HubSpot Marketing Basics: Segmentation and Lists

HubSpot Marketing Basics: Segmentation and Lists

Strategic segmentation is a foundational element in any successful marketing campaign. Delivering the right message to your audience at the right time will help turn leads into customers and will increase long-term customer loyalty.

In digital marketing, the technical definition of segmentation is the separation of your leads and customers into groups based on shared traits (e.g., personality, interests, habits) and factors (like demographics, industry, income).

Some core benefits of segmentation include:

  • Learning about your customers on a deeper level so you can tailor content to their specific needs and challenges.
  • Creating targeted campaigns and ads that result in lead conversion and positive ROI.
  • Improving customer service and support efforts.
  • Increasing customer loyalty with customized content and interactions.
  • Communicating with customers via their preferred channel.

Once you have your different segments built out, you can use them in many ways in HubSpot to create contextual conversations and interactions. One way in which a segment is used is as a starting list for entering contacts into a customer journey automation. For example, you might have a customer segment developed for leads you meet at a recent trade show where you were highlighting your company's newest product. This list could be used to guide the leads through a series of emails educating them about your product and your company with the goal of creating a sales qualified lead.

There are other ways to use email marketing to reach your segments as well. For example, here at TopLine, we have different customer segments based on what type of CRM software they use. We use these segments in our monthly newsletters, which are customized with content related to a specific CRM system, to provide readers with information that is valuable to them.

In HubSpot, the most important part of segmentation is Lists. The lists tool allows you to create a list of contacts based on property values from the contact record, such as their stage, location, or product interest. Lists can also be created from activities the contact has completed, such as the number of emails the customer has engaged with or the number of forms they have submitted.

When creating a list in HubSpot, there are two types you can choose from: active and static.

Active lists

Members of an active list are automatically updated based on the criteria you provide.  Contacts will join the list when they meet the criteria and leave the list when they no longer meet the criteria.

Common examples of active lists include:

  • Lists based on specific behaviors and properties.  (A newsletter list is a good example of an active list. The list automatically updates based on the subscription status of your contacts.)
  • A call list for your sales team to engage with active leads.
  • A list that groups your contacts by their relationship to your company.
  • A segmented contact list based on properties that change frequently over time, such as their HubSpot Score.

Static lists

Static lists are used to identify contacts who meet set criteria at the point when the list is saved. Static lists do not update, so new records who meet the criteria will not be added to the list automatically. The only way to change the list is to manually add and remove contacts.

Common examples of static lists include:

  • A list of contacts you wish to manually add to a workflow.
  • Contact lists that don't change, such as tradeshow attendees, webinar or other event attendees.
  • A list for a one-time email blast.
  • A list that manually groups contacts that may not have shared criteria.
  • Segmenting contacts to bulk delete records from your account.

Before you create any list, it's crucial to precisely define the criteria that will be used and to get agreement from relevant internal stakeholders. Make sure you allow enough time to review the data, including different properties and activities, to be certain you know which data elements and values you will use in the list. Additionally, you will want to review the list once you have created it to ensure that it is accurate. For me, this usually includes verifying if the number of contacts in the list is in the ballpark of what I was expecting and always double-checking the criteria I selected.

Once you have outlined clear definitions for your segment, creating a list is simple. To learn more, check out our blog post with a step-by-step process for setting up lists in HubSpot. (LINK TO OTHER ARTICLE)

If you’re interested in getting started with HubSpot marketing, or you want to learn more, TopLine Results would love to help! You can reach us at  or 800-880-1960.

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