How are you using the Nickname field?

There doesn’t seem to be any programming logic behind the Nickname field. Am I right?

When I first saw the Nickname field I assumed IS would look at Nickname and if there was a value in the field, use it to override the First Name field when merging First Name into emails because using the more familiar nickname reinforces that we really know our contact. But, the software appears to not use the Nickname field…it just stores it which I don’t find very useful.

The other place I would love to see it used is in duplicate checking when adding a new contact or running the dedup process. If first name or Nickname matches either first name or Nickname consider that part of the name a match.

To make up for the lack of functionality, I started putting the Nickname in the First Name field and the formal name in the Nickname field. This sortof works but isn’t reliable.

I find that when people register for events, or even our webinars, they tend to use their formal name and the Nickname in the First Name field gets overwritten. Depending on the platform used to capture registrations and the parameters sent with the url, sometimes the first name is prepopulated and the contact will just go with it.

We speak at a lot of conferences, etc. and often get a list of conference attendees (without getting their email addresses). I import them simply to apply a tag that they were at that event to keep track of touch points and to capture the event as the leadsource for new contacts. After I the import the list I dedup them. However, the people with First Name mismatched (e.g., Andy in my existing contact and Andrew in the import) don’t get deduped because IS doesn’t compare First Name AND Nickname.) I am left with many duplicates and have to manually find and merge them. My latest import was about 600 records and my boss attends about 15 big events a year so it can be a big time sink.

Has anyone found another way to manage this lack of functionality with Nickname?

Thank you for your insights.

1 Like

Yeah, I think your understanding is correct. It doesn’t have any real logic behind it.

The ways that I’ve seen it used are for scenarios where you have members, or people you have closer relationships with and you know they they prefer to go by a different name; so you manually store their Nickname in that field.

This could be useful for sales reps who are calling out and you want to make sure they use “CJ” from their nickname field instead of “Christopher” from their First name field.

I, too, would like the nickname field to be used in letters where I would specify ~Nickname~ but get ~FirstName~ if ~Nickname~ is blank.

Nobody wants “Dear Mathias” when they only use “Matt” in conversation. They KNOW they’re on a mailing list and it’s TACKY!

Hi, @Jeff_Johnston,

So in your case, you can run an action set that raises a tag if the nickname field is empty. Then, based on that tag existing, you can use a decision diamond to split to one of two sequences that either use the nickname merge field or the first name merge field in the other.