As written by Matt Soseman on blogs.technet.microsoft.com
Introduction: The purpose of this post is to walk you through how to send an email to a channel in Microsoft Teams and why you would want to do so.
One of the many interesting features of Microsoft Teams is the capability to send an email to the team channel, and have the contents of the email displayed in the threaded conversation for all team members to view. But you’re probably wondering, why would I do that when I can just forward the email to those individuals instead? Why would I want to view it in Microsoft Teams?
Let’s explore the reasons why you would want to see an email in Microsoft Teams:
Searchable. Once the email has been sent to Microsoft Teams, it is now in the persistent chat and is saved for the life of the team. This makes it extremely easy to search for and find when you need it. I personally like this, because rather than someone on the team asking “Matt, can you send me the proposal email, because I can’t seem to find it in my mailbox” there’s no excuse – they can now search for the email within the team channel.
Attachments in one place. If you are on an email thread that contains an attachment (i.e. a document), and the sender is asking for comments in the document and to make changes/edit the document – we can quickly find ourselves with several different versions of the document spread across several different email messages in the thread. This can make managing that document very difficult, and time consuming to incorporate everyone’s changes/comments/etc. By sending the email to Microsoft Teams, the attachment is automatically uploaded to the channel’s files where team members can collaborate and co-author on a single version of the document.
Non-Forkable. A common problem we see with email is that we will forward a message to a separate set of individuals and start to conduct a lively conversation thread with those individuals. Meanwhile, a whole other conversation is still taking place back on the main email thread. This is a problem because now there are two places where the conversation is occurring, both groups of people cannot see the entire conversation because they are not members of both email threads. This can have devastating impacts and now causes the team to be split into two and working in silos. By sending the email to teams, it’s now in a single authoritative place where the entire team can participate in a conversation thread around that email.
It promotes teamwork. Involving everyone in the team is a good thing. Giving everyone visibility to the email, it’s attachments and granting them the opportunity to provide input is an even better thing.
Cuts down on email. Personally, my biggest challenge with email is the amount of messages I receive on a daily basis (and I am sure you can relate). If those messages are threaded with many recipients hitting reply-all, then my inbox really starts to grow. Why is this a problem? Well, how do I know if an email is important? How do I know if I need to take action? As a result, I have to read each email one by one. By sending the email to Microsoft Teams it’s in the threaded chat conversation, and I don’t have to read it if I don’t want to. However, if it’s important, the person who sent it may choose to @ mention the entire team or channel. Now it is “marked as important” and notifies everyone so they will read it. If there’s a specific action requested of me individually, in the chat conversation someone can @ mention me specifically. I will then be notified in my Action hub in Microsoft Teams and I know that I now need to read the thread. No @ mention, then the thread is just awareness, and is optional to read. Oh, and by giving a “thumbs up” to “like” the message – this indicates that you have received and read the message (no need to reply all and say “Thanks!”)
The concept to understand, is that by sending the email to Microsoft Teams, and not to an email distribution list, or replying all and adding others, or forwarding, is this can reduce the amount of email for all parties involved – and can have positive downstream impacts on work life balance, team morale and even reduce stress. All by switching the conversation over to Microsoft Teams! This is powerful, and it’s all because you took the small step of sending it to the team channel 🙂 However, this won’t work as effectively unless everyone on the team is doing replicating this behavior.
How do I send an email to the channel?
First, before we go any further we need to know the email address of the channel in Microsoft Teams. To do this, next to the channel click the ellipsis and select Get email address: