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Using Front like a pro: 5 tips for taking your inbox to the next level

You’re assigning and snoozing messages like there’s no tomorrow, leaving comments left and right, maybe even tagging messages to stay organized…sounds like you’re on your way to being a Front pro! Now that you’ve had some time to get your bearings, take your productivity to the next level with these more advanced tips for using Front.

We recommend you check these out after you’ve had a chance to work in Front for a few weeks — or if you’re feeling super comfortable with it. If you’ve just started using Front, check out these seven tips for getting started for an overview of the basics before reading on.

1. Automate your work with rules

In Front, you can make “rules” to boost your productivity. Rules let you automate workflows you often repeat by using “if, then” statements — guidelines that tell your inbox what to do with certain messages. For instance, “if an inbound message contains "urgent support", then add the tag "Urgent".

Individual Rules vs. Team Rules

Everyone can make rules for their individual inbox. Depending on the level of permission you have in Front, you might also be able to create Team Rules, as well. Individual rules only work for messages to your individual work email, while team rules can apply to your shared inboxes.

Make your own rules

Here’s a popular rule you can try setting up for your individual inbox: For any message you receive that’s unreplied for a certain time period, say 2 days, then tag that message as

so you can easily see what you need to prioritize.

Want to see some other interesting rules teams have set up in Front? Check out our Rules Directory for a few of our favorites, and read more tips on building rules.

2. Get all the context you need

When you’re responding to customers, you usually need to open other apps to get the information you need to reply. Good news! Whether you need to view a project timeline in Asana or grab some customer data from Salesforce, you can access all that information without ever leaving Front.

Integrations & Plugins

Click the circular button in the top right corner of Front to access your integrations and plugins, right next to your messages. Most often, your Team Admin will choose which integrations to set up for your whole team. Check out the whole list of Front integrations, and if you see one that might be useful for your team, ask your Team Admin about getting it set up.

Contact Details

Along with integrations and plugins, you’ll also see a section called “Contact Details”. Here you can access every conversation you’ve had with a contact — emails, tweets, live chats, or any other communication channel you have set up in Front. You can also leave notes in your Contact Details, so you don’t forget important information about certain customers.

3. Take control of your work schedule

Front has a few different features that allow you to break free from constant email notifications, so you can get time for deep focus, or a little relaxation. You can set up vacation responders like you would with traditional email, but you can also change your status in Front, and specify “Do not Disturb” times for peace and quiet from notifications.

Create a vacation responder

Under “Settings”, “My responses”, and “Vacation responders”, you can create and save as many vacation responders as you need. Front allows you to get more granular with your responder than you can with Gmail or Outlook: Choose specific channels you want to send to, set a schedule, and attach files. Keep in mind, your vacation responder only works for messages that come to your individual inbox. If you’re looking to create an auto-reply for team inboxes, you can do that using rules.

Set your status in Front

Find your status in Front by clicking your icon and “Available.” From there, you can choose from three options:

  • Out of Office: When you’re OOO, any shared inbox messages that are assigned to you will be automatically unassigned, so the rest of your team knows to work on them instead.

  • Mute: This will prevent you from receiving any of the notifications you usually get from Front. Mute can be useful for times when you really need to buckle down and focus on your work.

  • Do Not Disturb: Specify a daily time when you won’t receive notifications. When this is switched on, it applies every day. Do Not Disturb is great for building some quiet time into your schedule, whether it’s to get work done notification-free, or just to relax and recharge outside work hours.

4. Work through your messages faster

You’re likely already collaborating with your team using comments and @mentions in Front — and maybe you’re snoozing messages and setting reminders too! Here are a few more ways you can breeze through your inbox and never miss a conversation:

Share drafts: Work on a reply with a teammate by typing a reply in your composer, then clicking the “Share draft” icon next to the “Send” button. This will allow your team to see a message you’ve typed up, and if they have something to add, they can edit in real time and send.

Send options: Click the drop down arrow next to your “Send” button to choose from three different ways to send a message: “Send”, “Send + Archive”, and “Send Later”. To help you work through your messages faster, set a default send preference for all your messages under “Settings” and “My preferences”.

  • Send: When you send a reply, the thread will stay in your “Open” folder, until you archive it.

  • Send + Archive: When your send a reply, the thread will automatically move to your “All” folder, so you know it’s been worked on, and you don’t need to reply.

  • Send later: You can specify an exact date and time you want the message to send. Once you specify a time to send, the message will remain as a draft until that time (so you can go back and edit it if you need.)

Search: Front has an Advanced Search bar to help you find messages faster. You can easily access messages using the Quick Filters: Unread, Attachments, or Snoozed. Click the gray arrow at the bottom to view all the properties you can search by, like typing "from:" to search by sender.

5. Keyboard shortcuts

Front has keyboard shortcuts so you can work through your inbox faster. To make it easy for you to remember, we always stick to Gmail conventions where possible. Find them directly in Front, all the way at the bottom of your integrations and plugins. Below are a few commonly used shortcuts to get you started moving around Front mouse-free.

Basic Front keyboard shortcuts

  • J / Up Arrow - Move to a previous conversation

  • K / Down Arrow - Move to the next conversation

  • / - Navigate to the search bar

  • G + A - Go to all unassigned conversations

  • Shift + X - Force the conversation list to refresh

  • R - Reply to the most recent message

  • Command + Enter - Send & Archive

  • W - Assign conversation to a team member

  • E- Archive the conversation

  • L - Tag a conversation

+ Delete - Trash the conversation

  • S - Set a snooze/reminder on a conversation

  • Shift + I - See information about current conversation

  • M - Navigate to the comment bar

  • @ - Pulls a list of available team members to mention

You can also access the full list of keyboard shortcuts on our Community Page.

Keep learning

Guide - 6 Min ReadCreate a successful Sales team with Front
Your customers demand a first-class experience. Front helps you personally ensure your customers’ desired outcomes at any scale, without sacrificing customer experience. The heart of every Sales team is communication between customers and teammates. With high-touch, personalized messages, Front is built to help your team go the distance. In this guide you’ll learn how to set up the product to help your team collaborate efficiently, close deals,  Once you’ve set your team up using our getting started guide, it’s time to think about a strategy for helping your Sales team thrive. Front is built to be customized to your team’s needs, meaning that you can design the workflow that helps close deals faster, work together on difficult messages without leaving your inbox, and get visibility into what you care about most. This is a guide about how to use Front to support and improve your Sales team.  #Automate workflow A workflow built to close deals quicker Setting your team up for success means establishing a natural workflow that eliminates busywork and clears the way for higher quality connections with potential customers. Here are 4 actions to take that help streamline your workday.  Team inbox setup for Sales Front’s team inbox is a shared inbox that incorporates all your communication channels into one place. There are a variety of ways your team connects with leads – be it your sales team email or website chat – and by connecting all of those channels to your team inbox, it’s easy to get to work. Think about your most commonly relied-upon communication channels and connect them with your team inbox, then invite all your teammates to the inbox. This means everyone will be able to see what’s on the agenda each day, prioritize work together, and avoid context-switching by looking at different web pages to communicate with customers.  Assign owners to inbound messages  As you watch the messages stream into your team inbox, start assigning them owners. Once someone is assigned a message, it shows up in their personal workspace so they can get right to it. And, you’ll be able to see that the message is assigned and feel confident moving onto the next one. If you want to stay in the loop on a conversation not assigned to you, simply subscribe to it.  Automatically sort leads and prioritize outreach Triaging requests can feel like a tedious task – set up a rule and have it done for you. With rules, you can automatically route, tag, and assign messages by sender or content. Want all demo requests tagged as “Demo” and assigned to Samantha? There’s a rule for that. Want to make sure all inbound messages are responded to within 2 hours? Set up an SLA.  Get reminders to follow up later Sometimes it takes a couple tries to get a response. By hitting “snooze” on an email, or “send and snooze,” you can set up an automatic reminder to check in on a message. So if you haven’t heard back on a big deal by tomorrow morning, the message will pop back up in your inbox so there’s no chance of you dropping the ball.  #Work together Work together to enhance customer messaging Customer communication is a team sport, and being able to leverage the expertise of your team is critical. That’s why collaboration is built into Front’s product. Here are some ways to use the product to work together, better.  Comment on emails to get help on a deal or align on strategy  Tap a friend for a second opinion, or clue someone in to a deal with a client by commenting directly on an email. 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This brings the spontaneous brainstorm with teammates to wherever your team is, and you don’t even have to leave your inbox to do it.  Create message templates for consistent and fast responses Voice and tone matters when reaching out to prospects or responding to requests. Save message templates for your team to personalize and use for common emails. This helps saves time and keep initial conversations consistent.  #Context at a glance Get customer context at a glance Use your team’s most critical tools – from Salesforce to Asana – right from Front. Or, create a custom integration with our open APIs.  Integrate your favorite CRM into Front It’s easy to get distracted when switching between tabs or hunting for important customer info. Use your favorite apps from Front with our integrations. Once they’re enabled, just sign in using your login info and you’ll be able to access your most relied upon tools without context switching. Here are our very own Sales team’s favorite integrations:  Salesforce Outreach Aircall Drift Create custom integrations with Front’s open APIs Front’s open API allows customers to build a window into their own systems, whether it’s their own in-house database of customer information or building a separate integration into a tool they need. #Measure success Track your success Use tags in your team inbox to organize prospects and get visibility into progress Tags and channels in your team inbox are ways to sort your incoming messages by type, sender, urgency, project, etc. Set up a tag for hot deals in the works, or create a channel for live chat. Once you’ve done this, and created rules that automatically sort messages into those tags, you can view analytics on each one. For instance, view how many messages are actually coming into your sales email, or what clients and projects are requiring the most work.  Use Analytics to report on sales activity and response time Want to see how your team is tracking against your internal goals? Use Analytics to see how quickly teammates are responding, which customers write in the most, or when your busiest hours are. Then, adjust accordingly by finding out who needs more support and where there’s an opportunity to create a better customer experience. 
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