Note: this feature is available only to Feathr users on a Falcon or above Service Level Agreement.
Although the default data fields available in feathr are robust, there are many reasons you may need to create additional fields in order to use Feathr most successfully for your own purposes. Luckily, Falcon and above Feathr users can create custom data fields to better manage data, and those fields can be mapped in many useful ways.
What is Custom Data?
In Feathr, all people data is saved in a collection of fields within person records. Your Feathr account includes a number of default fields in every person record that are generally useful for your database and marketing needs. These fields are familiar to most users and examples include name, email, occupation, etc. Because these fields are considered personally identifiable information, they are not populated with data unless you import it, but they are available to be populated in every Feathr account.
Custom data is any field the Feathr user adds that is not already a default option in Feathr. Many Feathr users need to track or utilize data they have access to—usually from a CRM, additional marketing software, or email list—but has no "home" in Feathr until it is created by the user. Creating these fields is simple and this article will show you how.
Custom Fields Use Cases
There are a number of reasons you may need to create custom fields in Feathr. The two primary use cases are:
- Importing people data from a source outside Feathr for Email Marketing Campaigns.
- Connecting a different data-handling platform, such as a CRM, to Feathr in order to automate data transfer between platforms.
- Building target Groups based on data you have collected outside of Feathr.
For every case listed above, the same option is presented as the solution: custom data fields.
Let's say a previous marketing software or website form you've used has collected data on those who have donated to your organization, and you need to be able to market differently to past donors than you would to non-donors. You may want to create a custom field labeled "donor status," which would enable you to sort your people data by that status and generate marketing strategies accordingly. Let's learn how to create the field, and then learn how to populate it with data.
Creating Custom Fields
To create a custom field in Feathr, log in to Feathr and navigate to the Community menu. Once you're in the Community view, you will see a sub menu option on the left labeled Custom Fields. Navigate there, then locate the blue button in the top right labeled "+ Create Custom Field." Click that and you will be taken to a brief form.
If the custom data you wish to add is person data, choose Person under the collection dropdown. If it is related to web activity, choose Activity.
Person data is defined by a person's attributes, such as name, email, phone number, etc. Web activity relates to pages viewed, ads clicked, etc.
Note: "person" data is commonly called "contact" data in other platforms and CRMs.
Name the new custom field using the same name as it appears in the original data source, which might be your CRM, your website lead form, or your donor or event management platform. Giving it the same name is crucial for later syncing Feathr to that original data source.
Choose the appropriate data type in the next dropdown. The description field is optional but may help you and your colleagues understand or remember this field in the future.
Choose Next, and if everything is correct on the next page, choose Submit. This will create a new blank custom field in every person record in your Feathr account. Next, let's learn how to populate that data.
Populating Custom Data Fields
Because custom data fields are by definition not included in the default set of Feathr data fields, they will be blank until you populate them. There are three ways to populate custom data fields:
- With data imports
- Through platform integrations, such as Zapier
To populate custom data fields manually, you can navigate to any person record and hand-edit that field to type in anything you want. This is the least likely option, unless you intend to maintain a very small number of records this way.
To populate custom data fields via import, use the data import process outlined in this article, and label one of the columns in your import document the exact same name you gave the custom data field. Feathr will natively interpret that data and populate the custom field for any people records you include in your import. You can also import first and create a custom field in the mapping step of the import. That process is defined in the linked article.
Lastly, you can integrate your third-party data sources to Feathr using Zapier, which you can set up to communicate data in both directions between Feathr and hundreds of other apps. As long as your original data source has a Zapier integration (search Zapier's directory here), you can connect it to Feathr by creating a custom data field with an identical name to the original source's field, and build a "zap" in Zapier to reconcile the two data locations in real time. Find out more about Feathr's Zapier integration, including instructions for setting it up in your account, here.