Custom fields allow you to upload information about your contacts beyond our standard fields (first name, last name, and phone number). Custom fields have two main uses in ThruText: to add information to a message script or to append information that you want available on export. For example, if you want to send a message containing the name and address of a contact's polling location, you will need to upload that information as custom fields. Or you might want to upload a database ID from a system like VAN or Action Kit so you can pull data back from ThruText into those systems after a texting campaign is complete.

The following article will walk you through how to create and use custom fields in your campaigns.

Important Note: Custom fields are limited to 255 characters.

Create a custom field

Before you can map any custom field to your group upload, you must first create the custom field in your accountStart by going to the Custom Fields section under the Account Tools menu:

Next, click "New Custom Field" 

Then, specify a title and code for your custom field — the code is just a shorter version of the name that will be used for inserting the field into messages. For example, if the custom field is Polling Location, you might choose PollLoc as the custom field code. 

Editing a custom field

You can edit a custom field's name or code by clicking the "Edit" button to the right of the field.

Once you've completed your edits, click "Update" to save your changes and return to the custom field landing page:

Archiving a custom field

The archive button is a convenient way to clean up your list of custom fields and hide custom fields that you are no longer using. Archived custom fields will be hidden from view while uploading new groups to eliminate unwanted clutter from your field mapping.

Archiving a custom field simply hides the field from use on new uploads — the field will remain attached and in use on all existing groups that it is mapped to and can be unarchived later if you would like to use the field again at a later date.

An archived custom field will still be viewable from the custom fields main page and will be denoted with an "archived" tag. Use the "unarchive" button to make the field usable again on group uploads:

Deleting a custom field

Custom fields can only be deleted if they have never been used on a group. Once a custom field has been used on any group upload, it can only be archived or edited. You will see a "delete" button in place of the "archive" button if your custom field is unused and able to be deleted:

Including a custom field in exports

1-3 Custom fields can be configured to be included in your exports. Simply edit the custom field and check the "Include in Exports?" box and update. You may need to edit a custom field to remove the  "Include in Exports?" flag to add a new custom field if the maximum of 3 is already set.

This is how it will appear in your custom field index:

Note: If your account is configured with one of our integrations, you may want to check with support prior to removing an exportable custom field to ensure the health of your integration.