Infusionsoft Users: How To Never Run Out Of Custom Fields

Categories: Blog, Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft Users: How To Never Run Out Of Custom Fields

"But I only have 100 Infusionsoft custom fields!" That's what I hear from countless clients. "How can I take advantage of your type of data collection Jermaine when I've only got 13 left?" 

Great question.

Having access to dozens of private clients' accounts, more often than not, the problem is not the finite number of Infusionsoft custom fields available. The problem is usually failure to adhere to the two requirements first introduced in my Peak Potential Profits program. The "Data Collection Rule" (D.C.R.), as I've coined it, gives you two and only two reasons to ever create custom fields inside Infusionsoft.

Data Collection Rule (D.C.R.)

Only use custom fields on Actionable Data you plan to...

1) Merge into future communications.

-or-

2) Use as conditions or rules to determine future marketing steps.

Let's look at each of these...

Merging data into future communications

At Hearandplay.com, I collect favorite style of music and experience level in the very beginning of the sales process. These are perfect examples of "mergeable" data because they go into the database simply as "jazz," "gospel," blues," "pop," or "beginner," "intermediate," "advanced."

In future communications, regardless of whether they pick "jazz" or "blues," or whether they're a "beginner" or "advanced" player, I can put together sentences in my e-mails like:

Today's blog post deals with creative and unique ways to quickly find the key of a song. For ~Contact.Experience~ ~Contact.Style~ musicians like you, I cannot overemphasize the importance of continually sharpening this skill.
Today's blog post deals with creative and unique ways to quickly find the key of a song. For intermediate jazz musicians like you, I cannot overemphasize the importance of continually sharpening this skill.

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 10.42.04 AMNow, in order for this to work, I can't let them type in their favorite style or experience level because I can't predict what they'll enter. For my own surveying purposes, that'd be fine but as it relates to D.C.R., it wouldn't quite qualify to be one of my precious 100 custom fields. (More on an unlimited method to collect as much open-ended data as you want later in this post).

Instead, I let them choose their favorite style and experience level from a drop down menu.

If you're letting them type in data, it probably doesn't qualify to be a custom field

That doesn't mean you don't collect open-ended questions. I'll cover how to do this shortly. But as for bonafide custom fields, you'll most likely be using drop down menus, radio buttons, or checkboxes.

(Incidentally, there is an advanced technique I cover in my program and may summarize later in a blog post that advocates using the "text" field type but changing the code "after-the-fact" to be a drop-down menu, radio button set, or list of checkboxes. This is the better way to go for several reasons --- one being flexibility and freedom to have, say, 5 different forms show up to 5 different people with 5 different set of answers based on previous data or behavior; yet, the response goes into ONE "open" custom field.)

Using data as conditions or rules to determine future marketing steps.

This is the only other reason I'd use a custom field. Perhaps, it isn't data you'd exactly want to merge in an e-mail to make it seem more personal. But perhaps it IS data you can use in a decision diamond or condition (if using legacy) to determine what path to take a prospect down.

To be honest, it's rather hard to find "external" actionable data that isn't mergeable. But if you're a Peak Potential Profits member, you'll know there is a whole other class of information called "internal data." This isn't what they tell you but rather what they DO... and infinitely more important.

In our system, this might be things like:

  • # of e-mail clicks
  • # of membership logins
  • Total $ spent
  • Total number of transactions
  • Last purchase date
  • Days between lead date and first purchase
  • Last login date
  • Content rating (they choose 1-5 stars)
  • # of content pieces consumed (videos, reports, etc)
  • Lead score

Not only are these great metrics to measure on a mass level, but on an individual, personal level, they allow me to send users into a certain direction based on behavior, activity, and data.

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 11.13.29 AM

Simply put, if you can't merge it or use it, you need to lose it.

So what do I do when I need to collect other pieces of data for our sales process?

I totally understand that D.C.R. applies more to automated processes than human-heavy offline sales processes. Here's an example of my consulting page, where I ask a lot of open-ended questions that would never make great personalized merges in e-mails and cannot be used in decision diamonds (thus not qualifying to be custom fields):

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 10.27.38 AM

Let's be clear.

I'm not saying you shouldn't collect open-ended data. And this does not mean that D.C.R.-approved data is more valuable than others. As you can see, I choose to collect a LOT of open-ended questions. I don't want every client. In fact, I turn down 9 out of 10. I'm sure I deter even more that never get to me because of the number of questions (NEVER ask more than a question or two on opt-in forms but on qualifying questionnaires like the aforementioned, the rules are different).

So again, this is a very Infusionsoft-specific rule and relates to the problem of only having 100 custom fields. If Infusionsoft ever ends up giving us unlimited custom fields, then this rule isn't as important anymore (but could be argued still relevant for data organization and sanity!)

I digress.

So if you had similar needs, how do you collect this type of open-ended data so your sales rep can look over it and respond accordingly?

Answer: By using "PERSON NOTES."

"Person Notes" show up as a tab on the top of every contact record. It acts as a diary, allowing you to make entries to it over time. It also works as unlimited storage for all the custom fields and data collection that doesn't qualify under D.C.R.

When creating or editing a web form, all you do is select the "PERSON NOTES" option instead of creating a new custom field. Whether using classic/"drag n drop" or campaign builder, here's how it looks in either case:

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 11.20.54 AM

And the cool thing about it is whatever you label the field shows up in the person notes like this:

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 11.25.36 AM

So in this post, we've accomplished a lot.

I've given you two rules for evaluating your current and future custom fields and data collection strategy. We even covered several examples of both. Then I gave you a way to collect as much open-ended data as you want! Unlimited!

Time to take inventory. What percentage of your current fields are mergeable and actionable to alter the direction of a campaign? 10%? 30%? 90%?

If you're guilty of wasting fields on data you never see or use again, I recommend exporting the data, combining it in excel, and then importing it back in as Person Notes. Then, deleting those wasteful fields and collecting all new data via person notes... reserving all future custom fields for actionable and/or mergeable data!

While long and detailed, this post only scratches the surface. If you want the whole strategy, check out my home study program (30+ hours).

Until next time -





More Posts:





Infusionsoft Users: Home Study Course & Secret Plugin Library! Now Available!


Click here for more information and free 4-video preview series

6 Responses to “Infusionsoft Users: How To Never Run Out Of Custom Fields”

  1. Great article.

    Only issue is that Infusionsoft doesn't allow you have a text area in a form and allow it to append to personal notes. You can only have text fields. So if you are asking for elaboration on the questions you're asking, they will only be able to type in a single line, not a multi line text area. This is big drawback on this method.

    Author
  2. J Griggs (PERMALINK)

    It definitely lets you have text area. You can do whatever you want. Simply google the code for text area and make sure the name field stays the same.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s

    < input type=“text” name=“ABC” >

    or

    < textarea name=“ABC” > < /textarea >

    As long as name stays the same as “ABC” the data will go in.

    Author
    • Thanks for your reply Jermaine.

      I don't completely understand the method you're referring to.

      I'm referring to when you create a web form in the campaign builder. When you drag the "Other" type from the "Field Snippits" menu, if you set it to be saved in a custom field that is a text area, you get a text area in your form. If you set it to "Append to personal notes" Infusionsoft doesn't allow it to be a text area. It can only be a single line text field.

      I've been on the phone and on chat with Infusionsoft trying to work out solution to this and can't find one. That's where I came across this article, by searching Google for a solution.

      We've tried using Gravity Forms and the integration with Infusionsoft and that can't do it.

      As far as I can ascertain, the only way would be through the Infusionsoft API. Is that the method you're referring to?

      Author
      • J Griggs (PERMALINK)

        Toby,

        Once again, your solution is a 5 minute solution.

        Here’s exactly what you do but it will take using the custom html code (not the javascript).

        Step 1: Get your code (html code so you can see each individual field, not the one-line javascript version as you cannot alter that).

        Step 2: Copy the code to your site, page, etc.

        Note: I originally thought your line about it being a single text field was true for the html code but turns out it’s already a textarea just like you want it. No changes needed. Go figure. Here’s an example of my two steps: http://www.hearandplay.com/examplefortoby.html

        All the best,

        JG

        Author
        • That's ridiculous.

          I called twice and two different people at Infusionsoft were telling me it's not possible. They said it's hard coded that way and that the only way could be through the API, but their not trained in that.

          Not that I see it, it's such a simple solution.

          Thanks so much Jermaine. Very much appreciated.

          Author

Hide me
Sign up below to receive my 26-pg report on how to make more while working less with automation...
       
Show me