Tags are great for tracking all sorts of things, like donor groupings or segments, communication preferences...almost anything, really. And since they can be used in multiple query types, and can be used in automated workflows, Tags are fantastic, do-it-all helpers.
Smart Tags take things one step further, by allowing you to create Tags that include custom rules built right into the Tags themselves—no need to create automated workflows!—that can automatically apply them to records or remove/expire them. So you can create more dynamic segmentation, more easily, and spend more time connecting with your supporters.
Great! Lets' take a look at how this works.
Configuring Smart Tags
To manage Tags, click on "More Tools" in the menu, then select "Data Management" and click on "Tags."
Note: You must have Admin permissions to create or edit Tags. If you do not see the option to create a Tag, contact your internal Virtuous administrator for assistance.
To create a new Tag, click on the blue "Create a Tag" button in the upper right. You will need to select a Tag Group and provide a unique Name for your Tag, and enter a brief description.
To edit an existing Tag and make it smart, click on the edit icon to the right of the Tag. (Don't click on the Tag name—that will search for all Contacts with that Tag instead!)
Either way, on the Tag Edit form, you'll see an area to configure Smart Tags.
There are two types of Smart Tags: Expiring and Threshold-based. A Smart Tag can only be one or the other; it is not possible to select both for a single Tag.
Let's take a look at each one separately, shall we?
Expiring Tags are tags that have a limited lifespan, as they are set to expire after a set length of time. There are actually two kinds of expiring Tags: Dynamic and Static.
Dynamic Expiring Tags are set to expire after a set number of days after they are applied to a Contact record. For example, maybe you have a Tag called "New Volunteer" that identifies records where someone has just volunteered for the first time. You may want the "New Volunteer" tag to only last for 30 days (after all, how long does "new" really last?) so you could set a dynamic expiration for 30 days.
Static Expiring Tags are set to expire on a specific date. So, regardless of when the Tag is applied to a Contact, all instances of this Tag will expire at the same time. This is ideal for temporary projects, like tagging every record who needs to receive a particular mailer in advance of an event. Once the event has passed, the Tags can automatically expire.
Both Static and Dynamic Expiring Tags will display the expiration date below the Tag name when viewing Tags on a Contact record.
Once expired, these Tags will still be visible on a Contact record. However, querying on expired Tags will not return results, and an expired Static Tag cannot be added to a Contact record.
Threshold-based Tags, as the name implies, require Contacts to meet a specific giving threshold in order for the Tag to be applied.
To set the threshold, you will need to select a giving statistic and then set a minimum amount. If a Contact meets or exceeds the threshold, then the Tag will automatically be applied. If a Contact falls below the threshold, as could happen if you select Last Gift Amount or Last Gift Amount Overall as the statistic to be measured, then the tag will also be automatically removed.
Dynamic Tags are evaluated nightly and updated by the Virtuous system. Because these Tags are based solely on giving criteria, they cannot be manually added to or removed from a Contact record.
Smart Tags of any type can be used in queries, for segmentation, or in automated workflows. TThey are just as flexible as regular Tags...just a little bit smarter.