Hey there, Admin!
While everyone using Hustle does some pretty incredible work, it seems everyone uses the tool just a bit differently. The reason for this is often internal practices, organizational structure, and agent-bases who do the text messaging that you set up.
We’ve broken down the best practices by the general categories Hustle typically works with. While none of these are holy-grails, they certainly had input from each area’s Client Success team to get you up and running as soon as possible, and keep you going for the long haul.
As an education-based admin, you’re often working with rigid organizational structure and a very fluid agent base such as students or alumni. Here are our tips to accommodate these conditions!
- Decide which contacts belong in your group by who will be texting them -- by the most appropriate agents for different subsets of contacts, or by the texting campaign.
- Groups should be organized as communities of people who agents will message in a similar way over time.
Clients should note that for long term relationship building from the same agent and phone number, contacts will need to be messaged from the same group without ever having reassignment. By using ‘assigned’ messaging strategy, this locks the conversation thread and phone number to a single agent; if the contact is ever reassigned, they will likely now be texted from a different number from the same group, but the new agent will not be able to see what the old conversation looked like. This is particularly important to consider when volunteers are texting their assigned peers, or when gift officers are texting their portfolio.
For a bit more flexibility, make sure all goals use the ‘anyone’ messaging strategy. This keeps the conversation thread tied to one phone number multiple agents will see as they pass the conversation around without announcing to the contact.
- For one-off texting campaigns like Giving Day or CYE when timeliness is more important than continuity, you may want to create a standalone group for easier management as long as your contacts would feel comfortable being texted from a different number from past and future outreach.
- Outreach around a particular event should also all come from one group -- from invitation, to reminders, and with follow-ups. These can all be executed through different goals in the same group so that they don’t receive outreach from multiple phone numbers about the same event.
- When deciding how to name your group, decide on something that makes sense to your team over time and can grow with your use of the platform. (NOT Ashley’s contacts for Giving Day, for example, but INSTEAD Leadership AG Donors - 2019 Giving Day.)
- Orgs should be created sparingly and purposefully. If different departments are using Hustle for completely unrelated activities and contact lists, that would warrant a new group (Admissions vs. Athletics).
- The most useful feature of creating a new Organization within a unit (ie Advancement) would be to separate opt-outs. People may want to opt-out of being solicited, but still want to receive event/engagement outreach. This can be accomplished by having one org for fundraising and a separate org for everything else.
- Tags are most often used for Agents to categorize information they are learning about their contacts. This allows Admins to take appropriate and timely action, and to clarify opt-out reasons. Tags also allow for targeting based on time-bound/specific information that exists outside of Hustle (ie adding an “Already_Gave” tag for follow up solicitations near CYE) or information that cannot be added as a custom field.
- Do use tags to allow Agents to mark when an Admin needs to save information about a user or has an action to take on the Contact
- Don’t use Tags when a Custom Field will do. Removing Tags is a manual operation, so Custom Fields are your best bet for any info that an Admin wants to capture through interaction to add to a record during the Hustle.
The exception would be quick targeting you need to do for follow-up. In these cases, make the Tags as specific as you can (Already Gave - FY18).
- Don’t forget to train your agents to use Tags. They’re learning all sorts of valuable information about your contacts, so you want to make sure they are flagging anything that you’ll need to address later.
- Tags that may be helpful to consider:
- Wrong Number
- Does Not Want to be Contacted
- Data Update
- MG Potential
- Volunteer Potential
- Admin Review
- New Interest Area
- Application Submitted
- Admin Review
- Fin Aid Qs
- Opt-out Reasons
- Contact Profile
- Use Custom Fields to personalize messages or to create segments based on meaningful characteristics like Donor Status or Class Year for Fundraising, and Application Status for Admissions. You can also use these Custom Fields to personalize your message to your Contacts for an even higher engagement rate!
- Custom Fields that may be helpful to consider:
- Custom ID
- Class Year
- Donor Status
- Last Gift Amount
- Last Gift Fund
- Custom ID
- High School
- Interest Area
- Application Status
- Contacts get distributed to agents in goals based on their assignment status. Here are some things to think about when creating goals. If a contact is:
- Unassigned: any agent in the group can message and respond to the contact. Threads with Unassigned contacts are designed to be more flexible so when a contact replies, they’ll get a response from an available agent. We recommend leaving contacts unassigned when you want to reach out to your contacts and don’t mind which agents message them.
- Assigned: the contact will only be messaged by their assigned agent. Threads with assigned contacts are designed to maintain a consistent relationship between specific agents and contacts in a group. However, contacts can be reassigned to a different agent or unassigned and the conversation history will be preserved for any new agent messaging on the thread.
- For more information, see How can agents message contacts?
- Ideas for common use-cases in the Education category:
- “Anyone” can best be used for Giving Days and Year End Outreach.
- “Assigned” should be used when you have specific Gift Officers or Volunteers reaching out to their assigned portfolios and they are available to send Initial messages as well as manage Replies.