Creating a sample repository of inbound email


  • Hi there,

    To start, I am not an Exchange Admin or a technologist.  I am instead a technically inclined lay person.  So if that doesn't put you off let me pose my question!

    We are an advertising agency specializing in email marketing.  We send *reputable* email marketing to opt-in consumers, mostly from Fortune 1000 firms.  Email you would recognize and generally welcome (some would refer to it as Bacn).  This is not the evil stuff.

    As part of our sales process we need to collect email samples from prospective clients.  We have a large team that can sign up for email marketing newsletters from a variety of organizations but we need to be able to store the inbound messages in a repository that is readily available to users across the organization.  My thought is to use Public Folders for this purpose but I think we need a way to automatically file the inbound messages by sender.

    Here is what I want to do:

    1. Setup Exchange to accept inbound email even if no user account for the email address exists as long as a substring of the email address meets a specific criterion.  For instance, we would want to accept any email in the format  (or alternately 
    2. Sign up for email newsletters from third parties using this email address format.  For instance, if we sign up for email from Delta Air Lines the email address we would use to receive messages would be  Email from Ford Motor Company?  This address would be, and so on.  We would eventually have thousands of such custom email addresses.
    3. As messages are received into our Exchange 2010 environment we would want to route them to a specific subfolder of our Public Folder hierarchy, presumably /Public Folders/Samples.
    4. With thousands of senders all having their messages routed to this folder, however, things could get crowded!  So optimally we would want to interrogate the "To" address of each message and parse out the custom sending organization.  For instance we would want to route:
         Emails sent to would be sent to /Public Folders/Samples/D/DeltaAirLines.
         Emails sent to would be sent to /Public Folders/Samples/F/FordMotorCompany.

    So, is this possible?  If so, how?  If PowerShell or an Exchange Event Script an appropriate way to address this need?  If not, any particularly whizzy third-party add-ons that are appropriate?

    Any advice is welcomed!



    Friday, September 20, 2013 1:19 AM

All replies

  • Good thoughts here.  I would suggest not building on top of Public Folders as the solution has been de-emphasized in Exchange 2007 and 2010 and in Exchange 2013, Public Folders take on somewhat of a new look.  I can't say when or if they will ever be gone, but MSFT has been looking to get rid of them and make a push towards SharePoint.

    So getting that out of the way, I have a couple options:

    Create one mailbox (or however many you would like) as the repository for these emails.  You can then utilize transport rules that will send any email with <address> to a specific mailbox (the one you just created).  Now you would like these organized by folders so you would have to go into Outlook and create some rules.  These will probably only run when Outlook is open so keep that in mind. You can utilize Outlook client to search through the items as well.

    The second option (if you have SharePoint) is to create a folder structure in SharePoint and Mail Enable SharePoint.  This will give you a scenario very close to what Public FOlders will do for you but it will be in SharePoint and will appear like any other document library, with searching, etc.

    The last option would be to just utilize Public Folders.  Create your Hierarchy.  Create a folder for A, B and so on.  Each of these folders now needs to be mail enabled.  We can then steal an idea from option one and create a transport rule that moves messages from <address> to Public Folder A.  Multiple addresses can be placed in these rules so essentially you would have 26 rules or so with multiple addresses.  This would automatically move the messages to the correct PF.

    Hope this helps.

    Jason Apt, Microsoft Certified Master | Exchange 2010 My Blog

    Monday, December 23, 2013 7:16 PM