Field management

Read time: 7 minutes | Learn about contact, custom, response, parent and child, and matchable fields.

Jonny Richardson avatar
Written by Jonny Richardson
Updated over a week ago

Learn how fields can help shape the quality of data you collect and present


Gecko supports a vast range of field types with many applications. Fields can be created/edited/deleted by going to Settings > Field Management.

Learn about the different field types below.

Contact fields

Contact fields define what information should be saved to the primary contact record. Contact fields are visible on the contact overview page and is information that can be used throughout Gecko to filter, query, and set up broadcasts, campaigns, and workflows.

Contact fields can be created by clicking Settings > Contact fields and clicking + New Contact Field in the top-right corner. From here:

  • Label: Give your contact field a name.

  • Type: Tell Gecko what field type you'd like this to be. A complete list of field types can be found here.

  • Template tag: (Optional) Provide a unique template tag for your field. Gecko will automatically generate a tag if this is left blank.

  • Options: (Only required for field types that use picklists) Which field options list should this contact field use for validation?

  • Required: When toggled 'on', this will make the field required when added to any forms and considered required when mapped on future imports (e.g., if mapped, no rows missing this value will be imported). Contact fields can also be made required on a form-by-form basis.

  • Show on contact portal page: If using Gecko Protect, should this field be visible for students to view/update the student contacts portal page?

When you're happy with your contact field, click Save in the bottom-right corner.

There is no limit to the number of contact fields you configure. You can also create contact fields directly from your CRM integration when mapping fields.

Field options

Field options allow you to create pre-defined picklist options for use throughout your Gecko account. Field option lists support display values (the public facing value) and export values (hidden values Gecko will push to CRM systems). If no export value is specified, Gecko will use the display value.

To start, go to Settings > Field Options and click +Add Option in the top-right corner.

Begin by giving your field option list a name to identify it throughout Gecko.

A screenshot of a small field options list using Display and Export values.

From here, options can be added to your list in one of three ways:

  • Manually - Type in your options manually. Click + Add Option in the bottom-right corner to add new options to the list. Gecko supports Display and Export values. Values can be deleted (trashcan icon), hidden from view on forms (eye icon), or have child options created (+ icon). Options can be manually rearranged by dragging and dropping.

  • Copy and paste - If you've got an extensive list of options you'd like to copy and paste into Gecko, click Switch to Text Mode in the top-right corner. Paste your list into the text box. Display and export values can be defined by separating values using a pipe (e.g., pasting the value Engineering|23sda-45ihfh-sii24j44-sdaqvBsS would create a display value of Engineering and an export value of 23sda-45ihfh-sii24j44-sdaqvBsS). Parent/child relationships can be expressed by using a tab indent. Once pasted, click Save in the bottom right corner to return to the visual mode.

  • Importing - Options can be imported directly from your CRM. Click Import Options in the top-right corner and select Integration. Pick your integration and choose the attribute you'd like to import the field options list for (Integration field) on your CRM. Note: Gecko will only display CRM fields that have 1. Been mapped on the Gecko Settings > Integrations > {your CRM} page, and, 2. are CRM fields/attributes that use a picklist.

Once created, your field option lists can be added to contact fields or form fields that use field options.

Form/Response fields

Gecko supports over 20 unique field types that you can use on your forms. For a comprehensive list of form fields, click here. You can see the fields in action on a form here.

Field conditions

Conditional logic can make your form more manageable for end-users and more likely to yield responses. Field conditions can be configured to show specific fields if previous fields on the form have been answered in specific ways or by gradually revealing more questions on the form when previous fields have a value. To demonstrate this, consider the following two nearly identical forms:

Though both forms are identical in the questions they ask, form 2 applies conditional logic only to show the following question when the preceding question is not blank.

To apply a condition to a field on your form, go to your form, add the field you want to apply conditional logic to, and click Save changes. Edit the field and navigate to the Conditions tab before clicking + Add Condition.

Fields can support multiple conditions concurrently.

Parent and child fields

Parent and child fields allow you to use answers a student has already given you to inform dropdown options for future questions. For example, if a student tells you their academic area of interest is computing, a parent-child relationship between the area of interest and program of interest fields might mean that the only program of interest fields the student sees is the computing options.

In this section, we cover how to create a new list and how it can be successfully added to your form:

🛠 Creating your parent and child list

Parent and child options can be created by clicking Settings > Field Options and clicking +Add Option. There are three ways to create parent and child lists within Gecko:

  • Method 1 - Using the Field Options builder

A screenshot showing a child option being added to the Field Options builder.

There are several features available to you here. Clicking +Add Option will add a new field row for you. You can use the + icon to the far right of the field to add a child field for an existing option. Additionally, you can drag & drop each field row into the desired parent/child/child-child level.

  • Method 2 - Using the Text View

A screenshot showing a tab indent denoting a child relation with the Field option text builder.

A more flexible approach to creating lists would be to click Switch to Text mode. Type out or paste your list of options into the text box. To create different levels (parent/child/child-child), press the tab key to denote the child level.

In the example above, Computing is a parent option, with Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, and Programming as child options (denoted by the tab indent).

Once done, click the Save button in the bottom-right corner.

  • Method 3 - Using a spreadsheet

A screenshot demonstrating a spreadsheet being used in parent-child construction.

The most flexible way of creating a parent and child list is to use a spreadsheet before copying and pasting its contents into the Text Mode area.

Create a spreadsheet with parent options in column A and child options in column B (and child-child options in column C, etc.).

Once you're happy with your spreadsheet, go to Field Options, click Switch to Text mode and paste your list directly into the text area before hitting the Save button in the bottom-right corner.

💡 Adding your parent and child list to your form

💡 The only form field supporting parent and child logic is the Dropdown - Single Choice field.

Once your parent-child list has been created, head back to your form.

In our example, we're going to imagine we have a parent-child list that captures Area of Interest and Program of Interest. Accordingly:

  • Add x2 Dropdown - Single Choice fields to the form and Save changes on the form.

  • Change the label of one field to Area of Interest and the other to Program of Interest.

  • Edit the Area of Interest field and go to the Options tab. Select the parent and child field options list in the Option Template field and click Update.

  • Edit the Program of Interest field and go to the Options tab. In the Parent Field tab, choose the Area of Interest field and click Update.

Finally, click Save changes on the form, and you're done!

Matchable fields

By default, Gecko will use the Full Name and Email contact fields to determine whether incoming data matches an existing contact (and should be merged) or is wholly new/unique and should be used to create a new contact.

This matching criterion can be edited in any way you see fit. To do so, please contact your account manager or message us at

Preferred language

The Preferred language contact field allows you to define the best language to communicate with students in. Gecko currently supports the following languages: English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), German, Welsh, and Catalan (Spanish). Looking for another language to be added? Be sure to contact your account manager.

The chosen language in the student's Preferred language field can be used to determine which workflows fire or which broadcasts or call campaigns the student is added to. It automatically translates the student's RSVP and contact portal pages into the desired language.

An example of a student's RSVP page being translated into Spanish.

To manage the languages students can select from, go to Settings > Contact Fields > Preferred Language > Available Languages. Pick the languages you want to support and click Save.


Fields can be created/edited/deleted in Chat by navigating to Settings > Custom Fields.

There is no limit to the number of custom fields you can create.

Custom fields

Custom contact fields can collect any type of data you need. Agents can fill fields during conversations, and data can be captured using pre-chat forms.

To create new custom fields, go to Settings > Custom Fields and click +Add New. From here:

  • Label: Give your custom field a name.

  • Key: The database name for the field. Gecko will automatically generate this if no value is given.

  • Type: Tell Gecko what field type you'd like this to be. See all available field types here.

  • Options: (Only required for field types that use picklists) Which options list should this custom field use for validation? Values can be manually written in or pasted. New lines denote new values. Display and export values can be defined by separating values using a pipe (e.g., pasting the value Engineering|23sda-45ihfh-sii24j44-sdaqvBsS would create a display value of Engineering and an export value of 23sda-45ihfh-sii24j44-sdaqvBsS).

  • Default Value: (Optional) Should Gecko add a default value in this field when a contact is created? Helpful for capturing for source codes or other hard-coded information.

  • Required for Sync: (Optional) If toggled to "on", Gecko will only ever attempt to sync conversations for contacts who have a value in all custom fields that are marked as required for sync.

Custom fields can also be created in Chat when mapping to CRM fields.

Any questions? Start a live chat with a support team member, or feel free to explore the rest of our academy. Spotted an error or want to suggest a future article for the academy? Let us know here.

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