Infusionsoft Tags vs Custom Fields: Which Should I Use?
One of the many reasons why Infusionsoft is the preferred choice of customer relationship management (CRM) software is because it allows for deep-level customization of contacts. Rather than simply building a single, massive list of contacts, you can split it up into several groups based on behavior, country of origin, demographics, and other key indicators through the use of tags and custom fields, something we’re going to discuss further in today’s blog post.
Many newcomers to Infusionsoft – and even some seasoned users – are confused when it comes to custom fields and tags. They assume tags and custom fields are used for the same purpose, and that there’s no real difference between the two. While both elements are in fact used to categorize contacts based on a specific criteria, there are some major differences between the two that shouldn’t go unnoticed.
Maximum Number of Tags and Custom Fields
One of the many differences between tags and custom fields is the max limit users are allowed. Infusionsoft users are allowed to have a maximum of 100 custom fields per each record. If you plan on adding more than 100, you’ll need to create a separate record to which to apply the custom field. This is in stark contrast to tags, which does not have a limit.
Merging Into Emails and Tasks
The content placed within custom fields can be merged into your emails or tasks, enhancing the user experience by personalizing it according to your target demographic. If you have a custom field value for users who added a product to their shopping cart but didn’t buy it, for instance, you can create a personalized email with a special promotion code, enticing them to come back and purchase the item. This is a highly effective (and easy) way to boost your online sales.
The values within tags can be used to guide contacts to an offer or task; however, they cannot be used to customize the email or task. This must be done manually (if you are using tags), or you can place the values within a custom field.
Arguably, one of the biggest differences between tags and custom fields is automation. Infusionsoft tags can be used to start the automation process for a campaign. Once you’ve created a campaign and laid out the steps necessary to “convert” a user, you can use tags to initiate the process. Custom fields – assuming they are completed through an online form – can also fire the automation process for a campaign, but populating a custom field record will not initiate the process.
Which One Should I Choose?
By now you should have a general understanding of the nuances between tags and custom fields. Granted, they are both used for the purpose of categorizing contacts, they differ in terms of max limit, automation, and the ability to merge into the emails and tasks. So, should you be using tags or custom fields in your Infusionsoft campaign?
Because every business is unique, there’s really no clear winner in the battle between tags versus custom fields. Think about what your goals and objects are for launching an Infusionsoft campaign – and how you plan on funneling contacts to meet these goals – and then choose the solution that’s best suited for your particular needs. While tags may work best for one business, custom fields may deliver a greater level of success to another business. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing between tags and custom fields.
If you plan on merging the information/values into an email – whether it’s now or later down the road – you should use a custom field. As mentioned above, only custom fields can be merged into emails and tasks. You can always manually input contact information into your emails, but the beauty of Infusionsoft is that it automates all of the small things like this so you aren’t forced to micromanage your campaigns.
When categorizing contacts into smaller groups (e.g. men, women, age range, income, new vs existing customer, etc.), it’s recommended that you use tags. Since there’s no limit on the number of tags you can have, business owners can refine their contact lists by breaking them down into smaller groups. And once you’ve done this, you can create more personalized emails and tasks that really hit home with the target user.
Tags should also be used in situations where the action should trigger automation. In other words, if you want a new step to occur based on information, you should create a campaign with the respective tag. Custom fields can also be used to trigger campaigns, but they come with additional restrictions and limitations, which is why it’s best to stick with tags for this reason.
Can the contact have two or more values for the item? If so, you’ll want to use a tag instead of a custom field. If a customer has purchased an entry-level membership to one of your programs, for instance, there’s a chance that he or she may upgrade to another membership. To properly track this customer, you simply add a tag for each membership he or she buys.
The Bottom Line
Both tags and custom fields have their rightful place in the world of Infusionsoft. They allow for a deeper level of customization and automation, which is the entire purpose of the software. In order take full advantage of Infusionsoft and everything it has to offer, however, you’ll need to know when to use tags and when to use custom fields.
I recommend using tags and custom fields, depending on circumstance. Familiarize yourself with the characteristics of each by going through the information listed above and add values and information to your contacts using the appropriate method. It may take some trial and error, but you’ll eventually find the magic formula that works for your specific needs.
Do you use tags, custom fields or both? Let us know in the comments section below!