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Sample Script or If Function


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Hey, since you guys are pretty savvy with this FM Pro stuff, I need some advice:

I don't know if I've explained this before, but I am making a marketing database which our insurance business can use to send out a series of letters based on a certain strategy. What happens is this: The prospects are filtered based on certain criteria (e.g. having homeowner's or auto policies, etc.) and a series of letters go out. First, an intro letter, then in increments of four days apart, a follow-up and second follow-up letter go out, followed by a phone call by the agent. And since I will not be the only one to use this program, it must be very simple to use (insurance agents are not too technical-minded). So what I want is a sample script that tells FM Pro to print the intro letter for the group, then four days after that the first follow up letter will print, and so on.

I hope I have explained it good enough. If you can help me I would certainly be indebted to you.

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You need to work out the algorithm. How would you do it if the records were pieces of paper?

It'd be something like: find those records that <match some criteria>, print the first letter, then mark each record to show that the first letter has been sent. Then in <number of days> check the records again and rpint the second letter... etc.

Once you have a process written down like this, the actual scripting is easy. It's the getting of the process that's the difficult part, and only *you* can work that part out.

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Here's an idea to get you started.

Create 3 date fields, one each for the initial intro letter and the 2 followups.

Then, when you want to send out intro letters, set up a find request that fits the customer criteria, AND the intro letter date field is empty (use the "=" symbol in the date field). Print out the letters with the found set and then set the intro letter date field in the found set of records to the current date.

When you want to send out followups, search for records whose intro letter date field is 4 or more days old, and the first followup date field is empty. Print out your followup letters on the found set and then set the first followup date field to the current date.

And so on...

Because you will no doubt have customers in various stages of the contact process, you will likely want to run all these scripts daily.

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Thanks for your reply, bob and vaughan. I have set up a "Campaign Info" field in the customer file. I have it now where you must export the prospects that match a certain criteria to another file, so as not to confuse them in other campaigns. But I am having a bit of trouble getting the relationships to work. It would be great if I could keep this program as a flat file because relational files are not working for me at my experience level. I might be in over my head.

Once again I appreciate you reply, I'm sure I will have more questions in the future, so keep in touch.

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Any solution that uses export and/or import might fail in multi-user mode. Why can't you keep all the records in one database and just mark which ones have been processed?

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I am just not experienced enough in scripting and logic functions. So I thought it would be easier for me to export the prospect into another file that I could manipulate independently. But now I realize that is not such a good idea because the relationships are screwing up.

The real problem is how I operate the If functions in scriptmaker to have it search through the records in "letter1 print date + 4 days" across the other criteria (if record is marked for first letter, what type of letter was sent, etc.). Do you know any good books on the subject (or at least a FileMaker book that doesn't give examples for invoice tracking and sales??). Are you really in Sidney?? What time is it over there??

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