What is the difference between an active list and a static list?

Active lists are based on record properties and automatically update over time. Static lists do not automatically update and must be updated manually.

When creating a new list for sending marketing emails in HubSpot, you’re given the option to create an active or static list. It is important to know the difference and use the correct list depending on the intended use of the list.

Active lists will be automatically updated based on the criteria you specify. Examples of active list use cases would be:

  • A client list based on the Lifecycle Stage property: Any time you update the property to “customer,” they’ll be added to the list. This could be used for client communications or important updates.
  • Prospecting lists for a certain producer, targeting a specific industry: You can always have an up-to-date prospecting list by adding filters to indicate which contact owner you want and which industry you’re looking to send information to.
  • Blog or Newsletter Subscribers: You’ll be able to maintain an up-to-date list of who has opted into your blogs or newsletters by using a filter that adds contacts who fill out your subscription form.

Static lists can be made with a particular set of criteria, but they do not update over time. These lists act more like a snapshot of a moment in time. You can add to them manually. Here are some examples of static list use cases:

  • Event registration email: You can create a list of people who filled in a form to register for an event and use it to send out event updates.
  • One-time email blasts: If you’re not going to communicate to this list of people in the future, there is no need to create an active list. Having active lists that are not in use will only cause future clutter.
  • Hand-selected list of prospects: Suppose you have some contacts you want to send information (newsletters/invites/etc.) out to, but they don’t share any obvious details (like industry or job role) that you can use for a filter. In that case, you can create a static list without filters and add contacts to the list manually.