Linked Contacts: Don’t Forget Who’s Who
by Eric Johnston, Idea Return Technology Director
As much as we would like for contacts to always be nice and clean in our system, there typically comes a time when you need to make a note that two contacts are related (either spouse, assistant or some other relationship).
At first, we might try to simply leave a note on both contact records and that’ll be that.
However, this is very limited. It’s just a note on the notes page, and if we’re accustomed to leaving notes, this note might get pushed down from other notes that we need to add. Worse, we may end up deleting the note accidentally at some point!
This is only part of the problem though. We can’t automate anything with this type of note.
So what can we do?
What is a Linked Contact?
Infusionsoft offers the ability to link different contact records. This is very easy to do and only requires a few clicks, but it adds a lot of information and utility to your system.
Not only will you have a permanent link in Infusionsoft (that can’t be accidentally overwritten and isn’t easy to accidentally delete), but you will have the ability to merge in fields from linked contacts.
Imagine that you have mostly entrepreneurs for clients, and that most of them have assistants (VA’s or OBM’s). Using this system, you can quickly and easily link an assistant’s contact record to the main contact record (the entrepreneur).
When you send an email out, you will not only email the main contact (who is most likely going to just forward it to their assistant anyways), but you can automatically CC (or copy) the assistant in the email as well.
Take your customer service to a whole new level with something that you can complete with just a few clicks on a contact record! Remember the whole reason to use software like Infusionsoft is to reduce time, effort and energy and thus save money!
So How Do We Link Contacts?
The first thing you need to do is pull up the contact record of either person that you want to link.
You can do this via a quick search if you know specific information about them, such as their name, email or phone number. Be careful using the name as if you only collect first names, you might get a lot of results searching by just that.
Once you’ve pulled up either of the specific contact records you’re looking for, you will find a tab named “Linked Contacts” near the top (normally just under the Quick Search area). Go ahead and click this to see the contacts that are linked to the current contact record.
If there are already linked contacts, you will have the ability to jump right to their contact record, remove them as a link, add tasks or send an email. You will also be shown the “Link Type”.
If this is your first time linking a contact of this type, you will need to click “Manage Link Types”.
This will open a new window that will allow you to add a new Link Type.
Remember that you want to keep your link types fairly generic so that the types can be used multiple times.
Of course, this isn’t always possible, but when it is, you should try to do this to reduce clutter.
For example, don’t create a Link Type specific to a certain person for something such as an “Assistant”. You don’t need the type to be “Jane Doe’s Assistant”, you would just use “Assistant”.
You will also need to specify the maximum number of links that anyone can have of this type.
A really good example of where this can be valuable is “Spouse”. Often, spouses will share your content whether you allow it or not. By setting up the system to support it, you are showing that you have good faith in them, and they don’t have to hide this type of action from you, which garners better trust between you and them.
Now imagine that a client is claiming 8 different people are their spouse. This would be a good time for a red flag to trigger in your system to notify you that they might just be trying to share your content.
The best use for this limit is as a red flag. Consider what you would expect the maximum amount to be, and set it to that.
If you really don’t want any limit on the link you’re creating, you will still need to set this to a specific amount, but you can just use a very high number. It is not possible to create a link with unlimited links allowed. There will always have to be a set specific amount of links permitted (even if its such a high number that it will never reach it).
Now that you have created your link, you can return back to the “Linked Contacts” tab on the contact record you searched for.
Enter in some identifying information about the contact that you want to link the current contact with (name or email work really well) and click “Search”:
If the information can uniquely identify a single contact record, the system will automatically refresh with that contact listed. If there are multiple contacts who share the same information you searched for, you will need to select the specific one that you want linked.
Make sure that Type of Link is set for the correct link type, and you can click “Save Link”.
That’s It! Your Contacts are Linked Both Ways
You can now “merge” unique fields from linked contacts in things such as emails (copy their assistant on emails) and tasks to Infusionsoft Users (reach out to Jane Doe and her assistant, John Doe).
What Should I Do Now?
Depending on your business, this tool might not be as useful as other businesses. Not sure if you need to make use of this? Schedule some time through our Strategic Consulting Hourly Block Package and talk one-on-one with Tonya about how you can implement this powerful marketing tactic into your campaigns.
Already know how you want to implement this, but you just don’t want to do it by yourself? No worries, we are happy to help you through our Tech Implementation Hourly Block Packages.
We can walk you through the full process and/or get it set up for you. Don’t let technology prevent you from operating your business the way you imagined!