Email threading and how to change your threading mode

How threading works in Front

Conversation threading is a feature used to automatically group messages with their replies. Every email contains a unique message-id, which is automatically included in the references of the email header. When we receive an email, we loop in the references and message-id to see if we can find any similar conversations. If we do, we'll thread the incoming message to the existing conversation we’ve just found. If no message is found, then we create a new conversation.

Threads can be displayed in a variety of different ways. Front has several threading options depending on how you connect your email account. Any change to your threading mode will only apply to future conversations.


Threading modes (specific to each email channel)

Gmail

Gmail threading
When you connect a Gmail account to Front, the default threading will be set to Gmail threading. This is where we thread messages in accordance with Gmail's logic. Gmail references message-id, subject, time/date. Using this threading mode will maintain a full two-way Gmail sync including open/archived status, tags, and inbound/outbound emails.

Regular threading
Regular threading is where we thread messages only if they reference a previous email in a thread with the same message-id. This threading mode will sync inbound/outbound emails with Gmail, but will not sync tags or open/archived status of emails in order to respect the separate status of these emails that are now threaded differently from Gmail.

Regular + Subject-Recipient threading
We will thread messages where the recipients explicitly respond to each other or when the subject and the recipients are the same.  Messages can still thread if recipients/subject are different. This threading mode will sync inbound/outbound emails with Gmail, but will not sync tags or open/archived status of emails in order to respect the separate status of these emails that are now threaded differently from Gmail.

No threading
A new conversation will be created whenever you receive a new message. Your outbound replies will still thread with the incoming message it's replying to. Subsequent inbound replies to your message will not be threaded and will create new messages. This threading mode will sync inbound/outbound emails with Gmail, but will not sync tags or open/archived status of emails in order to respect the separate status of these emails that are now threaded differently from Gmail.

Note

If you frequently move messages to split conversations or send sequences in a Gmail channel, we suggest changing your threading mode to another option that will disable the sync of archiving, deleting, and tagging with Gmail. All emails will continue to show up in both Front and Gmail, so you can access them in both systems.

With Gmail threading, there is usually a 1:1 relationship between Front conversations and Gmail conversations. When you move a message or send a sequence, you create multiple Front threads for a single Gmail conversation. When you tag, archive, or delete one of the threads, the others can be tagged/archived/deleted by mistake because Gmail syncs that action back to all of them. Changing your threading mode to another option will break this aspect of Front's sync with Gmail to prevent this from happening.

Office365

Office365 threading
When you connect an Office365 account to Front, the default threading will be set to Office365 threading. This is where we thread messages in accordance with Office365's logic. 

Subject-Recipient threading
Messages with the same subject line will be threaded together, only if the email recipients are the same. If you send email campaigns or auto-generate emails to your customers that solicit responses, you'll want to select this option. Keep in mind, this only addresses outbound messages (recipients).  For inbound messages, we will thread based on the sender's email and the subject line.

Office365 + Subject-Recipient threading
We will thread messages if it meets either threading options above.

No threading
A new conversation will be created whenever you receive a new message. Note that your outbound replies will still thread with the incoming message it's replying to. Subsequent inbound replies to your message will not be threaded and will create new messages.

Here's a further breakdown of when to use which threading mode: 

Scenario O365 S-R O365 or S-R
E-mail blast to multiple recipients All replies will be threaded together *Each recipient's reply will be it's own conversation All replies will be threaded together
Person1 sends email to shared mailbox, person1 sends another email to the shared mailbox again with the same subject line *Each recipient's reply will be it's own conversation Both messages threaded together in one conversation Both messages threaded together in one conversation
Person1 sends email to shared mailbox, person1 sends another email to the shared mailbox again with the same subject line but adds another recipient *Each recipient's reply will be it's own conversation Both messages threaded together in one conversation Both messages threaded together in one conversation
Person1 sends email to shared mailbox, person2 sends an email with the same subject line Each message created it's own conversation Each message created it's own conversation Each message created it's own conversation
Person1 sends email to shared mailbox, person2 sends an email with the same subject line and includes another recipient Each message created it's own conversation Each message created it's own conversation Each message created it's own conversation
Person1 sends an email to shared mailbox and cc's person2, person2 responds to the thread and adds person3 Both messages threaded together in one conversation *Person2 response to the thread created a new conversation Both messages threaded together in one conversation
Person1 sends an email to shared mailbox and cc's person2, person2 sends in a new conversation with the same subject line and same recipient Each message created it's own conversation *Both messages threaded together in one conversation Each message created it's own conversation
Person1 sends an email to shared mailbox and cc's person2, person2 sends in a new conversation with the same subject line+ different recipient Each message created it's own conversation Each message created it's own conversation Each message created it's own conversation

SMTP 

Regular threading
Regular threading is where we thread messages only if they reference a previous email in a thread with the same message-id.

Regular + Subject-Recipient threading
We will thread messages where the recipients explicitly respond to each other or when the subject and the recipients are the same. Messages can still thread if recipients/subject are different.

No threading
A new conversation will be created whenever you receive a new message. Note that your outbound replies will still thread with the incoming message it's replying to. Subsequent inbound replies to your message will not be threaded and will create new messages.


How to change your threading mode

Step 1

Go into your Settings and select Inboxes. Then click the inbox on which you wish to change the Threading mode.

Step 2

Select the channel on which you wish to change the Threading mode.

Step 3

Select Threading mode and choose between the options listed.Step 4

Click Save to finish changing the Threading mode.

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  • Is possible in a thread to view the most recent emails at top (and not at bottom)?

    Reply Like 1
  • Right now new messages in a thread are added to the bottom of a conversation view; there is no preference to reorder them. I will pass your question on to our product team as a feature request for consideration

    Reply Like 1
  • Cori Morris I would also love this feature -- a setting to show most recent emails at the top of a conversation view.

    Reply Like
  • Max Friedman Thank you for your feedback - I've logged it for our product team!

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