically Bcc Beacon on all emails I send?

Usually, yes! This is dependent on your email provider.

Microsoft 365 - Create a rule for all outgoing messages to Bcc your Beacon email address. See 'Create a rule using the Rules Wizard' in these instructions.

Gmail - Gmail doesn't have any way to do this natively, so to automatically Bcc outgoing emails you can use an extension such as this one.

Why aren't my emails logging?

There's only a few criteria that will need to be met for the Smart Bcc to work:

  1. Sending from an email address that is a registered standard or admin user in Beacon - i.e. the email you log into Beacon with. Read-only users can't log emails.

  2. Your specific Smart email address is in the 'Bcc' field of your email when sending, or the 'To' field if forwarding

  3. If sending, the address you're sending to is in the 'To' or 'Cc' field of your email (not Bcc)

  4. The email and any attachments are <40MB in size

If your emails are not logging to timelines, it's almost always number 1 - check which email you're sending from! If you're using the 'Send email from your email provider' button in Beacon, it may be that the default email address in your email provider is not set to be the one you use for Beacon.

Why aren't my emails logging against contacts I've Bcc'd in an email?

Smart Bcc won't log against people Bcc'd in the email. They'll have to be either in the 'To' or 'Cc' for it to work. This is because Beacon won't be able to see who is Bcc'd, in the same way the recipients won't be able to see each other πŸ‘€

I have some people with the same email in Beacon, will emails be logged to both timelines?

Yes! We also recommend that you merge any duplicates as and when you find them.

If I have a person and an organisation with the same email address, will it log to both?

Yes, the email will log against all people AND organisations that have that email address.

What happens if I email to a supporter, but they don't yet exist in Beacon?

If someone doesn't exist in Beacon already, we'll automatically create a person record for them for you, and log the email to their timeline.

Can anyone use this Smart address?

No, Beacon will only save emails to your database if the person sending them is a Standard, or Admin user of your account, based on the email address each user has saved in their user preferences.

This is for security - you wouldn't want just anyone to be able to log emails to your contacts!

Can read-only users use the Smart email to log emails?

No, read-only users cannot write information to the database, including emails to the timeline.

Can we use this Bcc address in bulk emails?

We'll log an email to a maximum of 200 contacts. As such, this feature is not well suited to bulk emailing supporters. We recommend using MailChimp for bulk emails.

You should not be using Outlook or Gmail to send emails in bulk.

How long does it take for emails I sent to Beacon to appear in people's timelines?

Usually less than 30 seconds.

Can I log an email against a specific record in Beacon, rather than People or Organisations?

Beacon will use the email address of the contact to know where to log it in Beacon, so there's no way for us to know which other records that message might be relevant to.

Alternatively, you could:

  • Make the person/organisation's timeline entries visible on that record by choosing them in the filter. For example, on a Payment you could choose to show the timeline of the 'Payer' or 'Fundraiser'.

  • Log the email manually on that record

  • Use Zapier to log emails against specific records of your choosing, by including the Record ID in your subject line. We've even created a template you can use!

Are email attachments logged in Beacon?

No, only the plain text of your emails will be logged in Beacon. Additionally, if your email (including attachments) is over 40MB in size, Beacon won't log the email at all as it exceeds the maximum size for processing.

Email gif

Does Beacon automatically create people in the Cc field (as well as the To)?

Yes - Beacon will automatically create anyone who has been sent the email, which includes email addresses added in the Cc field.

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