Best Practice Naming Conventions for ActiveCampaign Tags, Fields & Emails

by | Jun 28, 2022 | ActiveCampaign Tutorials

When you’re getting started with ActiveCampaign, whether you’re migrating from something else or starting from scratch, you’re going to need to name a lot of things.

And if you’ve been using ActiveCampaign a while now, or handed an existing account to work with, I bet there are already a lot of names of tags, fields, list and emails that are… unhelpful.

Actually, let’s be honest here…

Most ActiveCampaign accounts have a total mess of random confusing names for everything, to the point where it’s like someone peeled off all the labels on hundreds of cans, tins and jars, and just messed with them to make your life hard.

Badly named tags, lists and automations in ActiveCampaign lead to costly mistakes and hours of time lost and costly mistakes

Every ActiveCampaign account uses hundreds of names for things like lists, tags, automations, forms, custom fields, goals, segments, campaigns and more. Literally thousands of names will be in use for a big ActiveCampaign account.

You need an ActiveCampaign naming convention

Get your ActiveCampaign account organised enough that you can use it without getting lost, breaking stuff, or spending hours just looking for a tag and figuring out what it’s for, by using a system for naming things in ActiveCampaign.

Call it a naming convention, a tag taxonomy for ActiveCampaign, naming rules to use, or just plain best practice for naming stuff in ActiveCampaign.

Whatever it says on that tin, you need to know what’s in it and whether it’s safe to eat

Here’s the good news… Naming things in ActiveCampaign does not need to be stressful, confusing, or random.

All you need is a few tips for best practice, and a naming convention to follow, so it’s easy to quickly and clearly name your ActiveCampaign tags, emails, automations and forms….

Follow these steps for best naming conventions in ActiveCampaign:

Watch Kay Peacey on best practice for ActiveCampaign naming conventions (7 mins)

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Understand how naming conventions will save you time and money with ActiveCampaign

Why should you care enough to name tags, fields, forms and all the other ActiveCampaign things thoughtfully, and with a system, in your ActiveCampaign account?

Fair question – I could probably write at least twenty compelling reasons, but lets start with my top five…

5 reasons you need a naming convention for ActiveCampaign

  1. You and your team are humans, who need to understand what the named things in ActiveCampaign are, quickly, and reliably.
  2. You and your team need to be able to find things in ActiveCampaign really quickly, using search, and the alphabet.
  3. ActiveCampaign and the other tech tools you use need to be able to find things via their names.
  4. Every time you collaborate with someone, you will need to give them a map to your world, and explain what the names in ActiveCampaign mean.
  5. The most common underlying cause of error in ActiveCampaign automation is a mistake involving the name of something.

Tell me, do you care enough now to pay attention to naming stuff better in ActiveCampaign and use naming best practice?

If you’re just getting started now with ActiveCampaign, go straight to our free training Accelerated ActiveCampaign to see naming best practice in action while I give you a fast, expert tour of how to use ActiveCampaign.

Get our FREE Accelerated ActiveCampaign training now

Learn this simple best practice for naming Tags in ActiveCampaign

An ActiveCampaign tag by any other name does not smell as sweet – even tiny mistakes with tag names break integrations, mess up automations, make your brain hurt, and winds up with the wrong things happening for your customers, and a big time suck for your business.

Three tips for Tag naming best practice in ActiveCampaign

  1. Avoid Mixed Case
  2. Keep your tag names short
  3. Avoid special characters

Tag Taxonomy for ActiveCampaign examples

  • SOURCE: enquiry
  • REG: tips webinar
  • ADV: access

We can all work towards best practice when creating new tags in ActiveCampaign

Be warned though – changing existing tags once they’re in can be a tricky, risky job – we have guidance in our training in the ActiveCampaign Academy on how to do it safely, so if you are in a tag pickle, come see us and get help to fix it without breaking all the things on the way.

Learn more about our ActiveCampaign Academy membership
Fast, effective training & support for ActiveCampaign users everywhere

Create smart custom field names as you onboard or migrate to ActiveCampaign

Custom Field names that are too long are a really bad idea in ActiveCampaign.

Creating long field names happens really easily via ActiveCampaign Forms, where new ActiveCampaign users are not clearly shown the difference between a field label (what a person sees on the form) and a field name (the name of the field in the back end of ActiveCampaign, and how we find and work with it)

Three tips for creating custom field names in ActiveCampaign

  1. Use lower case with spaces
  2. Keep your field names short
  3. Avoid ambiguous field names

ActiveCampaign Custom Field names best practice examples

  • role
  • user registered
  • exit feelings

And here’s a warning to save you time and trouble when working with field names in an existing ActiveCampaign account…

Changing field names can be a really tricky, risky job – especially because emails in campaigns and automations, and any integration tech, need to use the exact matching characters of the field’s name, so that they can find and use field values for an ActiveCampaign contact.

We have guidance in our training in the ActiveCampaign Academy on how to name and re-name fields safely, so if you are in a custom fields pickle, come see us and get help to fix it without breaking stuff or losing data.

Learn more about our ActiveCampaign Academy membership
Fast, effective training & support for ActiveCampaign users everywhere

Know how to name ActiveCampaign emails Campaigns so you can find them easily

Email names are neglected in most ActiveCampaign accounts, and you only realise you messed up when you go to reports and contact activity, and can’t find anything you need. Big time suck – and totally avoidable…

Three tips for email names in ActiveCampaign:

1 For automation emails, include a short version of the automation name
2 For campaign emails, include keywords for the type of email it is
3 Never leave the name as blah blah blah (copy) – this is a recipe for disaster

Email names best practice examples for ActiveCampaign:

  • ONBOARDING: welcome and group invite
  • ONBOARDING: checkin
  • WEBINAR: prep worksheet

Email names are totally internal and separate from the subject line.

Smart email naming makes life sooooo much easier in ActiveCampaign – we teach a ton of shortcuts, time-savers and workflows to our members in the ActiveCampaign Academy that save them time and money every single week, and get their email building up to top speed and minimum effort.

Read 5 essential rules for best practice ActiveCampaign names taxonomy

You’re looking right now at your ActiveCampaign account and thinking “oh shit… I should have done these names differently…. Now what?”

5 rules for naming things better in ActiveCampaign

  1. Names must be human-friendly
    Make them readable, comprehensible and memorable
  2. Names must be short
    Front-loading and alphabetical common sense applies
  3. Names must be consistent
    Variations are the enemy of safer naming and will scupper the ship
  4. Names must not use special characters
    In my experience only : and – are truly safe in all circumstances
  5. Names must be documented
    Neglect this at your peril – do not rely on your memory or your team’s telepathy

Stick with the rules, and you’ll be less likely to get rhubarb when you wanted chilli.

Get more help with creating and using naming conventions in ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign Academy training with Kay Peacey

This is the minimum – there are more very useful things to know about naming stuff in ActiveCampaign – but you’ll have to come into the Academy to get your hands on our full training.

We offer training and support for Naming Things in ActiveCampaign, including rules, checklists, lots and lots of examples, and consistent calm advice on when and how to change names too. Much-needed for untangling messy ActiveCampaign accounts!

For documentation, the secret weapon is AirTable, using a template I developed specifically for ActiveCampaign accounts – that’s available in the Academy and it’s totally worth joining for the time saved and stress magically gone away.

So now you know more about what you should be doing to make life easier for the humans and machines – this will save you time and money, make for a better customer experience, and help you to make more sales with marketing automation.

So come on in to the ActiveCampaign Academy, and you’ll have Kay Peacey and the Slick Business team, and all your lovely fellow members, to guide you every step of the way to fabulousness with ActiveCampaign.

Learn more about our ActiveCampaign Academy membership
Fast, effective training & support for ActiveCampaign users everywhere

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