ActiveCampaign Forum

How to tell if a field is blank in a conditional content block


#1

I found this post here, which was apparently closed after many years of customers (and staff) agreeing this was an important feature. How to check if a custom field value is blank

Two questions

1) Why was this thread closed instead of addressed? This is a feature I immediately reached for and was surprised to not find it as ActiveCampaign is way ahead of most other applications I’ve seen from a UI/UX perspective. Silence around a hot usability issue like this typically means the architecture fundamentally isn’t designed to handle it, there is an expensive third party patent blocking a solution or some other irreconcilable impasse, ergo not happening but we can’t say that or there will be a mass exodus of customers (even though there won’t be). I would really like to understand why this important thread was ignored and finally shut down. That’s a concerning response and doesn’t indicate the human, honest, direct and reasonably accountable company culture I hoped I was subscribing to.

B) Is there a way to detect an empty field in email conditional blocks? I would like to ask select subscribers for their phone number if they haven’t already filled it in, but it seems I can only compare to specific values, which seems woefully short-sighted for a platform this mature.

I apologize for my bluntness as I’m a web application developer myself and I sympathize with the constant pressure and the mercurial nature of roadmaps, but I was very concerned when I saw the post deleted because of what that usually implies about a company as I’ve seen the warning signs of “image over substance” company cultures vs esse quam videri. I signed up to this community to ask this question after not being able to register to upvote the feature request from the link in the thread. It was curiously difficult to ask or comment about.

I can think of many inelegant, somewhat manageable workarounds for an empty phone number, so I’m not asking for those, just the actual verdict for the product roadmap. If it won’t be included, can I get the rationale and / or current best practice for decision trees that take missing information into account?


#2

Hi @drfionamcculloch!

Courtney from ActiveCampaign here.

Thank you for reaching out and for your feedback on this feature. Hearing what’s top of mind for customers in this forum is so important to us. We apologize if it felt like the previous conversation was ignored, shut down, or deleted. That was never our intention.

We did close the previous post on 2/28 after it being open for several months. We did this because at the time we didn’t have any new feature information to offer on the post, and most users had commented with excellent workarounds. We would never close a post to shut out news ideas or customer feedback. For that post, the best course of action was (and still is!) to go to the AC Ideas forum and vote for the idea, or add a new one. It’s another way to get your ideas in front of our product team.

We’ve definitely heard all the feedback here on adding this feature, and we know how important it is to customers. We don’t have any immediate plans to implement, but we will keep the community updated on any progress. We don’t know the timing, but it is on the horizon. We have a lot of great things planned for contacts in our product roadmap, and we are considering customer feedback with each release.

To look for or segment by missing phone numbers in your account right now, I would suggest adding in a “null” or specific value to any empty custom fields. This would be a manual process, but you could export your current contacts, add in that data, then re-import the list to update your contacts. You can always set up a 1:1 session with the Customer Success team to talk through this or any best practices for new contacts entering your account in this scenario. Feel free to book time with us here.

If you need anything else, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Thanks,
Courtney


#3

Ok, thank you for that, and that is understandable. However, I will say that checking to see if a phone or email field has been filled in or not is a fundamental building block in problem solving. I’d put it closer to the “must have” end of the spectrum over “nice to have” as not having that option will create elaborate workarounds (or workflows as you mentioned) for your architecture (and your customer processes) that will need to be maintained, thus making it more difficult to sunset out-dated features and approaches.

I tried to register to upvote the feature request and I received an error message, something like “your account prevents you from being able to self-register”. What’s the process for this?


#4

Hi @drfionamcculloch!

You should be able to login by going to ideas.activecampaign.com and logging into your account. Here’s a help article on the process: https://help.activecampaign.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001444244-Send-us-your-ideas-.

If you’re still seeing an error message, I would recommend submitting a ticket with our Support Team at help@activecampaign.com. They can help troubleshoot that for you.

Let me know if you continue to see issues.

Talk soon,
Courtney


#5

I found this admin response on the AC Ideas forum dated December 20th, 2016.

“ADMIN RESPONSE
Hello, We recognize this is a big one for a lot of people so we want to be forthcoming. The reason this cannot be done currently is due to a limitation to how we store contacts in the database. Currently if we don’t have data in a field, the field does not exist for that contact at all. This means that any condition looking for the field to be blank would not work reliably because the field does not exist. We are well aware that this is a less than an ideal situation for people and that the ability to search / segment for blank / null would offer a lot of benefit to people. We plan to address this in a future update but seeing as this would be a significant change to how data is stored within ActiveCampaign it will require ample testing and time and there are a few more pressing items ahead of it, but rest assure this is one we know we’d like to fix sooner rather than later.”


#7

Still no news on this? We just started using AC and were thinking about switching from hubspot to AC next year with 50.000 contacts. However we cant use AC now because of this core feature missing here.

We work a lot with date based automations and need to check if the date field is blank or if the user already put in informations. We have apps, website and other marketing tools and need to have clean data for all our API’s.

Is there still no exact time when the feature will be released?
Best
Philipp


#8

This is a MUST HAVE for me too


#9

Does anyone have any work-arounds? (Need this for date field and a string field)