We’ve all been in in the spot where, when logging a contact or sending an email, we’re not sure what path to log it to. Managing those 1:1 communications efficiently and in a way where I could get some stats back on my work was something I spent a good amount of time thinking about, and, after a couple of iterations, I’ve come to a path that I really like.

If you’ve ever sent me an email or given me a call, or if our Customer Support team has ever asked me to get in touch with you, then you, as a member of the NationBuilder community, have been on my Inbox path. This is my favorite path I’ve ever built, and anyone who’s using NationBuilder to manage communications can benefit from putting it to use.

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There are four steps, deliberately put in a certain order to help me get in touch with you in the best way I can. I’d encourage you to use them as a foundation and build your own path based on the kind of communication you do and the most relevant methods.

Step 1 - Inbox

The titular step for this path serves as a place for the rest of my team here at NationBuilder to bring things to my attention. Simply place a person on the Inbox step, and I’ll know that that’s someone I need to speak to. Combine that with a note left on someone’s profile, and it couldn’t be easier for your team to coordinate or for you to delegate work to other leaders in your organization.

Step 2 - Investigating

I’ll place people here if I’m still looking into their question, so I can’t complete or abandon the path just yet. I deliberately made it the second step because you can move automatically forward on a path, but not backwards, so if, while I’m investigating, someone calls or emails me, they’ll move forward on the path and I’ll see that they’ve reached out to me again.

Step 3 - Call Received

Just like it sounds, this is the step you land on when you call me. Keeping a separate step for calls lets me easily find out who’s on the phone so I can pull up relevant information, and, if I miss the call, lets me know quickly to look for a voicemail. If you’re courting big donors or managing constituent services, being able to quickly pull up the profile of a person who’s calling and see your contact history with that person can be a game changer. You can set up a phone number on your Broadcaster and forward it to your line so that your calls are logged in your database.

Step 4 - Email Received

I know that my friends don’t like leaving voicemails, and will often shoot me a text or an email if they don’t catch me on the phone. That’s why I’ve purposefully put my email step after my call step. If you don’t reach me on the phone, send an email and you’ll be moved to that step. The call will still be in your contact history, but I’ll know to look for a followup email as well. If you’re using NationBuilder as your email provider or using a third party email like Google Apps, Exchange, or GoDaddy, you can connect your email to a Broadcaster and configure it to trigger this step on your path.

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