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Home > Getting Started > Set Up Access Levels and Credentials > Special Topic: Contact Records for Testing
Special Topic: Contact Records for Testing
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Oftentimes, organization staff will want to test things like member access levels, sending emails with merge fields, etc. GrowthZone recommends setting up specific, obvious contact records to use for this purpose.


Best practice is to use emails that are NOT attached to a staff member's GrowthZone access. Several email providers allow you to create a "temporary' email to use for such testing purposes- many of our support staff use Mailinator to create "fake" email addresses that are still accessible if needed, or sometimes will use a personal email account if it is not attached to any GrowthZone-based logins (staff backoffice or member Info Hub).


Creating both an individual contact record and an organization contact record will allow you to test many merge fields in your email templates and document generation templates, as well as populate a contact record by registering for events (and canceling registrations), creating invoices and applying payments, and completing custom fields. (If testing merge fields, be sure to populate the intended  field in the test record! An empty merge field will not populate.)


Best practice- make the records as obviously "fake" as possible. An individual contact record named "Test Member" or "Test Agent" works well. Likewise for business records- "Testing Company" or similar.


If a test record is created with a known/active staff email address, many times the system gets confused as to which record should be used and will not/can not populate merge fields correctly- and sometimes, email filters or email servers do not pass emails sent from GrowthZone to your domain. These emails originate from outside the domain (i.e. GrowthZone's pool of email servers), and even when SPF records are set appropriately a server may not allow an email that LOOKS as though it was sent from the email server but wasn't. For this reason, for email testing purposes it is recommended to use email addresses outside your domain (any free email service such as Gmail or Mailinator usually works well).

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