Name Your Fields to Prevent Data Issues
Your field names are used to link contact data between features and systems. To keep your marketing data correct and useful to your business, it is very important to confirm that these names are consistent across all areas where they are used.
This is not a one-time setup – you should revisit your field naming often to make data is flowing as expected.
It is a best practice to make some decisions about your marketing data before working with it in Act-On. Consult with your team (including your CRM administrator) about:
Which fields to use in Act-On
Most businesses track lots of data points about customers, but not all of these are needed for marketing. Importing only the necessary marketing fields to your Act-On account will make the system easier to navigate and prevent confusion.
How to name these fields
Each field should have a name that is descriptive and unique, but standard to your overall naming system. This makes it significantly easier to locate customer information when needed. Also, limit the number of fields that track the same type of data (first name, email, etc.), since this duplication can result in misalignment in list data.
If you are tracking two email fields for your prospects, name them "Personal Email" and "Office Email" to make a clear distinction. This is much more usable than "email" and "email2" or "Pers_Email" and "Email_Office." It is also worth reconfirming that you need to store two emails for your marketing purposes.
Once you have made some decisions about these points, apply them consistently throughout your CRM and Act-On. We also recommend revisiting your data periodically to ensure that it is still well organized.
Remember: If you are experiencing frequent issues with field mapping, re-assessing these questions will help significantly.
Areas in Act-On
These are the features within Act-On to check for field consistency. This page will use the field "Name" as an example.
Make sure to set up Act-On's Standard Field Names in a way that is aligned with the fields in your lists/CRM. This helps the system know ahead of time where to locate this important data.
When you create Form inputs, the Field Name and List Column Name must match your Form Submission List exactly (they are case sensitive). If these names do not match, the submitted data for this field will not be recorded on your list or in your CRM.
After entering these field mapping values, check your corresponding list. They must match the name of a list column.
If Act-On is pushing forms or lists to your integrated CRM, check that the Field Names in your CRM match the corresponding fields in Act-On you are pushing/pulling. There are three areas to check:
- First, check the field objects in your CRM. If you are unsure about the setup of your CRM, make sure to speak with the administrator(s). Act-On Support does not have access to your CRM configuration.
- Next, in Act-On’s CRM Admin area, make sure that this same field is checked for syncing.
- Finally, in the Import/Export settings on a CRM List sync, click Add List Columns and make sure that field is selected:
When using personalization text or Dynamic Content in email messages, make sure you are using the same field name.
If you are using an external form that posts to Act-On, make sure you use the exact same name for your form input.
If your field names will include special characters beyond those typically found in email addresses (@, spaces, dashes, underscores, periods, etc.), we recommend testing that your data is being recorded and/or synced before publishing to your live website with customer information.