Action Network Help & FAQs

Targeting by field values

You can target emails and reports by core fields and custom fields that aren't already included in normal targeting. This lets you target by an activist's city, email address or any custom fields you've created.

On the email or reports targeting page, scroll down to the 'field values' category (it's towards the bottom of the targeting page). Click the blue 'add' button.

A box will pop up that prompts you to select which field name you want to target.


First, select which field you want to target from the dropdown menu "Include/Exclude activists who filled out the field named." You can select any custom field you've created or core fields (address, city, email, first name, last name or zip code).

Below that, you will put in the value you want to target. There's a couple different ways you can do this, depending on what you're trying to target.

Values will return exact matches, but you can use the wildcard % symbol to target parts of a field value. 

You can also interpret custom fields as numbers or dates and target with greater than or less than operations using << or >>. For example, <<1 will target every activist with a custom field value number less than 1. >>2017/12/01 14:00:15 will target everyone with a custom field value date after December 1st, 2017, 2:00pm and 15 seconds. The format for dates must be yyyy/mm/dd hh:mm:ss. Time is optional.

You can also use regular expressions, so [0-9] will target any activist with any of the characters 0-9 in that form field. The wildcard character can be combined with regular expressions. (For more detail on our regular expression parser and syntax, see here.)

Wildcard Examples

You can use our wildcard to target parts of a field value. It can be used in a variety of ways.

1. To target activists who have any value for a particular field, you would use the %. 

For example, if you want to target anyone who filled out the field for phone number, you would enter %


2. %abc will return any activist who has a value ending with abc. For example, if you want to exclude activists with a .edu email, it would look like this:


3. abc% will return any activist who has a value starting with abc. For example, if you want to include activists with a phone number that starts with 202, it would look like this: 202%


4. You can also use multiple % characters, so %1% matches anyone who has a value of 1 in any part of the form field you're targeting. If you wanted to target everyone who said they would be interested in canvassing, it would look like this: %canvassing%




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