Tuesday’s Tip: Infusionsoft custom fields vs. tags vs. notes

Infusionsoft comes with several ways to store data about your customers. In addition to the fields that come standard with Infusionsoft, you can store data in custom fields, as tags, or as notes on the contact record. But which is the best to use? Each use case is unique, but we have a few guidelines that will help you decide.

Note: Infusionsoft only allows you to create 100 custom fields per record type. If you’ve already used up your 100 custom fields, you may want to run through these guidelines and see if any of them can be converted to tags or notes, or dropped altogether if the information is no longer relevant.

 

Custom fields

Infusionsoft lets you create up to 100 custom fields per record type. This may sound like a lot of fields but it is easy to quickly use them up storing trivial information that doesn’t improve your marketing efforts. These guidelines will help you decide if you should use a custom field:

  1. Do you need to merge this field into an email? For example, we use custom fields to keep track of which newsletters our customers are subscribed to. This information can then be merged into an email: “Because you are subscribed to Tuesday’s Tips, you may be interested in our Product Announcement newsletter.”
  2. Is the value unique to this customer? For example, we collect our customer’s Infusionsoft app name. This value is unique to each customer, and so it is stored in a custom field.

If you answered yes to either of those questions, you may want to use a custom field.

 

Tags

A contact can have an unlimited number of tags. These tags can be used to kick off campaigns and other automations. These guidelines will help you decide if you should use a tag:

  1. Do you need to trigger an automation? Tags can be used to start campaigns and other automations. For example, you may have a web form that allows a contact to express interest in different topics. By adding a tag for each topic that the customers selects, you can start campaigns that send the customer additional information that they are interested in.
  2. Can the customer have more than one value for this item? For example, you may track which training courses a customer has taken. If the customer can take more than one training course, you may want to use tags instead of custom fields. In this situation you would add a new tag each time they complete a course. You could also use a list box custom field that allows you to select multiple values for one field, but then you may end up with a very large list that doesn’t reflect your current course list.

If you answered yes to either of those questions, you may want to use a tag.

 

Notes

There are a few places in Infusionsoft to store notes. You are given a large text area on the Person Notes tab of the contact record, and you can also add an unlimited number of individual notes to the Notes section of the contact record. These guidelines will help you decide if you should use a note:

  1. Are you collecting information you don’t really need to act on? For example, you may be collecting a lot of post-sale information from a survey. In addition to storing the most useful parts of the survey to custom fields or tags, you can store the entire results of the survey in a note on the contact record. This allows you to review the information later without using large numbers of custom fields.
  2. Is the type of information collected unique to this customer? For example, you may know a customer has 4 kids and recently moved to New York. This information could be helpful with direct sales. If you aren’t collecting this information for all of your customers then you probably don’t want to use up a custom field or create a specific tag for this situation. Instead, store it in the Person Notes.

If you answered yes to either of those questions, you may want to use a note instead of a tag or custom field.

 

We hope this helps! Let us know if you’d like us to clarify any of the points in this tip, or if you have any additional insight.

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