Collecting Contact Data

Learn how to collect additional information from your contacts, which you can use to personalize their messages in the future.

Sean Griffith avatar
Written by Sean Griffith
Updated over a week ago

Whether you’re communicating with five or five hundred customers, personalizing your text messages helps to elevate the customer experience. With keyword-based Data Collection, you can collect even more information from your contacts to customize your messages!

What is Data Collection?

Data collection is a tool that allows you to ask your contacts to share information via text, such as their name, email, zip code, or product preferences.

This info is stored safely in your SimpleTexting account and can be used to personalize future campaigns. This app can be activated on your keyword(s) to collect one or more of the following Custom Fields:

  • Contact first name

  • Contact last name

  • Contact email

  • Note

Follow along with this video to get started with Data Collection.

SimpleTexting Tip — Set Up a Keyword First☝️

To use data collection, you need to set up a keyword first. Haven’t set up a keyword yet? We’ve got you covered. Here’s how.

Setting Up Data Collection

1. Log in to your SimpleTexting dashboard and click Apps on the left-hand panel. 

2. Next, click Data Collection

3. If you haven’t created a keyword yet, create one. If you already have a keyword, skip to the next step.

4. After you've created a keyword, click Add data collection.

5. Select the keyword you want to use. For this example, we’ll use the keyword “secretclub." 

6. Choose whether or not you'd like your contacts to receive your auto-confirmation message before your data collection prompts.

7. Check the fields you'd like to collect. If you've created additional custom fields in your account, they'll also appear on the Data Collection app screen. (See this article for more about Custom Fields.)

For this example, let’s collect contacts’ first names. You can keep the default prompt or rewrite it. In this instance, we changed it to “What’s your first name?”

You can also put these questions in whatever order you'd like.

8. If you'd like, you can include a follow-up message for contacts who complete all of your data collection prompts. Check the box to the left, then customize it if you wish.

9. Click Create data collection, and you’re finished! 

Now, when someone texts in your keyword, they’ll receive a text asking for the info you’d like. You can use their response to personalize your texts in the future or export their data at any time.

FAQs About Data Collection:

Here are a few data collection FAQs.

1. Is the Data Collection Tool Free, or Does It Use Credits?

All outgoing messages use credits, so messages sent out from Data Collection do as well. However, there is no cost involved in using the data collection app.

2. What If a Contact Doesn't Respond?

If a contact has responded to one or more of your prompts, their data will be available for the Custom Fields feature.

If a contact does not respond (or partially responds), then the fields where their data would be will show up as a blank space in messages.

3. Will Past Contacts Receive My Data Collection Prompts?

If you enable data collection on a keyword that you’ve already used (or are currently using) to add contacts to a list, the existing contacts in that list won’t receive prompts.

The Data Collection feature is only activated when new contacts opt in to your keyword.

Alternatively, you can send a campaign to your list, asking them to text the keyword so that the data collection is triggered.

4. I Want to Collect Info Besides the Default Fields.

Use the Note field, or, better yet, create a new custom field. This will allow you to prompt your contacts to respond with practically any information that you can think of: dietary restrictions, disability-related needs, favorite sports teams, favorite Weird Al Yankovic albums, and more.

Is the Info I Collect Secure?

While our platform is encrypted, text messages are not a secure form of communication or data transmission, and the transmission of personal information, passwords, or protected/confidential information via SMS is strongly discouraged.

Be sure to check with your organization’s compliance team or legal counsel regarding the type of information that can and/or should be collected via texts.

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