October, 2015: Followups were deprecated in September. If you are using the current version on NationBuilder, you have access to paths and goals rather than contact types and followups. This HOWTO is available for existing customers who are still using the feature.
Followups are reminders to connect with a person in your nation. They can be set automatically when a person takes action on your website or manually added to a person's profile. Followups display in a box on the right of a profile overview.
Priority levels can help sort followups, ensuring that limited time is spent on the most important prospects and supporters. Priority level is shown in a profile overview next to the “add tag” button.
- Followup components: status, contact type, and due date
- Adding a followup from profile overview
- Action-based followups
- Priority level
- View and close followups
- Related HOWTOs
The followup statuses are
Green: due today
Yellow: due in the future
Contact types define why a person needs to be contacted. Edit existing contact types or create new ones at Settings > Defaults > Contact type. The default contact types include:
- Fundraising appeal
- Thank you
- Volunteer recruitment
A followup is due in relative time to the present. It will show the number of days between the present date and the future due date. In the case of the overdue followups it shows how long ago it was due. To change the day the followup is due click on the displayed time (e.g. "6 days ago", or “Tomorrow”) and select a new date from the calendar popup.
Adding a followup from profile overview
Click "+Followup" and a drop-down menu of contact types will appear. Search for a contact type by typing it in the available text box. Select a due date by clicking on the displayed date and selecting an appropriate day from the popup calendar.
Click the yellow “Set” button to add the followup.
To cancel the followup, select the "x" in the top right corner, or the "Cancel" button.
When editing a page, the third tab is specific to the page type you are editing. This is where you can add automated workflow elements, including followups.
To create an automated followup select the checkbox labelled “Mark as needing followup.” An expanded set of options will appear. Choose the contact type from the drop down menu.
A second drop down menu will display options for setting a due date relative to the date the supporter takes the action. The options range from the same day to 2 weeks later. You can choose a specific due date not tied to the date the action is taken by choosing “specific date” from the drop down menu and selecting a date from the popup calendar.
As an example, RSVPs and attendees can be marked as needing followup on an event page. At Event settings > Advanced, an additional five automated actions can be taken when someone RSVPs:
- Tags added to profile
- Assigned a point person if one does not already exist
- Marked as needing followup
- Membership added to profile
- Action chain created: directed to a specific page on website after RSVP’ing
Similarly, attendees can be tagged, marked as needing followup, and assigned a membership. These elements are part of every action page.
You can prioritize followups to determine which people to contact first using priority level. A priority level is a way of identifying a person’s importance in your community. This is separate from support level, which is a more static characteristic based on how a person relates to your nation’s mission. Priority level is fluid and can vary based on a point person’s objectives.
Priority level is on a scale from one to five, with five being the most important. A visual representation of priority level is always included in a person’s profile.
A person’s priority level can be set in the following ways:
- Click on the priority level icon in a profile overview
- From Edit > Settings within a profile, select from the drop-down menu
- Batch update
- Import priority level using a value from 1-5
In the profile overview set a priority level by clicking on the icon next to the button. A popup will appear.
Click on a level between None and 5. Move your mouse off the popup and the priority level will be set. Now it is possible to sort followups based on priority level.
View and close followups
In the People section, filter followups and log contacts in single-person view to effectively manage your workflow. You can search for people who need followup, why they need followup, and when they need followup.
Here is an example of sorting outreach followups and contacting people.
Create a filter based on followup due date and contact type.
- Click to use single-person view. Edit a profile and log a contact before moving onto the next person in the filter.
- Use the “Sort by” drop-down menu to sort profiles that match your filter criteria. Select “Highest priority” to sort by priority level, ensuring you contact the most important supporters and prospects first.
- Reach out to the person by phone or email. Click “log contact” to record your interaction.
- Include contact type, status, notes, and the method of contact.
- Based on the contact, assess support level and priority level.
- Check the box to close the followup.
- Click the yellow button to record the contact.
- Consider adding another followup for future engagement.
Since a followup is a reminder to contact someone, no record is kept once it is closed. By closing a followup while logging a contact, an ephemeral reminder to reach out to someone is transformed into a permanent record of interaction.