In this series of short blog posts, we'll provide a high-level overview of some of the key features within CRM software. Today, we're looking at Custom Fields. We'll cover what exactly they are, how they work, what they do and how they can be used to improve productivity and customer relationships. We'll also show some specific examples of how companies are utilising them to grow their business.

Let's jump right in...

What are custom fields within a CRM?

We all know that CRMs are excellent central hubs for all of your customer, lead and prospect information/contact history. As soon as you get setup, all CRMs will store standardised contact information like name, email and phone number. But what happens when you need to collect and store more unique information about your customers that is specific to your business?

That's where custom fields come in handy. Using custom fields, you can capture and store data on anything from your customers' favourite ice cream flavours to their preferred movie genres or even underpants size, directly in your CRM for your whole team to access.

Custom fields are like secret compartments in your CRM where you can store all sorts of unique information about your customers that is highly specific to your business. 

Why custom fields are important to your business

Put simply, they allow businesses to collect and store specific information about their customers that is unique to their business. By using custom fields to capture specific information about your customers, you can tailor your interactions with them, which can lead to more sales and happier customers.

Personalised communication has long been understood by marketers to improve conversion rates across the board and it totally makes sense...

When you have a better understanding of your customers' needs and preferences, you can create more targeted marketing campaigns, offer personalized recommendations, and provide better customer service. This not only improves customer satisfaction but also increases customer loyalty and retention.

How to add a custom field in Active Campaign

Any good CRM in 2023 will come with some kind of custom field feature. If you're looking at a CRM that doesn't include them, we strongly advice you don't use it! Creating them usually involves navigating to your settings and creating them there. They can be created and stored in many different data formats that can be utilised in different ways.

Think of a fashion brand, if they knew whether your size was M, L or XL for example, it would make sense to store that information in a CRM so that it could be used to better tailor marketing campaigns.

For example, they could use this information to create a segment of customers that are XL in size and add them to an email campaign promoting 50% off all XL T-shirts.

Common custom field data formats:

Checkbox: A field that allows users to select one or more options from a list of predefined options.

  1. Boolean: A "Yes" or "No" option, typically represented by a checkbox or toggle switch.
  2. Text: Free-form text, such as a name or a description.
  3. Number: Numerical values, such as a quantity or a price.
  4. Date: Specific date or date range, such as a birthday or a subscription start/end date.
  5. Dropdown: A list of predefined options, allowing them to select a single option from the list.
  6. Radio button: A list of predefined options, allowing them to select a single option from the list. Unlike a dropdown, all options are visible and can be selected with a single click.
  7. Multi-select: Select multiple options from a list of options you predefine.

10 specific ways to utilise custom fields in your marketing campaigns

Custom fields can be extremely useful in helping you to tailor communications to your customers. With a complex buyer journey involved in something like a software/SaaS company, they can be particularly useful in helping a business to automate many core functions. See some examples below:

SaaS Startup

  1. Subscription plan - tailor feature announcements i.e. only send an email to those on plan type: A
  2. Account subscription date - automate subscription renewal reminders
  3. Feature usage frequency - remind users that aren't using specific features that this is available to them
  4. Integration preferences - alert specific users of upcoming integrations in a given category
  5. Industry/vertical of the customer - provide tailored advice specific to a customers' industry

eCommerce Company

  1. Purchase history - use purchase history to personalize product recommendations and promotions for each customer.
  2. Product preferences - capture customer preferences and use them to curate personalized product collections.
  3. Favorite brands - identify which brands are most popular among your customers and use this information to optimize inventory and marketing campaigns.
  4. Clothing size - capture customer clothing sizes and use this information to provide more accurate product recommendations and ensure a better fit for clothing purchases.
  5. Shipping address - capture multiple shipping addresses for each customer, allowing them to easily send gifts or have orders shipped to different locations.

So there you have it - hopefully that gives you an idea of how powerful custom fields can be when used correctly. Custom fields are a fun and practical way for businesses to supercharge their CRM efforts and grow their business. The sky is the limit, use your imagination to come up with all sorts of creative information to store and create ever more tailored marketing communications!

Remember, any good CRM in 2023 should come with a custom field feature. So, be sure to explore the full potential of custom fields and get creative with the information you store. Thank you for reading, and we hope this post has been informative and useful.

Thanks for spending some time with us and we hope you found this content useful.

Meet the author

Sam Cassman is a seasoned growth marketer with over 10 years of experience as growth marketer for startups and small businesses. He is the founder of Toksta, a research technology company that helps businesses find and purchase the best software and SaaS. Sam has also run his own growth marketing consultancy Honest Growth, where he helped numerous clients to grow their businesses, including Eventcube, Baluu, Obby, and NBM Group.

Learn More About Sam