How to add an Exchange Distribution Group


Follow these instructions to add your Exchange Server or Online Distribution Group to your team workspace in Front. A Distribution Group is a free mail option that Microsoft provides to companies who want to easily distribute mail sent to a single address to a group or team of people. 

Prerequisite for adding an Exchange Distribution Group to Front

  • The person who adds the distribution group needs to be a Front administrator.
  • You need to have Microsoft Exchange administrator to complete the setup.

  • With email forwarding, there is no email history to import since a Distribution Group does not have an associated mailbox. 
  • If you have an Office 365 subscription, the email history of that Distribution Group will be within each teammate's user mailbox. Consider having all teammates connect their user mailboxes to Front, which will allow Front to import that history.
  • Front cannot import email history for user inboxes on Exchange Server.

If you have an Office 365 subscription, consider transitioning the Distribution Group to a Shared Mailbox to take advantage of Front’s API sync capabilities. More information on how Front works with Shared Mailboxes can be found here.


Receive emails with forwarding

Step 1

Click into Company settings. 

Step 2

Click on Inboxes on the left menu and Add a team inbox.

Step 3

Fill out the name and description of your inbox. Click Create.

Step 4

Choose Microsoft from the list, choose whether you are using Office365 or On-premise Exchange server, and select Distribution Group or Microsoft 365 Group.

Step 5

Follow the steps on the screen to complete setting up the forwarding and in your Office365 Admin Center.

Step 6

Navigate back to Front and click Test connection to validate the forwarding is set up correctly. If you have trouble validating, please contact us for assistance.

Send emails with custom SMTP

Step 7

Now that we have verified emails can flow into Front, we need to set up a custom SMTP to ensure emails are delivered through your Exchange servers. To do this, you’ll want to go back into your Exchange Admin Console > Recipients > Groups and find the Distribution Group you just connected to Front.

Step 8

Set up group delegation by selecting an individual from your team or IT. We will be using this individual’s user credentials to set up the custom SMTP.

Step 9

Go back into the inbox in Front and enable the custom SMTP settings by clicking the dropdown next to the email address if the menu is not already expanded. Scroll down and expand the Custom SMTP submenu, and enable the toggle.

Step 10

If you’re using Exchange Online, set your host to and the port to 587. Complete the login and password fields using the credentials of the individual selected in Step 8. Once you’ve filled everything in, verify the connection works, and hit save.

For Exchange Server, you'll need to ask your Exchange administrator for the host and port information.

Step 11

Once all users from the distribution groups are in Front, remove those users from the distribution group in your exchange settings. This will ensure emails sent to the distribution group no longer go to each user's individual inbox, instead will be routed into a single shared mailbox in Front.

Alternative to Steps 7-10

You can always set up SPF/DKIM instead of using a custom SMTP. This means emails will be delivered through Front's 3rd party mail server - SendGrid and you will not retain a record of your outbound emails on your own server. More information about SPF/DKIM can be found here.

Step 11

Choose the teammate access for this inbox, and whether you'd like to pin this inbox for teammates.

Step 12

Complete the remainder of the inbox settings, and click Finish.


All plans have access to this feature.

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