I've been told by chat support that what we need cannot be done. If it can, I'd like to know how. If indeed it cannot, however, I'd like to request that the developers include in CC's forms more flexibility to allow users to reorder the sequence of both preset and custom fields in forms so required data can be collected without the form looking like whoever laid it out was a complete idiot.
We are an alumni association of a high school that has had about 35,000 graduates since 1929. We are using CC to communicate with and collect updated contact information from as many of our graduates as we possibly can. The "preset" CC fields of "First Name" and "Last Name" are simply inadequate to accurately identify people and check them against the list of graduates we have from the school district. Some of the reasons thsee two fields are inadequate follow:
One obvious reason is that -- over the past 87 years or so, we have had many different graduates with names like "Joe Smith", "Sally Jones", etc. Consequently, we must include "Middle Name" as a required field to be able to collect information necessary to distinguish between these individuals.
Another reason is the problem of people who simply do not like or use their "First Name" and, instead, prefer to be addressed by their "Middle Name" or by a nickname. E.g., a grad whose name is "Ebenezer Todd Smith" may HATE his first name and never use it and, instead, prefers to be called "Todd" by everyone. Then, there are graduates who are known to their classmates as "Butch", "Randy" (instead of Randall), "Dick" (instead of Richard), etc. So not only do we need a "Middle Name" field, we also need a "Preferred Name" field to make sure that, whenever we communicate with our alums, we address them as they prefer, whether it be by their first name, middle name, or a nickname. .
Yet another problem is changes in women's last names. To be able to coordinate female graduates with the school district's list, we must be able to identify their "School (maiden) Name". If we do not do this, a woman whose name was Susie Davis when she graduated and whose name is now Susie Thomas easily could be confused with another woman whose name was named Susie Thomas when she graduated, but now is Susie Davis. Worse, of a woman whose name was Janet Williams when in school signs up with just a current first and last name of Janet Tilotson, we'll never be able to figure out that she is the same person the district identified as Janet Williams.
So obtaining the information for these 3 fields is very important for us (and, I suspect, for many other organizations using CC, whether for the same or different reasons).
I already know we can create "custom" fields to collect this information. But the problem is that CC's "Sign Up Form" and "Profile Update Form" do not permit reordering the preset and custom fields and, as a result, when custom fields are added to them, those forms appear to have been "sloppily thrown together" by someone who does not know what s/he is doing. This reflects badly on our organization and on CC itself. See the attached screenshot of the "Sign Up Form".
It should not take much programming effort at all to include the ability for users to rearrange the presentation sequence of those fields - both preset and custom - so that they will appear and flow as logically anticipated and thereby make both the user organization and CC look better. (E.g., allow custom "Middle Name" and "Preferred Name" fields to appear between the preset "First Name" and "Last Name" fields and also allow custom fields that follow to be ordered as desired, instead of only being listed in the order those fields were created).
Of course, all of the same holds true for the "Update Profile Form." Users should be able to cause the fields to appear in any form in a sequence that is logical to the person using the form.
If for some reason the predefined forms cannot be modified in this way, at least provide the ability for users to easily create and substitute their own forms that can fields ordered as they prefer.
Thank you for reaching out to us to provide feedback for the product. I apologize that the form has not been customizable enough. At this time, you are correct in that the preset and custom fields cannot be reorganized; custom fields only being organized alphabetically . However, I have submitted this feedback to our product team regarding this feature. You're feedback and comments are a vital part of how we improve our product.
I do not recall asking for help with this subject regarding our Constant Communications account.
Our needs are pretty basic and most likely would *never* require a sign up for anything through CC.
Thanks for the follow-up, but I really do not know what triggered your email to us.
- Inez Sookma
Woodrow Wilson High School Alumni Association, Inc.
100 S Glasgow
Dallas TX 75214
I just saw the email message at the top--that must have been sent to you by our Association President; he's the only other person who has access to this account.
Mr. Dalton never told me he asked for this information from Constant Contact.
Sorry about the cross communications!
I will provide your response to Mr. Dalton.
There is a simple fix, though when I contacted chat they didn't offer it. Use ONLY custom fields that you added and number them. Example: 1. Name 2. Company 3. Physical Address 4. Phone number.
That will put them in whatever order you want.
So, really constant contact. there's been enough complaints about this problem, you might have looked into it for a 1/2 hour to discover the workaround.
Thank you for adding your name to the list of people providing feedback about this feature @XengV ! I've tracked that you're interested in this as well and while we don't currently have an update about this feature request, we will let you all know if there is a change to the way custom fields can be included and organized on sign up forms.
A much simpler fix. Use a google form to collect your data. The data will be saved to a google sheet. Import the google sheet periodically and map the entries to your existing fields. The other cool thing about this is you can use google forms to do a drop down for a certain field, even though drop downs are not supported by CC. Same for multiple selections, etc.