How smart merge works


Smart merging consolidates duplicate threads in Front to make working together on emails simple.

Front can automatically merge conversations together when one recipient of an email @mentions, assigns, or invites other recipients on their copy of the conversation. When that happens, a smart merge will be triggered so all the teammates involved can work on one unified copy together.

Here's an example: 

  1. A customer emails their Account Manager and CC's their Sales Representative. The Account Manager (John) and Sales Rep (Sally) both manage their individual email in Front.
  2. John @mentions Sally on his copy of the customer's email: @Sally, what do you think?
  3. At this point, Sally and John's separate copies of the email will automatically merge into a single conversation in Front, so they can comment and reply in one thread.

Smart merges can also occur with team inbox conversations, as long as the conversation isn't already merged**.

Here's a team inbox example:

  1. A customer emails the Sales inbox and CC's their Sales Representative. The Sales Rep (Sally) and the Sales inbox are both managed in Front.
  2. Mary, Sally's manager, @mentions Sally on the team copy in the Sales inbox: @Sally, do you want to take this?
  3. At this point, Sally and the Sales inbox's separate copies of the email will automatically merge into a single conversation in Front

**To learn more why they'd already be merged, see Reduce duplication of emails.


Smart merges happen automatically when you @mention, assign, or invite other recipients on your copy of the conversation, or when you're @mentioned, assigned, or invited on theirs. There's no additional steps needed to trigger a smart merge. Here's how it works: 

Step 1

Someone emails multiple email addresses that are all managed in Front.

In this example, Emily has emailed and , which are both private email inboxes in Front:

Step 2

When one recipient @mentions, assigns, or invites another, their conversations will be automatically merged into one conversation. This is a "smart merge", and you can immediately see when this happens because both teammate avatars will be shown in the participants menu.

Here, Rachel @mentions Sarah on her copy to trigger the merge. After that, Rachel and Sarah are owners of a joint conversation 👑 Being an owner means you cannot be removed from the conversation.

Step 3

Once the conversations have merged, any comments or replies from either teammate will be visible to the other so they can work together on one copy.


Are there any instances a smart merge won't happen?

The merge will happen as long as there are no conflicts between your copies of the conversation when recipients @mention each other. Conflicts in copies are:

  • Different messages in your two copies.
  • The person being mentioned has a tag on their conversation that's not on the mentioner's copy (but if the mentioner has a tag that the mentionee doesn't have, it will still merge).
  • There are different assignees on the copies.
  • There are different comments.

Can a smart merge happen between team and individual email channels? 

Yes, when you and a team inbox email address both receive the same email and someone @mentions you on the team inbox copy of the conversation. The merge will happen as long as there are no conflicts between your copies of the conversation.

Since you cannot @mention a team inbox, there is no way to merge that into "your copy". Only your private copy can be merged into the the team inbox copy by someone @mentioning you there. 

Can a smart merge happen between two team email channels? 

Nope! The email will already be a shared between the two team inboxes. Therefore, there's no need to have a merge. 

Can I manually merge conversations? 

Yes! You can manually merge conversations, separate from smart merge. Follow these instructions to manually merge conversations.

Can a smart merge happen between a recipient and a sender? 

Yes! For example: Mike emails Sarah, and Sarah @mentions Mike on her copy of the email. Their conversations will merge assuming that there is no conflicting information in the threads, like if Mike has @mentioned  someone else already or tagged his copy.

Why did my smart-merged conversation split into a new conversation?

In some cases, Front will auto-split the conversation again to avoid possible confidential content being exposed on an auto-merged conversation. A new inbound message will create a new conversation if: 

- The new message was sent only to you


- You did not comment on or assign the conversation

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