Automate actions with custom rules
For any team, you'll often find repeatable administrative tasks that can be automated — like assigning a specific type of conversation to an in-house expert or tagging certain messages for tracking and analytics purposes. This is what Front rules are for made for! In this article, we've outlined some commonly used automations.
For a more thorough breakdown of Front rules, check out our Understanding rules article, and see the full list of rule conditions here.
How it works
Front rules allow you to automate a wide range of actions, so you can save time in the long run. Head to your Settings and between My rules, to create rules for your individual inbox, or Rules to create rules for a shared inbox. Rules are customizable and flexible so you can apply a set of actions to a specific inbox or a set of inboxes — whatever you need.
Every rule needs three things:
1. When trigger conditions determine when a rule will be applied
2. If filter conditions determine the criteria that have to be met in order for that rule to be applied
3. Then action conditions specify the set of actions that will be applied to the conversation if the rule is processed
Need some inspiration? A collection of our most popular rules and templates are in our rules library in the app!
Commonly used rules
Move a message
Use this rule to move messages to another inbox based on a subject line, SLA commitments, or even a group the sender belongs to.
Note: When rules move a conversation from one workspace to another workspace, or from private inbox to a shared inbox, any tags that were on the conversation will be removed upon the move. However, if you manually move a conversation this way, the tags will be retained. Likewise, if rules move the conversations between inboxes in the same shared, tags will also be retained. Also, if a rule moves a conversation that is currently assigned to a teammate into an inbox that the assigned teammate does not have access to, then the conversation will automatically be unassigned from the teammate to respect their level of access.
Send an immediate reply to your customer so they know you’re getting back to them soon. Set up a rule to automatically reply to your customer with one of your message templates. See here for an in-depth guide in setting up auto-reply rules.
Add a tag
Automatically categorize your emails by adding tags based on the content, sender, and more. You can also create analytics reports based on tags.
Assign in a round-robin
Evenly disperse messages among a group of teammates by automating assignments with round-robin rules.
Add a comment
Automatically add a comment to the conversation, including mentioning teammates by typing the @ symbol and their username. You can also use Markdown to format the comment that your rule will post.
This is helpful to give internal tips at specific times in your automated processes, such as reminding teammates to confirm customer identities; pointing out conversations that should be moved to other inboxes; or highlighting certain events in a conversation's activity history.
Use a private rule to notify teammates
Here you'll find instructions for how to use a private rule to notify teammates on conversations in your individual inbox.
When working in the individual inbox, simply assigning a conversation to a teammate via a rule will not work as that teammate will not have access to the private conversation. You'll need to first notify the teammate in order to grant them access to the conversation, then it can be assigned.
Go to Personal Settings and select Rules then Add an Individual Rule.
Add your rule to notify a teammate on conversations in your individual inbox. Feel free to customize the triggers or add various predictive qualities as conditions for when you'd like the rule to trigger. The Then section will need to have action "Notify teammates" and select all appropriate teammates. When notified, this conversation will appear in that teammate's Assigned to Me section.
Once the teammate has been invited to your private conversation via the notification rule, they can access the conversation in their Shared with Me section and assign the conversation to themselves manually.
To support all the benefits of tagging, Front allows you to set up rules that require certain conversations to be tagged before they can be moved or archived. This way, you can ensure all your messages are categorized correctly; enabling better workflows, automations, and analytics. Learn more about required tagging here.
A Smart Rule is a type of rule that adapts intelligently to the different messages and workflows of your team to automatically run actions that save you countless hours. What makes a Smart Rule smart is the dynamic variables that decipher information that would otherwise require a human to analyze. Learn about Smart Rules use cases here.
All Front plans can create rules using our rule library templates.
Custom rules are available on the Growth plan or above, as well as advanced rule triggers and actions, SLA rules, and load-balancing rules. Company rules are available only on the Scale plan or above. Some legacy plans with different names may also have these features.
For whatever reason, my auto-reply isn't working. I have my conditions and triggers set up properly, because my action step is "add tag" and then "reply with". The tag is being added to the message, but the designated reply isn't being sent. Am I missing something?
Hey Chad Dixon
We can look more into that for you if you email us at email@example.com with the rule name and the conversation ID (click the circled "i" on the top right and copy ID). 🙂
Hai Front Team, we implement some rules for our SLA. In short, we move all unreplied emails to a new folder "Please Reply". However, it seems that when emails are triggered by this rule, all emails will be automatically unassigned (even though we've assigned to someone before). Can we fix it?
Hi Alfonsus Wibowo , apologies for not seeing your comment sooner! The default behavior for when conversations get moved is to unassign. We can help you come up with alternative workflows and rule ideas once we understand more about your specific use case, so feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!