Custom Contact Field Overview

ActiveCampaign provides default fields for storing information about your contacts. You can also use custom contact fields to collect additional information important to your business.

In this article, we'll discuss:

How to create a custom contact field

You can create an unlimited number of custom contact fields. In addition, they can be created from the following places in your account: the Manage Fields page, any contact profile page, any inline form, and the import contacts page. We’ll walk through each option in this section.

Create a custom contact field from the Manage Fields page

1. Click either “Forms” or “Lists” located in the left-side menu.

2. Click "Manage Fields."

3. Click the "Contacts" tab on the Manage Fields page.

4. Click the “New Custom Contact Field” button in the top-right corner.

5. Select the type of field you would like to add and click "Next."

6. Customize the field option by providing a name and option values (if applicable).

7. Click the "Add Contact Field" button.

Create a Custom Contact Field from a Contact Profile page

1. From the Contact Overview page, click on any contact's name.

2. Click the "Add Field" button located on the top right of the "Info" box.

3. Select the type of field you would like to create and click "Next."

4. Customize the field option by providing a name and option values (if applicable).

5. Click the "Add Contact Field" button.

Create a Custom Contact FIeld from an Inline Form

1.  From the Forms overview page, click "Edit" for the form you would like to create a new custom field for.

2. Click the "Add Custom Field" button located under the "Fields" tab.

3. Select the type of field you would like to create and click "Next."

4. Customize the field option by providing a name and option values (if applicable).

5. Click the "Add Contact Field" button.

Create a custom contact field from the Import contacts page

When you import contacts from a CSV, you can create new custom contact fields right from the import page.

1. From the Contacts Overview page, click the "Import" button.

2. Click the "Import from File" button.

3. Select the CSV file to import. 

4. When mapping CSV columns with fields, you can create a new field by clicking the "Map into field" dropdown > "[Add New Field]."

Once a custom contact field is created, it will be located under "Contacts" on the Manage Fields page where you can edit it.

In addition, any new field you create will automatically appear for all contacts and will appear in the segment builder as a condition under the Custom Contact Fields category. You can use this condition to create list segments for email campaigns, “If/Else” forks in automations, set up “Split test” automations, update a deal or contact score, create Goal actions in automations, create conditional content in campaigns and automation emails, and more.

Custom contact field types

Our custom contact fields feature is robust and flexible. You can create a variety of different custom field types:

  • Text input
    This is a traditional text input field that collects a short piece of data that a contact would type. You can use this to collect short, typed responses from contacts when they submit a form, for example, a name or phone number.
  • Text area
    This field type offers allows contacts to type multiple lines of text, allowing you to collect more data. You can use this to collect longer typed responses from contacts when they submit a form, for example, multi-sentence answers to a question on a form, notes, etc.
  • Date
    This is used to specify a date and includes month, day, and year and can be used to collect birth dates, anniversaries, events, and more. The date field in a form uses the following format: YYYY-MM-DD. Upon form submission, the date will convert to the date format you have created in your account. If you do not wish to use this date display format, you must use a text input field to collect date information instead. In addition, if importing a CSV file, date fields should also use a YYYY-MM-DD format.
  • Drop-down menu
    This uses a predefined set of options that contacts can select when submitting a form. This field type is recommended if you have ten or more options for contacts to choose from. If you have less than ten options, use a Radio button field instead.
  • Multi-selection list
    This field type displays a list of predefined options that contacts can choose from. Contacts will need to shift-click to choose more than one answer option for this field.
  • Radio button
    This custom field type functions the same as the drop-down menu field type; contacts can only choose one answer from a list of predefined answers. However, the visual representation is different.
  • Check box(es)
    This custom field type allows contacts to choose one or more answer options from a predefined list of options.
  • Hidden field
    This custom field type is a text field and is not visible to contacts. You can use this to assign pieces of information to contacts when they submit a form. Read more about hidden fields here.

Update a custom deal field value

Custom contact field values can be updated in the following ways:

  • Manually on the contact profile page
  • When a contact submits a form
  • CSV import
  • Bulk editor
  • "Update contact" automation action
  • Through an integration or the API

Edit a custom contact field

You can edit any custom contact field you create. To do so, go to to the Manage FIelds page in your account and click “Edit” next to any custom contact field to display additional configuration options.

You will be able to edit the following:

  • Field name
    This is the name of the field you created. Once updated, the change will be reflected on the Manage Fields page, contact profile pages, any automations that refer to this field, and the segment builder. The field name will not be updated on any forms that refer to this field.
  • Edit or add value options (if applicable)
    This applies to dropdown, radio button, check box, or multi select field types only. Here you can edit the value options you've already created, add new value options, remove a value option, or change the order in which the value options appear.
  • Set a default value for your field
    Some of your contacts may not have a value for a field you create, and will appear as blank. With the default value, you can select which value should show in that custom field for your contact instead of no value. Read more about default values.

Clicking the "Visible on forms" box will let you use this field on inline forms. By default, this box is checked for all fields.

Clicking the "Show Advanced" option will let you specify which lists will use this custom field. By default, all fields are set to "All Lists."

See this help article to learn how to delete a custom contact field. 

Personalization tags

Each contact field in your account will come with a personalization tag. You can use personalization tags to dynamically insert a field's value into your communications.

To use a personalization tag in a campaign or automation email, click the "Personalize" button that appears when you click on a Text Block:

Then click the personalization tag you would like to insert into your email.

Using custom contact fields

Custom contact fields can be used for more than just storing contact data. For example, you can use these fields to:

  • Trigger automations
    Trigger an automation to run based on a date-based field or when the value of a field changes.
  • Use custom contact fields in the segment builder
    All custom contact fields you create will be available in the segment builder. You can use this condition to create list segments for email campaigns, “If/Else” forks in automations, set up “Split test” automations, update a deal or contact score, create Goal actions in automations, and more.
  • Collect information from contacts (inline forms only)
    Use custom fields to collect additional information from contacts when they submit a form.
  • Personalize communications
    Increase engagement with your campaigns and automation emails with personalization tags. When a personalization tag is used in a campaign or automation email, the value of that tag will automatically be inserted once the communication is sent to a contact. When the contact opens the communication, they will see the value for that tag and not the tag itself.
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