Yammer and Email: Working Better Together

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Blog-JugglerLet’s face it – not everyone in your organization may be ready to work in Yammer. If you’re a Yammer user today, you’re probably familiar with juggling Yammer and email, just to communicate with everyone in your company. But this mishmash of open communication (Yammer) and private communication (email) restricts information flow, reduces productivity, and quite simply, makes work just a little bit harder. We here at Yammer believe that work is hard enough already, and so we’ve put our heads together over the past quarter to solve this key question: “How can we make Yammer and email work better, together?”

Today, we are excited to showcase the first two of these email features for Yammer:

1) Loop in Non-Yammer Users

2) Forward Emails into Yammer

We want our users that prefer Yammer to be able to do their work in Yammer, while users that prefer to work in email can continue doing their work in email, while making it possible for everyone to coexist and work together.

Loop in Non-Yammer Users

Need someone to chime in on a Yammer conversation, but they don’t happen to be a Yammer user? No problem – now you can include anyone in your organization in a Yammer discussion. Simply begin typing their email address into the CC bar of any message, and that coworker will receive a notification email alerting them of the Yammer conversation. They’ll be able to respond to your message simply by replying to the email – their message will be posted back to the relevant Yammer discussion. Of course, that coworker can also choose to sign up for Yammer from the email and respond as a Yammer user.

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Once an email user has been added to a Yammer conversation in this way, they’ll also receive all future Yammer messages posted to that conversation – ensuring that they stay informed of future developments. Email users can also choose to unsubscribe from the conversation if they no longer wish to participate.

Forward Emails into Yammer

We’ve updated our email forwarding feature in a major way. Every Group in Yammer has an email address, and you can send emails to that Group email address in order to post messages into Yammer.

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Now, when you forward an email to a Yammer Group, we include the entire email thread as an attached PDF, so that Yammer users don’t miss any piece of the email conversation. In addition, any files attached in the email will also get uploaded to the Yammer Group and attached to the Yammer conversation. So now when you want to open up an email to a broader audience on Yammer, you can easily share all of the information contained within the email.

These are just the first steps towards breaking down the barrier between Yammer and email. Look for more from us in upcoming months and check out the features for yourself on Yammer!

  1. Michael Herman

    But what I really want is: when I read my Yammer notification emails in Outlook 2013 (i.e. they switch from Unread to Read in Outlook), I want them to also be marked Read *in Yammer*. Close the loop ….make Yammer even greater.

    • Jimmy Shi

      Totally – closer integration with Exchange and Outlook is what we’re focused on next. These are our first baby steps into allowing communication across email and Yammer; we’ll continue exploring deeper, more connected experiences across the entire Office suite over the next year. Features like the one you’re describing are exactly what we have in mind 🙂

  2. Rex Tang User">

    so the rendered PDF still not supporting Japanese characters. Please help, thanks.

  3. Thiago SAntana

    I couldn´t find the Access Options in the screen. Do i have to have any kind o premium access for that or just the basic network is enough?

    • Jimmy Shi

      Yes these features are available on a basic network. You need to be in a Group (so not your Home feed or your Inbox) and if you look on the right hand column (where you see “Members and a list of Group members”) and scroll down, Access Options is at the bottom.

  4. Ray Collins

    I like it.

  5. David Klein


    Too bad that after you replied by Email, you’ll get 2-3 attached files in the group (for instance pictures included in my Email signature)
    After some days using it, you’ll see hundreds of attached files to the group.
    It’s a mess!


    • Jimmy Shi

      Thank you for bringing this to my attention! Definitely an unintended consequence here – I’ve let our development team know about this issue. Hopefully we’ll be able to filter out non-relevant files in the next iteration.

    • Katie Knoll

      I have the same, frustrating issue. It’s very distracting to sift through colleagues long email signatures. 🙂

  6. Eric Armstrong

    Where does one configure message settings, to determine the frequency with which messages to a group are forwarded to my email account? (That’s pretty critical functionality, but I don’t see it anywhere, so I’m missing a ton of messages from the various groups I belong to,)

    • Jimmy Shi

      What messages you receive from what Groups is determined by your notification settings. You can find these at the top-right of Yammer – click on the “…” next to “invite” and then go to Edit Profile -> Notifications. Here you can set individual email notifications for each network you are a part of.

      Keep in mind messages to Groups are not automatically forwarded to your email account if you are a Yammer user – these features were developed so that non-Yammer users wouldn’t miss out on Yammer conversations. If you are already a Yammer user we reduce email notifications so as not to spam you with identical messages on two platforms.

  7. Emiel Eigenraam

    Great functionality! Is it possible to forward my messages to external users as well?

    • Jimmy Shi

      No, this is for legal and privacy reasons to prevent internal company messages from being too easily disseminated externally.

  8. is it possible that my company has not given us access to the feed betwen yammer and email, or that it is a newer version than we currently have? i’m not finding the ‘access options’ at the bottom of the groups page…

    we’re using yammer within one of our teams, and finding it hard to find real value, vs email… thanks

  9. Ian Godfrey

    Why does an email thread have to be rendered as a PDF attachment? That requires extra clicks and the content is not searchable.

    Why not render as plain text? After all it is not like Yammer has the capability to format any text (shame)! Images can be inserted or added as attachments with appropriate placeholders inline.

  10. Maren Barbee

    Hi not sure if this is the correct place to post this, but am having trouble finding where and how to post questions to yammer. My colleagues and I use yammer and we post a lot of files. We are trying to figure how best to organize them; we feel the files folder is mess. We cannot create folders to organize them. Do you have any recommendations? I also can´t seem to find the way to make files official. Please help! Thank you!

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