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Front makes email collaboration much smoother

TechCrunch TechCrunch 11/05/2016 Romain Dillet

Front started out as an app to manage shared email addresses. With Front, you can collaborate, comment, assign and reply to those pesky emails that you receive on your support@, jobs@ or contact@ email addresses. After adding more channels, Front has released a major update to refine its service with more powerful communication features and a streamlined design.

Front works particularly well for a support team for example. A customer could email your company at support@, and Front lets the right person answer as quickly as possible. Just like in a task manager, you can assign messages to your coworkers to make sure they know what they have to deal with.

But it doesn’t stop there as Front lets you comment and chat internally about a message so that you can figure out how to answer someone. So you don’t have to forward an email to your coworkers and then find the original, etc.

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Over time, Front added more channels, making it a great way to deal with all kinds of inbound messages. The service works with email, Twitter, text messages and Facebook messages. But old habits die hard, and users kept forwarding and BCC-ing people using Front.

With today’s update, Front has rethought the way internal messages are displayed. Threads look more like messaging conversations. Front mixes emails (or tweets, or texts) with internal Front comments in a chronological order. These inline chatting features make Front much more informal and I think more efficient as well. You don’t need to dig out old messages to see comments.

Front supports emojis, @-mentions, attachments and notifications. In many ways, if you’ve been using Slack, Front will feel familiar and yet distinctive. You can put incoming emails into folders and run analytics and your reaction time and busiest time.

Finally and more importantly, Front wants to move beyond shared inboxes. If you’re a busy CEO and you often delegate emails to other people on your team, you could be using Front. The service works well with individual email inboxes and delegation features.

Even better, if you go on vacation, you can give inbox access to one of your coworkers so you can make sure you’re not going to miss some important contract for instance. And we’ve all been dreaming about being able to take some much-needed vacation without constantly looking at our email inbox.

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