How can a distribution group effectively use a public folder in exchange server 2003?

I have created a public folder for internet sales that recieves email.  When I click to reply to that message it sends the email and all appears to work, but it shows an "open" icon instead of the replied to icon in the folder.  I'm not really sure if I have all my settings completely correct in exchange manager on the folder.  The questions I have are as follows:

1) Is there a way to have a number show up next to the folder like on the inbox folder telling the number of unread messages? Otherwise hwo would the user know they needed to check the folder?

2) When you reply to an email in that folder is there away to make the icon status change to the replied or forwarded icon after the message had been answered?

3) is there a way of knowing who replied to the message?

What I want to accomplish isn't any different than any other company with a generic sales or support email address that a group of people can see and respond to.  I just don't know how they accomplish it where it works without multiple group users sending the same customer an email.  Is there a better system for this?  Since exchange is what I have I would like to know how using it.  Thank you.
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MrLonandBConnect With a Mentor Commented:
1. Create a DL for all you members. Set a rule on the Public folder that will notify the DL when new messages arrive in the public folder.

2. In ESM, go to the properties of the Public Folder > General Tab. Uncheck "Maintain per user...". When any user then looks in the folder they can tell if a mail has been read by someone else.

3. Don't know of any convenient way to determine who replied. I suppose some consortium of rules might work, I don't know...
SembeeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The better option for you would be to use a shared mailbox then some kind of utility to manage the sent items so they are stored in the shared mailbox.
Public Folders aren't really suitable for this type of tracking of email messages.

squashie8Author Commented:
I had started off with just a distribution list and that works, but there is no way of knowing if one of the other team members replied to the email or not without calling etc and that's a waste of time and a hassle.  My main goal is to have all team member see the email, if one replies the others will know, but I don't want them to have to call each other to see if someone replied, but I don't want the email to go to one person and they skip it or neglect it and never reply.  How would I create the shared mailbox?  create a new "user" called sales in the active directory and go from there?
A shared mailbox is nothing more than a regular mailbox with additional permissions on it. If you want users to access the mailbox they need "Full Mailbox Access" and if you want users to send as that mailbox (so the email comes from sales@ ) then they need Send As permissions (not to be confused with Send on Behalf of).

The only problem you get is if someone is working on the message but hasn't actually replied. You may want to introduce some kind of system using flags to show a message is "in progress".

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