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How can I make sure a constituent doesn't receive the same letter more than once?

You have control over how your office handles assigning activity codes to constituents who have been previously assigned these codes before. These codes include interest, group, and letter. You can choose to allow, prompt, or not allow assigning the same code within a certain time frame.

For instance, you may choose to allow assigning the same interest codes to a constituent who has written in about the same issue before, but to prompt with a warning if attempting to assign them the same letter code they've received within the past year.

  1. Start by clicking the gear-shaped icon in the upper right corner, and then select Settings
  2. You will see options for all possible activity types - correspondence, casework, flag, and tour. Typically offices are most concerned with not sending duplicate letters for correspondence activities. Choose whether you want to "allow," "disallow," or "prompt" if attempting to assign a previously received letter, group, or interest code. If you choose "Prompt" or "Disallow" for previously received letters, set the number of days. In the example below, a prompt will appear if attempting to assign a previously received letter if that earlier letter was assigned within the past year. However, no prompts will appear if attempting to assign a previously assigned interest or group code.
  3. Click Save Changes.
  4. From this point forward, when attempting to assign a previously received letter to a group of contacts, you will receive a prompt similar to the following:
    To avoid sending the same letter to the constituent who previously received it, select View All [1] Warnings and Restrictions from the options, and click Continue
    NOTE: If you have selected the option to Assign and Send to Job, you will see one additional option to Send only [16] activities on to the print job. You can select that option and continue sending these on to the job. When you return to the mail viewer, the activity or activities that prompted the warning will still be selected so you can click the Assign button and continue with step 6.
  5. When you view the warnings and restrictions, you'll see all the individuals listed. Click Select All and then click Assign
  6. Typically, you will close the activity or activities without sending a response letter. Assign a Closed Date of "today," add a note in the Description field such as "Constituent previously received letter," complete any other desired fields, and then click Ignore and Assign.
  7. The activity or activities will be closed and disappear from the Mail viewer, and a record is kept of when the constituent(s) wrote in.

NOTE: The prompt is based on the letter code itself, so if you update an existing form letter, it still has the same code and will still prompt you that the constituent previously received this letter even if it has been updated. If you plan on making significant revisions to a letter so that constituents who had previously received the old version can now receive this new one, you should follow the process below:

  1. Copy the existing letter.
  2. Give the copy a new letter code.
  3. The copy will be a draft letter, so make your edits as you normally would, check it in, and then change the letter from a draft version to a final version.
  4. Return to the original letter and change it from a final version to an obsolete version so that it will no longer be assigned to constituents.

For more information about writing form letters see the article How do I add a new form letter?

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