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Family Members + Relationships
Family Members + Relationships

Learn about how Element451 stores family data, including the Family Member profile data, the Family profile type, and Relationships.

Michael Stephenson avatar
Written by Michael Stephenson
Updated over a week ago


Element451's approach to storing parent/family data is flexible and dynamic, catering to diverse data management and communication needs.

There are two different methods for storing parent/family data:

Both methods have specific applications and benefits, and the choice mainly depends on the desired level of data segmentation, ease of access, and the specifics of the planned communication. This article will explain both methods.

Family Member Data (Default)

The Family Member card must be enabled for your profile template.
If you want more information on profile templates, visit this article.

Like other data fields, when information is collected using the Parent/Legal Guardian Field Grouping (user-family-root), the Family Member data is displayed on the people's profile by default. In this case, the Family Member data can be found either on the Family Members card or the Family Members tab (under "More Data").

  • Consolidates family information within the student's profile; does not create a separate contact record for those family members.

  • Provides quick access to family details without creating separate contact records.

  • Limits segmentation and individualized targeting as this data is part of the student's profile, not an independent entity. Learn more about sending campaigns to parents/guardians.

Separate Family Records with Relationship to Student Records

For more detailed and segmented data management, Element451 allows the creation of separate, standalone contract records for family members. This method is beneficial as these separate records can be segmented and targeted in Campaigns.

You must either create a Rule to extract the Family Member data from the Student record to create a Family Profile or import the data. Step-by-step instructions for both methods are below in the Creating Family Profiles section.

Family records are displayed as Profiles and available in the People module with your other Contacts. You can see in the screenshot below that the filter is showing Contacts with the profile type family.


Creating individual family records leads to the formation of Relationships.

  • A Relationship acts as a bridge, connecting the student's record to another record, like a family member. This established reference between the student and their related record(s) can be found on both profiles either on the Relationships card or the Relationships tab (under "More Data").

    In the screenshot examples below, we have a student, Annie, whose mother, Clara, and father, Codey, both have records. The first screenshot below shows the Relationships card on Annie's profile. The second screenshot below shows the Relationships card on Clara's profile.

  • You can create Relationships between students and various other influencers—there are 15 types of Relationships from which to choose. The most common type of Relationship is Parent-Child.

    • Parent-Child

    • Guardian-Dependent

    • Grandparent-Grandchild

    • Sibling-Sibling

    • Spouse(ex)-Spouse(ex)

    • Neighbor-Neighbor

    • Relative-Relative

    • Counselor-Student

    • Coach-Student

    • Advisor-Student

    • Agent-Agent

    • Agent-Student

    • Organization-Student

    • Clergy-Congregant

    • Friend-Friend

  • Both profiles can be segmented directly or via the Relationship. For example, you might create a Segment of admitted students' parents.

Creating Family Profiles

If you decide you want separate family profiles with a Relationship to the student, this can be achieved in two different ways:

Option 1: Scheduled Rule

Using a scheduled Rule makes creating Family Profiles using the Family Member data of a Student profile easy and automatic.

When using this method, you should be familiar with creating and managing a Rule. You can review our help articles for Rules here.

Important Notes to Consider:

  • For the data to be extracted by the Rule and a profile to be created, the following attributes must be available:

    • Relationship/Role: Parent, guardian, etc.

    • First Name

    • Last Name

    • Email

    • Living: Must be set to "true" (default)

  • The Family Member will be skipped if any of the above attributes are missing.

  • In addition to the required attributes listed above, we pull over the following attributes (if available): Middle Name, Suffix, Address, Country of Citizenship, Country of Birth, Phone, and Date of Birth. If the address is marked the same as the student's, the student's address will be used.

  • If the email address is already in use on an existing profile, a new profile will not be created, and it will not change the profile type of the current profile.

Step 1: Create a Segment of Student Profiles

  • In the People module, use filters to identify the students from whom you wish to extract Family Member data. Save the list of students as a new Segment.


    • Limit this Segment to relevant profiles, like Prospects or Applicants, where communicating with parents is most beneficial.

    • Use the filter Profile Type = Student.

Step 2: Create a New Rule

  • Once you have created your Segment of students, you can create your Rule.

  • Use the Rule Type = Scheduled

    • The schedule can be at whatever frequency you need. Consider the frequency at which you receive Family Member data.

Step 3: Add a Step for Each Family Member Role

  • Create an individual step for each Family Member role for which you create a profile. For example, if you are extracting mother and father data, you will need two steps. Take a look at this example.

  • For each step, use the Create Profile Action Type. Then, configure the following for each:

    • Role: Select the role/Relationship listed on the Family Member data to be extracted. For this particular use case, and in most cases, this will be mother, father, or guardian.

    • Segment: Select the Segment of student profiles from which you want to extract family data and create separate family profiles. (Refer to Step 1)

      • When the Rule runs, Element451 will dynamically find any family member data on a student's profile within the selected Segment.

    • Relationship: Select the Relationship that best fits the connection between these two profiles. For this particular use case, and in most cases, it will be Parent-Child.

Step 4: Set the Rule to Active

  • Once set to Active, the Rule will run on its configured schedule. However, you can manually force the Rule to run at any time by using the "Run Now" button on the Schedule card.

Here is an example of what the Rule should look like (click the image to enlarge):

Option 2: Importing

If you have family member data stored outside of Element451 and wish to import the data in bulk to create family member profiles, follow the process outlined below.

When using this method, you should be familiar with Importing. Our help articles on importing are available here.

Step 1: Prep Your Import File

  • You will use a .csv file for the import. At a minimum, your file must include the following attributes, but you are free to import additional ones:

    • First name: Parent/guardian's first name

    • Last name: Parent/guardian's last name

    • Email: Parent/guardian's email address

    • Relationship/Role: Mother, Father, or Guardian

    • Student Reference: A unique identifier for the corresponding student, such as the student's email address (not recommended) or Element ID)

Step 2: Create a New Import Task

  • Navigate to Data + Automations > Import/Export > Import, create a new import task, and upload your prepared .csv file.

Step 3: Map to Fields

  • You will map your fields just as you would if you were importing student data, except the student reference. We'll cover that in Step 4.

    • First name = user-first-name

    • Last name = user-last-name

    • Email = user-email-address

    • Relationship = user-family-relationship-*

    • Student Reference = Map to Field > Add User Relationship (see step 4)

Step 4: Map Your Relationship Reference

  1. After clicking Map to Field for your Student Reference column, click Add User Relationship.

  2. Match By: For the Match By field, select which student identity reference you used on your spreadsheet. Your options include email address (not recommended), Element ID, social security number, etc.

  3. Relationship Type: For the Relationship Type field, select which Relationship type you're importing. Your options include parent-child, guardian-dependant, counselor-student, and many more. You can review a comprehensive list in the Relationship section of this article.

  4. Confirm the selection for "matched person is related as." In the example below, we must confirm the matched person is the child. Since we are importing family members, this is correct.

Step 5: Set the User Type to Family

  • Next, navigate to the Groups & User Type tab and select the Default User Type. This will determine what type of profiles are created. In this use case, we want to choose Family.

Step 6: Run the Import Task

  • You can start the run of your import from the Run Task tab. Your import will queue, which may take a few minutes, and the profiles will be created.

Sending Campaigns to Parents/Guardians

Communicating effectively with parents or guardians is pivotal in nurturing a successful enrollment funnel. You should know a few things when aiming to connect with parents or guardians through your Campaign, especially if you don't have separate parent records.

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