Custom fields offer so much more when it comes to searching for your contacts.
For example, if you would like to search for your contacts by counties in Kenya, you would have one custom field COUNTY and you can such by any values of the 47 counties in Kenya.
Labels can be used to search for contacts within your groups.
For example, if you would like to search for your contacts by counties in Kenya; you would have to search each county name such as NAIROBI to segment contacts of the 47 counties in Kenya.
Target and/ or schedule communications
Custom fields are dynamic when it comes to targeting or scheduling your communications. Use custom fields when you want to send out a survey, quiz or notice and target them based on combined sets of properties or contact's profile.
For example, if you would like to send out a notice to contacts in Nairobi who are female; you would use two custom fields. This would be a custom field COUNTY with its value as NAIROBI and a custom field is GENDER and the value is FEMALE.
Labels can also be used when it comes to targeting or scheduling your communications Use labels when you want to send out a survey, quiz or notice and target them based on segments of contacts.
For example, if you would like to send out a notice who are part of the first cohort of the research project; you would use one label named COHORT1.
Build Contact Profiles and Personalize communications
Custom fields can hold or store a contact's responses to survey questions which can build a contact's profile such as First name, Last name, Age etc. With this information, you can personalize an SMS message to go out as part of survey, notice or a quiz.
A contact may have as many custom fields filled with information as needed in order to build their profiles within the platform.
Labels can be used for simple data collection and cannot be used to store contact's responses to survey questions. Another limitation of labels is that a contact in Echo platform can have up-to a maximum of 30 labels applied to them.
With custom fields, you have the option of selecting the type of field that you want. Whether it be numeric, date, percentage or URL, custom fields allow you to store data according to your needs.
When creating your custom field, the field name allows only upper case and underscore characters. It does not allow other special characters, i.e. symbols, accent marks and punctuation marks, to be used.
Labels is a text based type property that can only consistent of consisting of or using both letters and numerals.
Labels however do not work with any special characters, i.e. underscores, symbols, accent marks and punctuation marks, to be used.
Data export and reporting
When it comes to reporting, you can generate exports with custom field data.
Historical data and records
Although it is possible to use custom fields to hold data such as contact profile data or survey/quiz responses, you will not be able to see this information over time. This is because whenever custom fields are updated, the data is overwritten.
For example, if you have a question within a survey that asks your contacts on a yearly basis and this response in stored in a custom field AGE; this value will be updated every time the contact responds to the question.
Labels are static, once added or updated to a contact they cannot be overwritten with new information. Labels can only be removed from a contact via a contact global action.
This is quite helpful as it creates a trail of historical data that you can see over time.
For example, if you have a contact with COHORT1 label and you update same contact with a new label COHORT2; this contact will now have two labels pf COHORT1 and COHORT2.
As custom field can be of various field type e.g. numeric, percentage or dates: they can be used to build complex advanced logic flows in surveys or quizzes.
For example: if you would like to have survey that asks for a respondent's age which is being stored in a custom field AGE. You would also like to ask the respondent a follow up question ONLY if the respondent's age is less than or equal to 18. Within survey logic, you can set this up with the expression [AGE] <=18.
Labels can be used to build complex logic in surveys or quizzes. However, this will be limited to building scenarios based on text values only.
For example, if you would like to setup logic that only goes to contacts with a specific label e.g. COHORT1, within the survey logic, you can set this up with the expression hasLabel("COHORT1")