Custom Fields: Creating and Managing

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Article Description: In this article we will walk through how to create and manage custom fields via the Admin Dashboard to track the results of your programming.

This article will review:

 

What are custom fields in Impactive, and why are they important?

Custom fields are another way that you can track data coming from your program. Custom fields can exist in one of two ways:

  1. A question with multiple options as selections. If you're familiar with VAN, this would be most similar to survey questions.
  2. A blank text field, such as a notes field.

We recommend organizations create custom fields so that when their volunteers are completing actions either in the app or on the web platform, they can send data back to your campaign to further inform your strategy. Custom field options show up after a volunteer clicks on “Fill Report”, which they can do during friend-to-friend or peer-to-peer actions

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How to create Custom Fields:

  1. To create a custom field, navigate to the DATA tab on your Impactive admin dashboard, then select the Custom Fields page.
  2. Select + Create Custom Field from there, add a name, and customize the report settings as you see fit. When possible, always choose a folder to put it in so that you're able to have the best form of data management. Below, we will break down what each part of the report is referring to.
  3. When finished select Create.
  4. Create sync instructions for every tag and custom field to ensure your data syncs back to your integration. To learn more, check out our support article Syncing P2P  and F2F Custom Fields to VAN.

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Custom Field Report Breakdown

  • Reportable - This is asking whether or not you want this custom field to show up on a volunteers report to fill out. If you are creating a new custom field, you always want it to be reportable.
    • The only reason you would not select ‘reportable’ is if the tag/custom field is exclusive to internal programming and you do not want it to show up within your volunteers reports. By checking this box, you are choosing to display this custom field on your volunteers reports.
  • Default Report - If you want the custom field option to populate by default on an Impactive action, then you will want to check this box. If the Default Report box is checked, and you do not select any custom fields when creating a new action, the custom field will still appear on the report. 
  • For Users - If this box is checked, the custom field will only be able to be used in reports on other Impactive users (volunteers). If you check this box, the custom field will not show up on a report that involves contacting people outside of Impactive. We advise only clicking this link if the custom field is exclusively for internal organizing purposes.
  • Onboarding Question - Prompt your users to fill out surveys about themselves upon joining your Impactive campaign. To pick and choose what questions you’d like to ask, you will want to create a custom field and select the box for Onboarding Questions
  • Type; TextField - Choosing this will create a blank text field after the custom field that your users can type in.
  • Type; SelectionField - This serves as a single select option, where you can populate various options and your users can select one.
    • Pro-Tip: If you are matching the responses with the options available under a survey question in VAN or PDI and you want the responses to populate in the same order in Impactive, we suggest splitting your screen so that you have the survey questions on one side and the Impactive custom fields on the other to put the options in the exact same order. You cannot rearrange them after entering them
  • Display Order; You can enter a number here to determine where on a volunteer’s report the custom field appears.

 

Best Practices for Custom Fields

Custom Fields should be: 

  • A text field
  • Multiple choice question and response
  • Concise
  • Able to map directly to a field or element in your VAN/PDI (usually survey questions), or other voter management database

We also recommend that you only have 5-8 custom fields active per action. Any more than that, and your volunteers may be overwhelmed and not fill any custom fields out.

 

Use Cases:

How are custom fields frequently used by other campaigns and organizations?

Custom fields are frequently used by other campaigns and organizations to track:

  • support ratings
  • how folks plan on voting (by mail, in-person, early)
  • t-shirt sizes
  • yard sign requests
  • ballot statuses

 

Setting Tags & Custom Fields for Actions

In order to gather the best data possible for your campaign, union or organization, we recommend setting up tags and custom fields on a per-action basis. This will allow your volunteers to have conversations with friends and contacts, and then easily report back relevant information to your campaign through the Fill a Report button in their Impactive inbox.

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Once you have created all of your preferred tags and custom fields within the DATA tab, you can create a new action and select which tags and custom fields will show up on the report for anyone reached via that action. 

 

  • Reminder: If you do not select any tags or custom fields when creating your action, then those checked “default” within the DATA tab will automatically show up within your volunteers reports. 

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Pro-Tips:

  • Choose a few tags and custom fields per action and customize them to match the script your volunteers will be using. This is best practice to ensure volunteers are prioritizing filling our reports with the information that is key to the campaign.
  • Make sure you ask and remind your volunteers to fill out a report for every conversation so that you get the complete picture of how each conversation went.
  • Instruct your volunteers to submit reports frequently. Assure them that there is no need to wait until a conversation is “over.” As soon as they learn something new about the contact they should fill out and submit a report so that the campaign has the context of the conversation too. 

 

Auto-Tagging Responses

If you'd like a voter to be automatically tagged with an activist code or result code, you can set up an auto tag such that any contact who receives a specific script will automatically be tagged. Impactive has auto-tagging functionality built into response scripts so that your volunteers don't have to manually file a report after every response message they send. Note that this feature is only available within Peer to Peer Texting actions.

Here's how to set up Auto-Tagging Responses:

  1. Click on “Add another response script”.
  2. Enter a Name for the response, and a Script Message. For example, for an affirmative response to an initial text recruiting for an event, you might write: "Attending: Yes" as the Script Name and "Great - so glad you can attend! The event starts at 7:30pm on Saturday" as the Script Message.
  3. To include a tag or custom field that will automatically be applied when your volunteer sends this response, click the “Advanced Options” drop-down menu.
  4. Check either “Tag the contact” and/or “Update custom field of the contact” depending on which you'd like to use.
  5. Within the box that appears, select the appropriate tag(s) and/or custom field(s) you'd like to be automatically applied.

Once you've applied these settings to your action, your contacts will automatically have a tag or custom field value applied to them each time the corresponding response is sent. If the VAN Integration is set up, that data will be sent to VAN. This will save you and your volunteers a ton of time - no need to fill out manual reports!

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Frequently Asked Questions: Tags and Custom Fields

What is the difference between Tags and Custom Fields?

Tags and Custom Fields are the way Impactive allows you to track the results of your program. Tags use a simple yes-or-no response to a question and are marked by toggling the corresponding button on/off within Impactive reports. Whereas, custom fields are answers to multiple choice questions (strong supporter, supporter, undecided, leans against, strong against).

 

How do you ensure your tags and custom fields are synced to your voter database (ie VAN or PDI)?

For instructions on how to sync tags to your voter database, please check out our Help Center article on Setting up Sync Instructions for VAN. The instructions are similar for other voter databases. 

It’s vital that you either set up this integration, or make a plan as a team to regularly export the tags and reports from Impactive. You can learn more about how to find these metrics in our Metrics Deep Dive Help Center article.

 

How do you edit, deactivate or update your tags? 

Navigate to the Tags page within the DATA tab. Click on the three dot ellipses at the right of each tag to edit, deactivate, or delete the tag. We recommend that if you do not want the tag to be visible anymore, but you’d like the data to remain, that you deactivate the tag.

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How do you edit, deactivate or update your custom fields?

Navigate to the Custom Fields page within the DATA tab. Click on the three dot ellipses at the right of each custom field to edit, deactivate, or delete the custom field. We recommend that if you do not want the custom field to be visible anymore, but you’d like the data to remain, that you deactivate the custom field.

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How do you update the listed visual order of your tags?

You can write in an integer number (ie 1,2,3…) into the Display Order field when you are creating or editing a tag. The tag will show up visually in that display order. 

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