Rule sets

Overview

Rule sets allow you to radically simplify your list of rules. Instead of crowding your rule list with duplicate rules, you can use a single rule powered by a simple table. Your rule structure stays the same while all the different values for each condition are managed in an easy-to-use table. When the rule set is triggered, each row of the table is evaluated one after another as if they were separate rules.

Use rule sets to easily manage your rules and declutter in your rule list. You can also mass update the table via CSV upload to quickly modify your rule set values.


When to use rule sets

Rule sets can be used when you need multiple copies of a rule with the exact same rule condition structure that can run without too much consideration for rule order. Rule sets work best with rules focusing on keywords, tags, move actions, or assign actions.

Example keyword rule:

  • When Inbound
  • If Subject contains Billing
  • Then add tag Billing

You could have dozens or even hundreds of similar rules for additional keywords like “Bug”, “Refund”, “Urgent”, etc. Rather than creating duplicate rules, you could create a single rule set supported by a table to manage all your keywords.

Example use cases for rule sets:

Rule category

Example use case

Prevalence

Notes

Keyword condition

Ex. 1: If body contains “billing”, then tag Billing

Ex. 2: If subject contains “invoice” and body contains “billing”, then add tag Billing

Most common

Keyword conditions are always a good fit for rule sets, regardless of rule actions

Tag action

If subject contains “late delivery”, then tag Urgent

Common

Tagging actions are often a good fit, regardless of rule conditions

Move action

If subject contains “billing” or has tag Billing, then move to Finance inbox

Least common

Custom fields may be a better solution

Assign action

When tag Billing is added, then assign to Bill. When tag Urgent is added, then assign to Jane.

Least common

Custom fields may be a better solution


When not to use rule sets

Here are some instances when we may want to think twice about using rule sets:

When using custom fields is more scalable

If you can create your rules with only custom fields and dynamic variables, use them instead of rule sets. Custom fields are more scalable and easier to maintain in the long run. e.g. “If account X, then assign to Charlie”. You can quickly have thousands of accounts, requiring multiple rule sets. It’s much more efficient to use the rule action “then assign to [account manager]” with your custom account field.

As a reminder, you can use custom fields with Inboxes, Teammates, Contacts, and Accounts. Contacts and Accounts can be synced with third party systems such as a CRM. 

A good rule of thumb: if you need thousands of rows in your table, you could probably use custom fields instead of a rule set.

 

When your rule order really matters

Rule sets will try to apply rules row by row using the table. All the rows in the table will be evaluated before moving on to the next rule in your rule list. However, sometimes you may need to have another rule in between the rules in the rule set. For example:

  • Rule 1: If body contains “billing”, then add tag Billing
  • Rule 2: When tag Billing is added, then move to Billing inbox
  • Rule 3: If body contains “bug”, then add tag Engineering
  • Rule 4: When tag Engineering is added, then move to Engineering inbox

You could not use a rule set here.


Instructions

Part 1: Create a rule blueprint

In this example, we will create a rule that adds a tag to a conversation if it’s in any team inbox and has specific keywords. e.g. IF an inbound message is received any team inbox AND the subject contains “billing”, THEN add the tag Billing.

Step 1

Click the gear icon on the top right of Front and into the Company or Personal settings tab, depending on which space you are working with, and click Rules.

Step 2

Click Add a rule, then create your rule blueprint by filling in your When, If, and Then conditions. 

Step 3

Click Convert to rule set at the top. Your initial rule values will automatically convert into dynamic variables.

Part 2: Add table values

Step 4

Click the Rule set data tab at the top to add additional values to your rule set table.

Step 5

To manually manage your rule set table, click Add row or the plus (+) icon at the bottom to add more rows. Fill in the rows and columns with your values. If you need to add a new column, see additional instructions here.

If you have multiple items you want to include in the same cell, use semicolons to separate the words or phrases.

Step 6

Click Create rule when finished.


Manage rule set values via CSV upload

Step 1

Click the gear icon on the top right of Front and into the Company or Personal settings tab, depending on which space you are working with, and click Rules.

Step 2

Click on the rule you’d like to manage, then click the Rule set data tab. 

Step 3

Click Export CSV if you’d like to download the current table contents. Otherwise, click Import CSV if you have a file ready.

Step 4

Drag and drop your file into the popup window, or click Choose file to select your file. Click Import CSV, then click Ok to confirm.

Step 5

Click Save changes when finished.

Important to know

  • Importing a new CSV file will replace all the existing data in the rule set table. To add to the table (rather than overwrite), download the existing data using the Export CSV feature, enter your new data to the file, then import the updated file.
  • Files can include a maximum of 500 rows.
  • Cells can contain numeric or text values.
  • If you have multiple items you want to include in the same cell, use semicolons to separate the words or phrases.
  • Existing rules containing dynamic variables or teammate groups cannot be converted into a rule set.

Pricing

This feature is available on the Scale plan. Some legacy plans with different names may also have this feature.

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