Friday, November 26, 2004

VIC CRM: Using the "Make Document Inbound" Action

One of the nicest things about VIC CRM is its ability to provide you with a completely spam-free inbox. It does this by simply white-listing your mail. Mail from anyone not in your customer index simply isn't imported into VIC. Your normal Notes inbox simply becomes a spamtrap. If you're like me, you might wind up using VIC as your primary inbox just to avoid the noise. This might sound a bit draconian for email, but consider the purpose of VIC... it's to manage your existing customer relationships and to focus on those new ones that you're cultivating. This is the sort of datastore you really don't want to clutter up with unsolicited mail of any kind. Draconian measures are actually called for in this case, and that's what we provide.

Also, by adding this restriction, the incoming mail is tagged with info about the sender that enables VIC to automatically index and categorize your correspondence for you. No more dragging and dropping into folders; no more tagging with labels; and no need to write filters.

Nevertheless, there may be some instances of mail that you want to let through anyway. VIC provides you with the ability to let mail pass through the spam trap if the sender provided one of a number of keywords (that you specify) in the subject of the email. For instance, if you want to write to me about VIC, just put "VIC:" in the subject of the mail, and I'll read it right away (otherwise you'd have to wait until I cull my spamtrap).

Now, there's a kind of in-between state possible here as well. I might receive a mail and want to import it for future reference, but I might not want to add the sender to the VIC Index. Well, in Notes it's pretty simple: I simply edit the incoming mail and put a keyword in the header. The problem is that once you've edited the mail it no longer looks like it was inbound. And VIC not only uses the inbound flag to display the little "waving man" icon in correspondence views, but it uses that flag to determine whether it's proper for you to reply to a message.

This is what the "Make Document Inbound" method is for. When the mail document has been imported, highlight it in the view, then pull down the Action menu and click "Make Document Inbound." The waving man will appear and the doc will be properly identified as inbound mail.

And that's all there is to it!


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