A Guide to HubSpot’s Static and Active Lists

In today’s fast-paced world of digital marketing, every interaction with members or segments of your audience matters. To fully leverage HubSpot’s marketing list and lead-engagement tools, it’s essential to understand the critical distinction between two crucial list types: static marketing...

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In today’s fast-paced world of digital marketing, every interaction with members or segments of your audience matters. To fully leverage HubSpot’s marketing list and lead-engagement tools, it’s essential to understand the critical distinction between two crucial list types: static marketing lists and active lists (dynamic marketing lists). While these concepts might seem straightforward, many marketers struggle with choosing the right marketing list type for their campaigns and with managing their members. Here is a guide to HubSpot’s static and active lists and when to use them.

Search Criteria of Static Lists and Active Lists in HubSpot:

HubSpot’s marketing lists are a powerful feature that enables you to segment your contacts precisely and target specific groups of users with tailored content or campaigns. One of the standout aspects of HubSpot’s marketing lists is its extensive search criteria options.

This feature allows you to create lists based on various criteria, including contact properties, list membership, engagement history, and even predictive lead scoring. HubSpot provides flexibility if you want to filter contacts based on demographic information, their interactions with your other service or website, email engagement, or any custom property you’ve set up.

This level of granularity in defining your target audience ensures that your marketing efforts are highly focused, increasing the likelihood of engaging your contacts effectively and driving better results for customers with your campaigns. With HubSpot’s marketing lists search criteria, you have the tools to fine-tune your targeting and deliver more personalized and relevant content to your audience, ultimately boosting your marketing success.

board room showing team reviewing how to use Static Lists vs. Active Lists in HubSpot

Static Lists: An Essential Tool for Targeted Digital Marketing

Static marketing lists in HubSpot are characterized by their unchanging nature, requiring manual intervention to add or remove members. They capture a snapshot of your contacts at a particular moment based on specific query criteria such as demographics, past customer interactions, or engagement levels from previous email campaigns. This characteristic makes these lists and records particularly valuable when consistency and stable search criteria are paramount.

When to Use Static Lists For Customer Segmentation:

For One-Time or Infrequent Campaigns: Static lists are particularly effective when you need to communicate with a consistent group of contacts. They are the go-to choice for one-time email blasts or infrequent marketing pushes, where manually adding members ensures precision targeting. For instance, if you’re launching a PPC ad campaign targeting past event attendees, a static marketing list guarantees that your message is delivered to that exact audience without any automatic alterations.

Examples of Static Marketing Lists:

  • Employee Lists: Ideal for distributing internal communications or making company-wide announcements.

  • Event Registration Lists: Perfect for conducting post-event follow-ups. These lists are especially beneficial for search engine marketing strategies for participants interested in specific topics or products.

  • Contacts from Conferences or Networking Events: These lists are excellent for executing tailored outreach programs. In the realm of PPC marketing, they enable the creation of highly targeted ad groups within your Google Ads campaigns, directly addressing the interests and needs of these contacts.

Leveraging Static Lists in Online Advertising:

  • Focused Digital Marketing Strategies: Static lists of customers enable marketers to implement highly focused digital marketing strategies. Using a well-defined audience ensures that your messaging and content are directly relevant to the group you are addressing.

  • Optimizing Ad Spend: In PPC advertising, particularly on platforms like the Google Search Network or Bing Ads, static lists come into their own by allowing segmented targeting of customer data. This targeted approach leads to more optimized cost per click (CPC), ensuring that your ad spend yields the highest possible return. In essence, static lists provide a strategic advantage in managing your online advertising budget, ensuring that every dollar spent is directed towards an audience that has already shown interest or engagement with your brand.

Digital Marketing Desktop Leveraging Static Lists in Online Advertising:

Active Lists / Dynamic Marketing Lists For Customer Segmentation:

Active lists in HubSpot represent a dynamic and personalized approach to audience segmentation. They are constantly updated based on campaign activities and real-time data, making them invaluable for digital marketing strategies that require agility and responsiveness to the campaign itself. This feature is crucial for ongoing PPC marketing efforts on platforms like the Google Display Network, ensuring that your Google Ads campaigns always align with the latest audience interests and behaviors.

Optimizing Campaigns with Active Lists:

  • Ideal for Continuous Engagement: Active lists are designed for ongoing, multi-stage, and rapid-response campaigns. They enable marketers to continuously engage with their audience, quickly adapting to changing preferences and behaviors.

  • Managing Customer Lists for Effective PPC Advertising: Keeping customer information current is crucial for the success of PPC advertising. Active lists facilitate efficient customer segmentation, ensuring your ads are always targeted to the most relevant audience segments.

  • Creating Block Lists to Improve CPC Efficiency: Active lists can be used to create block lists, excluding contacts irrelevant to your campaign. This helps improve your Google Ads campaigns’ cost-per-click (CPC) efficiency by ensuring that your ads are only shown to a highly targeted audience.

Streamlining Lead Management with Active Lists:

  • Facilitating Collaboration Between Teams: Active marketing lists are a powerful tool for bridging the gap between marketing and sales teams. Using HubSpot workflows, you can automate the lead distribution process and track the progression of leads through active lists, enhancing the overall effectiveness of your PPC marketing strategies and customer segmentation.

When to Use Active Lists:

  • For Ongoing and Multi-Stage Campaigns: Active lists are particularly effective for campaigns that require frequent updates and adjustments. This adaptability makes them an essential tool for customer segmentation in an ever-changing market environment.

  • Targeting Specific Interests: By allowing for precise targeting based on evolving interests, active lists are critical for creating highly relevant search and display ads that resonate with your audience.

  • Managing New Prospects from Forms: Active lists are also invaluable for managing new prospects from forms on your website or landing pages. You can set up a dynamic list that segments these new leads based on their responses, engagement, or other predefined criteria, ensuring they receive the most relevant marketing messages and offers.

Creating and Managing Lists in HubSpot:

Understanding how to create and utilize dynamic static and active lists features in HubSpot is fundamental for effective digital marketing, PPC campaigns, and efficient management of Google Ads accounts. Here’s a detailed example guide to creating a dynamic marketing list using these powerful tools:

  1. Navigate to Contacts > Lists: Begin in your HubSpot dashboard. The navigation to ‘Contacts’ and then ‘Lists’ is your gateway to accessing the powerful list creation and management tools HubSpot offers.

  2. Click “Create List.” This is where your journey in segmenting your audience begins. Clicking ‘Create List’ opens up possibilities for targeted digital advertising and refined PPC marketing strategies.

  3. Choose between Contact-based or Company-based Lists: Decide whether your list will be based on individual contacts (customers or leads) or companies. This choice is crucial for tailoring your PPC and Google Ads campaigns to the right audience. For instance, company-based lists might be more relevant for B2B marketing efforts on platforms like

  4. Select Active or Static Lists: Choose between an active or static list depending on your campaign’s requirements – whether a one-time PPC ad on the Google Display Network or an ongoing search engine marketing campaign. Active lists are dynamic and update automatically, ideal for campaigns targeting evolving interests or behaviors. Static lists remain unchanged unless manually updated, perfect for specific, time-bound campaigns.

  5. Define Your List Criteria by Specifying Segmentation Parameters: This step is crucial for effectively targeting your PPC campaigns or Google search ads. Specify segmentation parameters such as demographics, behavior, engagement with previous PPC ads, interactions with your landing pages, or responses to your email marketing campaigns. The more detailed your criteria, the more targeted your ad groups in your Google Ads account can be, leading to more efficient ad spend and higher conversion rates.

  6. Refine and Test Your Lists: After creating your lists, refining and testing them is essential. Use tools like Google Analytics to understand how contacts on your lists interact with your website and ads. This insight can help you adjust your lists for better performance in your PPC and search engine marketing efforts.

A Guide to HubSpot’s Static and Active Lists: The Key for Exceptional Marketing Takeaways:

In the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape, the ability to effectively create and utilize static and active lists in HubSpot is more than just a convenience—it’s a strategic business necessity. These tools, whether called dynamic lists or by their names, play a critical role in shaping the success of various marketing initiatives.

Static and Active Lists: Dual Forces in Customer Engagement

  • Efficient Customer Engagement: Static lists provide a stable foundation for reaching a consistent audience, ideal for campaigns where message continuity is critical. On the other hand, active lists offer dynamic engagement, evolving in real-time to match your audience’s shifting interests and behaviors, ensuring that your marketing messages are always relevant.

  • Targeted Lead Generation: By leveraging these lists, businesses can tailor their lead generation strategies more effectively. Static lists are perfect for targeting leads based on historical data, while active lists allow for real-time adjustments, capturing new leads as they interact with your brand.

  • Collaboration Between Marketing and Sales Teams: These lists facilitate a seamless integration of efforts between marketing and sales. Static lists can inform sales teams about long-term prospects, while active lists provide timely updates on potential leads showing immediate interest, enabling more effective lead nurturing and conversion.

Growth Marketing HubSpot Strategy Static and Active Lists: Dual Forces in Customer Engagement

Refining PPC Campaigns and Optimizing Google Ads with HubSpot’s Lists

  • Refining PPC Campaigns: Utilizing HubSpot’s lists can significantly enhance the precision of PPC campaigns. Static lists allow for targeted campaigns to specific audience segments, while active lists enable rapid adjustments based on the latest audience data, maximizing the ROI of your ad spend.

  • Optimizing Google Ads: In Google Ads, these lists can be used to create highly targeted ad groups, improving the relevance and effectiveness of your ads. Active lists (dynamic marketing lists), in particular, ensure that your Google Ads are always in sync with the latest customer trends and interactions.

Transform Your Marketing Strategy with HubSpot’s Lists

Are you ready to elevate your lead engagement approach? Explore the capabilities and value of active and static contact lists in HubSpot and leverage these dynamic tools to amplify your marketing campaigns. By embracing the power of dormant and active lists, you unlock the full potential of your marketing efforts, forging deeper connections with all segments of your audience and driving significant results in your PPC and digital marketing endeavors. In today’s competitive digital marketing landscape, using these lists in HubSpot is not just an option—it’s a cornerstone of successful marketing strategies.

FAQ Section: HubSpot Static and Dynamic Marketing Lists

What is the difference between static and dynamic lists in HubSpot?

Static lists are fixed groups of contacts. Once a contact is added to a static list, it remains until manually removed. They are ideal for one-time campaigns or segmented lists that don’t change frequently.

Dynamic lists, on the other hand, are automatically updated based on specific criteria. When a contact meets these criteria, they are added to the list; if they no longer meet the requirements, they are removed. Dynamic lists are perfect for ongoing campaigns and evolving segments of the organization or customer base.

How do I create a dynamic list in HubSpot?

To create a dynamic list, go to your HubSpot account and navigate to ‘Contacts’ > ‘Lists.’ Click on ‘Create list,’ select ‘Dynamic,’ and then define the criteria based on data on properties, form submissions, email interactions, website activity, etc. Once set, the list will automatically update as contacts meet or no longer meet these criteria.

Can I change a static list to a dynamic list or vice versa?

No, once a list is created as static or dynamic, its type cannot be changed. If you need a different list type, you must create a new one and set up your criteria or add contacts accordingly.

How are dynamic lists beneficial for marketing campaigns?

Dynamic lists are incredibly efficient for ongoing marketing efforts. They ensure your campaigns always target the most relevant audience without manual intervention. For instance, a dynamic list can automatically update to include contacts of customers who have recently engaged with your website or services, ensuring your marketing efforts are focused on the most engaged segments.

Are there any limitations to using a dynamic marketing list in HubSpot?

While dynamic lists are powerful, they have certain limitations. For example, there are restrictions on the number of dynamic lists you can have, depending on your HubSpot subscription tier. Also, overly complex criteria can sometimes slow down the performance of your HubSpot account.


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About the Author
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I am Seth Nagle, a growth marketing aficionado with a passion for propelling businesses to new heights. Armed with a wizardry of data-driven strategies, innovative tactics, and a keen eye for opportunities, I've orchestrated successful campaigns that have ignited growth and sparked measurable results. From disrupting industries to cultivating brand loyalty, I thrive on the thrill of crafting narratives that resonate, channels that convert, and outcomes that speak volumes.