When you create a form, you can tailor the questions that you ask and how you ask respondents for that information.
Forms provides two distinct types of questions: CRM questions and Custom questions. These questions allow you to collect specific types of information from respondents and also determine what information is shared to your contacts' profiles.
When should I use CRM versus custom questions?
As a general guideline for when to use CRM questions over custom questions (or vice versa), we recommend looking at what type of information you're collecting, how it is used, and if it will be used outside of a specific situation.
If you are using a form to ask for information that you intend to keep for future reference and use; and it is assumed that one contact can generally only have one answer for that question, CRM questions let you collect that information and update contact profiles automatically.
For example, we suggest using a CRM question if you are collecting such information as
- First, middle, and last name
- Volunteer interest areas (as a custom contact field)
These types of information tend to change infrequently, or not at all, and an individual contact or form respondent will generally only have a single answer, as opposed to interchangeable names, multiple primary addresses, or two entirely different sets of volunteer interests.
If you are using a form to ask for information that is used for a specific, time-limited purpose and you may need to collect it in the future, with the expectation of a different response, custom questions allow you to ask for that information without interfering with the information on a contact profile.
For example, custom questions are useful if you're collecting information like
- Availability for volunteer shift at a community event
- Choice of entree for a fundraising dinner
- Donor consent to be acknowledged publicly on a fundraising campaign
These types of information can change across form responses, and an individual contact or form respondent may have more than one answer to those questions if asked in different forms.
For example, a volunteer's availability for shifts may change between events, a diner may want a different entree at different fundraisers, and a donor may be okay with public acknowledgement on one fundraising campaign but not another.
Custom questions are not related to the custom fields that appear in contact profiles.