• Emily Malone

What’s the difference between HubSpot’s static lists and smart lists?

Why are lists important in inbound marketing?

Great-quality lists are a pivotal component of a successful email marketing campaign. If your lists aren’t up-to-scratch, your various streams of marketing efforts might lose momentum.

When it comes to HubSpot’s email marketing tool, it all starts with grouping your hard-earned contacts into organised static and smart lists. But do you know the difference between the two? When is it best to use one in place of the other?

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What is a static list?

Static lists don’t update as new contacts meet the criteria. Instead, they remain unchanged for contacts who met only one set of requirements at a certain time. Your contacts for these lists can be manually added and removed.

The great thing about these lists is you can look back on them to see contacts who met a certain criteria on a particular date. What’s more, you can see if they still qualify for that criteria or not. These lists don’t update any of the contact’s information automatically. So if a person enters the list, they will remain in there until you manually remove them.

When would a static list be useful?

  1. Event registration lists You can use static lists for any event you might be managing. People who are attending can be grouped together, so you can send them email upates or reminders as the event draws near. You can also check back on this list to see who did and didn’t turn up.

  2. Team lists Do you send newsletters to your team members or board of directors? These lists of people don’t typically change that often, so a static list which you can update manually whenever needed would be best.

  3. Conference lists Did you get lots of business cards from people you met at a conference or event? Add them to a list! We did this for Inbound 2016, which allowed us to easily gather the information from our new friends on the go, and set up an Inbound-specific campaign for them.

What is a smart list?

Smart lists are dynamic lists. This means they constantly evolve and update as contacts meet the criteria, even after the list has been created for the first time. It also means that when a contact no longer meets the criteria, they’ll get automatically removed from the list — so no manual work necessary.

They’re powered by data collected from your marketing software or CRM, as well as interactions contacts have through your website such as downloading content or visiting certain web pages a number of times.

Smart lists are best used for email campaigns which require you to send an email more than once to a certain list of contacts that change and update frequently. They help to keep certain lists fresh by adjusting to your ever-changing database of contacts.

When would a smart list be useful?

  1. Customer newsletter list Your list of customers is always evolving, and a monthly newsletter for these customers is a pretty standard thing in the world of email marketing. But to avoid sending out product information to people who may not be customers any more, or to include any brand new customers automatically, a smart list is necessary.

  2. Block lists Smart lists give you the ability to suppress certain contacts and protect recipients from receiving too many emails. For example, you could create a smart list for anyone who’d already downloaded an offer, to stop them from receiving that very same offer in future correspondences.

  3. Interest-based lists You can create a smart list of everyone who has downloaded a certain piece of content on a particular topic, to make sure your future emails to these contacts match that interest category. For example, if a group of contacts downloaded some information on a certain product or service, you could use this list so you know who to send a pricing guide for that same product or service to later down the line.

So there you have it; some ideas on what you can do with your contacts when you have the choice of both smart and static lists.

Want to learn more about what you can achieve with HubSpot CRM in your armoury? Chat to us today!