When do I use custom fields and when do I use tags?

You can use both custom fields and tags to register additional information about a contact. Sometimes there is some overlap in when to use a custom field or a tag.

Custom fields are particularly suitable for storing permanent data about a contact, or information that does not change easily. For example, think of a phone number, date of birth, address, and more. An important advantage of custom fields is that personalisation tags are created for them, meaning you can include the personal data of a contact in your campaigns using this tag.

Tags are suitable for information that can change quickly. They are very useful for segmentation because you can easily filter your lists based on tags, but you cannot include this information in your campaigns.

Some examples to make the difference clear:

  • You use a tag to indicate that someone uses Instagram, while you would use a custom field to register someone's Instagram account. Now, based on the tag, you can easily find out who in your lists uses Instagram, and you can use the custom field to integrate the personal Instagram account of your contacts into your campaigns using a personalisation tag.
  • You use a tag to indicate if someone is a customer, while you use a custom field to note the customer's order number.
  • You use a tag to indicate that someone has downloaded an ebook, but you use a custom field to indicate on which date the contact downloaded it.

Both tags and custom fields can be used for:

  • Segments
  • Advanced search
  • If/else step (in an automation)
  • Automation goals
  • Automation triggers
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